Case Study | McCarran International Airport | Diversified
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McCarran International Airport

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McCarran International Airport
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McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas is the gateway to one of the most luxurious cities in the world. Long illuminated by ubiquitous neon lights, Las Vegas has seen its lighting transition in recent years from the iconic yet dangerous gas to higher-performing digital alternatives. In light of this transformation and spurred by studies showing consumers engage more thoroughly with digitally delivered ads than with static content, McCarran and their signage partner, Lamar Advertising, recognized an opportunity for a technological overhaul in their airport environment. Desirous of creating a digitally thrilling environment that welcomed travelers to Vegas with the glamour they expected while also delivering advertisers a lucrative platform with which to communicate, the team from McCarran and Lamar set about searching for a solution.

The Challenges:

Airports are cavernous places with countless settings for digital signage, so choosing the right space to spice up isn’t always easy. In this case however, the answer came quickly. As the Director of McCarran, Rosemary Vassiliadis, put it, “the time was right to undertake a complete renovation of the [Terminal 1] baggage claim area advertising displays to meet the needs of our advertisers for years to come.” This space presented a gauntlet of challenges, first being the size of the task itself: the area contained dozens of static displays of varying sizes in need of digital replacements that could rotate content as quickly as Vegas rotated shows and events. Ambient light flooding through the surrounding windows introduced a lofty brightness minimum for these displays and the intended viewing distance of the displays ranged wildly from a few feet to a few hundred feet. Providing power to the displays posed another obstacle, as did finding the room for a rack system from which to power content. The greatest challenge however was the requirement that the entire renovation take place without interrupting or compromising ongoing airport operations.

The Solutions:

In light of the challenging performance thresholds the baggage claim environment presented, the team from McCarran and Lamar recognized their best bet was to onboard an integrator who could bring some past experience to the project. They turned to locally-based Vision Sign, who quickly diagnosed LED to be the only solution able to deliver the performance and revenue-generation the team required. For their LED manufacturer, the team once again sourced locally with visualization leader Nanolumens, who maintains their west coast headquarters in the city.

The Vice President of Vision Sign, Jeff Quintana, explained this choice by saying, “there is a lot of ambient light coming through surrounding windows in the Terminal 1 baggage claim area, which really lends itself to LED, so Nanolumens was ideal for this install.” He continued to say that, “Nanolumens specifies the power requirements ahead of time, so that’s a huge help and their displays work with any media player and software platform so the powering content part of the equation is simplified as well.” With the team assembled, the static signs and banners were replaced with 60 Nanolumens LED displays, ranging in size from the towering 64-foot by 9-foot soffit displays to the slim 12.5-foot by 3-foot carousel toppers.

The Results:

Praising the results of the installation, Jeff Quintana said, “Lamar Advertising wanted to bring the space to life and switching from the static ads to Nanolumens LED displays did exactly that. Of the 60 displays installed during this project, the largest are 64-foot by 9-foot Performance Series soffit displays affixed to the walls surrounding the baggage claim area. Other displays vary in size from the 32-foot by 18-foot wall-mounted landmark displays down to the 12.5- foot by 3.5-foot carousel toppers. Each of these displays gives Lamar an impressive platform to communicate with their audiences and reinforces McCarran’s position as the gateway to America’s most glamorous city. “McCarran has been known for years as ‘Times Square West’ -we’re back on the map with this iconic installation,” attests Brig Newman, “our advertisers are excited to be a part of this ‘first impact’ greeting.” Travelers arriving in Vegas are now met with an immersive digital experience that truly feels one with the city.

The Technology:

The 60 displays installed in this project are almost all Engage Series™ displays with 2.5mm pixel pitches. Many are vertical banner displays installed on columns throughout the baggage claim area, ranging in size from 5 feet by 13 feet to 5 feet by 9 feet. Others live on top of the baggage courses themselves and these measure in at 12.5 feet by 3.5 feet. The largest displays are Performance Series soffit displays with 4mm pixel pitches measuring 64 feet by 9 feet. Four other Performance Series soffit displays measure 32 feet by 9 feet with two others slightly smaller at 32 feet by 5 feet. Each of the displays are used to showcase content from a rotating list of advertisers.