Archive | July, 2010

Little or no down time: Inside the Clearwater Casino buffet renovation

One of my favorite things about being an installer is our little or no downtime policy on renovation projects. We create scenarios where our customers business can continue as normal while we are renovating their space. A recent example of this was the transformation of a casino buffet environment. This off hours install started late at night and ended early in the morning so buffet operations continued throughout the project. Each evening at closing time we began by marking the position of and moving all the tables and chairs from the eating area. We then covered the salad bar and buffet with plastic and a specially made wood case which prevented debris and dust from falling on them. Plastic adhesive carpet cover was laid down to minimize wear on the floor. After these protective measures were in place each evening the work began.

The first night we removed the existing sheet metal ceiling grid. One crew in scissor lifts disassembled it while the ground crew immediately hauled it out to the recycle bin so nothing was left to clutter the ground. Once the grid work was out of the way, existing sheet rock and steel stud beams were cut and removed to make way for the new ceiling. The existing wood sheeting on the pillars was removed and disposed of. Once this was complete, we removed our protective measures, cleaned and vacuumed the floor, and returned the tables and chairs to their original positions, removing all signs of the night’s activities before the buffet reopened.

Nights two, three, and four started the same as the first. After necessary arrangements were made, installation began. Aluminum beams covered in specialty wood grain finishes were mounted with spanning beams placed between, to create the beautiful, warm lodge ceiling. Fire sprinklers and HVAC vents were lowered and moved to meet the new ceiling line at the planned locations. Our masonry team laid stone up the pillars, bringing another natural element inside the buffet, while keeping the area clean as they went. Each morning as we left the worksite, the buffet opened as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened, but each opening revealed another piece of the puzzle being assembled in time-lapse progress.

Night five was the final push to the finish line. Starting at one end of the space, the final product came together. Final touches like lighting were wired in, wood ceiling panels were laid in between the beams, custom fabricated mica chandeliers were hung, and the stonework was finished. At the end of the night the installation was complete. After only five nights, the buffet was transformed without ever hindering normal buffet business.

This is one just one example of how we create beautiful upgrades and renovations with little or no downtime to the business. I am proud to have worked on this project and am excited to continue to deliver on our commitment of little or no down time to our customers.

Josiah M.

Installation Team Member

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Specialty decor finishes


As a painter for I-5 Design and Manufacture, I love finding out about new possibilities with our finishes and paint coatings. One thing I’ve been working on this week is optimizing the color formulas for our tinted clear coats. A tinted clear coat basically uses a small amount of multiple colored toners mixed with a large amount of clear paint. We apply our tinted clear finishes over specialty brushed aluminum panels, which is the reason that it’s so important that we create a perfect ratio of toners to clear. The photo above illustrates this point. The fun in this comes when we are able to mix a broad range of colors from deep amber to ocean turquoise to royal purple, and do spray outs on our sample pieces. Once the optimal formula has been reached for any of these given colors we are able to save the exact formula in our color database, and retrieve the information at any time in the future. What’s great is, our customers get rich, brilliant colors on their projects and I can reference their color data when subsequent projects occur for exact color matches.

Jordan W

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Route 66 Casino – Round Bar and Steakhouse Remodel


Design inspiration is all round. All you have to do is keep your eyes open. Here are two projects that were recently completed for the Route 66 Casino in Albuquerque. These high impact areas are a circular bar/lounge environment and a steakhouse that takes it’s name and inspiration from an old movie from 1958 called Thunder Road. The goal for Route 66 was creating two new venues which were destination draws in their own right and which would increase existing customer loyalty as well. We also worked and made solutions to meet budget goals without compromising the impact of the areas and the owners are very happy with the result.

For the lounge environment, the overall design inspiration was taken from nature in the swirling pattern of a nautilus shell and accents like multi-layered columns clad with iridescent metal and a beaded curtain with programmable color changing LED lighting, all flows together to create the overall effect. This lounge is designed to be a place to sit down and relax while still being in the center of the action. Within Thunder Road we combined southwest décor and old Route 66 imagery to create a truly unique entertainment experience. The police car above the bar is on a mechanical lift and when a band is performing the car raises up into the ceiling, revealing the stage. Another unique design element is the moonshiner’s car that has crashed through the wall and hangs into the dining area, making patrons wonder if the driver was sampling while on a delivery! All of the elements were designed by I5 and the entire installation was completed with no downtime for the casino.

These are just two examples of venue design and implementation that capture the attention and imagination of customers. The inspiration for these projects were from opposite ends of the concept spectrum, but that’s ok. Design possibilities are limited only by opening your eyes and ears. Enjoy the video and remember, design inspiration is all around.

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Solutions to lower your energy/maintenance costs!

Why switch from Neon Sign to LED Sign?

We have found that using LED lighting fixtures instead of neon can reduce your costs and actually add more impact to your signage.

* LED signs are brighter than neon signs – they are more noticeable!
* LED signs are more energy efficient – it consumes up to 90% less electricity than neon signs!
* LED signs last up to 100,000 hours of usage
* LED signs are great for indoor use and perfect for window advertisement
* LED signs do not use mercury – it will never leak poisonous gasses
* LED signs are very easy to maintain
* LED signs have more color options available
* LED signs are more affordable than comparable neon signs
* LED signs incorporate movement in their designs. It can flash, change colors, animate in many ways and even have graphics!

LED signs are the future and have come to replace the neon sign technology. Make the switch and let LED signs offer you endless possibilities.

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Color Changing LED Technology

Rapidly developing LED technology is making it possible not only to perform the same lighting tasks better, but also creating brand new lighting applications, previously unheard of. In the field of décor and theming, LED lighting systems are being combined with specialty materials such as I-5 Sculpt Metal and I-5 Sculpt Wall to create unique and powerful lighting effects that have not been seen before. The multi-layered, color-changing nature of these custom designed systems make it possible to create just the right feel for a given space – from the calming motion effect needed in a spa setting or upscale hotel lobby to the most vibrant colors and playful dynamics desired in a gaming or entertainment venue.

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