By: R. Michael Brown, Freelance Writer, Special to Icom-America News
To say that the new magnificent Amangiri resort in Southern Utah is isolated is an understatement. Your car is not allowed. They pick you up from the nearest small airport in one of the BMWs in their fleet.
Your cellphone won’t work. The property is too far from a tower.
As one visitor of the $800 – $3,500 per night suites said, “We arrived in the middle of the night, greeted by not one but two Aman staff. The entire resort was bathed in candlelight, dozens of lanterns artfully cascading light along the graceful grand staircase.”
The daylight reveals rooms made of solid concrete, ph-balanced and treated to match the patina of the surrounding cliffs and canyons. As a result, they are like square luxury caverns looking out at the Southwestern desert.
“Even from a short distance you can’t see the resort,” said Phil Smith, the Peak Mobile Communications manager tasked with the job of integrating a two-way radio communications system for Amangiri operations. “It’s architected to be nestled down into the valley, in and around plateaus and canyons, and they did everything you can think of to make it blend and seem absorbed by the environment.”
It’s a rough setting to operate wireless technology; but, an Icom IDAS™ UHF system with F4161DS portables, and a custom installation by Peak engineers, were up to the challenge.
“We setup and demoed an analog system and digital IDAS system and clearly the digital system was the only one that would work.” said Smith. “Not only were all the resort buildings solid concrete but the windows were weather sealed and radio frequency shielded.”
Hide the Technology
Peak had to find clever ways to hide the Icom components and integrate it so visitors would not know it existed.
The solid metal maintenance building the resort communicates with is hidden over a mile away on the other side of a desert sized plateau. Towers and antennas would ruin the guest’s sensation of the place and environmental consciousness of the area so towers aren’t allowed and discrete antennas are painted to match the surroundings.
No radio chatter is allowed to be heard either. “Each staff member uses a two-wire earpiece so the ambience remains like a climate controlled desert for guests.” said Smith.
The radios are setup in two different groups for the front desk, bell staff, housekeeping, maintenance, and security. “Icom radios are so simple to setup and operate, Amangiri management just has to hand someone a radio and all they have to do is push-to-talk. There’s no training involved.” Smith said.
The IC-FR6000 repeater is located in the IT department. Right now they have 30 portables for the 100 resort staff that supports the 36 suites.
Ready to Expand
The digital system is important because they will expand. They are preparing to add million dollar villas for sale on the 600 acre property and radio communication will be the only wireless available.
“Peak Mobile Communications is a system designer and integration firm for clients and we stand ready to meet the challenge of this and any other unique place,” said Smith.
The magic of Amangiri doesn’t happen by itself or by accident. The right mix of luxury, service, and ruggedness is what guests expect and systems from Icom help the staff make that happen.
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