Integrated security for theme park

July 2014 Entertainment and Hospitality (Industry)

Village Roadshow Theme Parks (VRTP), Australia’s largest theme park operator, provides some of the most thrilling entertainment rides and slides available anywhere in the world. With its headquarters located on the Gold Coast, Australia’s holiday playground, it operates:

* Warner Bros. Movie World.

* Sea World.

* Wet ‘n’ Wild Water World.

* Paradise Country.

* Australian Outback Spectacular.

* Sea World Resort and Water Park.

VRTP also recently opened a new Wet ‘n’ Wild in Sydney, New South Wales, in December 2013. Village Roadshow also operates a Wet ‘n’ Wild Park in Las Vegas and two new parks based on Sea World and Wet ‘n’ Wild are currently under construction in Hainan, China.

Over five million guests per year flock to this world of fun with action-packed shows and rides, marine and animal attractions, and adventure across seven large scale properties.

When it comes to security, VRTP have always chosen access control and perimeter supplier Gallagher, as their long-term partner. A relationship that began in the mid-1980s, has grown to meet the expanding demands of each park.

Preserving assets and ambience

VRTP is continually looking for ways to improve park operations, infrastructure and processes to meet the needs of visitors and staff. With sec­urity taking a precedence in the last five years, VRTP made the decision to invest in an integrated system that to the public eye would go unseen.

With 250 cameras located discretely around all seven of VRTP’s properties, integrated back to the central control platform Gallagher Command Centre, the VRTP security team have the ability to monitor and control from one location.

In the Village Roadshow Studios, much importance is placed on securing assets, and protecting the privacy of high profile guests. There are eight large sound stages covering 10 844 m², confirming it as one of the largest studios in the southern hemisphere.

With intellectual property and assets that must be protected, the Gallagher 24-hour camera integration and intruder alarm management solution play a key role in protecting staff, visitors, and monitoring employee cash handling and service. The integrated system also plays an important role in securing the site overnight.

Duress alarm monitoring is a central integration used by security staff with 70 alarm zones across all parks. In the event of an emergency, a wireless help-call system can identify back to the Command Centre the name, description, and location via a detailed site plan for each park. This is a vital security element for protecting captive mammals and animals, and IT infrastructure.

Health, safety, risk mitigation, and public relations

Alongside video and alarm integration, Gallagher manages all primary entry points into parks. Once inside the parks, it manages restricted zones which include secured enclosures, particularly important for Sea World. Gallagher’s integrated security solution provides continuous surveillance across the parks, capturing any incidents which may occur on site. This is particularly important for Wet ‘n’ Wild water park which faces increased risk due to the nature of the environment. Wet ‘n’ Wild has been one of the group’s most successful theme parks with a growing attendance of approximately one million visitors every year.

Using integration to save costs and improve security efficiencies

Wet ‘n’ Wild Sydney, opened to the public in December 2013, demonstrated Gallagher’s ability to extend security coverage across states, with its scalable and flexible multi-server solution. This enables monitoring from the main Command Centre in the Gold Coast over all seven sites streamlining operations. In the event of power loss from the main controller in the Gold Coast, Sydney sites have their own server backups to continue operations as normal.

VRTP’s guard workforce has been complemented by the Gallagher system working seamlessly together. Command Centre technology has also given VRTP total site security across all parks; within a year saving park operations approximately 20 hours a day in labour costs.

Gallagher delivers building automation and control through integration with BACnet Protocol – a high-level interface that provides strong communication between Gallagher Command Centre and the theme parks’ building systems. This has enabled integration with over 250 fire alarm panels giving security staff better visibility of all services, at all times. Efficiencies in alarm generation have improved with automatic escalation to the necessary staff member in a timely manner.

The model that Village Roadshow Theme Parks and Gallagher have designed enables various operator levels to have separate divisions for creating cardholders. Different operator levels have authorised access to develop cardholders for their sections. There are about 3000 cardholders at all parks and growing. Wet ‘n’ Wild Sydney is the only Village Roadshow park to deploy staff RFID wrists bands that give them access to areas restricted by the public.


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