The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA) has announced the implementation of two cleanliness and safety technologies in its venues: needlepoint bipolar ionization (NPBI) and thermal cameras. The CRVA manages the Charlotte Convention Center, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Bojangles Coliseum and Ovens Auditorium, and provides back of house support to Spectrum Center.
The CRVA is among the first in the meetings and conventions industry to implement NPBI technology in its venues. Developed and installed by Charlotte-based Global Plasma Solutions (GPS), the patented technology plays a pivotal role in efforts to reduce the spread of coronavirus when paired with the CRVA’s existing practices and cleaning technologies. NPBI technology delivers safer, cleaner indoor air by reducing harmful particles and pathogens like mold, bacteria, allergens and viruses, and is highly effective in eliminating disease-causing pathogens, such as those responsible for COVID-19.
The CRVA will use four thermal camera units — three in the Charlotte Convention Center and one in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The cameras work by continuously measuring body temperatures in large groups of employees and guests entering the buildings, with the ability to measure tens of thousands of readings per hour from up to 16 feet away. The thermal camera units will allow the venues to more efficiently conduct health screenings and safely welcome guests by reducing potential spread of the virus.
“The NPBI technology and cameras add an additional layer of cleanliness, help us mitigate risk and enhance the already-robust cleaning practices in place within our manages venues,” said Tom Murray, Chief Executive Officer of the CRVA. “The health and wellbeing of our guests, employees and visitors to Charlotte is always our top priority. We appreciate our partnership with the City of Charlotte and their commitment to using CARES Act funding for installation of the NPBI technology in support of the hospitality industry’s recovery.”
Prior to the NPBI technology and thermal cameras, the CRVA had taken great steps to provide the highest standards of safety and security for guests and employees to each of its managed venues. The Charlotte Convention Center, NASCAR Hall of Fame, Bojangles Entertainment Complex and Spectrum Center were some of the first venues in the state to receive the industry-leading GBAC STAR™ Facility Accreditation. The CRVA also developed and implemented ”We Clean with Care,” a robust and comprehensive program created based on the guidance of the CDC, FDA and a contracted infection disease control expert.
The Charlotte Convention Center is currently undergoing a $126.9M expansion slated for completion this summer. The project will increase the convention center’s total leasable space from 550,000 to 600,000 square feet, including 14 new meeting rooms, two customizable 10,000 square-foot spaces and an overstreet pedestrian walkway to the 700-room Westin Charlotte hotel and a light rail station stop. Last year, the Bojangles Entertainment Complex (BOplex) opened a brand new 35,000 square foot connector facility, unifying the historic Bojangles Coliseum and Ovens Auditorium and enhancing the visitor experience with additional space for hospitality, new concession options and an outdoor patio.