All of WSD’s Laundry Specialists have a deep understanding of laundry operations and the best commercial and industrial laundry equipment to meet clients’ needs. Phil Charlton is legendary for his particular gift for solving challenging institutional laundry operations problems. Phil has written a series of posts about calculating and scheduling hotel laundry to improve a property’s bottom line, which accompany this post on the WSD blog.
You could say Phil Charlton “rode” into his current line of work. Not an inspired student, Phil quit college and left California for Colorado with the hope of becoming a professional snowboarder, working part-time at a sprawling resort in Crested Butte. A unique ability to focus on details without losing the big picture and a superior work ethic inherited from his Midwestern farm roots made him stand out. Within a few weeks of arriving at the resort, he was promoted and then promoted again, and then again until he became the Hotel Laundry Manager in early 1997 at the age of 19. Along the way, his snowboarding career fell by the wayside, but not his “can-do” attitude.
Phil can share horror stories about his early experience running the resort’s expansive laundry operation, servicing multiple hotel properties and a half-dozen restaurants, as well as being responsible for all uniforms including the mountain personnel’s skiwear. He inherited a complete mess. Over time, and after long hours and more than a few mistakes, he wrangled the operation into submission, often by jumping in and doing an awe-inspiring number and variety of hands-on tasks himself. By the time Phil was ready to move on, the laundry operation was running smoothly with all daily work complete consistently between 4 and 9 pm.
Phil’s next stop was a resort in Aspen, a town that he describes as “luxury, lots of fur and leather pants,” where he took a job as Laundry Manager with the goal of eventually becoming a General Manager. During his tenure there he learned a great deal about the hospitality business, hotel laundry equipment, and a lot about himself. That is also where he met and married his wonderful wife, Leila, and started a family.
Eventually, Phil and family returned to southern California where he signed on as Laundry Manager at a luxury chain 5-diamond beach resort, with the hope of becoming “the corporate laundry guy.” Once again, he inherited a massive hotel laundry operation in a state of chaos. And, again, Phil worked his magic, revamped scheduling, improved performance and morale, and reduced the laundry labor almost by half. By this time, Phil had developed extensive knowledge about hotel laundry equipment.
About ten years ago, Phil met Tom Marks, Executive Vice President of Western State Design (WSD), who convinced him to jump to the vendor side of the fence. Since then, Phil has visited well over 2,500 institutional laundries of all sizes, in various different industries and has had considerable success selling state-of-the-art commercial laundry equipment for WSD. In the process, Phil has masterminded solutions to some of the industry’s most daunting challenges, such as how to upgrade inaccessible laundry facilities in older properties to keep up with modern demands.
Based on his many years of experience revamping and managing challenging commercial laundries, Phil has a unique ability to identify and offer solutions to bottlenecks and excess costs. Not only does he have a wealth of technical expertise about all different types and brands of commercial and industrial laundry equipment, he can quickly glean a big picture understanding of a facility’s laundry process and requirements and provide recommendations about how to improve it. His insight is particularly valuable for new facilities that plan to scale up over time.
In addition to his prodigious industry knowledge and tenacity solving monumental problems, Phil Charlton is a really good guy. He believes that everyone deserves respect and anyone can get ahead with hard work. He loves the outdoors and used to enjoy riding his bike to work back in the days before he started traveling 36,000 miles/year for work. Phil is one of a kind, and hasn’t earned the title, “Laundry Wizard”, by accident. WSD is delighted to have him on its team.
Contact one of WSD’s talented Laundry Specialists today to find out how you can improve the efficiency of your commercial or on premise laundry operations. To learn more about WSD can help you with your hotel laundry, please check out our hotel laundry business solutions information page.