Impeccable linen has long been a hallmark of Holiday Inn Express, Atascadero, CA. For the past 1-1/2+ years, cold-water laundering with an EcoTex™ ozone system from ClearWater Tech LLC has maintained that standard for guests, while also saving the Inn substantial amounts in gas, water and other expenses.
Overall utility savings and disinfection benefits of cold-water ozone-laundered linens are the prime factors behind installation of EcoTex™ ozone systems at many hotel operations, including the Holiday Inn Express & Suites (www.hieatascadero.com) in Atascadero, California. General Manager Amar Sohi is quick to add another. “I’m a stickler about the quality and integrity of our linens,” he asserts. “It’s not only a big expense, it’s critical to retaining clientele. Guests have high expectations for impeccable linens and with EcoTex™ ozone, we are further assured those expectations will be met.”
Located just minutes from Pacific Ocean beaches on California’s Central Coast midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, Sohi’s establishment earned an Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) Torchbearer award for 2011-2012 as one of the top 1% of hotels in the Americas. This property also has continually ranked #1 in the region by IHG since it opened in 2008, in addition to receiving TripAdvisor.com’s Certificate of Excellence every year since 2009.
Along with a steady stream of business travelers, Sohi says about two-thirds of the Inn’s 80 rooms and suites often are occupied by wine enthusiasts from all over the world. They come to sample vintages from the area’s famed Paso Robles Wine Country with over 200 wineries within a 30-minute radius.
As the operating owner (several franchise partners are not actively involved), Sohi has been GM since day one. The EcoTex™ system from ClearWater Tech entered the picture 18 months ago, although Sohi acknowledges some initial concerns.
“Hearing about what EcoTex™ does and its savings made switching seem like a no-brainer. But sometimes too good-to-be-true scenarios really aren’t true at all.”
Not so with EcoTex™. It can reduce hot-water gas costs by as much as 85%.
“The ClearWater representatives thoroughly covered how the process worked, how the installation would proceed and how much money I would start to save, primarily in gas for hot water,” explained Sohi. “Right away, I could see savings on my statements with the number of therms in daily usage. My overall daily usage gas therms have actually decreased even though our overall occupancy rate has risen.
“I know I’m also saving money on water, chemicals and labor. These aren’t as easily measured and calculated, but I’m confident we are saving money and resources, while becoming a greener operation.”
What about linen replacement?
“All of this has come with zero breakdown in the integrity of my linens and no negative quality issues whatsoever. Here, too, I know I’m saving money – and will continue to save – in replenishment costs. We use top-line bedding, so extended linen life will have an impact. Exactly how much will become more evident in time.”
“I’m really a stickler about the quality and integrity of our linen,” asserts Amar Sohi, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Atascadero, CA. His EcoTex™ cold water ozone system cuts costs and allows his operation to be more ‘Green.’
One of Sohi’s goals is to become Green-Certified, no small feat in California. His EcoTex™ system plays a key role in this effort, while providing up-front savings, too.
“The most amazing part of all this is that there is no upfront cost at all. Usually going green means there are some costs associated or rebates which must be budgeted or waited for. There’s no waiting for rebates here. (See Sidebar story.) And with our EcoTex™ program, a small portion of your savings covers the equipment balance interest-free. Once that is paid off, the savings are 100% yours. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.”
Sohi’s pair of 60-lb. Unimac washers with dryers to match process about 5,000 lbs. of laundry per week on-average, with an in-season uptick in occupancy from April through October. “Near perfect” is how he describes laundry room output destined for guest rooms as well as other Inn usage. Maintaining that standard was another critical issue for Sohi when deciding to switch to the EcoTex™ cold-water ozone system.
“Our hot-water program was really dialed in and I hesitated to mess with something that’s working. With cold water rather than hot and less chemicals, would our laundry come out as clean? There’s a fine line – a balance between water and chemicals – which requires adjustment with ozone compared to washing in hot water. There was trouble-shooting early, plus testing the EcoTex™-chemical formula and working with it a few times to really get the best program for us.”
Unlike most transition projects where Sohi personally gets involved, he hardly did anything this time.
“EcoTex™ was on-point. The ClearWater and the Aqua Systems (chemical supply representative) people worked really well together to get the system working correctly and get us dialed in.”
Very rarely has Sohi had to call for service. When he has, response time is usually the same day.
“They’re efficient and expeditious in solving whatever problem I have. You don’t often get as much from a vendor and when I do, I really appreciate it. It’s nice to say that we use ozone technology and I know it will help our score when our business becomes Green-certified. We want to be a responsible business in every way, and environmentally is one of them. EcoTex™, with less water usage, energy savings and other advantages, plays a key role in our effort. If it were a requirement for all hotel operations like ours, everyone would benefit.”
Utility companies appreciate energy savings, too — so much so that in many states, they offer rebates which will pay, for example, up to 50% of the equipment costs for installing an ozone laundry system.
Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Atascadero, CA took advantage of just such a program, offered by Sempra Energy in California. Not only did the rebate cover much of the cost for EcoTex equipment, but the balance could be amortized at 0% interest! A small payment is included on the Inn’s monthly statement, while it saves many times more in utility costs.
ClearWater Tech works with customers and utility companies, handling virtually all details to ensure that rebate requirements are met.
For details on availability of utility company rebates for EcoTex ozone systems in your state, contact us now.
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