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Houston’s Largest Hotel Boasts City's Largest Hotel Laundry
Hilton Americas-Houston Home To Largest Laundry Facility In The United States' Hilton Family of Hotels
August 18, 2010
HOUSTON - How do you get a laundry facility that covers 27,000 square feet into the basement of a downtown Houston, Texas hotel? You build the hotel on top of the laundry!
Most hotel laundries are put in as an afterthought to the construction of the hotel and as such have limited space for equipment. The laundry facility located in the basement of Hilton Americas-Houston was included in the initial building of the structure and exists as the largest laundry facility in the United States' Hilton family of hotels. The massive equipment, including two tunnel washers, was put into place prior to the construction of the upper 24 floors of the building, allowing the hotel to have an on-property laundry facility that rivals most commercial laundries. Washing and finishing 625,000 pounds of laundry per month, Hilton Americas-Houston laundry facility compares in size only to select few large hospital facilities in the city, and maintains a staff of 30 employees, two assistant managers, one lead and one production supervisor.
Central to the laundry are the two massive tunnel washers that have allowed Hilton Americas-Houston to take a department that is normally an expense and turn it into a revenue producing department. The high-efficiency units have allowed the hotel to take on ongoing commercial laundry contracts for other city-wide hotels and convention centers, washing 100 pounds of linens every two and a half minutes, with a current goal of an average of 2,000 pounds per hour by the end of the day. When working at maximum capacity, the system can wash up to 5,550 pounds of linens per hour, utilizing only one day-shift of workers. With this vast potential available, the property is currently in the process of bringing in additional commercial jobs to further increase the revenue production of the laundry department while maintaining the same energy usage and man-hours needed.
The tunnel washers are an ultra-efficient cleaning system. Green-machines by design, the efficiency of the equipment allows the automated wash to be done quickly, thus making it possible to shut the power off and save energy. Not as labor-intensive as most hotel laundries, the system automatically washes and dries linens and towels after an initial presorting.
The sorting system utilized by Hilton Americas-Houston is a state-of-the-art unit, not used in most hotel laundries. The E-Rail sorting system weighs the sorted linens and towels, and is thus able to efficiently send the loads to the tunnel washer based on a pre-programmed type and weight load. Since the items are presorted before they go into the tunnel washer, they are already sorted before they go into the dryers, thus optimizing energy efficiency of the machines and reducing man hours needed to operate them.
The Lavatec tunnel washers can wash 900 pounds of laundry at the same time, through nine wash zones. Zones one through four are wash zones; zones five through eight, bleach zones and zone nine is the finishing zone. Since the water at zone one is the dirtiest, having had the first contact with the soiled linens and the water at zone nine the cleanest, having had contact with the linens at their cleanest, the water from zone nine is piped back into zone one in order to reduce water usage. The reused water retains some of its original chemicals, thus also reducing the quantity of chemical needed for cleaning. The system’s chemicals are checked once a week to insure the proper balance, since temperature and humidity can make a difference in the optimal level of chemicals.
From the tunnel washers, the linens are moved directly into the four 250-pound capacity dryers located in the laundry. The dried linens then move to one of the many folding machines, capable of being set for small towels, mats and hand towels, plus many other differing folds as specified by the property for which a commercial load is being done. A manual-fold area is available, although rarely needed, due to the high-efficiency of the folding machines. From the dryer, sheets are fed into a machine that hangs and spreads the sheets to be ironed, then folds them, all automatically.
During Hurricane Katrina, Hilton Americas-Houston laundry played a pivotal role in aiding victims of the storm. The laundry was responsible for washing all of the clothing and linens for the displaced New Orleans residents being housed at Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center plus processing and cleaning all laundry trucked into the city from New Orleans area Hilton properties, while still maintaining their regular laundry schedules. Recently, in response to the needs induced by the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, Hilton Americas-Houston laundry took over the laundry jobs for the Galveston Hilton, Galveston San Luis, Galveston Holiday Inn, Houston Hilton Southwest and the George R. Brown Convention Center, as the center again served as a temporary shelter for displaced storm victims, plus many additional Houston hotels.
About Hilton Americas-Houston
Directly connected to the George R. Brown Convention Center, Hilton Americas-Houston contains the city’s largest number of guestrooms, ballrooms, hotel meeting space, and the most technologically advanced services available under one roof. Conveniently situated between Toyota Center and Minute Maid Park, this AAA Four Diamond rated hotel boasts 1,203 luxuriously appointed guestrooms, 91,500 square feet of flexible meeting space, three restaurants, a lobby bar, coffee emporium, and full service spa and health club.
About Hilton Hotels & Resorts
For nearly a century, Hilton Hotels & Resorts has been proudly welcoming the world's travelers. With more than 575 hotels across six continents, Hilton Hotels & Resorts provides the foundation for memorable travel experiences and values every guest who walks through its doors. As the flagship brand of Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts continues to set the standard for hospitality, providing new product innovations and services to meet guests' evolving needs. Hilton Hotels & Resorts is a part of the award-winning Hilton Honors program. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else, free standard Wi-Fi, and digital amenities like digital check-in with room selection and Digital Key (select locations), available exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton Honors app. Begin your journey at www.hilton.com and learn more about the brand by visiting news.hilton.com or following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company, with a portfolio of 14 world-class brands comprising more than 5,300 properties with more than 856,000 rooms, in 105 countries and territories. Hilton is dedicated to fulfilling its mission to be the world’s most hospitable company by delivering exceptional experiences – every hotel, every guest, every time. The company's portfolio includes Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton, Curio Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton, Tru by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages an award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton Honors. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose exactly how many Points to combine with money, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else, and free standard Wi-Fi. Visit newsroom.hilton.com for more information and connect with Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.