15 Aug, Saturday
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Vivint Smart Home Suite Helps Promote Company, State to the World

Salt Lake City—The best seats in the house at the Vivint Smart Home Arena are about a dozen feet from the court. From there, you get a crystal-clear view of all the action—from a wall of TVs and a cozy set of couches.

The Vivint Smart Home executive suite—or, more accurately, double suite—has been painstakingly designed to make employees, clients and guests feel at home.

“Obviously, the home is very important to us—it’s the essence of everything we do,” said Ashley Barnett, senior manager of marketing for Vivint Smart Home. “It’s meant to be a really cool place to hang out and entertain on all levels. … We want to be able to recruit world-class talent, and this helps us do that.”

The newly redesigned arena has eight courtside executive suites; Vivint Smart Home has two of them, adjoined to make one double suite. But the space is still fairly small—about 35 feet by 38 feet, which presented a challenge for designer Ezra Lee.

“There was a tall list of requirements for the space,” said Lee, of Lehi-based Ezra Lee Design + Build. “It was challenging to make it feel open.”

The idea for the design of the space came from Andie Pedersen, wife of Vivint CEO Todd Pedersen. Andie Pedersen has collected photos of home element designs for years, and had a vast supply for inspiration when the opportunity came to design the suite.

“I wanted a loungy area, where people could relax. I wanted it to be simple; busy things stress me out,” she said. “We wanted a place where people would want to stay.”

In other words, Andie Pedersen wanted a place that was so comfortable and so inviting that the people in it would forget about the basketball game or concert happening a dozen feet away.

One photo in particular, of a set of sleek lockers, set her on the path to find just the right elements to give the space the vibe she was looking for. From there, the rest came easily. A week after her first meeting with Lee, they found an arrangement that would fulfill all the specifications Andie Pedersen laid out while conforming to the size and time restrictions facing Lee.

“We wanted it to feel like it was somebody’s friends who were entertaining at their house,” said Lee. “We wanted to make sure it wasn’t too stiff, too bright.”

From a design perspective, he accomplished this by utilizing the space’s height from the exposed ceiling that follows the zig-zagging concrete of the bleacher seats above, mixing industrial and cozy materials, sticking with a neutral color palette and using layers of light. The project was completed in just 86 days. Lee said it’s one of the most challenging projects he’s taken on to date.

“The complexity of this design is unparalleled; the square footage, the timeline—it’s unlike anything we’ve ever had,” he said. “It’s one of a kind.”

It is one of only a handful of two-story executive suites in the whole of the NBA.

The suite feels larger than the dimensions suggest, aided by that high ceiling that also allows for a loft with lounge chairs and televisions for watching the game or playing board or video games. Downstairs, corners house nooks for quiet conversation amidst the revelry, and the sides hold counters for buffets and a bar. A wall near the door to the court hosts a nine-TV screen that faces an arc of couches for comfy watching, and a bar of candy and popcorn, a soda machine and a soft-serve ice cream machine help keep those going out into the arena from going hungry.

The suite’s primary goal is to provide a place to gather in a casual setting, Todd Pedersen said.

“We wanted a place employees and guests and people we’re doing business with could be comfortable and entertained. We wanted a club-like atmosphere,” he said.

In addition, the suite helps to further the brand awareness brought about by being the naming rights partner of the arena, he said. Vivint Smart Home’s suite is flanked by two Silicon Slopes neighbors—Domo to the left and Qualtrics to the right—making a little courtside tech alley when the Jazz play at home.

“There are a lot of people coming in from out of state. I think it helps [to be visible]—sometimes people have an interesting perspective of doing business in Utah,” he said. “It was important to Utah that we cemented our brand here, but at the same time, too, our national brand has improved tremendously.”

“Just having our brand with the Jazz is kind of a nuanced thing, but it makes a huge difference,” he added.

Todd Pedersen said it was also important to him and the company to make the investment of being the naming rights partner and having the dual executive suite to support the Jazz calling Utah home, and the Larry H. Miller Company for making that possible.

“The Millers investing in the state has made a huge difference,” he said. “It’s not necessarily about them, it’s about everybody, and I hope more of us can follow suit.”