The fountain at the Vail Cascade resort and spa.
When you are establishing your facility as one of the premier luxury resorts and spas in the industry, a continuous barrage of false fire alarms is a problem you can't afford. The Vail Cascade Resort & Spa in Vail, CO, is a Four-Diamond resort named by Conde Nast Traveler as one of the top four ski resorts in North America. The resort presents both vacationers and business guests alike with the ultimate in services and amenities. The problem was that the facility was experiencing frequent false fire alarms.

Recognizing the need for a major upgrade in the resort's fire alarm system, General Manager Jay Rocha contacted one of the region's distributors of high-end fire safety equipment, Acme Alarm Co. located in Rifle, CO.

There were many reasons why Vail Cascade Resort & Spa was having false alarm problems. Building layout and system configuration were two major contributing factors. Large events posed unique problems, such as how to run a fog machine with smoke detectors on a 28-foot ballroom ceiling. Other factors were education, maintenance and training. Communication and coordination between engineering staff and the alarm company, and preplanning for events were critical in false alarm prevention.

"In the eyes of the customer, the reasons why false alarms occur are secondary to the simple need for a solution,"

The ballroom at the Vail Cascade resort and spa.

The Solution

Vail Cascade Resort & Spa found their solution in the space-efficient Identiflex (IF) 654 and 658 Digitally Assigned Analogue Addressable Control Panels from Gamewell. Part of Honeywell's Fire Group, Gamewell is one of the leading manufacturers of commercial fire control panels and emergency life safety systems.

Despite the fact that the resort offers 15,000 square feet of spacious meeting and conference facilities with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and creeks, the resort had limited space for fire safety controls. The IF654 has a lot of functionality in a very small footprint, and with its four-bay expansion cabinet, it was a perfect fit for Vail Cascade Resort & Spa's convention center, ballroom complex and five-story Terrace wing.

Acme then installed Gamewell's IF658 with its four-bay expansion cabinet assembly to monitor and control fire safety devices in the resort's new 78,000-sq.-ft. Aria Spa and Club. In addition to offering world-class spa treatments, the facility provides retail shopping; a swimming pool; and basketball, tennis, racquetball and squash courts to its guests.

Both the IF654 and IF658 are full-featured fire alarm control panels that can be configured to monitor and control both analog intelligent addressable devices and conventional hardwire zones. They can be adapted easily to either a complex retrofit installation or a new installation, providing up to 2,016 analog addressable points.

"With the Gamewell panels, we were able to design a specific system that matched the unique needs of the facility, something other manufacturers couldn't do,"

The Results

"Operations run smoother, conferences and large groups are accommodated with relative ease and are afforded more flexibility, i.e. fogging machines for special events and culinary shows,"