Tribal Casino Resort

Client Story: Tribal Casino Resort

Revolutionizing the Guest Experience: Director of Hotel Operations shares insights into overcoming the challenge of guests smoking in rooms.

Segment:

Casino Hotel

Location:
Southern California

Total Rooms:
200

Challenges

  • Not aware of smoking incidents until after guests have left, leading to difficulties collecting smoking fees and increased chargeback disputes.
  • Inconsistent reports of smoking, relying on Housekeeping’s discovery after check-out or occasional reports from neighboring guests or security staff. 
  • Extended room turnover times, as ozone machines process the room, leaving the evening shift to clean rooms. Severe cases may put rooms out of order for deep cleaning for up to 48 hours. 
  • Lost chargebacks persisted, despite having signed registration cards as proof of advising guests about the non-smoking policy, and photographic evidence.

Solutions

  • FreshAir Monitoring precisely identifies the time and location of smoking incidents.
  • FreshAir devices monitor each room for smoking around the clock, promptly detecting and discreetly alerting hotel staff to smoking activities.
  • FreshAir Smoking Detection increases operational revenue through the collection of cleaning fees, coupled with reduced costs from deterred smoking.
  • The FreshAir Smoking Detection system offers scientific evidence of smoking, enabling properties to confidently collect cleaning fees and successfully dispute chargebacks.

Results

  • Tribal Casino successfully addresses smoking incidents in the moment, reducing conflicts.
  • Tribal Casino consistently wins disputes, guests are less likely to fight a smoking charge when they learn about the use of FreshAir. 
  • FreshAir implementation led to increased revenue by capturing smoking fees with evidence, as well as savings on cleaning costs.
  • Ease of use and monitoring, along with helpful training guides, facilitated a smooth rollout. The court document for disputes is invaluable to our accounting department.

“We have been very pleased with the ROI since we implemented FreshAir. We have seen a reduction in the cleaning process and increased revenue on capturing smoking fees on rooms that otherwise, we would not have been able to know had evidence of smoking.”

In-Depth Review

The Director of Hotel Operations at a prominent tribal casino hotel in Southern California encountered considerable negative impacts from guests smoking in rooms. Smoking incidents not only adversely affected the guest experience but also led to practical problems such as collecting cleaning fees and winning chargeback disputes. 

“We faced significant challenges with guest smoking violations, including a lack of awareness about the incidents until after check-out and the subsequent loss of chargeback disputes for smoking fees.” she explained. 

The property often relied on post check-out discoveries of smoking evidence from housekeeping and security staff. Occasionally, neighboring guests reported smoking. Both scenarios led to delayed responses, prolonged room turnover times, and, in severe cases, rooms being out of order for extended periods due to deep cleaning.

“Rooms took longer to turnover for the next guest as the morning shift would be focused on allowing the ozone machine to process the room, leaving the evening shift to clean the room as a last-sell room. If the case was severe enough, we would need to put the room out of order for 24-48 hours to deep clean,” the Director of Hotel Operations elaborated. 

The tribal casino turned to FreshAir Sensor to tackle smoking in their guest rooms. The impact has been transformative.

“We have been very pleased with the ROI since we implemented FreshAir,” the Director of Operations shared. “We’ve seen a reduction in the cleaning process and increased revenue from capturing smoking fees on rooms that otherwise, we would not have been able to know had evidence of smoking.” 

The FreshAir Smoking Detection system is a proactive technology solution that maximizes revenue by detecting smoking, whether tobacco or marijuana, around the clock. It sends discreet alerts to the casino hotel’s staff immediately upon detection.

With FreshAir Smoking Alerts providing scientific proof of smoking incidents, staff not only catch guests smoking, but also win chargebacks and experience fewer disputes as guests realize they cannot evade detection.

This property’s satisfaction with FreshAir goes beyond its tangible benefits. They wholeheartedly recommend the company to their colleagues, emphasizing the intuitive interface, helpful training guides, and the crucial court documents and case studies backing up FreshAir’s scientific proof.

“I have recommended FreshAir Sensor to quite a few of my colleagues at other properties. I have stressed that the ease of use and monitoring has made it easy to roll out, the training guides are very helpful, and the court document provided to our accounting department to use for disputes is a godsend.” 

Expressing gratitude for FreshAir’s Client Experience team, the Director of Hotel Operations acknowledges the ongoing support, saying, “I truly appreciate the product and the staff. Josh and Eric have been a dream to work with, and the support team that has worked with my line-levels have been on point.”

They highlight the rarity of finding a product that not only meets expectations but also maintains a high level of customer support post-launch. “Typically after the launch of a new product and initial follow-up, you feel neglected, and customer support is lacking. I have never felt that way with FreshAir. We appreciate the check-ins on the property, the constant monitoring; it feels like a true partnership.”

This tribal casino hotel’s experience with FreshAir showcases the power of innovative, proactive solutions in overcoming persistent challenges in hospitality. 

Their story reflects a paradigm shift in managing smoking-related issues, with FreshAir not only providing practical solutions but also fostering a genuine sense of partnership and support. 

As the hospitality industry continues to evolve, stories like this one serve as a testament to the transformative impact technology can have on guest satisfaction and operational efficiency.

Resorts Casino Hotel Atlantic City

Client Story: Resorts Casino Hotel Atlantic City

“The Revenue Speaks for Itself” - Casino Hotel enjoys the benefits of a prudent investment in smoking detection, yielding significant revenue and increasing guest satisfaction.

Segment:

Casino Hotel

Property:
Resorts Casino Hotel

Total Rooms:
942

Challenges

  • Guests smoking in non-smoking rooms without repercussions.
  • Often finding out at the last minute that a room was smoked in and a new guest is waiting.
  • Having no solid way to fight credit card chargebacks on smoking fees.
  • Complaints from neighboring rooms.

Solutions

  • Implementation of FreshAir Smoking Sensors, the only technology that can monitor for and specifically detect tobacco and marijuana smoking
  • Real-time reporting of smoking incidents.
  • Solid scientific proof at the moment of smoking, making it difficult for guests to dispute charges.

Results

  • Reduced workload for the housekeeping team in cleaning smoking violations.
  • Generating additional revenue each month.
  • Significant reduction in complaints about neighboring rooms smoking.
  • Sensors pay for themselves three times over every month.
  • Reduced need for deep cleaning of rooms, leading to cost savings.
  • Reduced or Fewer service recovery comps given out due to fewer complaints.

“The revenue speaks for itself, the sensors pay for themselves very quickly and we have been able to save our rooms from guests who plan to smoke in non-smoking rooms.  

The process has been well worth the time and investment. We are hoping to see just as much success in our next tower as the first tower!”

In-Depth Review

In the highly competitive hospitality market of Atlantic City, maintaining a clean and comfortable environment for guests is paramount. Amanda Jazwinski, Director of Hotel Operations at the Resort Casino Hotel, faced a common problem for many in the hospitality industry-guests smoking in her rooms. 

Guests felt free to smoke in their rooms without concern of repercussions. She was lucky if smoking was discovered before checkout, as housekeeping typically found evidence long after the guest had left. Smoking incidents repeatedly led to complaints from other guests who either witnessed the act or checked into the rooms that still smelled of smoke.

The hotel regularly had to undertake an extensive cleaning process, involving stripping the room, cleaning, and using an ionizer for at least 8 hours. For all that work, chargebacks on smoking fees were prevalent, and often declined, due to guests disputes.

“Our housekeeping team would take videos of how they found the rooms at checkout,” explained Ms. Jazwinski. “However, most of the time the guests’ credit card declined for the smoking charge.” 

Responding to ongoing guest frustration with smoking incidents, Resorts Casino Hotel adopted the FreshAir Sensor Smoking Detection System. The outcomes have been remarkably positive.   

Guest complaints regarding neighboring rooms smoking have decreased dramatically. The housekeeping team spends less time cleaning up after individuals who smoked where they shouldn’t have, and the hotel now generates additional monthly revenue through smoking fees.

“The revenue speaks for itself, and the sensors pay for themselves very quickly,” Ms.Jazwinski explained. “We have been able to save our rooms from guests who plan to smoke in non-smoking rooms.”  

She encouraged those on the fence about adopting such technology to consider the quick return on investment and the significant impact on guest honesty and hotel operations. “There was a learning curve for our guests and our staff, but the process has been well worth the time and investment.”

Ms. Jazwinski expressed optimism about replicating the success in the next hotel tower, indicating a positive trajectory for Resorts Casino Hotel’s commitment to enhancing guest satisfaction and operational efficiency.

Resorts Casino Hotel’s experience with FreshAir highlights the transformative power of innovative solutions in addressing industry-specific challenges and fostering a better guest experience.

Mohegan Sun

Client Story: Mohegan Sun Casino & Resort

Interview with Mary Wren, Director of Hotel Operations - “Game changer on all levels. Revenue boost, cleaner rooms, happier Guests.”

Property Type:
Casino Hotel

Location:
North America

Size:
1,563 Rooms

Challenges

  • Smoking in non-smoking rooms and inability to discover smoking until after check out.
  • Complaints of smoking odors from the next guests.
  • Significant lost revenue from pulling rooms off-the-market (OTM) and compensating guests, especially when the hotel sells out everyday.
  • Extra time to clean and get smoked OTM rooms ready to rent again.
  • Unreported smoking due to the large size of the property and the language barrier between housekeeping and operations.
  • Lingering smoking smell and damage to soft goods like bedding, drapes, and carpet.

Solutions

  • FreshAir Smoking Sensors immediately detect tobacco and marijuana smoking in each hotel room on a molecular level.
  • FreshAir Monitoring Platform sends discreet Smoking Alerts to hotel management immediately after smoking occurs.
  • FreshAir Smoking Alerts provide indisputable scientific proof of smoking with timestamps and location.
  • FreshAir Smoking Alerts provide Mohegan’s staff the evidence they need to charge a guest while they’re still on property.
  • The FreshAir Smoking Detection System helps prevent chargebacks and archives the evidence needed to fight them if needed.

Results – “Night and Day!”

  • Fewer rooms OTM, leading to less lost revenue and fewer guest complaints.
  • Instant and significant cleaning fee revenue – covering the cost of FreshAir Sensor (many times over) and providing a revenue boost with large positive return on investment.
  • Decrease in smoking in non-smoking rooms.
  • Successful cleaning fee charges and no lost chargebacks on cleaning fees.
  • Reduction in smoking damage in non-smoking rooms.

“Let’s just say, in our first 6 months I have paid the lease fee for the next 3 years already! Beyond the revenue from fees, compensation due to rooms smelling like smoke has easily been cut in half. We are now starting to see a benefit on the cleaning side as well.”

Interview with Mary Wren, Director of Hotel Operations

Prior to FreshAir Smoking Sensors, what were the main problems your hotel experienced from guest smoking violations?

Our biggest issue was guest rooms needing to be placed Off the Market (OTM) due to odor. We actually sell out everyday, so one room sitting OTM is money lost.

We have around 100 guest room attendants working daily, and getting them to report the room as having an odor was also a struggle. For most of them, English is not their first language, so most times guests were never charged due to the poor communication.


When was your team normally discovering the incidents (while they were happening, after check out, etc.)? Were other guests complaining (in the moment and/or when new guests entered rooms that had been smoked in)?

We never found out until after the Guest had already departed and that was only if housekeeping made us aware. In most cases we would receive the complaint from the new Guest that checked in. This ended up causing even more lost revenue. The room would need to be placed OTM, and we would need to compensate the Guest whose room needed to be changed.


What did your cleaning process involve after finding a smoking violation? Did you have to take rooms out of service, at least before FreshAir Smoking Sensors were installed?

Rooms were always placed OTM, and we use ozone machines, odor eliminators in them. This can take hours and the smell still can linger. Not to mention the odor ultimately gets into the carpet, drapes, furniture, all of which are much more difficult to clean than regular bed linens.


Did you have trouble charging for smoking incidents (such as if no physical evidence was found) and/or dealing with chargebacks after?

Charging has always been a challenge. The casino environment is a unique one. What you get is all based on what you spend, so the Guests sometimes have a feeling of “you can’t charge me, I’ve spent XX in the casino.” Almost all would simply just deny. We would have to spend time in rooms looking for evidence to take a picture of in the event of a chargeback. Even then we lost most chargebacks.


Since implementing FreshAir’s Smoking Sensors, how have they helped you overcome these issues?

Night and Day! We now have a process that notifies us within minutes of the Guest smoking, so we are able to call the Guest and make them aware of the charge. Most are shocked we even know they smoked, as the devices don’t stand out. We still have people who try to deny it of course, but we will email them the document with the graph that clearly shows smoking took place. Most accept this and move on but some will state they will dispute it with their card company. However, after 7 months of installation we have not received a single chargeback.


What results from using FreshAir Sensor’s services have been most beneficial to the operations of your hotel, or your property in general?

We have seen a significant decrease in the amount of smoking in non-smoking rooms during the week. Repeat Guests are starting to realize it’s not worth paying the fee which is our ultimate goal. They are also starting to book actual smoking rooms now. We do have 2 smoking floors (total of 88 rooms), and we yield these at a higher price point as they are naturally more difficult to clean. On weekends our transient Guest numbers increase which leads to more smoking alerts. In one weekend we can easily pay for the leasing fee for the month.


How has your overall return on investment been (revenue from fees, lowered cleaning costs and damages, reduced compensation to other guests, etc.)? Have you lost any chargebacks since using FreshAir?

Let’s just say, in our first 6 months I have paid the lease fee for the next 3 years already! Beyond the revenue from fees, compensation due to rooms smelling like smoke has easily been cut in half. We are now starting to see a benefit on the cleaning side as well. Less burn holes in carpets, less odor elimination chemical being purchased. We haven’t lost any chargebacks as Guests have not even tried. Once the evidence is shown to them, they tend to just give up the fight.


If you were to recommend using FreshAir to someone who was on the fence about trying the technology in their hotel, what would you say to them?

Stop thinking about it, just try it! I tend to overthink most things in this business and this is one that has been a game changer on all levels. Revenue boost, cleaner rooms, happier Guests. No reason to overthink.


Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I have dealt with at least a dozen different vendors in my 21 years at this company and FreshAir has been one of the best! We have direct contact with an account representative who is able to answer any questions we have, most times the same day. In the casino industry that’s rare.

Hilton Miami Downtown

Client Story: Miami Hilton

Instant financial and operational benefits by pinpointing smoking locations and reducing guest complaints

Property Type:

Full-service

downtown hotel

Location:
Miami FL

Brands:
528 Rooms

Challenges

  • Security could not pinpoint rooms where smoking occurred.
  • Evidence of smoking was reported to security during turnover, long after the guest left.
  • Complaints from non-smoking guests of smoking odors coming from other rooms.
  • Negative experience for non-smoking guests.
  • Loss of repeat customers and recommendations.
  • Additional cleaning and ionizing required after smoking events.

Solution

  • FreshAir Smoking Sensors immediately detect tobacco and marijuana smoking in each hotel room on a molecular level.
  • FreshAir Smoking Alerts provide immediate, indisputable scientific proof of smoking with timestamps and location.
  • FreshAir Monitoring Platform sends discreet Smoking Alerts to hotel security immediately after smoking occurs.
  • FreshAir Smoking Alerts provide Hilton Miami Downtown staff the evidence they need to charge a guest while they are still on property.
  • The FreshAir Smoking Detection System helps prevent chargebacks and archives the evidence needed to fight them if needed.

Results

  • Immediate Smoking Alerts for prompt security response to smoking in rooms.
  • Quick and accurate detection when guests are smoking.
  • Fewer complaints from non-smoking guests.
  • Time saved investigating smoking incidents and cleaning rooms.
  • Positive return on investment generated from cleaning fees and fewer customer complaints.

“What has been beneficial for us is the fact that there are much less complaints by guests of the smell of smoke near their room.”

In-Depth Review

Alfred Martinez and his security team at the Hilton Miami Downtown frequently smelled tobacco and marijuana smoke in the hallways. The director of security and safety at the active and popular hotel knew guests were smoking in their rooms, but his team could not pinpoint the locations.

When non-smoking guests complained of smelling tobacco and marijuana smoke from other rooms, security staff would investigate but could not definitively identify the room(s) with smoking.

Housekeeping would find evidence of smoking during room turnover and notify hotel security. By then, the guest had left, leaving behind a smoking damaged room that could not be rented and unhappy guests who were unlikely to stay at the hotel again or recommend it to others.

“We’ve saved time and effort on behalf of the Security team needing to respond to calls of incidents of smoking without having a specific room to check. ”

To stop unauthorized smoking, Martinez began working with FreshAir Sensor. The FreshAir Smoking Detection system immediately detects smoking and sends time-stamped, location specific Smoking Alerts to hotel staff. FreshAir Smoking Alerts are scientific proof of smoking at a molecular level.

Deploying the FreshAir Smoking Detection system has made a real difference. “We’ve saved time and effort,” said Martinez. “The Security team can now respond to incidents of smoking with a specific room to check.”

Hotel security responds to FreshAir Smoking Alerts quickly. The FreshAir Smoking Sensors detect smoking “before it overwhelms neighboring rooms,” explained Martinez. “There are much less complaints by guests about the smell of smoke.”

As standalone proof of smoking the FreshAir Smoking Alerts are indisputable, enabling Hilton Miami Downtown to collect smoking fees and win chargebacks. The system provides instant, positive operational and financial returns.

“ROI is in the black and that is good news for us. Some guests try to dispute the smoke alert charge, but we hold our ground,” said Martinez.

The FreshAir Smoking Detection system is the tool Hilton Miami Downtown needs to effectively enforce their no-smoking policy and help their team pinpoint when and where smoking occurs.

Operational efficiency was a major added benefit according to Martinez: “I would recommend using the product. Since the installation of FreshAir, the hotel’s efforts in monitoring and responding to smoking incidents have diminished considerably. That time is used on other efforts now.”

2,000 Room Luxury Casino Hotel

Client Story: 2,000 Room Luxury Casino Hotel

Immediate, positive return on investment and cleaner rooms for large, luxury casino hotelier after installing smoking sensors with 24×7 molecular monitoring

Property Type:
North America

Location:
Massachusetts

Brands:
2,000 Rooms

Challenges

  • Smoking incidents were costly, and the damage caused by negative reviews because of smoking lasted much longer than physical property damage, eroding guest satisfaction and cutting into revenue for years to come.
  • The rooms smelled so bad from previous tobacco and marijuana smoking incidents that new smoking events were hard to prove and even harder to charge guests for violating the no-smoking policy.
  • Smoking incidents negatively impacted the next guests so much that the hotel often moved and compensated these guests to try to salvage their satisfaction.
  • Guests became more confident they could get away with smoking.

Solution

  • FreshAir Sensor devices pinpoint the exact location of smoking with molecular monitoring
  • FreshAir monitoring platform sends discreet, immediate Smoking Alerts to hotel staff when smoking occurs, allowing for a quick, proactive response
  • FreshAir Smoking Alerts scientifically prove the presence of burned tobacco or marijuana

Results

  • Generated immediate, positive return on investment (revenue collected far exceeded costs)
  • Increased customer satisfaction and decreased negative reviews related to smoking
  • Reduced housekeeping work and maintained cleaner property
  • Collected cleaning fees and won chargebacks
  • Reduced unauthorized smoking and property damage

“I expected this program to cost us a good amount, and we wouldn’t see a return. I am happy to say that over a year later, our compensation offered per occupied room is way down. Furthermore, we have actually generated revenue from the program that was double the cost of the program in just the first year.”

In-Depth Review

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 $1000.

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, the prior guests who smoked often were not charged because of no evidence, and the ensuing guests were frequently moved and compensated.

“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 24×7 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.”

The property receives daily and weekly smoking reports from FreshAir Sensor. 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.

Bally’s Atlantic City Resort

Client Story: Bally’s Atlantic City Resort

"FreshAir pays for itself” in a large casino hotel by enabling management to charge cleaning fees and reduce complaints and costs

Property Type:
Casino Hotel

Location:
Atlantic City, NJ

Brands:
1205 Rooms

Challenges

  • When guests complained about unauthorized smoking after check-in, the hotel would have to switch them to different rooms and take the affected room(s) out of service for costly and labor intensive cleaning.
  • The casino hotel required physical proof of smoking to charge the cleaning fee.
  • Hotel staff were not finding proof of smoking until after guests checked out, losing the opportunity to charge the cleaning fee(s).

Solution

  • FreshAir Smoking Detection System immediately detects tobacco and marijuana smoking and sends Smoking Alerts to hotel management with pinpoint accuracy, allowing for a quick response.
  • FreshAir Smoking Alerts are stand-alone scientific proof of smoking, and no additional or physical evidence is necessary.
  • FreshAir Smoking Alerts are time-stamped and location specific, allowing the hotel to charge the cleaning fees while the guests are still on property.

Results

  • Bally’s generates significant cleaning fee revenue from FreshAir Smoking Alerts.
  • Bally’s now has the evidence needed to effectively charge their cleaning fees and win potential chargebacks.
  • Bally’s rapid response to unauthorized smoking enables timely cleaning fee charges while the guests are still on property and before more damage is done from continued smoking.
  • With reduced guest complaints and extra cleaning costs and labor, Bally’s is also saving money and adding to the overall return on investment.

“This has been a revenue generator for our hotel, the smoking violations have added thousands to our monthly bottom line. ”

In-Depth Review

Trinity Updegrove, director of hotel operations at Bally’s Atlantic City Resort, continuously fielded complaints from guests about tobacco and marijuana smells in his smoke-free rooms.

“Guests were complaining about the rooms smelling like smoke after check-in,” said Updegrove. “In some cases we’d have to move the guest to another room, and we’d have to service the original room again, costing extra money for labor.”

Bally’s attempted to charge the offending guests for cleaning fees but struggled to collect the physical proof needed to successfully charge. Evidence was found almost always after a guest checked out and their credit card had been released. Guests who violated the smoking policy were simply not getting caught.

Complaints about smoking appeared frequently in the hotel’s online reviews. The negative reviews undermined the hotel’s promise of cleanliness and demonstrated how a hotel’s reputation could sustain costly and long-lasting damage from unauthorized smoking.

According to a recent industry study about smoking in hotel rooms, negative online reviews can hit a hotel’s bottomline for years to come, and the actual costs of smoking can add up quickly. The study found cleaning and property damage can cost four to five times more than the average industry cleaning fee, and reputational harm was the largest hidden cost of smoking.

Updegrove and his team at Bally’s knew they had to do something to solve the smoking problem. They turned to FreshAir Sensor to tackle the property’s unauthorized smoking challenges.

Using patented Polysens™ technology, the FreshAir Smoking Detection System immediately detects burned tobacco and marijuana with molecular monitoring in individual rooms and suites. When smoking occurs, the system sends smoking alerts to hotel management.

FreshAir Smoking Alerts are time-stamped, scientific proof of smoking, discreetly sent to hotel staff, enabling Bally’s to take timely action.

“Guest violations are now charged while the guest is still on property, so we can contact or lock a guest out with declined credit holds,” said the director of hotel operations. “Guests are notified as soon as they smoke, not at the end of their stay which could give them multiple smoking opportunities.”

The ability to effectively charge cleaning fees while guests are still on property turns smoking incidents from an operational expense into a viable and valuable revenue stream for the casino hotel.

“The revenue generated pays for the device and monitoring, deep cleaning labor, and general cleaning of the room (curtains and other fabrics). Another benefit is the amount of service recovery we are saving on complaints,” said the director of hotel operations.

Since working with FreshAir Sensor, the reduced guest complaints and costs of switching rooms and compensating guests enable Bally’s to save money and achieve an even better return on investment from the specialized FreshAir sensor technology.

The benefits of installing the FreshAir Smoking Detection System at Bally’s improve all aspects of their room operations.

The revenue generated from immediate smoking detection and cost savings from fewer complaints generate positive return on investment. For Trinity Updegrove, the reasons for recommending FreshAir are simple: “FreshAir pays for itself, and the guests have a better room.”

Treasure Bay Casino and Hotel

Client Story: Casino Hotel

Gulf Coast casino hotel quickly increases profit per room and improves guest satisfaction by installing FreshAir Sensor Smoking Detection

Property Type:
Casino Hotel

Location:
Detroit, Michigan

Size:
400 Rooms

Challenges

  • Frequent guest complaints caused by smoking odors
  • Inability to quickly identify where and when smoking violations occurred
  • Difficulty collecting fees from guests who violated the smoking policy
  • Time and money spent cleaning and repairing smoking-damaged rooms

Solution

  • Monitor rooms for tobacco smoke and marijuana smoke with FreshAir’s patented sensors
  • Receive immediate notification with logged scientific proof of smoking

Results

  • Collected all smoking fees and won 100% of chargebacks
  • Generated positive return on investment from collecting smoking fees and reduced cleaning costs, property damages, and rooms out of inventory
  • Improved hotel Market Metric scores and guest satisfaction
  • Simplified a no-hassle process to handle smoking violations
  • Maintained cleaner, safer, healthier rooms for guests

“The use of FreshAir Sensor’s technology has allowed us to create a cleaner and more pleasant atmosphere for our guests, while adding revenue for our hotel operation. We now feel closer to being able to ‘certify’ or guarantee a non-smoking experience for our hotel guests… Our Market Metric scores have gone up, because our complaints have gone down.”

Director of Hotel Facilities

In-Depth Review

A 400-room casino hotel had a problem with guests smoking in its rooms. The hotel frequently received complaints about the smells of cigarette and marijuana smoke. A security officer would walk the area or floor in question, trying to determine the source of the smoke. From the hallways, the security officer would have a hard time definitively identifying the smokers’ rooms. Even when security personnel were able to determine where a guest was smoking, the hotel rarely had conclusive proof.
When security did locate guests smoking in their rooms, the hotel was rarely successful in charging them the cleaning fee. Many times, when confronted with a cleaning fee, guests would contest it with their credit card companies, resulting in chargebacks to the hotel. The lack of data and evidence was costly and frustrating.

The hotel found FreshAir Sensor, the only technology available to monitor for and immediately detect tobacco smoke and marijuana smoke. The FreshAir devices work over Wi-Fi and were quick and easy to install.

Initially the hotel ran a 30-room pilot program. The devices were immediately catching smokers, so the hotel went to a full implementation in all 400 rooms.

As part of the hotel’s effort to reduce smoking in guest rooms, the hotel also increased its cleaning fee to $500.

Now when someone smokes in a guest room, the hotel receives an alert. Security responds immediately, and FreshAir Sensor sends a time-stamped chart of the smoking event. The chart provides the hotel with scientific proof that smoking took place. When cleaning fees are charged, the hotel is always able to collect them, because credit card companies accept FreshAir Sensor’s charts as evidence of smoking.

“It was NOT easy to collect smoking penalties before we got the FreshAir Sensor smoking detection system. We collect deposits from guests at check-in, but half the time we lost the chargeback. We have zero problems with the credit card companies since we installed FreshAir in our rooms.”

Director of Hotel Facilities

In one case, after receiving an alert that a guest was smoking in her room, hotel security immediately went to the room, confronted the guest and verified the smoking. Before she had even unpacked her bag, the hotel charged the cleaning fee and asked her to leave. The room was cleaned and booked for another guest less than an hour after the first (evicted) guest checked in. That night, the hotel more than tripled its revenue for that one room by booking it twice and claiming the $500 cleaning fee. If the original guest had continued to smoke throughout the night, that room could have been closed for cleaning for days and nearby guests could have been displeased and disturbed. After six months of using FreshAir Sensor, the hotel has substantially decreased smoking complaints from guests. Even with this reduction, the hotel is still catching 50-60 smokers per month, adding over $20,000 per month in additional revenue.

Hyatt Place Miami Airport

Client Story: Hyatt Place Miami Airport

Smoking sensors dramatically upgrade busy hotel’s smoking prevention and policy enforcement

Property Type:
Airport Hotel

Location:
Miami, FL

Size:
135 Rooms

Challenges

  • Difficulty collecting cleaning fees and losing chargebacks from guests who violate the no-smoking policy
  • Inability to quickly identify where and when smoking violations occurred

Solution

  • Monitor rooms for tobacco smoke and marijuana smoke with FreshAir’s patented sensors
  • Receive immediate notification with logged scientific proof of smoking
  • Archive timestamped alerts as evidence to refute chargebacks

Results

  • Improved follow-up process for smoking violations
  • Prevented credit card chargebacks for smoking fees

In-Depth Review

Hyatt Place Miami Airport’s management struggled to identify unauthorized smoking and enforce the hotel’s no-smoking policies when guests complained of nearby smoking. The hotel’s General Manager, Craig Haas, tapped FreshAir Sensor as a solution to these challenges. FreshAir’s immediate detection and smoking alerts have resulted in enhanced no-smoking enforcement processes, reduced smoking violations, and streamlined smoking fee collection. Achieving these improvements, Haas notes that FreshAir’s dedicated Client Experience team helped the hotel leverage the sensor technology to meet property’s smoking detection goals.
Before installing FreshAir devices, hotel managers and housekeepers spent too much time trying to find the room where a guest was smoking. Learning of violations from guest complaints was ineffective. Now, hotel staff are able to pinpoint exactly where and when smoking takes place thanks to FreshAir’s 24×7 monitoring, immediate detection, and discreet alerts. Haas is pleased that improved enforcement has caused smoking rates to go down: “There is not as much smoking in the rooms. It is much more organized. It is a process, and managers are able to respond right away.”
Because smoking is immediately detected with FreshAir’s patented sensors, the hotel is able to prevent room damages from tobacco and marjiauna smoke. Quickly stopping smoking means avoiding costly cleaning and remediation procedures. Hotel staff no longer have to take the room out of order for 24 hours and lose room revenue every time unauthorized smoking takes place. The Hyatt Place Miami Airport saves money that would have been spent on smoke-related damages and can now successfully charge the smoking fee for violations.

“FreshAir is not a plug and play – it is an organized process. We re-trained the housekeeping team as we were learning the process, and FreshAir Client Experience has been extremely helpful. We get reports from Client Experience, and they do a lot of proactive management from behind the scenes.”

Craig Haas, General Manager

FreshAir’s smoking reports and scientific proof of smoking have made charging smoking fees easy. Haas highlights, “The backup provided by FreshAir is able to settle any disputes.” Each smoking alert comes with a timestamped chart of the incident, documenting and proving when smoking occurs. These reports can be downloaded, printed, and shared with guests during check-out and with credit card companies to successfully win chargebacks in the event of fee disputes.
As Hyatt Place Miami Airport’s General Manager, Haas emphasizes how FreshAir smoking sensor technology and support staff dramatically upgraded their smoking prevention and policy enforcement. Since implementation, the hotel has been able to successfully charge smoking fees, safeguard against smoking-related cleaning costs, and ultimately meet the hotel’s no-smoking goals.

JNR Management – Best Western and Marriott

Client Story: JNR Management - Best Western and Marriott

Monitoring for smoking helps to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable guest experience

Property Type:
Hotel Management Company

Location:
Massachusetts

Brands:
Marriott, Best Western, and Others

Challenges

  • Cleaning and maintenance costs caused by smoking odors and damages
  • Delay in identifying smoking violations
  • Low fee collection rate from guests who violate the no-smoking policy

Solution

  • Monitor the hotel for tobacco smoke and marijuana smoke with FreshAir’s patented sensors
  • Receive immediate notification with logged scientific proof of smoking

Results

  • Maintained cleaner, safer, healthier rooms for guests
  • Improved follow up process for smoking violations
  • Increased REVPAR with fewer contested charges

“FreshAir takes all the guessing out of pinpointing which guests are smoking.”

Robins Patel, Principal
JNR Management

In-Depth Review

JNR Management owns and operates Best Western, Marriott, and other branded hotels across New England. Robins Patel, principal owner at JNR, identifies reputation, quality, and consistently outstanding service as the driving factors that keep rooms occupied with satisfied guests. In line with JNR’s goals to emphasize a comfortable and enjoyable guest experience, Patel decided to install FreshAir’s smoking detection devices in his guest rooms to combat unauthorized smoking.
FreshAir’s patented PolySens® technology and smart devices continuously monitor each guest room for tobacco and marijuana smoking. When guests smoke in their rooms, FreshAir sends the hotels’ staff alerts with the room numbers and incident timestamps, allowing the staff to quickly tell the guests to stop smoking. The smoking reports serve as scientific proof of the incidents and ensure the staff’s confidence to enforce the no-smoking policies.

“FreshAir has become JNR’s best practice to reduce smoking incidents and to enforce the smoking fees when guests violate the 100% no-smoking policy.”

Robins Patel, Principal
JNR Management

When identifying JNR’s day-to-day operational challenges with smoking, Patel highlights the delay in discovering smoking incidents prior to using FreshAir. “Usually we’d find out the next morning, after-the-fact, when housekeeping went into the room.” Additionally, guests could be quite creative in their attempts to mask and deny smoking. Before FreshAir, these attempts made smoking difficult to identify and prove, causing fire and safety concerns. With JNR’s emphasis on guest experience, Patel was also keenly aware of the negative impact smoking odors had on other guests during and after smoking. The negative impact was worsened by guests getting away with extended smoking throughout their stays without effective identification or proof to enforce the policy.
The check-in registration card indicates a $250 cleaning fee for smoking at JNR hotels, which guests must acknowledge when booking their stays and during check-in. The use of FreshAir’s monitoring service to detect and prove unauthorized smoking allows each property to regain control of its smoking fee collection. FreshAir Sensor’s timestamped chart proving smoking for each incident prevents guests from attempting and winning chargebacks with the credit card issuers. By successfully collecting these fees, Robins notes an increase in monthly revenue.
The JNR hotels that use FreshAir’s devices have also seen a reduction in cleaning and maintenance costs with the added smoking deterrent. FreshAir has decreased the hotels’ needs for remediation procedures and improved staff’s task management and efficiency following up with smoking violations. And most importantly, the use of FreshAir’s service enables the hotels’ staff to provide a more positive guest experience, keeping with the core values and standards of JNR Management.

Urban Casino Hotel

Client Story: Casino Hotel

In-room smoking detection system reduces smoking and provides additional revenue stream

Property Type:
Casino Hotel

Location:
Detroit, Michigan

Size:
400 Rooms

Challenges

  • Frequent guest complaints caused by smoking odors
  • Inability to quickly identify where and when smoking violations occurred
  • Difficulty collecting fees from guests who violated the smoking policy
  • Time and money spent cleaning and repairing smoking-damaged rooms

Solution

  • Monitor rooms for tobacco smoke and marijuana smoke with FreshAir’s patented sensors
  • Receive immediate notification with logged scientific proof of smoking

Results

  • Collected all smoking fees and won 100% of chargebacks
  • Generated positive return on investment from collecting smoking fees and reduced cleaning costs, property damages, and rooms out of inventory
  • Improved hotel Market Metric scores and guest satisfaction
  • Simplified a no-hassle process to handle smoking violations
  • Maintained cleaner, safer, healthier rooms for guests

“The use of FreshAir Sensor’s technology has allowed us to create a cleaner and more pleasant atmosphere for our guests, while adding revenue for our hotel operation. We now feel closer to being able to ‘certify’ or guarantee a non-smoking experience for our hotel guests… Our Market Metric scores have gone up, because our complaints have gone down.”

Director of Hotel Facilities

In-Depth Review

A 400-room casino hotel had a problem with guests smoking in its rooms. The hotel frequently received complaints about the smells of cigarette and marijuana smoke. A security officer would walk the area or floor in question, trying to determine the source of the smoke. From the hallways, the security officer would have a hard time definitively identifying the smokers’ rooms. Even when security personnel were able to determine where a guest was smoking, the hotel rarely had conclusive proof.
When security did locate guests smoking in their rooms, the hotel was rarely successful in charging them the cleaning fee. Many times, when confronted with a cleaning fee, guests would contest it with their credit card companies, resulting in chargebacks to the hotel. The lack of data and evidence was costly and frustrating.

The hotel found FreshAir Sensor, the only technology available to monitor for and immediately detect tobacco smoke and marijuana smoke. The FreshAir devices work over Wi-Fi and were quick and easy to install.

Initially the hotel ran a 30-room pilot program. The devices were immediately catching smokers, so the hotel went to a full implementation in all 400 rooms.

As part of the hotel’s effort to reduce smoking in guest rooms, the hotel also increased its cleaning fee to $500.

Now when someone smokes in a guest room, the hotel receives an alert. Security responds immediately, and FreshAir Sensor sends a time-stamped chart of the smoking event. The chart provides the hotel with scientific proof that smoking took place. When cleaning fees are charged, the hotel is always able to collect them, because credit card companies accept FreshAir Sensor’s charts as evidence of smoking.

“It was NOT easy to collect smoking penalties before we got the FreshAir Sensor smoking detection system. We collect deposits from guests at check-in, but half the time we lost the chargeback. We have zero problems with the credit card companies since we installed FreshAir in our rooms.”

Director of Hotel Facilities

In one case, after receiving an alert that a guest was smoking in her room, hotel security immediately went to the room, confronted the guest and verified the smoking. Before she had even unpacked her bag, the hotel charged the cleaning fee and asked her to leave. The room was cleaned and booked for another guest less than an hour after the first (evicted) guest checked in. That night, the hotel more than tripled its revenue for that one room by booking it twice and claiming the $500 cleaning fee. If the original guest had continued to smoke throughout the night, that room could have been closed for cleaning for days and nearby guests could have been displeased and disturbed. After six months of using FreshAir Sensor, the hotel has substantially decreased smoking complaints from guests. Even with this reduction, the hotel is still catching 50-60 smokers per month, adding over $20,000 per month in additional revenue.