Got WiFi? That’s a question Magic Waters WaterPark (Cherry Valley, IL) asked itself in response to growing consumer demand for public WiFi accessibility. T
he award-winning attraction, which is managed by the Rockford Park District, is always a crowd pleasing destination so its desire to provide patrons with free WiFi service was a perfect add-on to the park.
James Shaw, Systems Administrator/Communications Specialist for Rockford Park District’s IT division, was tasked with leading the project. The objective, Shaw explains, was to create an additional network throughout the park as a back-up to their aging fiber network. The installation got underway after the waterpark closed for the 2013 season.
The mesh network was completed in the Fall of 2013, and was put into operation during the Summer 2014 season.
Shaw selected Fluidmesh for this install for a variety of reasons. “We needed a redundant network that could grow and adjust to the constant changes within the waterpark,” he says. “And, the mesh network is also used to provide wireless access throughout using Aerohive Access Points at each mesh hop point.”
THE CONFIGURATION OF THE SYSTEM
The network encompasses Fluidmesh radios arranged in a ring formation throughout the water park with eight hop points. Each hop point also has an Aerohive AP connected only to the mesh network. Two Fluidmesh radios are configured as mesh-ends and both are located at the site’s main Cisco switch.
Another Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN) was recently added to the mesh to provide wireless bridges to pump room chemical monitors, as well as to enable network access to maintenance buildings that were not previously hard-wired with networking. This addition makes a total of six VLAN’s on the mesh: Fluidmesh management, AH management, Mobile WiFi, Client WiFi, Guest WiFi, and Bridging WiFi.
“Fluidmesh was very pleased to partner with the Rockford Park District on this project to provide free Wi-Fi service to Magic Waters’ customers throughout the park,” notes Cosimo Malesci, Fluidmesh Co-founder and VP of Sales & Marketing. “Our Fluidmesh radios were used to extend the coverage throughout the facility while distributing access points at specific locations inside the park. The waterpark eventually plans on utilizing the same Fluidmesh backbone for ticketing and other services.”
“Magic Waters Waterpark has 10 different attractions, and each has its own ‘thrill factor,’ so our customers can create their own experience,” states Zack McIntyre, Director of Magic Waters & Aquatics. “We offer high value at a safe, clean, and affordable waterpark.” Shaw adds that, “There are always expansion plans and changes to the waterpark, and now we have a network to adapt to those changes.”