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Luxury Atop A Mountain – The Mohonk Mountain House

Sitting atop the craggy Shawangunk ridge overlooking the blue of Lake Mohonk and 2,200 acres of scenic wilderness, Mohonk Mountain house is a spectacular 261 room Victorian castle. It has been a famed New Paltz, New York resort destination ever since it was built by the Smiley family in 1896.

“Being isolated at the top of a mountain makes it very important for our laundry to be very efficient, with the best possible equipment,” said Maureen Stanton, rooms division manager. Their remote location means doesn’ t allow them to outsource their goods should the need arise, so they must be completely self-supporting and that requires an efficient and dependable laundry, she adds.

In fact, most of the resort’s employees live nearby or within a 20-mile radius and during inclement weather they stay overnight to avoid impassable roads.

Laundry has been handled at Mohonk since the early days when they used one of the first ironers on the market, the Premium Centennial Mangle by JF Baldwin. The current facility was actually jack-hammered out of the rock in the 1960s, according to Stanton. It has not changed much since then except for a laundry remodeling.

When the resort decided to add a 30,000 square foot full service spa incorporating 16 spa treatment rooms, an expanded fitness center, steam room, sauna, and yoga/motion room to their majestic mountain top retreat, it became imperative that their laundry facility be updated to accommodate the increased needs.

It was such an old facility that what ended up happening was that when the machines went into extraction, the vibration transmitted into the floor and shook,” said Ron Hirsch, Direct Machinery.

“So a lot of the existing equipment had vibration problems.”

To avoid those difficulties with the new laundry equipment, Hirsch, the equipment manufacturer for the new laundry, installed all soft mount machines. Another hurdle in the construction of the new laundry was the fact that the machines needed to be dismantled and then re-mantled in place since there were limited entrances into the building and there was a non-moveable steam line obstructing free movement of machinery.

When all was said and done, four months after re-configuring the existing laundry space – the Mohonk had a brand new laundry boasting three 135-pound Milnor washers, one 90-pound Milnor washer, one 60-pound Milnor washer, one 90-pound Unimac, a Chicago Tristar combination iron/folder/stacker with an attached spreader feeder, an Air Chicago towel folder and seven, 75-pound ADC dryers to handle 32,828 pounds of linen per week. The new laundry equipment has provided multiple benefits for the facility. Capacity has increased to an additional 5,332 pounds of bed linens, food, beverage and spa linens per week.

“We’re able to handle a larger volume and in at least half the time,” said Stanton. There have also been payroll savings due to less shifts being needed to do the same, or more, amount of work.

The Mohonk laundry has six full-time, year-round employees. Although the laundry is open seven days a week, additional employees and hours for operation vary based on the season.

”We have less seasonal help needed now,” said Angela Moynagh, executive housekeeper at the hotel. “We also used to do graveyard shifts on weekends and now don’t have to though we still have the same total of 14 employees in the laundry.”

Quick Rinse - News From Around The World

Textile Services Industry Gets National Spotlight

WILIMGTON, Mass. — Textile service executive Ronald Croatti recently appeared on the CBS-TV show “Undercover Boss.” Croatti is CEO of UniFirst Corp., in Wilmington, Mass. For most Americans watching “Undercover Boss” it was their first view inside a commercial laundry, which typically process between 10 million and 25 million pounds of uniforms, table linens, bed sheets, towels and more every year “The reusable textile services business is the original green industry,” said Ricci. “Commercial laundries reuse linen instead of filing landfills with disposable alternatives and continually discover new, innovative means to reduce energy consumption and recycle water. Our huge economies of scale allow laundries to use about two-thirds less water, energy and detergent than alternatives, such as washing at home, while hygienically cleaning textile products, improving disease control and reducing contamination.”