A Unique History, A Unique Company
Thirty years ago, our company was founded in the basement of the Houston Astrodome. Our roots were then, and remain today, deeply engrained in the events industry. We were the first company to recognize the importance of telecommunications in convention centers and to focus our efforts on delivering superior customer service.
Back then, we operated as Centel Facilities Communications, a partnership between the Houston Astros and Central Telephone (Centel). In the late 1980s, we expanded our business beyond Houston through exclusive contracts with large convention centers in Anaheim, Houston, Los Angeles, and Charlotte. By the early 1990s, the company, which had been sold to Wiltel Communications and renamed Facilities Communications International, handled all of the technology requirements for the 1990 World Economic Summit and the 1992 Republican National Convention.
In January 1995, the company was purchased by its present owners, telecommunications entrepreneurs with successful backgrounds in cable television, Internet, and wireless businesses throughout the country.
The momentum continued with the addition of more high-profile clients, including convention centers in Dallas, Las Vegas, San Antonio, Santa Clara, and San Diego. During this time, the company rebranded itself as Smart City Networks.
In early 2001, Smart City Holdings, our parent company, acquired Vista-United Telecommunications, through a new subsidiary Smart City Telecom, the exclusive telecommunications company for the Walt Disney World Resort. This acquisition significantly increased our operations and expertise in fiber optics, satellite communications and advanced switching platforms. Later that year, Smart City was selected as the exclusive provider of technology services to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.
Smart City Telecom is the exclusive telecommunications company for the Walt Disney World Resort, including all of the parks, hotels, and its planned community, Celebration. Smart City Telecom also owns and operates the local exchange carrier (telephone company) at Disney World, Disney’s satellite farm, and a massive fiber optic network at Disney World.
The partnership with Disney has yielded a wealth of insight into undoubtedly the most hospitality focused company in the world. We have taken the best of what we learned from Disney, along with the established service culture of Smart City and produced a set of business principles and “Daily Basics” that we review each day. These business principles keep our team members firmly focused on the customer and the customer’s experience.
Our success continued with a fifteen-year contract renewal by the City of Anaheim and other long-term renewals by the Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Clara, and Houston’s George R. Brown convention centers.
In 2003, Smart City became the exclusive provider of technology services for the new Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Further achievements followed, including meeting the data and technology challenges of events such as Consumer Electronics Show (CES), National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), The Cable Show by the National Cable & Telecommunication Association, Presidential Inaugural Events in Washington, D.C., the Smithsonian National Tour, Super Bowl XXXVIII, Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), NAMM by the International Music Products Association, national Microsoft events, and many more. Smart City also served the 2000 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, the 2002 Democratic National Committee, events for the 2009 Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C and many more regional and local political conventions and meetings.
In 2006, Smart City acquired Priority Networks, Inc. and the following year acquired Convention Communications Provisioners, Inc. (CCPI). We successfully combined back office systems while keeping the best practices from both companies. When all three companies united under the Smart City brand, it truly brought together the best in the convention telecommunications industry. As the leading technology providers in the hospitality industry, each offered best-of-class products, the most current technology, and superior customer service to thousands of events each year. Now, with over 50 combined years of delivering technology, A/V, electrical, marketing, and billing services to a variety of venues, no event is too challenging, and no venue is too large or too small. Together we offer the knowledge, expertise, customer care, and financial strength to make each event the best it can possibly be.
Today, we employ more than 300 team members nationwide who are dedicated to providing telecommunications services at Walt Disney World, 30 major convention centers and three NFL stadiums. In our history we have been honored to provide our services at over 75,000 events, including several NFL Super Bowls, many Democratic and Republican National Conventions, and most of the largest trade shows in the country.
We owe our success to our team members who work countless hours during weekends and holidays. They are great people who want to do well, who are capable of doing great things, and who come to work fired up to achieve them.