CASE STUDY: Luxury Casino Hotel Pinpoints Location of Smoking After Installation of Sensors with 24x7 Molecular Monitoring
The vice president of Hotel Operations for a 2,000 room luxury casino hotel faced daily problems with guests smoking tobacco and marijuana in the non-smoking property. Around-the-clock unauthorized smoking hindered his team from delivering a consistent, world-class experience for their guests.
The costs of unauthorized smoking in such a large hotel were staggering. According to a recent industry study about the actual costs of smoking in hotel rooms, a single smoking event can cost as much as $1,000.
The long-lasting damage from smoking incidents further complicated the hotel’s efforts to collect cleaning fees. “We rarely charged guests due to the issues we were having with claims that they didn’t actually smoke,” said the VP of Hotel Operations. “Most rooms had a smoke smell, so we really couldn’t enforce anything.”
When smoking occurred in their rooms, the housekeeping staff tried to clean before the next guests arrived by spraying deodorizers and running ozone machines, but with limited effect.
Compounding the costs, guests who smoked often were not charged because their smoking wasn’t detected when they did it and there was no real evidence. “The next guests would check in and complain of the smoke smells, be moved, and be compensated,” said the VP of Hotel Operations. “Guests who smoked in our rooms knew there were no consequences, so they continued to smoke. It was a never-ending cycle of room changes, compensation, and apologies.”
The Hotel Operations team knew they had to stop and deter smoking to improve overall customer satisfaction. The casino hotelier turned to the FreshAir Sensor Smoking Detection System with 24x7 monitoring to break the perpetual, negative cycles caused by unauthorized smoking.
With the FreshAir Smoking Detection System, Wi-Fi-enabled devices molecularly monitor each hotel room for tobacco and marijuana smoking. The hotel staff receives immediate Smoking Alerts each time unauthorized smoking occurs.
FreshAir Smoking Alerts are sent to a mobile phone, email, and/or front desk computer. The Smoking Alerts are discreet and location-specific, empowering the hotel’s team to respond quickly and proactively.
The casino hotel has enjoyed remarkably positive results. “Housekeeping is no longer cleaning rooms a second or third time,” said the VP of Hotel Operations. “The entire property actually smells better and has a much better feel.”
In fact, smoking in the rooms fell by 32.4% last year.
Accessible through their FreshAir Client Portal and customizable to each team member’s notification preferences, the reports are accurate resources for hotel staff to access archived Smoking Alerts, charge cleaning fees, and prevent and win chargebacks.
“We actually have customers that have been successfully charged over five times,” said the VP of Hotel Operations.
Since installing FreshAir Smoking Sensors with molecular monitoring, arguably the most positive and immediate impact for the property is the significant cleaning fee revenue - far exceeding the cost.
“Our collected smoking charges last year FreshAir Smoking Alerts were hundreds of thousands of dollars. Before going live with the sensor technology, I had concerns,” said the VP of Hotel Operations. “I didn’t think that guest behavior would change and doubted the return on investment.”
“I have shared my results with others in our market, and they laughed. I broke it down month by month, sent the results in emails and showed them folders of charge after charge after charge. It's hard to argue P&L numbers, and no one is faking or embellishing our own bottom line. Once they see that and talk to the team, they understand the positive impacts.”
With the FreshAir Smoking Detection System, this casino hotelier reversed the perpetual, negative cycle of unauthorized smoking, missed cleaning fees, extra housekeeping work, poor guest satisfaction, and room changes and extra compensation for unhappy guests in smoked rooms.
The casino hotel is realizing the financial and operational benefits of the FreshAir Smoking Detection System:
- generating immediate, positive financial return on investment;
- improving customer satisfaction;
- maintaining cleaner rooms;
- charging cleaning fees (at the discretion of hotel management); and
- reducing unauthorized smoking and damage.