The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is a magnificent and luxurious multi-billion-dollar hotel and casino located on the iconic Las Vegas Strip, with more than 3,000 rooms, many offering a private terrace. The hotel also features a 110,000 sq. ft. casino, 300,000 sq. ft. of retail and restaurant space, a 40,000 sq. ft. spa and fitness facility, a 3,200-seat theater, and 150,000 sq. ft. of meeting and convention space.
In 2013, the Cosmopolitan was rated “The Best Hotel in the World” by Gogobot, and in 2015, the resort was named to the Condé Nast Traveler Gold List as one of the “Top Hotels in the World.” It was named one of The Top Hotels in Las Vegas in the Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards in 2018.
In 2021, the Cosmopolitan was purchased by MGM Resorts International for a reported $1.65 billion.
As one of the top resorts in Las Vegas, if not the world, it was crucial that the look of the hotel from the moment a guest arrived be as breathtaking as possible. A key part of creating that look was a complex digital signage network in front of and throughout the hotel, including an 8-column, four-sided installation in the lobby comprised of multiple 42-inch high-resolution LCD displays arranged in portrait mode, as well as a row of similar screens in landscape mode mounted behind the reception desk. Also included were multiple LED displays outside the resort entrance.
As part of an effort to maintain its position as a premier Las Vegas resort, Cosmopolitan was seeking to upgrade its hotel digital signage technology. When it came to high-profile guests or convention groups, for example, the hotel wanted to greet them with company branding or other relevant content on the lobby displays.
Unfortunately, this was not possible with Cosmopolitan’s existing digital signage systems. Various signage networks throughout the property used different systems, requiring operators to switch between as many as 7 programs to update content. The existing digital signage content management platform required users to go through a long training process to use the different platforms, and converting content to a file format supported by that software involved a rendering process that took several days.
Once the content was finally converted, the CMS was extremely difficult to use, adding to the costs and complexities of the network. As a result, it was nearly impossible for the hotel to keep content new, fresh, alive, current, and constantly moving.
Cosmopolitan also wanted to allow some of the screens to be controlled by third parties. The resort is home to several nightclubs, so they wanted to allow those third parties to swap out generic content and display something tailored along the lines of “Hey, Let’s Jam!” as well as play live videos or streams for special events. At the same time, they didn’t want the various parties to be able to control all the screens.
To help it implement a modern, flexible, and easy-to-use digital signage network and content management system, the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas tapped U.K.-based Acquire Digital. Recognized as an industry leader in self-service, digital signage and wayfinding software, Acquire has installed thousands of digital deployments over its 25-year history for hundreds of customers around the world. Many of those deployments include digital signage solutions for hotels and resorts as well as casino digital signage.
Displays and related hardware were supplied by Acquire’s hardware partner YESCO.
One of the first steps in the process was to replace the existing digital signage media players with new player technology. Unlike a traditional media player that just plays digital content on a playlist or sequence, the new player technology incorporates advanced functionality including the ability to perform tasks including playing multiple videos on a single display, placing a transition layer on top of existing content, moving content around, rotating it and colorizing it across all the different displays. Content can be placed in virtual “cubes” and rotated across the displays.
The hotel digital signage platform can also pull in content such as web pages, other videos or live streams and overlay that on top of existing content. Additionally, incorporating an additional media player allows for separate content to be displayed on a portion of the same screen independently, but frame accurate.
If a deployer has video walls or LED displays in unusual shapes, the system can fill those shapes with content and play multiple outputs. The system can also process 4K output and even decode 8K if required.
The work at the Cosmopolitan was completed in May 2022.
One of the main benefits Cosmopolitan was able to achieve came in the cost of operating the various digital signage systems. Before, the hotel was operating a player per screen plus backup players, totaling nearly 70 players. Thanks to its state-of-the-art digital signage software for hotels and vast industry experience, Acquire reduced the number of players required by more than half. Additionally, the Cosmopolitan can now output more than four 4K videos at the same time from a single player. And if one player goes down, then there is always a backup player that will take its place to avoid downtime.
All of this is controlled from a single dashboard via the CMS and monitored as part of the ongoing support and maintenance program. Managing content is accomplished using a simple drag-and-drop interface but is customized in parts for The Cosmopolitan. Users can learn how to use the system in minutes and update content in real-time. Because different types of content have been designed for different sizes of screens, the software includes a failsafe that won’t allow the wrong content to be dragged and dropped onto a screen that doesn’t match the content size, avoiding embarrassing video playouts.
If any of the media players experience a fault, the Cosmopolitan can quickly swap it out with a manual stream. The resort also benefits from having YESCO staffers based in Las Vegas who are fully trained in using the systems, providing local on-premise support if needed. Acquire also has its remote support tools that alert the company to any issues, potentially even before the Cosmopolitan would know there’s a problem. Acquire provided full training to Cosmopolitan’s IT department, allowing them to manage most issues in-house. Thanks to those safeguards the likelihood of real problems is very low.
Because of the combined and coordinated efforts, every guest will have an outstanding visual experience no matter where on the property they may be.