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Black Gaming's Aim is to Wow Hotel Guests from Start to Finish

MESQUITE, Nev. — Randy Black owns three casino hotels in this growing resort destination 80 miles north of Las Vegas.
And it was his vision to develop a state-of-the-art laundry facility to process quality linen on-site for his hotel guests.
His goal: Wow them.
May 13 will mark the one-year anniversary of Black Gaming’s Central Laundry, and owner Black says he couldn’t be more proud of the facility and the quality products it provides guests at his CasaBlanca Resort Casino, Oasis Resort Casino and Virgin River Hotel Casino.5,000 TOURISTS EACH WEEKEND
Black began developing in the picturesque Virgin River Valley in 1990, when just 1,900 people called Mesquite home.
The only casino at the time was the 30-year-old Oasis, which had started as the Peppermill. Black opened the Virgin River Hotel Casino in 1990, followed by the CasaBlanca Resort Casino (formerly Player’s Island).
Through buyouts, he now owns Black Gaming, which is the parent company of the three hotels. The combined properties put more than 2,000 rooms in Black’s hands, and his casinos are the largest employer in town (2,700).
Mesquite has grown to more than 20,000 residents. It combines a small-town atmosphere with a wide array of big-city attractions ranging from 24-hour gaming and fine dining to celebrity entertainment and championship golf.
More than 5,000 tourists visit Mesquite each weekend, and Black strives to wow his hotel guests from the moment they enter his facilities to the moment they depart.OPEN EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR
The 9,000-square-foot laundry is located at Oasis Resort Casino and operates every day of the year in processing linen for the CasaBlanca, Oasis and Virgin River.
It supplies clean linen to the hotels’ 2,200 guest rooms, two specialty restaurants, the food-and-beverage department, pools, spas and the Oasis Convention Center. It’ll also serve an events center to be built at the CasaBlanca.
Work starts early each day, with the sorting department kicking things off at 4 a.m. Production workers arrive at 7 a.m. Sorting clocks out at noon, and production runs until 3 p.m.
There is a routine pre-shift meeting to keep the employees informed of any changes in the laundry and boost their confidence in handling any unexpected problems.
Having their own engineering and transportation departments allows them to service customers in the most efficient way possible.
Randy Black chose Lenny Beck of Las Vegas-based distributor Brady Industries to install the laundry facility because of Brady’s reputation as a laundry equipment distributor and for its relationship with manufacturer Pellerin Milnor.
Black Gaming decided on a Milnor CBW® tunnel washer because of its ability to launder goods effectively and efficiently. That, combined with the CBW washer’s automation and computerized features, allowed the operation to accomplish much more with fewer workers.
The Milnor tunnel was the only model that met all of Black Gaming’s expectations and has helped it reduce water consumption by 50% and fuel consumption by 35%, the company says. The full system includes the 7-module tunnel (110-pound capacity in each module), a press and three natural gas dryers.
A Mildata® production management system provides summary reports that keep supervisors in touch with plant conditions without having to be on the floor.
All room and pool towels used in the Black Gaming casino hotels are processed by workers using two Air Chicago® towel folders.
Ecolab provides the laundry chemicals; there are 39 individual wash formulas for the wash room.
The finishing department consists of a three-roll Chicago® ironer dedicated to sheet and table-top production. Another ironer is used primarily for small pieces, such as napkins and pillowcases. All room and pool towels are processed with two Air Chicago® towel folders.
While redesigning the laundry, Black Gaming lightened the walls and floor and added more over-head lighting for greater employee comfort.
The laundry processes room linen and food-and-beverage linen, plus specialty items such as robes, shower curtains, rubber bathmats, chair covers and table skirts, but it’s designed to process all types of goods.
It cleans an average of 20,000 pounds (or 45,000 pieces) daily, averaging 7.2 million pounds (or 16.2 million pieces) annually.
All linen is delivered in a pair of 24-foot trucks. Five trips are needed to transport all of the linen to the Black Gaming hotels each day.
Given the laundry’s efficiency and the fact that it’s operating at only 60% of its capacity, it’s motivated to consider servicing additional outside businesses.
The old laundry processed linen for two hotels to the tune of 10,000 pounds daily. It employed 56 people in two, 10-hour shifts each day, while the newly equipped laundry, processing for a third hotel, has only 37 employees on a single shift, a 34% savings in labor costs.
With the national average rewash rate falling between 3% and 5%, the Black Gaming Central Laundry reports rewash of about 3%.
“Sometimes, it astonishes me how well we’re doing,” says Alberto Quintana, the laundry’s director. “We’re exactly where we want to be.
“With the innovative technology of the tunnel washer recycling system, we have minimized the water usage to only 1.2 gallons per pound of goods, chemical usage to 82 cents per pound of goods, and we’re using propane gas at 4 cents per pound of goods.”
Black Gaming is also preheating the water in the tunnel first to save energy.IT'S ALL ABOUT QUALITY
Quality is the top priority at the Black Gaming Laundry, where everyone is expected to demonstrate it every day in matters of cleanliness, presentation and the delivery of products and services.
“Our success is dependent on our ability to discover quality employees and equipment to process the laundry to get the ultimate finished product to our customers,” explains Black. “An important factor in that equation was finding someone with leadership capability. Alberto possesses this innate quality.”
Quintana sees his responsibility as not only to lead employees, but to be able to listen, communicate, and find the best qualities in each one of them.
“If they see how much integrity I take in everything I say and do and how passionate I am of getting this job done right, they will be inspired and hopefully I transmit this same enthusiasm in them.”
Following Black’s philosophy of motivating employees to wow their customers, Black Gaming created a “WOW!” rewards program for outstanding job performances.
When an employee goes above and beyond in assisting either a guest or a fellow employee, they’re awarded a WOW! scratch card. Employees can win up to $75 in “Randy Bucks,” which can be used at any of the three properties, including the restaurants, spas and salon.
Also, Black Gaming selects a team or department each month that has done an exceptionally good job and recognizes it in the company newspaper, Window, and hosts a party and luncheon.
Members of the housekeeping staff have even requested to move to the laundry because of the high morale there and the value placed on those positions.
 

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