If I had to vote on the single most influential project in the history of the company, it would be the time we went to Las Vegas and put a stage lift system underwater. It truly moved us from “Lift Guys” to “Project People” as we were forced to grow up overnight.
It all began with a curious inquiry from the world-famous Cirque du Soleil group. They were experiencing some impressive growth in the Las Vegas market and were engaged in the development of what is now known around the world as the “O” show – where “eau” is French for water….even if you are in the desert! Anyhow, the small chat grew into a site visit at the world-famous Bellagio Hotel and Casino. I remember driving in the client’s truck across the construction site; 104 degrees out, dust flying everywhere and then the big hole! My inside voice cried out, “Where do the lifts go??”. The project was well engaged, and the hole had been dug for a 1.5 million gallon swimming pool that was to house seven underwater stage lifts. The lifts would push through the water and instantly convert the water stage to a dry stage. High diving acts to fire tossing acrobats. It was a first, and we simply had to do this project.
The design/build/install and test storyline takes place over 2.5 years. It was our first installation (turnkey) project in the history of the company. Looking back, I am not sure it was a great idea to choose Las Vegas for this never-been-done-before, life-changing project, but the experience gained continues to pay dividends as we now perform turnkey work around the globe. I personally spent months down in Vegas and was able to build relationships that I still have today.
We still proudly display our “Themed Entertainment Award” for this record-setting equipment….and I do mean record-setting. After the opening of this world-famous show, we were awarded a Guinness World Record for the largest underwater stage lift system in the world. Equally impressive is that the show, and our lifts, continue to perform to this very day, with viewing capacities just short of 100%.