Crown Melbourne’s Award-Winning Basement Redirection (Automation) Project

Crown Melbourne’s Premium Basement car park located underneath the main complex is highly sought after and considered the best place to park due to its proximity to the main gaming floor. With only 1536 spaces and over 100,000 entries per month, it’s extremely important that peak times are managed to ensure that Crown Rewards members always have uninterrupted access.

Formerly this process was facilitated by funnelling patrons into one lane using traffic cones and bollards. The patron would then display their membership card to the parking attendant who would direct them to enter or redirect them to another lane if the customer was not eligible to park.

This process was labour intensive, the aesthetics were not reflective of the Crown brand and the system could become unreliable or completely impractical should a staff member call in sick or be talked around by a convincing customer.

Crown needed to find a solution to this manual, labour intensive process that still met the fundamentals of the Crown Rewards program and the underlying requirements of the programs T&Cs.

The concept of automated redirection was investigated historically, and at that point Crown were informed that it wasn’t feasible due to the physical layout of the car park.

The concept was then revisited, and a Traffic Engineer was commissioned. Crown explained how this concept might work, they then asked for formal verification and concept drawings.

Crown’s car park operating systems provider was approached to determine whether the software already existed. Whilst the initial response was no, the challenge of whether or not the software technology required could be created was a resounding, yes.

The biggest question mark was around whether the technology would work. If the technology failed, Crown would have spent considerably – simply to improve the aesthetics of the entries with no financial return on the investment.

Civil works ensured:-
A better look
Brighter and more defined pathways
Clearer directions

Software technology ensured:-
Faster entry
Automatic entitlements
Staff focus moved from enforcement to customer service

Implementing the change from manual redirection where patrons could lag to either chat or argue the point, to software (which removed the argument factor), ensured a more effective entry process.

Civil works, including the demolition of a section of the large roundabout at the busiest entry to make a separate lane, assisted with this by simply separating the traffic flow.

This move also allowed Crown to widen the turn-out bend (which patrons previously had trouble navigating despite the width being well above the Australian Standard), assisting the redirected patrons to exit the car park in a quicker and more seamless traffic flow.

The remaining portion of the roundabout was turned into a functional space allowing the relocation of the two security vehicles from the patron area, which opened up another two spaces for patron use.

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The new design also ensured safer areas for staff to stand and no further health and safety concerns have been raised with the implementation of this process.

This new automated process is a two gate system which works both in tandem and separately based on membership tier to determine if a patron is entitled to access and whether they have earned their parking entitlement.

Essentially, Crown have automated a labour intensive manual process which is now not only safer and more efficient, it also has significant cost savings. The process was innovative in that it had not been implemented elsewhere to this scale. The software was also designed and developed by SKIDATA in order to make Crown’s concept a reality.

Accompanying this, Variable Rate Boards were installed that differ from others out there as these change messages dynamically dependant on the member tier of the card inserted into the column.

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The technology now allows the concept to be adapted for Crown’s new and future projects. It can also be adapted for other sites with comparable operations.

Crown Melbourne won the Excellence in Technology and Innovation (off street) award at the 2017 Parking Industry Awards for their Basement Redirection (Automation) Project.

In presenting the award to Crown Melbourne the judges commented,” A very good example of innovation using a combination of available technology and straight forward civil works, to make a major improvement to occupational health and safety and customer service and with a good cost benefit outcome.”

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