Green Features, Products Headline Hospitality’s Annual NY Showcase

Bruce Beggs |

NEW YORK — As the lodging industry embraces the concept of sustainable operations, it’s not surprising that the 2008 International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show’s (IH/M&RS) favorite color was green.
No matter where attendees of the November event turned, the theme dominated the scene: the keynote address, seminars, a special display and awards all promoted greener operations.
Cintas Corp. earned the Editors’ Choice Award in Décor for its Eco-friendly Suiting Collection, a 100-percent recycled polyester collection that offers style, comfort and functionality.
The textiles are produced from post-consumer products, including recycled plastic beverage bottles, which are processed into flakes, then filaments that are spun into yarn and ultimately woven into soft fabrics.
Wyndham Hotels and Resorts says it’s the first national upscale lodging chain to mandate the Cintas eco-friendly uniforms. Front desk and other “customer-facing” employees must begin wearing the uniforms by the end of 2009, and housekeeping and other back-of-house staff are to follow by the end of 2010.
The program offers Trend, an urban line emphasizing dark and light blue colors with red accents, and Fresh Air, featuring nature-inspired earth tones and geared toward resort locations. Hotels may select among several design options to customize their uniform program based on location, climate and décor.
The uniforms, which don’t require professional laundering, minimize the use of chemicals during cleaning and save hotel operators money, Wyndham says.
Valley Forge Fabrics earned top honors for Green Luxury with its LIVING FRESH line, a natural, high-thread-count bedding collection featuring an exotic blend of fibers from eucalyptus and cotton.EMPHASIS ON SUSTAINABILITY
The 93rd annual event attracted 34,050 registrants, and participation from national purchasing firms, management companies, military base lodges, boutique hotel operations and multiunit owners, according to GLM, the show’s manager.
“This year, the IH/M&RS truly proved itself to be the must-attend market for industry,” says Lynn White, show manager. “It became apparent … that attendees were here to search out suppliers that showed them to be more aggressive marketers in this period of uncertainty.”
Matt Alexander, president of Pertl & Alexander, a New York-based laundry services consulting firm, described the event as having been “lightly attended.”
He visited the booths of many laundry and linen industry vendors, including equipment manufacturers, textile companies and chemical manufacturers.
Some of the companies on hand were Chicago Dryer Co., Ecolab, G.A. Braun, Maytag Commercial Laundry, Milliken Table Linen Fabrics, Pellerin Milnor Corp., Speed Queen, UniMac and Wascomat.
“The green theme was certainly front and center,” Alexander says. “Certainly, on the laundry side, we heard very clearly the greater emphasis on sustainability.”
Many of the products introduced during the show are designed to save resources, including water, chemicals and even time.
Standard Textile introduced two new product lines: OneSTEP and its Studio Collection top-of-bed linens.
The OneSTEP program features linens that are delivered pre-laundered and incorporate special characteristics to help speed up housekeeping.
Products arrive Room Ready for You laundered with Tide, through a partnership with P&G Professional, another IH/M&RS exhibitor. An EZ ID technology allows easy identification of sheet size thanks to color-coded selvage yarns, and a new Center Lock Label in the hem takes the guesswork out of finding a sheet’s center.
OneSTEP is designed to reduce processing and bed makeup time by up to three minutes per hotel room, says Greg Eubanks, group vice president of hospitality sales and marketing for Standard Textile.
The Studio Collection is a line of perfectly coordinated and versatile top covers, bed skirts, pillows and bed scarves designed for quick fulfillment, he adds.
Visitors to the P&G Professional booth learned the benefits of using Swiffer and Febreze to eliminate common in-room cleaning challenges. Swiffer features products to remove dirt, dust and hair with fibers that grab and lock them away. Febreze is formulated to eliminate staleness and difficult odors instead of masking them, to leave rooms smelling fresh and clean.

About the author

Bruce Beggs

American Trade Magazines LLC

Editorial Director, American Trade Magazines LLC

Bruce Beggs is editorial director of American Trade Magazines LLC, including American Coin-Op, American Drycleaner and American Laundry News. He was the editor of American Laundry News from November 1999 to May 2011. Beggs has worked as a newspaper reporter/editor and magazine editor since graduating from Kansas State University in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications. He and his wife, Sandy, have two children.


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