Nov 1, 2001 12:00 PM
Emily M. Harwood

At the mouth of the Mississippi River on the southern tip of Louisiana lies some of the best fresh water, salt water and offshore fishing in the world. Located in this fisherman's paradise is the Cypress Cove Lodge and Marina. While the most obvious threat to this paradise might be an occasional alligator, Cypress Cove takes no chances with its state-of-the-art security.

The Cypress Cove Lodge is a 64-room hotel and restaurant facility owned and operated by Mary and Sonny Eirich and partner Renee Cross of Slidell, La. "We have owned Cypress Cove for almost eight years," says Mary Eirich. "During the first seven years, we had never had any serious robberies or vandalism to speak of. Unfortunately, just last year, we experienced a break-in which prompted us to look into security options."

The Cypress Cove complex consists of the lodge, a full-service marina and a marina store. The facility also provides 196 dry boat storage spots and 140 wet slips. The boat storage buildings, store and lodge all require security surveillance. With the owners living more than an hour and a half from the property, they needed to be able to monitor the facilities remotely.

Looking for a security solutions provider, the owners called on New Orleans-based Cash Register Sales, which had previously installed a point-of-sale system at the Cypress Cove Restaurant.

Frank Montalbano of Cash Register Sales oversaw the selection and installation of a CCTV monitoring system for Cypress Cove, provided by Ultrak. "I first used Ultrak products for an installation at St. Rose Travel Center, a combination convenience store, grill, restaurant, bar and casino," says Montalbano. "The project required 48 cameras and three digital video recorders. We have a good relationship with Cypress Cove, and they trusted us to put in the right security system for their needs."

In conjunction with 24-hr. guard service the owners already had in place, Montalbano suggested a remote surveillance system.

"One guard can't be everywhere at once. The cameras are strategically located to cover sensitive areas around the clock," Montalbano says. Cash Register Sales ran cable, mounted both indoor and outdoor cameras, adjusted lenses and set up the digital video recorder (DVR), all in two days.

A system with seven cameras and one DVR is currently in place at Cypress Cove, and Mary Eirich says they expect to expand the system in the future. "We can do so many things with it. It is a great deterrent against any further break-ins, we can keep a close eye on our employees and the general management of the facility. We even have a camera view of the fuel pump area so that we can be alerted of chemical spills and assign responsibility if they occur. Best of all, we can watch everything from our home when we can't be on location."

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