LAS VEGAS — At the start of 2020, Apex Linen was riding high in Las Vegas.
What with hotels, casinos and restaurants, the city was a gold mine for a company that provides quality laundry and linen services.
Then March came, bringing with it COVID-19 and emergency shutdown orders from Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak.
“When gaming and hotels were shut down in March due to the governor’s emergency order we were forced to close along with our customers,” says Apex Linen CEO Jared Wantoch. “That closure lead to our bankruptcy.”
Not what the company envisioned on Jan. 1, 2020.
However, with new financing and new leadership, including Wantoch and Vice President of Ops Perry Pierce, Apex Linen is a shining success story to come out of the pandemic.
“The company went through a section 363 sale, where there was strong interest from a number of parties,” shares Wantoch.
He says the assets of the old business were purchased by a consortium led by Breakwater Management.
“Breakwater strongly believes in this business and has injected equity and new liquidity to position us for future growth and success,” says Wantoch. “We have right-sized the business and aligned our cost structure with our current revenue streams. In addition, we start with a fresh balance sheet.
“The new Apex has emerged stronger than ever. Apex Linen brought in a new leadership team to not only manage the process, but strengthen the team simultaneously while preparing for the future.”
Apex Linen was founded in 2011 by seasoned individuals within the commercial laundry industry who had a belief that the market deserved better quality, service and product.
Today, Apex Linen primarily services the hotel and casino industry but has branched out into the restaurant, dry cleaning and uniform markets.
“The hotel and casino markets are a high-demand, 24-hour market that is a perfect match for a laundry of our size and capacity,” observes Wantoch.
“The rest of the business actually chose us. Our customers like to consolidate the services performed by their critical vendors, so opening two full-service divisions for Laundry/F&B and Dry Cleaning/Uniforms was a logical and natural progression for Apex, as well as for our customers.”
Apex Linen is a fully encompassed laundry facility with state-of-the-art equipment and technology, and it doesn’t outsource any of its product lines.
“Apex operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to provide our customers, and our customers’ guests, a high-quality, clean and safe product in a timely manner,” Wantoch says.
Depending on the season and the COVID-19 constraints, Apex will fluctuate between 200-plus and 400-plus employees. The facility has the capacity to process 200,000-plus pounds of linen daily.
“Apex Linen employs incredible and talented production and service staff with many years of industry knowledge,” Wantoch says proudly. “In addition, we have a full staff of highly trained engineers to keep our equipment performing at all times.
“We also use the highest quality laundry and dry cleaning chemicals, which means Apex can easily position itself as the No. 1 provider in the region.”
Wantoch says that under the new leadership, the entire Apex Linen family has become a single unit sharing the same goals.
“This strong team spirit has allowed many changes to happen quickly and embraced by all,” he says. “Changes aren’t just quick trials that are forgotten in a week. If they work, they stay and become part of the process and culture.
“Many of these changes came about from suggestions from the front line team. In this new culture, everyone is welcome to share their opinions.”