Redeveloped Historic Landmark Installs
Exterior LED display.

Technology helps venue compete with
city’s other attractions and draw visitors.

To build excitement and draw visitors’ attention, tourist attractions need to push the envelope and stand out among a city’s myriad attractions. One way to do this is through LED displays that engage audiences and help keep them coming back, by advertising promotions and events. 

St. Louis Union Station Development 

St. Louis, Missouri 

Lodging Hospitality Management (LHM), owner and developer of St. Louis Union Station, had a vision for the historic 1894 facility. After much planning, the $187 million family entertainment complex opened for business. The 500,000-square-foot National Historic Landmark train shed at Union Station includes the St. Louis Wheel, a 200-foot-tall observation wheel with a whimsical carousel, an 18-hole mini-golf course and the St. Louis Union Station Soda Fountain. The new attractions join the historic St. Louis Union Station Hotel. 

St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station The St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station is the centerpiece of this entertainment complex in downtown St. Louis. The 120,000-square-foot, two-story aquarium features one-of-a-kind exhibits that house 13,000 aquatic species from the rivers and oceans of the world. The Aquarium manages environments built around one million gallons of water. 


Chad Smith, vice president of Design and Construction LHM, knew that the Union Station Development would compete with myriad attraction options also located in the heart of this busy entertainment district. For example, visitors can choose from seeing the Gateway Arch, Enterprise Center where the NHL Blues play, Busch Stadium – home of the MLB Cardinals, and the Budweiser Brewery Experience. To draw attention and patrons, the Development needed to employ engaging LED display technology. 

St. Louis Aquarium 10MM 192X864 Full Color LED Signs

Smith retained St. Louis-based Warren Sign, an industry leader for over 85 years, for a solution to differentiate the aquarium and attract visitors to the new venue.


Warren Sign turned to long-time trusted partner California-based Optec Displays, Inc., (Optec) to leverage their entertainment complex and commercial development experience. As a digital display solutions provider, Optec designs, engineers, and manufactures LED displays that are unique to each commercial developer and tourist attraction. 

Optec proposed the Intelligent-M2 10mm LED display. The ultra-bright M2’s dynamic visual performance delivers outstanding picture quality with deep blacks, wide viewing angles, and excellent broadcast-ready visual performance. The display is mounted between support poles from a previously existing sign at an entrance that needed to increase visibility and engage the one million guests anticipated to visit the development annually. The single-sided 6’-3” x 28’-4” display runs messaging 24/7 promoting the complex’s many attractions and lodging, aquarium events and exhibits, and America’s Center convention information.

This engaging content utilizes Optec’s M.E. Pro Plus software. The proprietary software enables targeted advertising and dynamic messages and is designed to allow the user to create display contents, as well as configure, schedule and manage multiple displays all from one application.

“While it was an engineering challenge to fit the display into an existing structure, Optec worked with us and ensured the results were exactly as we specified,” commented Bill Behrens, sales director Warren Sign.


The Intelligent -M2’s 10mm pixel pitch provides tight resolution and superb image quality to deliver eye-catching and engaging messaging, and has become a landmark sign for this complex.

The display needs to show content during peak daylight hours. The 10,000 nits ultra-high brightness and louvered tiles help shade the sun and increase the image contrast. This was a big factor in the decision to select Optec’s Intelligent-M2, which allows visitors to see crisp, clear images day or night. 

“I knew we needed a high-impact, high-resolution display to increase visibility and engage visitors,” commented Behrens. “Optec’s display makes a big impact and helps attract tourists.”