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Goulding's Lodge Laundry
Monument Valley, Utah
Goulding's Lodge Cuts Laundry Overhead in Half with New On-Premise Facility
May 2003 | Download PDF
By converting an existing garage into an on-premise laundry facility, Goulding's Lodge—a 68-room resort located in Monument Valley, Utah—no longer deals with the expense and hassles associated with its old laundry service. Wayland La Font, the property's operations manager, says Goulding's spent around $80,000 per year outsourcing its laundry. With the new on-premise laundry operation, he figures he'll cut that expense in half.
“It was costing us a lot of money for the laundry service,” says La Font, whose family owns the remotely located hotel. After a busy weekend, Goulding's Lodge sent out more than 1,000 pounds of towels, sheets, tablecloths, chef coats and rags. Its laundry vendor, located 200 miles away, picked up and delivered three times a week. “But, we had problems with the quality,” says La Font. “Towels would came back torn and sometimes they would lose our sheets. It was a headache to get stuff back.”
Once La Font looked closely at the numbers, he knew he'd cut costs and improve quality by bringing the laundry operation in-house.
Continental Girbau distributor Bob Ropp of Sunshine Sales in Glendale, Ariz., worked with La Font to select the right laundry equipment. It was important that the equipment be energy efficient and simple to install, according to La Font, who didn't want the hassle of digging holes and pouring 12-inch concrete slabs. He needed equipment that would fit easily into the hotel's transformed, double-bay garage.
With help from Sunshine Sales, La Font selected and installed 90- and 55-pound Continental Pro-Series™ softmount washer-extractors and two 75-pound drying tumblers. The new laundry is also equipped with a 20-inch Continental Pro-Series flatwork ironer for finishing sheets, tablecloths and napkins. “We were using an existing building and we didn't have to cut the floor out and lay in cement to install the washers,” says La Font. Soft-mount washer-extractors are freestanding so they don't require concrete foundations and bolting down, like traditional hard-mount machines. This, he says, saves time and money. “You take them out of the crate, set them on the floor, level, plumb and wire them, and they're ready to go,” maintains La Font.
But ease of installation was not the only reason La Font opted for soft mounts over hard mounts. Soft-mount washer-extractors can reach extract speeds up to 380 G-force, while traditional hard-mount machines are limited in their performance due to frame and foundation issues. This means that a soft mount removes more water from a load than a hard mount.
Laundry comes out of the softmount washer-extractors nearly dry, according to La Font. “Drying time is almost nothing,” he says. “The high extraction of the washers cuts dry time in half,” which reduces hotel utility and labor costs. Simultaneously, wear and tear on the new dryers is minimized because they operate less, he maintains.
The entire process—to wash and dry a load of towels—takes La Font's staff less than one hour. Three employees run the laundry three days per week—Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. During their 10-hour shifts, they complete all the washing, drying, ironing and folding.
Making the laundry process simple for his staff is important to La Font. That's why the washer-extractors and drying tumblers are programmed for various types of loads – towels, bath mats, or sheets, for example. “It's a no-brainer for the employees,” says La Font. “They just load, push a button and go.” The washer-extractors are also programmed to automatically inject the right amount of cleaning chemicals at the appropriate cycle, water temperature and level. The auto injection shortens the wash cycle and makes it less hassle for employees because contact with chemicals is eliminated, says La Font. Continental's matching set of dryers also feature a control that's programmed according to the type of load. Once again, he maintains, attendants simply touch and go. Sensors within the dryers alert employees when the load is dry.
The flatwork ironer further simplifies operations. Sheets and tablecloths are fed directly from the washer-extractors into the ironer, where they are finished and folded automatically. This eliminates the need for drying the linens first, La Font says, extending linen life and saving labor and utilities.
La Font also has his staff double up sheets as they are fed into the ironer, so two sheets are ironed and folded together. “This cuts labor time in half,” maintains La Font. “It's pretty amazing how it spits sheets out and gives a good clean finish.” The ironer features a no-wax cylinder that “should last longer without marking up the linens,” he adds. Good equipment and careful planning have resulted in a more cost-effective approach to quality laundry service for Goulding's Lodge. By installing Continental soft-mount washer-extractors, which don't require expensive foundations, the hotel was able to utilize an existing garage to house its new laundry, rather than fork out thousands of dollars for a new structure.
Goulding's can expect to save around $40,000 per year with its new on-premise laundry. “It just made good sense,” says Continental distributor Bob Ropp, who expects the hotel to realize a return on its investment within the year. The new facility also ensures that the hotel's sheets, bath mats, towels and tablecloths are properly cleaned, finished, folded and accounted for. “Now we know where our laundry is,“ says La Font, “and if we see something that needs to be changed, we have the power to make that change.”