The Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Lincoln, California recently completely construction on a 6,000 square foot on premise laundry (OPL) facility that can process more than 1,000 pounds of laundry every hour—or more than 10,000 pounds of laundry per day. The decision to construct the OPL laundry coincided with a decision to expand the resort, increasing the number of guest rooms to 425 from 350. Resort management concluded there would be significant cost savings and other benefits related to bringing the laundry in house, particularly with an increased volume of guests. Indeed, since the OPL laundry commenced operation, the resort has reduced laundry costs by 60%.
Prior to constructing its OPL laundry, the resort trucked its laundry to a commercial facility 90 miles away. Not only was the long-distance transport inconvenient and expensive, it was not good for the environment.
Among the other reasons to bring the laundry in house, was the need for tighter linen quality control and inventory management. Luxury resorts like this one make a big investment in high quality linens, so it is important to be able to tailor the laundry process to minimize wear and tear. Also, the ability to turn the laundry around more quickly requires having fewer pars on hand.
For guidance with developing the on premise laundry, resort management reached out to Martin Pharis, a hospitality laundry specialist with commercial laundry equipment distributor, Western State Design (WSD). Pharis and his team specified and supplied the laundry equipment as well as their considerable expertise in laundry facility design and logistics management. The project took two years to complete and was within budget.
The project was not without its challenges. The space designated for the new laundry facility is on the third floor. However, the new industrial laundry machines selected were too big and heavy to transport through the hotel’s halls and service elevators. Thus, the OPL construction team had to find another way to get them to where they belonged.
The answer? Cutting a large opening to the outside in the external laundry room wall and lifting the laundry equipment up to the opening via large crane during overnight hours when few people were likely to be around. Needless to say, the process required careful planning to work out the complicated logistics and incredible precision in implementation.
Another challenge for all commercial laundry operators in California is the strict regulations imposed by local municipalities on water usage and discharge. To minimize water usage, WSD specified high efficiency Milnor washer-extractors which are designed to use a fraction of the water used by competitors’ products.
Milnor’s innovative and exclusive RinSave® software enables a precise G-force that removes a significant amount of water, chemistry, and soil after a wash step. This feature saves up to two rinses per load, enabling the resort to process more loads per hour while saving water. The washer-extractors’ efficiency also reduces drying time and related utility costs. Waste water is handled by an onsite water treatment facility.
Here is a list of the new industrial washers, dryers, and finishing equipment installed in the new facility:
- (5) Milnor MWF100Z7 220 lb. Capacity Suspended Washer Extractor
- (1) Milnor MWF27Z8 60 lb. Capacity Suspended Washer Extractor
- (4) Milnor M202 200 lb. Capacity OPL Dryer
- (1) Milnor M758V 75 lb. Capacity OPL Dryer
- (1) Chicago Dryer King Edge Vac Turbo Cornerless Spreader Feeder
- (1) Chicago Dryer Imperial 232 Two-Roll Dual Finish Flatwork Ironer
- (1) Chicago Dryer Skyline Folder
- (2) Chicago Dryer Air Chicago Quattro Small Piece Folder
- (3) Chicago Dryer LintBuster Air Filter and Scrubber
- (1) ETECH Cart Dumper Soil Sort System
To staff the new OPL laundry, Thunder Valley partnered with local outsourced solutions provider, PRIDE Industries, a nonprofit that trains and supports a diversified workforce, including people with disabilities. This is a win-win scenario for both Thunder Valley and the local workers: Thunder Valley gets a reliable workforce and the workers get decent jobs within their community.
For a busy, luxury hotel or resort, the decision between outsourcing or developing an on premise laundry is daunting. Constructing a laundry facility on site is a major capital investment that requires ongoing management and maintenance. If it’s done right, working with an experienced hospitality laundry partner like Western State Design, an OPL laundry enables better laundry quality, increased linen longevity, and faster turnaround, all while saving money in the long run. To learn more, contact a WSD hospitality laundry expert today.