Northern Quest Resort & Casino is a newly constructed, 660,000 square foot luxury resort with a 250-room, high-rise tower. The facility also includes 14 restaurants and lounges, a world class casino, 14,000 square foot spa, a pavilion which seats up to 1,250 people, and a parking structure with some 1,480 stalls.

Keeping the facility’s size and scope in mind (it provides nearly 1,700 local jobs and $1.7 million in purchases of goods and services each month), an access control system that would be cost-effective and forward thinking with its technology, as well as boast the capability of expansion was essential.

Northern Quest Resort & Casino’s executive director of IT, Aaron Fisher, in collaboration with SAFE Installation Services Corp. as the project’s security integrators, were tasked with designing and completing the job. PCSC, the access control systems manufacturer, provided its Fault Tolerant Controller architecture which, utilizing edge devices, was able to take advantage of the resort’s IT backbone. The resulting solution embraced the IP infrastructure already in place in the facility and a 100 percent PoE system.

Because the hotel is encased in majority concrete and void of any traditional low-voltage security cable design, the options were limited and an IP-based system was the most logical choice.

“I was trying to avoid an implementation that required an electrician at every door adding more power, or any of those kinds of increases; it would have never happened,” Fisher said. “SAFE came in and said ‘we can do that, just run an Ethernet cable here and you’re in.’ Nobody else is doing that.”


“With IP technology where it is today, we were able to easily partner with IT for a solution,” Adrian Steik, president of SAFE Installation Services Corp., commented. “Admittedly, in the past the IT department has not been our ally in the access control market: ‘Keep it off my network’, ‘don’t touch my network, you install your own network.’ Times are changing, and the technology is such now that we all need the IT guy.”

“We had to break into this marketplace of pushing IP all the way to the door. So we did! PCSC, in conjunction with HID, offered a product that does just that. But in the same breath, we now have to go through the process of turning our dealers’ attention and focus to include working very closely with IT teams,” commented PCSC’s director of sales, Brian Lyle.

“You come in with the typical installer and ask me for an IP address. I, too, am going to resist. If you approach me with an IP solution that expands our usability, that is a different story,” Fisher said. For SAFE/PCSC guys to succeed I think understanding network infrastructure and ‘speaking IT language’ is vital to the success of working with IT professionals.”