Management at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue, located in Seattle’s eastside, not far from Microsoft’s headquarters, faced a problem that’s common in hotel properties of a similar age. They had outgrown their original, commercial, on premise laundry (OPL) equipment installed when the hotel was constructed in 1998. Not only had the property’s room inventory increased over time, stretching its laundry’s capacity, the original laundry equipment did not meet modern energy efficiency standards and was no longer operating as cost effectively as possible.
The Hotel Expanded but the Laundry did not
The original hotel laundry was designed to handle all food and beverage (F&B) as well as housekeeping laundry for the 360 rooms the hotel had at that time. But, ten years later, the hotel expanded, with the construction of a new tower, more than doubling its room inventory, while the size of the laundry essentially remained the same.
The root of the problem, similar to many other hotels around the world, was that there was no room to expand the laundry. Over time, laundry processing bottlenecks developed because the older laundry equipment wasn’t optimized for the ever-increasing volume. The commercial dryers couldn’t keep up with the washers, resulting in split loads which meant more time and more labor. There was always a queue of washed linens waiting to be dried.
Solution: Milnor Industrial Laundry Equipment
Early in 2016, the Hyatt’s Director of Engineering, John Hope, brought in Rick Hall, a Laundry Specialist at WSD, so they could work together to devise a solution to the laundry bottleneck problem. They came up with a two-pronged solution: installation of state-of-the-art Milnor washer-extractors that would substantially reduce the amount of water remaining in the linens after the spin (extract) cycle, as well as high capacity dryers that could match the washers’ throughput. In the process, Hyatt would realize huge savings in labor, utility and water costs.
High performance Milnor industrial laundry equipment was installed over the 3-week holiday period at the end of 2016:
- (1) Milnor MWF27Z8, 60lb. Washer-Extractor
- (3) Milnor MWF77Z7, 170lb. Washer-Extractors
- (2) Milnor M202, 200lb. Dryers
The Milnor washer-extractors include various features to help the hotel save on labor costs and increase employee efficiency. For example, the machines come with Miltouch™, a programmable touch screen computer control system allowing laundry room employees to closely monitor custom wash cycles.
The eco-friendly and innovative RinSave feature is standard on all Milnor open pocket washer-extractors, allowing operators to save up to two rinses per load. This allows for shorter wash cycles, using less water—up to .4 gallons of water per pound of laundry—in the process. The result is more loads of laundry can be processed in less time, saving money on labor and energy costs.
The Milnor dryers were selected not only for their high capacity and energy efficiency, but also for their long-term reliability and durability. In addition, they have labor saving ergonomic features that also save time.
Accompanying the installation of new laundry machines were some other related upgrades including a new lint filtering system as well as some other miscellaneous items. Meters were installed, as well, to monitor the new industrial laundry equipments’ utility usage over time.
The Challenges of Hotel Renovation
The hotel laundry renovation and equipment upgrade project was not without its challenges. For starters, access to the laundry room was extremely difficult because the construction crew had to use the shared loading dock underneath the massive mixed-use complex where the Hyatt is situated.
In addition, the crew had to contend with hallways that were too narrow and doorways that were too low to accommodate both the removal of the old equipment and the installation of the new laundry machines. Those hindrances entailed some creative temporary remodeling and dismantling of equipment. It didn’t take long, however, to put everything back together, and the Hyatt Regency, Bellevue immediately started benefiting from a more efficient process and realizing significant savings in its laundry operations.
“Saving hundreds of gallons of water every day can add up to real savings,” said WSD’s Rick Hall. “Not just for a company’s bottom line, but for the planet as well.” he concluded.
About the Hyatt Regency Bellevue
Located at 900 Bellevue Way NE in Bellevue, Washington, this upscale high-rise hotel is a few miles from downtown Seattle. The hotel features luxurious rooms with modern amenities, including some with mountain views. There are several dining options on the premises, as well as a 24/7 fitness center, a heated indoor pool, and extensive event space.