Urban Casino Hotel

Client Story: Casino Hotel

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

Property Type:
Casino Hotel

Detroit, Michigan

400 Rooms


  • 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


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


  • 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.