As they say, “The show must go on.” It’s a cliché that never loses poignancy. Even Hurricane Katrina’s devastation on August 29th, 2005 wasn’t enough to permanently silence the lively sound of residents, tourists, and performers enjoying themselves at MGM Mirage’s Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. Jack Figaro, President of Pro Sound, Inc. out of Miami, Florida, was one of the many who traveled to the area to help rebuild and restore that sound.
A.J. Holloway, Mayor of Biloxi stated, “…we’ll be eternally grateful for the outpouring of support from across the country. With Hurricane Katrina, we’ve endured the most destructive force history has ever seen, but our residents are moving forward–in a manner that makes me proud to serve as their mayor. They’re rebuilding their homes, their businesses and their lives. And, make no mistake. We’re open for business here in Biloxi, and we’re encouraged by the interest we’re seeing. We’re on the way back.” - from the City of Biloxi website, www.biloxi.ms.us
Although the Beau Rivage resort was hit hard by the raging hurricane, it has since been fully restored. The resort originally opened March 16th, 1999 at a cost of $800 million, and initially re-opened in August 29th of 2006, with the second phase of work completed at the end of December later that year (for a total renovation cost of $550 million). The famous vacation destination, located on Beach Boulevard (US 90), sits right on the waterfront in an area only several feet
above sea level. It is the tallest and biggest building in Mississippi, reaching 32 stories and encompassing 3.2 million square feet, and is the largest employer in Biloxi.
The main show room, located on the bottom level of the resort, had been completely destroyed by the storm surge, and became thoroughly washed in mud as the back wall came down. “The wall was actually originally designed to fall and absorb the energy,” stated Jack Figaro.
Critical repairs were made to the 1500-seat Beau Rivage Theatre and the Coast Restaurant & Dance Club (which includes a brew pub plus a live entertainment area). Pro Sound of Miami was hired by the PMK consulting firm (global consultants in acoustics, audio, and visual technologies) and the resort owners to help install new sound systems they had designed for both venues.
The Beau Rivage Theatre is configured as a circular showroom (it was originally designed for the famed Cirque de Soleil show), but has since evolved into a more conventional showroom. Since the seating is laid out in a 270-degree inner ring and an 80-degree outer ring around the stage, swiveled seats had to be installed nearer to the stage. A powerful system was required to handle the slightly unusual acoustics of the room. The resort now features a million-dollar sound and lighting system and is one of the best-equipped theaters in the country. The Coast Restaurant and Dance Club also needed a strong system to continue its reputation as a nightlife hot spot,
and PMK, Pro Sound and McCauley worked together to make that happen.
Jack Figaro supervised the two-phase installation that occurred from June through August and again in November and December of 2006. After the renovation, he reminisced about the job: "The Beau Rivage is a very nice facility and the crew there was wonderful, just really great people. It was a smooth transition as it all came together and it was a good feeling to see the place refurbished and reopened with everything looking and sounding great." He says the feedback about the sound system was positive. "I lost my baseline to compare to, but everything that was replaced was improved with updated electronics, digital mixing consoles, and additional loudspeakers and amplifiers. We really liked the McCauley products, they really sounded good."
(PMK) chose to replace earlier-model subwoofers in both the theater and the club with 9 McCauley Sound AC588s. The AC588 subwoofers are designed as true high-performance systems for permanent installation. With a power rating of 1600w RMS, they lend themselves to the most demanding applications, easily filling the performance space with exceptionally punchy sub bass energy. Their extraordinary acoustic quality and high power handling is a direct result of McCauley’s proprietary subwoofer technology, landing this system in their highest performance category.
After final renovations were completed, crowd-pleasing bands Morris Day and the Time, and America kicked off the opening festivities. The Beau Rivage Theatre now uses their state-of-the-art sound and lighting system to showcase some of the world’s
biggest stars, including world-renowned recording artists Willie Nelson, Julio Iglesias, and Gladys Knight, along with well-known comedians such as Ron White and Ray Romano, famous magicians, and full-scale production shows like Blue Man Group and Broadway-style revues. The Coast Restaurant and Dance Club is also thriving. Now, thanks to everyone involved in the renovations, guests of the Beau Rivage on the “Southern Riviera” can truly enjoy exceptional entertainment again.
Pro Sound provides technical system design and installation focused on integrated audio, video, show control, and lighting. They specialize in serving sports facilities, convention centers, hotels, nightclubs, theaters, meeting facilities, houses of worship, courtrooms, corporate boardrooms, schools, hospitals, universities, government facilities and residential home theaters. The Florida corporation is located on the East Coast in both Miami and Orlando; and the California company is located in Los Angeles.
*The McCauley Sound AC588 subwoofer is a high power-handling subwoofer system in a rectangular, computer-optimized, vented enclosure. The loud speaker complement consists of twin high-excursion sub-bass 18”s. Perforated steel is employed for frontal protection of the loud speaker complement. The enclosure is constructed of durable 12-ply void-free birch laminate, dadoed for strength and durability. Each component is loaded into its own optimized sub-enclosure. www.mccauleysound.com