The largest ski and outdoor sports resort in North America required a high-performance HD video surveillance system that can ensure visitor and employee safety, protect company assets and reduce theft in its retail and rental division.

Located just 125 km north of Vancouver, British Columbia, Whistler Blackcomb is a worldclass ski resort that accommodates over two million skiers and snowboarders annually. One of the main venues during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Whistler Blackcomb is the largest ski resort in North America and home of the world-record breaking “Peak 2 Peak” Gondola.

Security personnel at Whistler Blackcomb manage the Avigilon high-definition security system from their control room using the Avigilon Control Center (ACC) 5 network management software (NVMS) with High Definition Stream Management (HDSM) technology. The resort uses over 100 Avigilon HD Dome and HD Bullet cameras, ranging from 1 MP to 5 MP in both indoor and outdoor settings, to monitor retail and rental stores, inventory locations, public loading areas, financial vaults, employee service areas, and numerous doors and gates.

Whistler Blackcomb uses Avigilon video encoders to leverage the resort’s 100-plus existing analog cameras

Whistler Blackcomb uses Avigilon video encoders to leverage the resort’s 100-plus existing analog cameras. The team also uses ACC Mobile to view live and recorded images remotely and Avigilon Network Video Recorders (NVRs) to store up to 30 days of continuous surveillance footage.

Benefits

  • Create a safe environment for visitors and staff
  • Cost effective installation
  • Prevent accidents and theft
  • Meet insurance requirements
  • Reduce investigation time

Upgraded video surveillance

In recent years, the resort had relied on an outdated, largely analog-based video surveillance system to oversee its security initiatives. But with 8,171 acres of skiable terrain along with over 100 buildings and facilities on the property, it was inevitable that Whistler Blackcomb would need to upgrade to a versatile, high-performance video surveillance solution that can efficiently manage the area. “Our video coverage for viewing was antiquated and not effective,” said Carl Rochon, IT Systems Administrator at Whistler Blackcomb.

We felt that Avigilon offered the complete package of quality cameras at a good price"

The number of buildings, the terrain and the multiple business units that we operate certainly posed a challenge and made it difficult for us as a security department to analyse footage right away.” With the assistance of the Vancouver-based security integrator, BMS Integrated Services, the resort considered several surveillance camera manufacturers before ultimately selecting Avigilon. “We felt that Avigilon offered the complete package of quality cameras at a good price and an excellent interface to maximise the effectiveness of those cameras,” said Rochon.

 600 cameras and NVR installation

We are continually impressed with this combination.” Whistler Blackcomb has been so satisfied with the Avigilon system, the resort has plans to install over 600 more cameras and 12 NVRs in the next few years. “We are moving closer to our goal of greater employee safety, external guest safety and the protection of company assets by utilising surveillance technology with better evidence,” Rochon said. “We are certainly moving in that direction with our Avigilon solution.”

Security personnel at Whistler Blackcomb use the ACC 5 software to efficiently manage the resort’s HD surveillance system. Due to the scope of Whistler Blackcomb, the resort has multiple users within each business unit (60 in total) that have 24-hour access to cameras within their designated area. Whether security personnel are monitoring from their desktops or from their smart phones and tablets using ACC Mobile, they can quickly locate and assess certain incidents.

Ensuring the safety of guests and employees can be challenging for security officials at the resort
HD video surveillance has enabled security officials at Whistler Blackcomb to monitor large outdoor areas with greater efficiency, which has been a key asset in locating lost skiers or assessing any incidents.

Avigilon Control Center software

The Avigilon Control Center software is a tool that enables our security and management team to be more efficient in their jobs,” said Rochon. “Our staff can view video, both live or recorded, and immediately address situations.” Rochon attributes the software’s ease-of-use and advanced playback and search functionality as the ACC software’s key benefits. “We used to literally spend hours searching individual camera footage on local DVRs to hopefully find anything useful,” Rochon said. “Now, it takes less than a minute to achieve significantly greater evidence. The search capability is mind-blowing to say the least.”

Given the vast terrain and multiple business units that Whistler Blackcomb is home to, ensuring the safety of guests and employees can be challenging for security officials at the resort. Each separate division within Whistler Blackcomb’s umbrella of operations has their own security and safety concerns. “Our Guest Services Division would cite employee and guest safety as their top priority,” Rochon said.

The Avigilon solution has also proven to be a cost-effective surveillance solution for the resort

HD video surveillance

It is from this perspective that we endeavor to leverage practices and technology to minimise these concerns.” HD video surveillance has enabled security officials at Whistler Blackcomb to monitor large outdoor areas with greater efficiency, which has been a key asset in locating lost skiers or assessing any incidents. “As we upgrade our cameras across our mountain operations, the only question I am constantly asked from the various business units is, ‘When can we get that new camera solution installed at our location?’” said Rochon.

It makes a much-needed difference for improved safety, security and protection.” Despite the size of Whistler Blackcomb, the Avigilon solution has also proven to be a cost-effective surveillance solution for the resort. “We were always told that Avigilon was too expensive to install for a site like ours,” said Rochon. “We found the opposite to be true.” 

With over two million annual skiers and snowboarders, as well as 1500 full-time and 3500 seasonal employees, minimising theft was a challenging task for Whistler Blackcomb. Since deploying the Avigilon HD solution, the security team at Whistler Blackcomb has been able to effectively protect the resort’s retail and rental stores, inventory locations, public loading areas, financial vaults, employee service areas, and numerous doors and gates.

The resort has also been able to use the high-definition footage to identify and prosecute individuals who commit theft

Aid in crime-prevention

The resort has also been able to use the high-definition footage to identify and prosecute individuals who commit theft. “With each camera installation, it gives us greater evidence to apprehend the culprits as well as deter those that may be contemplating such actions,” said Rochon. “Our local RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) detachment doesn’t hesitate to request video evidence anymore since we have installed our Avigilon cameras.”

Almost immediately after deploying the Avigilon solution in the ski rental shop at the resort, the security team was able to catch two individuals stealing expensive snowboards and equipment. “Because of the clarity of the image captured, we were immediately able to clearly identify our suspects and push that picture out to all our managers in the area,” said Rochon.

The perpetrators tried to flee Whistler quickly and it didn’t work for them.” The Avigilon solution also positively impacts the resort’s ability to affect the costs associated with vandalism and theft. Once the resort completes its Avigilon camera expansion, Rochon estimates Avigilon’s end-to-end solution will help Whistler Blackcomb recover $250,000 worth of product per year. “All in all, we probably have half a million dollars worth of theft or damage to property that shouldn’t occur,” said Rochon. “Avigilon will not only help us cut that cost in half, but it will also lower our liability insurance cost.”

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Security Essen 2018 promises modernised trade show experience for attendees
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Newly modernised halls with lots of daylight will house hundreds of exhibitions and conference events at the upcoming Security Essen 2018 at Messe Essen, Germany. A new layout and hall numbering system will be unfamiliar to past attendees but promises to simplify the experience as it brings together attendees and exhibitors. European physical security market Security Essen is an international trade fair, but the emphasis is more on German, Austrian and Swiss companies. In all, Security Essen will feature 1,000 exhibitors from 40 nations. The trade fair has more of a continental European “flavour” compared to IFSEC, which focuses more on the U.K market. At the last Security Essen in 2016, organisers reported about 40,000 visitors including conference participants, VIP guests, members of various delegations and journalists. Security Essen 2018 has more of a continental European “flavour” compared to IFSEC, which focuses more on the U.K market  “This year, we have sharpened the profile of Security Essen,” says Oliver P. Kuhrt, CEO of Messe Essen, a trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. “The trade fair has become considerably more digital, more modern and more interactive. Due to the optimised hall layout, we are offering our exhibitors and visitors the best possible experience with short paths and direct communication.” Newly modernised Messe Essen The newly modernised site of Security Essen will encompass eight halls, newly renumbered and with the subject areas reorganised, too. Visitors will find Services in Hall 1; Access, Mechanatronics, Mechanics and Systems in Halls 2 and 3 and the Galeria; Perimeter Protection in Hall 3; Video in Halls 5 and 7; and Fire, Intrusion and Systems in Halls 6 and 7. A helpful smart phone app, downloadable free from the Google Play Store (Android) or the Apple App Store (iOS), will be available two weeks before the event and include a show floor plan; the exhibitor list with booth numbers and contact information; and an overview of the supporting programme. A separate hall – Hall 8 – will house new Cyber Security and Economic Security categories. Cyber Security Conference At the new Cyber Security Conference, located prominently at the new East Entrance, experts will share their knowledge about the more pressing challenges and potential of cybersecurity. The programme opens and closes on 25 and 28 September with the main topic “Opportunities and Risks of Cyber Security”. On 26 September, discussions and lectures will centre on “Entry, Admission, Access: Identification Options”.A helpful smart phone app, downloadable free will be available two weeks before the event and include a show floor plan On 27 September, the topic will be smart homes and focus on “Connected Building, Security in the Buildings of the Future”. Speakers will include the president of Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security, who will address cybersecurity as a challenge for politics, business and society. The fair organises the conference in cooperation with the BHE Federal Association of Security Technology and the technical support of the Federal Office for Information Security. In Hall 8, a new Public Security Forum will enable visitors to experience digital security technologies for public spaces from the areas of sensors/IoT, cyber security and surveillance. The products and solutions will be installed in four different building scenarios (town hall, school, hospital and library) and it will be possible to test them extensively. The forum, including lectures and discussions, will target municipal decision makers and planners of public spaces. Comprehensive programme A Security Expert Forum in Hall 2 will present a continuous programme with more than 90 presentations during the period of the fair. Visitors will obtain information and solution ideas about all six subject areas covered at the fair, and the programme will begin with a keynote lecture each morning and finish with a live demonstration in the evening. On the first day of the fair (25 September), Security Essen’s Career Forum will introduce retrainees, students, trainees and graduates to companies from the security industry. Targeted and professional communication will be established between companies and job applicants to facilitate making contacts, developing networks, and filling actual vacancies. Thursday (27 September) will be observed as Fire Prevention Day, and a Drone Course will be provided each day in Hall 7. One day admission to Security Essen is €41; a four-day ticket is €105. Advance sale tickets are discounted.

Steps to develop an integrated retail security strategy
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GSX 2018 continues 63-year tradition as an integrated trade show
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The Cyber Security Summit will co-locate with GSX, offering cyber security programming at a time when it is needed the most Other elements will further expand the 2018 event’s scope. The Cyber Security Summit will co-locate with GSX, offering cyber security programming at a time when it is needed the most. Top government, industry and academic thought leaders will engage in a dialogue to improve the state of cyber security. The 2018 Security Cares Program will address school violence prevention and response in a free education program. Topics will include pre-violence indicators, target hardening, and best practices to involve the entire community of school administrators, law enforcement, security professionals and mental health providers. Experts to deliver keynote speeches Keynote speakers including CNN host Fareed Zakaria will bestow celebrity appeal. Air Force Major General Bradley D. 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