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Epic partnership for OpenAire and Grand Prairie begins with “GrandBreaking” of New Recreation & Entertainment Center Destination

The City of Grand Prairie, Texas chooses OpenAire as a key partner for its massive recreation center and waterpark development

OAKVILLE, ONTARIO – Tuesday, November 17, 2015 – Grand Prairie, Texas was ablaze with fireworks, live music and other exciting events on Saturday, October 17 as the city officially kicked off construction on a revolutionary entertainment complex dubbed The Epic at Grand Central.

This massive $75 million project featuring 172 acres of indoor and outdoor recreational space has been made possible by a collaborative effort between OpenAire and leading industry experts, who were all excited to break ground on the new public landmark. City officials were just as enthusiastic. “We were so pumped to have y'all out at the wild and crazy 'GrandBreaking,'” said Rick Herold, Director of Parks, Arts & Recreation, to a crowd of 3,000 guests, “Hundreds of [Grand Prairie citizens'] ideas have been incorporated into this 'legacy project.' We want everyone to say, 'my thumbprint is on this development!'”.

The facility, described by Grand Prairie Mayor Ron Jensen as a “mega recreation center,” will include a 120,000 square-foot rec/fitness center with a variety of incredible features, a fully-accessible playground, a grand entertainment lawn for concerts and events, many outdoor trails, a waterpark and much more. OpenAire is especially excited to have played a key role in the design of the center’s Epic Waters indoor/outdoor waterpark, which will be the largest retractable-roofed indoor waterpark in North America.

OpenAire, based in Oakville, Ontario, is no stranger to large development partnerships, having teamed with industry-leading architects and developers to create exceptional projects around the world, but Grand Prairie's Epic stands out for the great enthusiasm and public support it has attracted. Many visitors to The Epic's ground breaking were excited to have a major public entertainment center that includes indoor and outdoor space for citizens of all ages and abilities. Several were especially excited about the aquatic fun that Epic Waters will offer. OpenAire's expansive enclosure for Epic Waters will blend the security of an indoor waterpark with the vibrant, sunlit atmosphere of an outdoor park, letting everyone enjoy the center’s amazing attractions in perfect conditions. Epic Waters will be home to some of America's “firsts” in water slide design, including the tallest Aqualoop in the USA and the world's first combined boomerango and constrictor slides.

Richard Coleman, Principal and Senior VP of Development and Operations of American Resort Management, which will operate the park, is excited about his company's work with OpenAire. “The Epicness of this facility will be evident from the first step you take inside,” he says, “A massive transparent retractable roof will allow us to share the weather outside when desirable or better yet, if needed, protect you from the elements while maintaining a beautiful 85 degrees every day of the year.”

“It's an honor to be a partner in this great city-wide facility and attraction for Grand Prairie,” says Mark Albertine, President and CEO of OpenAire, “The Epic development is going to represent Grand Prairie to the world, and we are working closely with all of our partners to make sure the center showcases the best designs and the best technologies. Not only will our enclosure of 160 foot wide and nearly 62,000 square foot for Epic Waters have the best retractable roofing technologies available, which can close automatically and quickly at the first drops of precipitation; the entire facility is made to create completely new recreation experiences, from the high-tech recreation center to the fully-accessible PlayGrand Adventures playground. I've never seen an entertainment center like The Epic. This place lives up to its name.”

The OpenAire enclosure’s grand design connects seamlessly with the sweeping architecture of the rest of The Epic's facility, designed by HKS Architects Inc., Dallas TX.

OpenAire and all of the other development partners are thrilled to start making The Epic a reality. Opening in 2017, The Epic at Grand Central is sure to be a monument to the people of Grand Prairie's epic ambition and community spirit.

Victory Beer Hall at XFINITY Live! unveils new 937 square-foot glass enclosed patio designed by OpenAire and The Cordish Companies

 OAKVILLE, ONTARIO – October 5, 2015 – Victory Beer Hall, located in Philadelphia's renowned XFINITY Live! entertainment centre now has a newly renovated, eye-catching patio area that offers guests a panoramic view of the city skyline in any weather. Canadian-based OpenAire and world-acclaimed developer The Cordish Companies have partnered to build a sleek, modern glass enclosure for the landmark bar's expansive patio. This single slope lean-to enclosure measures 23’-6” by 39’-6” and stands 11' high at the front wall and 20’ at the back wall, giving guests a spacious place to take in the sunlight and outdoor views of Philadelphia while enjoying the restaurant's great menu, craft beer, and top-tier entertainment.

This comfortable, inviting space makes a fitting addition to a bar founded by two childhood friends, Ron Barchet and Bill Covaleski, who in 1985 were inspired to make the best home-brewed beer which resulted in the formation of the Victory Brewing Company. The enclosure was designed to fit Victory Beer Hall's rustic atmosphere with old world Victorian detailing and three glass garage-style doors and a glazed roof to let in ample sunlight, creating an outdoor feeling for diners all year round. The operable doors retract into the roof, letting in the fresh air and sunshine of clear days but closing securely to provide shelter from inclement and colder weather.

"This new design is going to bring big benefits for XFINITY Live!, the Victory Beer Hall and its customers," says Mark Albertine, President and CEO of OpenAire, "With its year round outdoor atmosphere and located at the center of Philadelphia’s sports venues, this will be the place to go whether sport is Summer baseball, Fall football or Winter basketball and hockey". It's been very exciting for us not only to make this addition to one of Philadelphia's most popular entertainment centres, but to do it with a leader in real estate development like The Cordish Companies. The results are impressive. We all look forward to the next job with Cordish."


Restoration Hardware chooses Oakville-based company to build a soaring, innovatively-designed skylight for its impressive new Gold Coast location

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OAKVILLE, ON – October 5, 2015 – OpenAire's latest project in Chicago, Illinois is sure to make a great impression with customers looking for luxurious home décor and furnishings. Restoration Hardware commissioned a custom-built, pyramid-shaped glass skylight for the roof of its new 58,000-square-foot location on North Dearborn Street in the Gold Coast neighbourhood. The Gallery opened its doors to the public on October 2nd. Customers visiting the new store, dubbed RH Gallery, will be able to enjoy a stunning, classically-inspired courtyard, complete with café and fountain that is flooded with natural light no matter what the weather or season. It is a spectacular place for shoppers to relax and socialize all year-round, thanks in part to the innovative 44 by 44 foot glass roof above the courtyard and with a front wall of opening windows designed, manufactured and installed by OpenAire.

“It's been great to work with Restoration Hardware, Booth Hansen Architects and Pepper Construction to create this unique location,” says Mark Albertine, President and CEO of OpenAire, “Our teamwork resulted in an enclosure that fits the gallery’s design. It's an opportunity to create a completely original, harmonious space, taking the store to another level and making a courtyard with an outdoor feel that can be enjoyed in any weather – the result is stunning. OpenAire is proud to have completed this elegant new structure; it's changing the face of retail venues.”

The innovative design and placement of the new skylight required OpenAire's design and engineering team to be especially creative. The majestic, spacious design of the skylight features operable side glass panels that open to allow air flow and ventilation into the courtyard. “We custom-design a powerful drive mechanism strong enough to ensure that ten of twenty windows, each measuring 2 by 12 foot and weight of up-to 200 pounds, open outward easily. The entire mechanism is maintenance-free for life and requires no lubrication, thanks to the use of polymer bearings,” says Martin Step, Senior Mechanical Engineer at OpenAire. “In the end, the team rose to the challenge of building and installing something that will work effortlessly and beautifully, while also fitting into RH’s desired old fashioned railway station motif for the location.”

Thanks to this dedication, the RH Gallery has an inviting courtyard filled with abundance of natural light and fresh air that will awe customers and benefit the company greatly. The skylight and operable windows reduce the need for lighting, which will save Restoration Hardware energy while also creating an impressive gallery space for years to come.

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The Crooked Cue unveils a fabulous retractable skylight, designed and installed by OpenAire

OAKVILLE, ONTARIO – September 21, 2015 – OpenAire has pocketed a game ball with the completion of a new renovation at The Crooked Cue in Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada. The family-owned Restaurant and Pool Hall, which has operated on Bloor Street since 1992, now features a beautiful, fully renovated billiard hall, ping pong area, and restaurant. The most striking addition is a 20’ x 48’ retractable glass skylight on the roof of the building, which retracts completely off of the opening over the adjacent roof. This creates a dynamic, bright, and spacious area that offers guests an “outdoor” dining and recreation experience at any time of year. The sleek, double-sloped 960 sq. ft. skylight was custom designed, built and installed by OpenAire.

The Crooked Cue offers a fun and upscale restaurant environment. The new retractable roof only emphasizes that this is not your average restaurant and pool hall. The indoor/outdoor space has been attracting new guests to The Crooked Cue since it opened in July. “The response has been incredible,” says Sam Pappas, owner of The Crooked Cue, “people are loving it and bringing their friends to see it. We were only closed for 6 weeks and the result was worth it. We had as many guests in the first week of July, upon opening, as we did the entire month of July last year.”

Thanks to its innovative design, the retractable roof allows customers to enjoy the pub's large selection of craft beers and great dishes in the fresh air on sunny days, yet still experience that open, outdoor feeling on cold or rainy days thanks to its unobtrusive sleek design.  The new renovations and operable skylights bring the building to life and have earned The Crooked Cue a place on TSN and the CBC's lists of “Canada's Top Pool Halls.”

Enthusiasm for the design has made Mark Albertine, President and CEO of OpenAire, proud. “We're excited that OpenAire's work with The Crooked Cue has brought this much attention,” he says, “Our retractable restaurant skylights and enclosures transform the way owners can use their floor space. Sam Pappas and The Crooked Cue team can now seat guests in an attractive 'outdoor' space all year round. It's sure to be a hit with visitors and staff alike.”

The new glass skylight not only provides an amazing atmosphere but is also energy efficient. The all-aluminum frame is thermally broken and the retractable glass design reduces air conditioning and lighting costs while absorbing passive solar heat when the roof is closed in the winter. It is a winning choice for one of Canada's premier restaurant and billiard halls and is sure to catch the neighbourhood's attention for years to come.

OpenAire builds a spectacular retractable roof enclosure for Ontario Racquet Club's new 25 metre Junior Olympic pool

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OAKVILLE, ONTARIO September 14, 2015 OpenAire has created a breathtaking addition to the Ontario Racquet Club’s (ORC) newly-expanded athletic facilities located at 884 Southdown Rd, Mississauga ON Canada. The local company OpenAire, designed and installed a stunning and vibrant glass retractable roof enclosure measuring 62’ 4” wide, 114’ long and 23’ high to house ORC's new aquatic centre. This non-obtrusive designed structure offers a completely open view of the sky, giving club members the impression of being outdoors at a resort. The curved roof design and walls contain a 25-metre-long Junior Olympic pool and open onto a brand new patio with a small children's splash pad, and BBQ pit, extensive lounge area, and a beautiful waterfall feature. OpenAire's automated retractable roof system allows members to swim in the sunshine and fresh breezes of hot summer days, but closes automatically at the first sign of rain or inclement weather, letting everyone enjoy ORC's aquatic programs 12 months a year.

Ontario Racquet Club, Canada's largest private health, wellness and sports club, has been offering outstanding indoor and outdoor sports facilities to the Greater Toronto Area since 1975. Now ORC is growing to offer even more services and athletic space to patrons. The new pool and its enclosure are quickly becoming the centrepiece of ORC's cutting edge expansion. The energy efficient structure allows the pool to maintain a perfect temperature of 83 degrees Fahrenheit in any weather. Along with the club’s other new additions, it has already become a hit with members and has increased membership at the club by 20%.

“The OpenAire enclosure for our pool has exceeded our expectations in every way,” says Jeff McCarrol, CEO of Ontario Racquet Club, “It is perfect for the summer months with its retractable roof, and even has that summer feel in the winter with the glass enclosure. We absolutely love it, and more importantly, so do our members.”

The enclosure and retractable roof structure are sure to offer many years of reliable service, thanks to OpenAire's maintenance-free aluminum truss system. OpenAire's Oakville manufacturing plant builds all of its enclosures with energy efficiency in mind, meaning this new pool enclosure will give ORC substantial savings on heating, air conditioning and lighting costs compared to a conventional indoor pool structure.

Mark Albertine, President and CEO of OpenAire, also expressed his excitement for completing ORC's new aquatic centre. “We are delighted to help Ontario Racquet Club improve its facilities and offer its members and families a new Junior Olympic sized enclosed pool area,” he says, “ We’re pleased with all the success it has brought thus far, and we’re sure this customized solution will give ORC the ideal balance between an indoor and outdoor pool year-round.”

The second of Royal Caribbean ships to feature OpenAire’s retractable roof systems launches with great success.

Anthem of the SeasOAKVILLE, ONTARIO – August 31, 2015OpenAire has made a breathtaking contribution to Royal Caribbean International’s new Quantum-class ship, Anthem of the Seas, with two sleek glass enclosures for either side of the ship’s upper-deck pool, patio, and bar area. These modern lean-to enclosures feature a roof that retracts into a central core and wall panels that slide down to railing height; creating a truly outdoor atmosphere for passengers. In colder or inclement conditions, both of these 3,706-square-foot structures close automatically and silently, letting guests continue enjoying all of the ship's amenities. The design has brought extremely positive reviews for both Anthem of the Seas and OpenAire.

The enclosures on Anthem of the Seas mark the second time that OpenAire has worked with Royal Caribbean on one of their ships. Quantum of the Seas, the first of the world-renowned cruise line's ships to feature an OpenAire installation, launched late in 2014 and is currently sailing out of Asia. Building atop a massive cruise ship with no land support was a challenge for OpenAire's designers and installers, but led to a hugely effective design that has been replicated on Anthem of the Seas very successfully.

“Our design and engineering team have delivered their best for our projects with Royal Caribbean Ships,” says Mark Albertine, President and CEO of OpenAire, “The pool enclosure on Anthem of the Seas represents some of our most innovative mechanical and architectural work. I'm proud that the design has been well-received with passengers and is cost effective for Royal Caribbean.”

Whenever guests decide to swim, they can enjoy unobstructed views of the open sky and ocean thanks to the glass retractable enclosures. The design will also create significant future operational savings for Royal Caribbean as the thermally-broken aluminum framing is maintenance-free and resistant to corrosion caused by an outside atmosphere of salt air and the moist chemical aquatic inside environment. By allowing the ocean's sunshine and breezes into the pool area, it also reduces HVAC energy use by 27% compared to a traditional enclosure.

The 168,666-tonne ship launched from Southampton, UK early this spring and can carry up to 4,180 passengers. The glass pool enclosures are just one of the ship's many attractions, which include 18 restaurants, a “bionic bar” with robotic bartenders, the Flowrider surf simulator, RipCord by iFly indoor skydiving simulator, the North Star which takes guests 300 feet above the ocean to deliver awe-inspiring 360-degree views, bumper cars, a roller rink, circus school, and much more.

This is only the first half of OpenAire's work with Royal Caribbean International. After launching Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas, OpenAire will complete work on a retractable enclosure for Royal Caribbean's upcoming Ovation of the Seas ship this fall. These remarkable designs are sure to make an impact on the Royal Caribbean experience for years to come.

LOCAL Public Eatery opens a new, spacious patio bar with a one of a kind retractable roof from OpenAire, Inc.

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OAKVILLE, ONTARIO— August 12, 2015— OpenAire has completed a brand-new addition to LOCAL Public Eatery in Leaside, Toronto ON, Canada with the installation of a spectacular 800 square foot retractable glass enclosure to the patio bar area. The customized, automated roof, located over LOCAL's second-floor, allows guests to enjoy an outdoor dining experience all year, letting in the sun and breezes of summer and keeping out the cold of winter.

LOCAL Public Eatery, located at 180 Laird Drive, Toronto ON, Canada is renowned for its menu made with fresh local ingredients, cocktails made with hand pressed juice and rotating, on-tap beers. The restaurant opened this brand new location in April after extensive renovations to the property with some inspiring new features, such as a secondary staircase and a roof top enclosure.  Diners have been highly impressed with the new design, the centre of attention being the fabulous patio bar with retractable roof and walls, which creates a unique outdoor feeling that is distinct from the restaurant’s main area.

OpenAire is pleased to add this new enclosure to its portfolio of restaurant projects. “It's been a pleasure to work with the LOCAL team and help transform their facility into a vibrant, modern and open design,” says Mark Albertine, the company's President and CEO, “We've designed and built unique roof structures for restaurants and bars across North America and Europe. It's good to share our expertise with a thriving local business like Local Leaside.”

This innovative roof design is virtually maintenance-free and will allow LOCAL Public Eatery to take full advantage of its floor space all year round. OpenAire's panoramic design reduces lighting and energy costs by letting the sun's rays light and warm the patio, while also delivering a stunning dining experience to customers. With the great impact its new design has had on the neighbourhood so far, LOCAL Public Eatery is sure to continue making a great impression with diners across Toronto.

About OpenAire
OpenAire has been designing and manufacturing beautiful, high-quality, environmentally conscious aluminum retractable roof enclosures and skylights for over 25 years. We bring unique visions to life from concept design to installation, transforming buildings into sunlit spaces customers love. Our over 600 commercial projects include Zehnder’s Splash Village Hotel & Water Park in Frankenmuth, Michigan; Aqua Sferra Water Park (the biggest aluminum dome in the world) in Donetsk, Ukraine; Tropicana Water Park in Stadthagen, Germany; the Rooftop Bar at the Refinery Hotel in New York City, and the Palms Casino & Resort in Las Vegas.

Headquartered in Oakville, Ontario, OpenAire has worked throughout North America, Europe and the Middle East. To learn more about OpenAire Inc.’s projects and capabilities, visit www.openaire.com and follow us on Twitter. For more details on this project, please e-mail sales@openaire.com.

About LOCAL Public Eatery
LOCAL Public Eatery is where the laid-back warmth of a local pub meets the quality of a great neighbourhood restaurant purveying a fresh take on pub favourites, handcrafted, fresh juice cocktails and rotating taps. You’re only a stranger once.

Phase One of Kalahari Resorts and Conventions Offers 100,000 sq. ft. Indoor Waterpark Attractions in Pocono Mountains, PA

(Oakville, Ontario - August 7, 2015) - Kalahari Resorts & Conventions will soon break a record for the largest indoor waterpark in the United States with its latest and grandest location in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains. Phase one of this authentically African themed waterpark’s development is now complete, spanning 100,000 sq. ft. and features surfing, an expansive children’s play area, a lazy river, a 60ft tower with several thrilling waterslides, an activity pool, swim up bar and more.

All of this and more are contained below a 72’ X 150’ custom retractable aluminum skylight, designed, manufactured, and installed by OpenAire, which sits in the centre of the new waterpark. This sleek modern roof structure can open easily with the click of a button to the sunshine and fresh air on warm summer days, but also close securely in cooler or inclement weather, letting the fun continue all year round.

“We are extremely proud to be a part of the Kalahari family and to be able to bring something unique to this waterpark in the Pocono Mountains” says Mark Albertine, President and CEO of OpenAire, “OpenAire is pleased to be part of Phase One, expanding the park’s appeal and reinventing the entire Kalahari Waterpark experience with the addition of retractable roof, sunshine and fresh air. With our operable, low maintenance, aluminum roof, our clients can capitalize on the best days of summer and worst days of winter by the abundance of natural light. We look forward to a continued relationship with Kalahari on future expansions.”

“The retractable roof allows our guests to enjoy the sun and fresh air just as if they were outside, but with the convenience of actually being inside,” said Todd Nelson, owner of Kalahari Resorts and Conventions. “It started to rain [the other day], and the roof closed automatically. The guests were in awe.”

Kalahari Resorts and Conventions is a major player in the North American waterpark industry, with three locations, now in Tobyhanna Township, Pennsylvania in the Pocono Mountains; Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin; and Sandusky, Ohio. At 173,000 sq. ft., Kalahari’s Sandusky resort already holds the record for largest indoor waterpark in the US. Kalahari and OpenAire are excited to continue innovating in this thriving field.


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OpenAire is thrilled that our client, Janet Zuccarini, of Gusto 101 and Trattoria Nervosa fame, is being recognized as a driving force in the Canadian food and beverage industry. Janet is expanding her restaurant empire into the USA, via a new couple of properties in Los Angeles, California. OpenAire is a huge supporter of Janet, her vision and her impact on the local Toronto restaurant scene. Its truly a great honour to be part of what will be become the future legacy of our great city. OpenAire is excited to be working with her on the newest Gusto 501, currently under construction in the east end of Toronto.

Check out her latest article here: