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Urban Resort Fills Up Newest Brady Linen Plant

Bruce Beggs |

LAS VEGAS — Since it was formed a decade ago at the behest of a local hotel, Brady Linen Services has experienced remarkable growth, prompting not one but two laundry expansions. Its three facilities collectively process in excess of 100 million pounds annually here.
The company’s newest addition is a brand-new plant designed in three phases. Phase one opened at the end of 2009 and is already more than halfway to its 150,000-pound-per-day capacity thanks to a “single” customer — the CityCenter, Vegas’ new urban resort featuring unique hotels, luxury retailers and restaurants, and entertainment.
The Vdara Hotel & Spa, The Mandarin Oriental and the ARIA Resort & Casino have added a combined 6,000 hotel rooms along The Strip.
When Brady Linen Services’ first phase reaches capacity and the business is ready to expand again, the infrastructure is already in place for two more expansions, according to Travis Brady, Brady Linen Services president/CEO. The company’s investment in construction and equipment was in the neighborhood of $15 million.
“We built this new plant with three equal phases in mind because we believe that they’re going to be needed,” he says.DISTRIBUTOR GETS INTO LINEN SERVICES BUSINESS
Family-owned Brady Industries has been supplying janitorial and cleaning supplies, chemicals and equipment since it was founded in 1947. The company joined the laundry industry in 1985 when it established a laundry design and construction division. It’s been responsible for some of the largest, most innovative laundries in the country, including a 110,000-square-foot facility built for Park Place Entertainment, according to the company.
Then, years later, a local hotel seeking high-quality linen service approached Brady Industries about expanding its portfolio. A sister company, Brady Linen Services, was born in 2000. Today, it provides a full array of hospitality linen programs, including housekeeping linens, food-and-beverage and banquet linens, uniforms, and mats.
“We started with one plant producing about 30,000 pounds of linen a day,” Travis Brady says. “Over the next five years or so, that grew to about 120,000 pounds a day. That drove us to expand that original plant, so we added an expansion (in March 2006) that, in essence, nearly tripled our capacity. By the middle of 2009, that plant was completely full as well.”
Lacking capacity and realizing that it was probably missing account opportunities, Brady Linen Services had begun designing a third facility in Las Vegas when the CityCenter project came to light. “We did sign the CityCenter agreement before the plant was done. From day one, they (have been) taking a little over half of its available capacity.”CITYCENTER PUSHES NEW PLANT TO COMPLETION
Brady Industries handled much of the laundry planning and design work itself before enlisting ARCO/Murray National Construction Co. to coordinate the three-phase project. The Illinois-based firm has designed and constructed more than 25 plants in the last five years, says Jason McLaughlin, laundry project manager.
“ARCO/Murray was a great asset, because while we had the project in progress, when CityCenter came on board, that dramatically shortened our timeline,” Travis Brady says.
Brady Linen Services had planned to open the new plant by early 2010, but the resort’s arrival pushed the opening date up to October. “It was kind of a fire drill from the start to meet the date,” McLaughlin says.
Anchoring the wash aisle in phase one is a pair of 12-module, 150-pound-capacity CBW® tunnel washing systems, including transfer shuttles and extraction presses, from Pellerin Milnor Corp., plus several other Milnor washer-extractors ranging in size from 60 pounds to 450 pounds. There are 13 300-pound batch dryers serving the tunnel system, plus some smaller Milnor dryers.
E-Tech supplied the soil monorail storage system, sorting conveyors and cart dumpers. The flatwork finishing equipment — spreader-feeders, ironers, folder-crossfolders and small-piece folders — is from Chicago Dryer Co.
The water system, including wastewater-treatment and heat-reclamation capabilities, is from Thermal Engineering of Arizona (TEA). ARCO/Murray placed this equipment outside — which was made possible by Vegas’ desert climate — to maximize the available space inside.
Ingersoll Rand supplied the compressed-air equipment. Fulton provided two 200-hp boilers and related systems.
Brady Linen Services made some specific equipment choices to meet the CityCenter’s quality expectations. For example, Brady selected flatwork feeders that utilize vacuum-aided feeding, and chose gas-heated flatwork ironers to accommodate the 100% cotton items it would be processing.
Water and energy conservation was also an important factor in the plant’s development. Brady Linen Services’ original plant utilizes 400-pound Milnor washer-extractors, while its first expansion and now this third plant use Milnor tunnel washers. Water usage in the original plant is around 2.5 gallons per pound, while the two plants with Milnor CBWs use just .8 gallon per pound, Brady says.
Utility upgrades for the new plant proved to be a major challenge, McLaughlin says. The existing gas line serving the property was a 2-inch, 2-psi line, well below what was needed to supply a large industrial laundry. Ultimately, a larger line was extended from more than 4,000 feet away.
Local impact fees to tap a 6-inch water line would have exceeded $3 million, McLaughlin says. “We had to work with Milnor, with TEA and with Brady extensively to figure how to best design (the water system). We put together a plan that basically shrunk that tap size down to 3 (inches).”
The new laundry facility is generally open 24/7, but the processing equipment operates no more than two shifts, leaving time for maintenance and service contingencies, Travis Brady says. At slightly above 50% capacity, the plant employs approximately 75 people. That number will effectively double as the plant reaches full capacity, he says.
“We’re fortunate enough to have many of our customers seeking us out, because of the reputation that we’ve been able to build here in terms of quality and service,” Brady says.AN EYE TOWARD QUALITY
As Brady tells it, Las Vegas used to be a town of $29 room-nights and $1.99 buffets because the gaming community wanted to lure people to gamble. But as the city has become home to five-star, five-diamond resorts, Brady Linen Services has focused on providing high-quality linen service at a competitive price.
“As contracts come up and people are recognizing and looking for the kind of quality and service we provide, we believe that phase two and phase three will be coming quite quickly.”
 

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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