Hotel Has No Reservations About New Video System

Guests of New York’s Allegria Hotel and Spa can now enjoy an additional amenity – the enhanced safety of an IP video security system. The hotel celebrates the virtues of its integrator and new surveillance technology.

Running a hotel is a complicated business; there’s a reason why hospitality management is a course of study at many dedicated schools and institutions of higher learning. Besides all the staffing issues across a broad spectrum of services and attending to a multitude of guest needs, you must also ensure the safety and security of all involved. And if your location is a beachfront resort on Long Island, it’s magnified even more.

That’s the challenge for the owners and operators of New York’s nine-story Allegria Hotel and Spa, a brand new luxury retreat located adjacent to the famous Long Beach boardwalk. “With 143 rooms and thousands of guests staying with us during the year, we try to maintain the highest level of safety and security for our guests and staff,” says Mark LaHood, general manager for the hotel.

Just as an upscale hotel like the Allegria must make certain its first-rate accommodations are upheld, so too must it make it a high priority to keep its security measures updated. With the well being of occupants and visitors as well as its reputation at stake, the venue placed its faith in Woodside, N.Y.-based Centennial Security Integration Inc. (CSI) to install its brand new video surveillance system. CSI, a hospitality specialist, worked with other trades to design and install a solution involving 75+ cameras during reconstruction of a former seven-story condominium complex.

Hotels Prove Hospitable
Founded in 2004 as Total Security and renamed a year later as Centennial Security Integration Inc., CSI has evolved into a high-end systems integrator that installs IP video surveillance cameras and monitoring systems in New York’s finest hotels. The company also installs access control, building intercom systems, biometrics, and intrusion/fire alarm solutions in commercial and residential facilities throughout the tri-state area.

“At CSI, one of our main objectives is safeguarding major New York hotels and their guests by replacing legacy security systems with cutting-edge IP video technology,” says Brian Valenza, president/COO. “The CSI team has acquired an outstanding reputation in the hospitality industry and continues building relationships and a level of trust with hotel management.”

CSI, which has 800+ accounts overall, was able to add the Allegria Hotel and Spa to its growing list of hospitality clientele after the combination of its sterling track record and bid won over the facility’s stakeholders. “The hotel was referred to us based on our outstanding reputation dealing with IP video surveillance solutions in the hotel industry. We submitted a bid for the job, and won,” says Valenza. 

CSI contracted with Allegria – which opened in September and includes 112 guestrooms, 31 luxury suites, a restaurant and bar, a 200-seat ballroom, three meeting rooms, a fitness center, a roof-top spa and pool, and a ground-level retail outlet — in November 2008. “We knew what we wanted and CSI was able to provide us with what we needed to meet our objectives,” says LaHood. Along with change order items, the project was wrapped up within just one month.

IP Offers Feature Suite
Since the entire wiring infrastructure was being installed from scratch, the client wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to implement the latest in IP video surveillance throughout the hotel.

CSI designed a separate, parallel network for security functionality. The copper runs consisted of Cat-6 cabling to accommodate the IP cameras and monitoring stations, allowing for future system growth as well as bandwidth demands exceeding 1GB. In addition, fiber optics was run to serve as the system’s backbone.

The end user desired a fully network-based solution that would be flexible and scalable, and offer superior playback quality with the ability to utilize megapixel technology. To achieve that, CSI deployed an OnSSI-based system with a Pivot3 storage solution and Sony, Arecont and Axis cameras.

The OnSSI NetDVMS platform allows large numbers of cameras to be displayed across multiple monitors with multiple views. Adjustments to those views can be done quickly with the click of a mouse. Pivot3’s RAIGE storage array provides redundant storage and expansion capability.

More than 75 fixed Sony cameras were installed throughout the public access areas of the hotel. “Because of their robust feature sets and image clarity, the cameras are ideally suited to applications like the Allegria Hotel and Spa,” says Miguel Lazatin, a Sony marketing manager. “The SNC-DS10 indoor dome and SNC-CS50N can dual stream at 30 frames per second, and include intelligent motion detection that analyzes 15 previous frames of data.”

Whereas conventional video motion detection analyzes just one previous frame, Sony’s technology is designed so the cameras can ignore environmental noise such as rustling leaves, water and camera shaking. This ultimately reduces the amount of false triggers sent to the recording server.

Three- and 5-megapixel cameras from Arecont Vision were installed that use H.264 compression to stream video, thereby minimizing bandwidth consumption for high-definition video. Arecont’s proprietary technology is said to reduce the computational processing demands typically associated with transmitting H.264 megapixel video at high frames rates.

So as not to intrude on the décor of the Allegria’s contemporary reception desk and lobby area, Axis 209MFD cameras were installed. The flat, discreet network camera is specifically designed for noninvasive video surveillance.

All of the hotel’s IP cameras support power over Ethernet (PoE), adding to the ease of installation. The IP solution includes multiple viewing stations and redundant storage. The system is monitored from a central location on LCD displays.

“The equipment provided by CSI came from the highest quality manufacturers and allowed us peace of mind because the equipment installed is backed by extensive warranties and a superb manufacturer track record,” says LaHood. “We were surprised how easy the system is to operate and monitor. The technology is fantastic.”

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About the Author


Scott Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Security Sales & Integration. Well-versed in the technical and business aspects of electronic security (video surveillance, access control, systems integration, intrusion detection, fire/life safety), Goldfine is nationally recognized as an industry expert and speaker. Goldfine is involved in several security events and organizations, including the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), ASIS Int'l and more. Goldfine also serves on several boards, including the SIA Marketing Committee, CSAA Marketing and Communications Committee, PSA Cybersecurity Advisory Council and Robolliance. He is a certified alarm technician, former cable-TV tech, audio company entrepreneur, and lifelong electronics and computers enthusiast. Goldfine joined Security Sales & Integration in 1998.

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