The Lefay Resort and Spa Lago di Garda in Italy is situated in the spectacular Riviera dei Limoni, surrounded by rolling hills overlooking the shores of Lago di Garda. It belongs to the prestigious Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Healing Hotels of the World, Virtuoso and Kiwi Collection, and was the first 5-Star Superior Resort on Lake Garda.
The creation of the brand Lefay Resorts dates back to 2006, with the aim of building a collection of eco-resorts based on a modern interpretation of luxury, a strong commitment to environmental sustainability, and an innovative new concept of overall wellness. The Lefay Resorts Spa combines classic Chinese medicine with Western scientific research to provide a unique environment where mind and body are rejuvenated and balance is restored.
Why Lefay Resort and Spa chose Electrolux Professional
Lefay Resort and Spa Lago di Garda was designed and created with a focus on environment sustainability, renewable alternative energies, and cutting edge technology — and Electrolux Professional is a global leader in those areas. The products fit right in line with the hotel’s vision of sustainability and 5-star service.
Electrolux Professional machines & solutions
- (2) 145 lb. soft-mount washers – W4600H
- (1) 60 lb. soft-mount washer – W4240H
- (2) 135 lb. dryers with sliding doors – T41200SL
With the help of Electrolux Professional laundry equipment, Lefay Resort and Spa Lago di Garda provides the highest quality results to their clients, as well as the fastest productivity for the rooms, spa and restaurant departments.
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As you leisurely indulge yourself in a microbrew and a Panini, made with goat cheese from Portland Creamery, you receive a text message announcing your laundry is done. Glancing around the retro-mod lounge you just might have to remind yourself, “Oh right, I’m in a Laundromat.” Obviously this is not your typical college-town Laundromat – this is Spin Laundry Lounge.
Located in Portland, Oregon’s Historic Mississippi District, Spin Laundry Lounge encompasses everything owner and founder, Morgan Gary, originally had in mind when it came to putting her, well, unique spin on the laundry business. “My goal was to redefine the Laundromat,” explained Morgan. “And a big part of that was creating a community space that functions as more than just a place to wash and dry your clothes.”
Warm and inviting
Stepping inside the 5,000 square foot space, you can feel the warmth of Spin’s open and bright café environment inviting locals to stay awhile; take in a Blazer’s game on the high definition projector or check emails, thanks to free wifi, whether you’re doing laundry or not.
Spin’s café / bar menu boasts a selection of coffee, tea, beer and wine, pastries, small bites, and fresh salads – all made with ingredients sourced from local farms and companies. “We’ve also partnered with a local company called Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade,” shared Morgan. “Ground Kontrol provides Spin with a few arcade games.” Right now Spin customers can enjoy a timeless game of Ms. PacMan on the mezzanine level.
While the circa 1951 warehouse building where Spin is housed offers up an unhurried atmosphere and tons of character, such as the 1-ton Shepard overhead crane, customers will find there’s nothing slow-moving and vintage about Spin’s ultra energy-efficient and water-saving Electrolux Professional laundry equipment.
“In the end, sustainability was always my main focus,” shared Morgan. “From the Electrolux Professional washers and dryers, to the eco-friendly products and cleaners, right down to the local and organic food and drink in the café – Spin is as green as can be.”
A focus on sustainability and making an impact
Morgan always knew she wanted to make a lasting, positive impact on the environment and her community. She had been working in management for a while when she decided to head to business school. “I had always dreamed of starting my own
company,” said Morgan, “and the laundry business seemed like a perfect fit because typically it’s an industry where lots of water, energy and chemicals are being used.”
In 2012, she graduated with an MBA in Sustainable Business, and, what’s more, a comprehensive business plan. “My final project was a 100-plus page business plan on how to make my efficient and inviting interpretation of a Laundromat a reality,” said Morgan. “I studied trends, visited stores in the area, and read every book I could find about Laundromats and the laundry industry.”
She also kept a running list, jotting down every idea that could make her Laundromat distinctive and sustainable. “From wine tastings, to donating clothing (that was clean and folded) to area shelters, to using compostable to-go containers, to installing energy-efficient lighting – my list kept right on growing,” joked Morgan. “That’s when it really hit me that the laundry industry could greatly benefit from a new way of thinking.”
The dream takes off…
With her redefined Laundromat model firmly in place, Morgan now focused on connecting with the right laundry distributor – one who felt as strongly as she did about sustainability. She found such a partner in Lisa White, owner of Absolute Laundry Systems.
“Lisa, her husband, Scott, and the entire team at Absolute Laundry Systems are incredibly knowledgeable about creating stores built on sustainable business practices,” explained Morgan. “Lisa helped me with everything – lease negotiations, design and layout of the mat, construction, training, even finding the ideal location.”
After a year of searching high and low for the right building and neighborhood for her brand new Laundromat, Morgan fell in love with the “amazing old warehouse building” that Spin now calls home. “It was perfect!” exclaimed Morgan. “In addition to the parking lot, the space offered up plenty of on-the-street parking – and was surrounded by like-minded green businesses.”
It was also close to busy downtown Portland, college campuses, and many older and newer efficient / LEED certified apartment buildings. The renovation from warehouse to Spin Laundry Lounge took approximately four and a half months. “From day one, Lisa and Scott were invested in my business; they cared and wanted me to succeed,” shared Morgan. “Even after our doors opened, their expertise and support continues to be invaluable. What I appreciate most about them is that they really listened to what I wanted my Laundromat to be.”
And the number one way to create a distinctive and sustainable laundry…
Remember Morgan’s extensive laundry list of cool features and sustainable items? Well, topping her list was having “the most energy efficient laundry equipment in the world.”
“That would be the Electrolux Professional 450 G-force soft-mount washers,” said Morgan. “It has a unique feature called Automatic Water Savings (AWS) that automatically adds the correct amount of water to match the load size, which is incredible. The water saving is up to 30 percent!” 450 G-force extraction removes more water, which in turn saves time and energy in the dryer.
The speed of the cycles was also very important to Morgan – and her customers. “Most of our customers are shocked and excited to find out they can complete up to eight loads of laundry in one
washer and dryer in as little as 45 minutes.” Plus, Morgan is mighty pleased that she’s able to save on utility costs and pass on those savings to her customers.
Spin – A New Way to Laundry
Ever since opening its doors in March, the community response to Spin has been overwhelmingly positive. “Customers love the complimentary sanitizing rinse, and all of our Nellie’s All Natural Laundry products,” shared Morgan. “And that they can get all of their laundry finished – washed and dried – in only 45 minutes. They also enjoy the atmosphere and the fact that they can order a coffee (or beer!) while they wait.”
Perhaps one of the biggest satisfactions for Morgan is being involved in the daily operations of her store. “I wanted to change people’s perception that ‘laundry day’ had to be this monumental time-consuming chore,” said Morgan. “Looking around at my customer’s faces, I can honestly say that I’ve absolutely changed their laundry experience for the better. And that feels great. Mission accomplished.”
“Electrolux professional equipment helped turn my vision into a reality. Our customers are able to save time and money, reduce their carbon footprint, and enjoy every minute of the redefined Laundromat experience.”
“With the advantages Electrolux brings with energy and water savings, the equipment quickly pays for itself.”
Gary Slizgi and his wife, Marty, discovered that drop-off laundry could be much more than just an additional income source. With the right plan, it could be a primary revenue generator. The couple built their second store – Lucy’s Fluff and Fold Laundromat & Drycleaning – located in Orange County, California, with that service as the focal point.
A key element to their business approach was Electrolux Professional Laundry equipment. “Electrolux’s high-speed extract is important to me,” Slizgi said. “It reduces drying time and gives me a significant advantage.”
Savings also come courtesy of Electrolux Professional’s Compass control, which delivers excellent water conservancy and flexibility. This feature is not to be minimized, as Slizgi said, “we’re out in California and water is not cheap.” Electrolux washers also come standard with AWS (Automatic Water Savings). With every wash cycle, AWS determines the actual weight of the load and adds precisely the correct amount of water. This can save you up to 50% on water.
Electrolux dryers also come standard with EcoPower which senses when the load is dry and reduces the heat – saving you up to 15% on energy and with less wear and tear on clothing. All this technology, and the operational savings it brings, made Electrolux the only choice for Mr. Slizgi.
Mr. Slizgi got his start in the vended laundry business in 2006, when he purchased a 2,000-square-foot store in Huntington Beach, California. Once he re-tooled the laundry in 2010, in just three years, the first Lucy’s fluff-and-fold business grew 25 fold (excuse the pun).
Site selection gave the 2,400-square-foot store an excellent opportunity to benefit both business elements. The new laundry sits on the edge of lower income neighborhoods, while close enough to draw drop-off traffic from nearby high-income sections. In addition, the area is growing as office buildings continue to sprout up.
Boasting an industrial look and the latest Electrolux Professional equipment with CCI payment system, customers find a full range of wash options all the way up to the 75-pound capacity H-Series soft-mount units.
“With the advantages Electrolux brings with energy and water savings, the equipment quickly pays for itself.”
Slizgi added that he was impressed by the service he received from his Electrolux Professional laundry distributor, Stanton, Calif.-based Sterling Equipment Sales Inc., who worked with him for over a year to ensure a flawless design and smooth startup.
With a proven business model, paired with the speed and efficiency of Electrolux Professional laundry equipment and a commitment to giving back to the community, Lucy’s successful second location has started out on the right foot and continues to grow.
Mardan Palace Hotel Antalya is one of the most prestigious and luxurious resorts in the Mediterranean region. It has more than 1,600 beds in addition to one main kitchen, two banquet kitchens, 16 restaurants, and 32 bars and cafes in the facility. For the highest quality results and superior performance, the hotel chose Electrolux Professional Laundry and Electrolux Professional Food Service equipment. The Mardan Palace has a central laundry with the capacity to process 10 tons of laundry per day, as well as 19 thermaline cooking blocks, 12 ovens between Air-o-steam Combi ovens and Air-o-speed high speed ovens, 8 chillers, 150 Smart refrigerators and freezers and 60 dishwashers including a Flight Type dishwasher.
If that’s not enough, 7 made-to-measure Electrolux’s Molteni stoves were installed – which underlines the prestige and luxury of this dream location.
In 2009 when the hotel held its inauguration ceremony, VIP guests included Mariah Carey, Seal, Monica Belluci, Sharon Stone, Paris Hilton, Tom Jones, the president of Kazakhistan and Turkish ministers.
The Vergilius Hotel Spa & Resort is a comfortable and elegant business hotel conveniently located between Vicenza and the Berici Hills in Italy. The hotel has a nearly 14,000 sq. ft. wellness center open to the public with jacuzzi, sauna, Turkish bath, massage services, and beauty and holistic treatments. The Vergilius chose an Electrolux Professional Laundry system which allows direct control of the wash cycles and monitors all the processes to ensure that guests have perfectly sanitized hand towels, bath towels, and bathrobes.
Electrolux Professional Laundry Unit
“The hotel first opened its doors without a laundry,” explains Savino Vernò, director of Vergilius. “We chose to outsource at the time because it was part of a trend that was establishing itself in the hospitality industry. Four years ago I attended a seminar organized by Electrolux where I became convinced of the advantages of an internal laundry, considering the ever increasing importance that the spa had assumed in our business. There are various benefits: better quality of washing of hand and bath towels, greater flexibility in managing workloads, a more rational use of labor, and rapid return on investment both for the laundry…after the implementation of the laundry, the balance statements were precise down to the last cent and customer satisfaction produced further positive effects on the hotel’s end-of-year financial results.”
Right on the world-famous Dukes Golf Course and overlooking the incredible Scottish coastline, the five-star Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa offers some of the most luxurious accommodations in Scotland. The acclaimed hotel sits alongside the world-famous “Road Hole”– the 17th on the Old Course in St. Andrews.
Highly regarded among professionals and leisure golfers, the hotel is also well known for one of Europe’s most advanced concepts in total well-being, providing an unequaled spa experience. With hundreds of towels, robes, and sheets used by the on-site therapists each day, the spa’s laundry facilities must keep up with the demand and the workload to meet its required 24-hour turnaround.
The Old Course Hotel decided to take full control over its spa laundry to maintain the highest level of customer service while reducing operational costs. It recognized Electrolux Professional Laundry as the best solution provider for handing the entire scope of the project from initial stages of feasibility analysis to the final installation.
Electrolux Professional laundry solutions for the Old Course Hotel Spa
Soft-mount, high-spin Electrolux washers were matched with high-performance Electrolux dryers engineered to save water, energy, and increase productivity. Electrolux washers have unique innovations such as AWS (Automatic Water Savings) which saves up to 30% on water. Other features include RMC (Residual Moisture Control) allowing for precise control of remaining moisture in the load and reversing cylinders which reduce energy consumption and protect linens and towels from tangling and overdrying. Electrolux professional washers and dryers are designed to shorten the process while producing the highest quality results.
Maintaining highest levels of service while reducing expenses
Spa Manager Andrea Molloy is pleased with the set-up. “Having the machines on site means we can run things really efficiently. We have much more control over the prioritization of the spa laundry, which means we can be sure of maintaining our high levels of customer service at all times. Being able to save on costs is also a major benefit and means we’re able to further invest in the business.”
To handle the influx of guests to Sochi, Electrolux Professional equipped 18 international hotels and a wide numbers of restaurants with the latest food and laundry technology; more than 7,000 machines – that’s 100 truckloads – worth over five million euros, have been supplied by Electrolux Professional to serve approximately 30,000 healthy, energizing meals and wash 20 tons of linen every day.
When the hotel contractors began to outline the project for the kitchen and laundry facilities, it was essential that they achieve best-in-class efficiency, the highest levels of innovation and streamlined operations; they wanted reliable, high performing solutions and peace of mind.
This is why the investors turned to Electrolux Professional and its unparalleled global presence, as well as its ability to offer knowledge and resources to manage this large project within multiple parameters from consultancy, pre-sales, sales, logistics, project management and customer care support. The exclusive facilities of the 18 international hotels were powered with the best-in-class and highest-performing food service and professional laundry solutions available, designed to ensure high productivity, energy savings, unparalleled hygiene and superior results.
Electrolux up for any size challenge!
Holland Shipyards BV is a young shipbuilding company uniquely located on the Merwede River. Covering an area of more than 6 acres, the shipyard offers a great deal of potential in the form of a shipbuilding shop with a work surface area of more than 17,000 sq ft., a slipway that can be used for the construction of vessels of up to 328′ in length, and an 804′ mooring quay.
In the marine industry, Holland Shipyards has a reputation of delivering fast solutions to clients and delivering a high level of quality. The company chose Electrolux Professional equipment because it provides robust performance and heavy-duty construction that can withstand the most demanding environments.
Since Holland Shipyards has the capability to handle a wide variety of challenging projects worldwide, it needed a supplier with a strong global presence and service support. Electrolux Professional fit the bill exactly. Electrolux offers an extensive network of skilled, authorized partners for installation, service, and maintenance.
Electrolux Professional’s high-performance products and innovation provided the perfect solution for Holland Shipyards BV.
Electrolux has published the annual Sustainability Report for 2013, highlighting a new target to halve the Group’s CO2 impact by 2020 compared to 2005.
The report, available here, focuses on how the business strategy and the approach to sustainability are intertwined.
“At Electrolux we want to deliver smarter, more resource-efficient solutions to more people around the world. To make this kind of positive difference every day, sustainability has to be fully embedded across our organization and right at the core of our business strategy,” said Keith McLoughlin, President and CEO of Electrolux.
Addressing energy constraints, maximizing product efficiency and reducing carbon emissions are top management priorities. The new carbon target to halve the climate impact by 2020 compared to 2005 will cut greenhouse gases from approximately 50 to 25 million metric tons in four key areas: product use, manufacturing, transport and elimination of gases with high global warming potential. Click here to read more.
Other report highlights:
- A review of Group’s sustainability strategy, now in its fourth year, and targeting three main areas: Products, services and markets, People and operations, Stakeholders and society.
- An illustrated overview of the Group’s value chain, providing a helicopter view of where impacts occur, which partners need to be engaged, and how the greatest value can be created for Electrolux and its stakeholders.
- With sharp focus on areas within human rights, Electrolux is working harder to align new acquisitions, such as in Egypt, the Ukraine and Chile, to our high Group standards. Click here to read more.
Have you ever walked past a downtown coffee shop and glanced in the window? What did you see? A counter full of people perched on stools staring back at you. So why, in our industry, do we think our customers should sit with their backs to the window and stare in? Is watching a stainless steel cylinder spin our unmentionables in soapy water that interesting?
These are the types of questions Colleen Unema asks. The answers, and in some cases a lack of decent answers are the foundation for how she built her Bellingham, Washington-based Q Laundry. Yes, retirement may have taken Unema, a former teacher, out of the classroom, but that doesn’t mean her thirst for learning stopped…or that she might not be poised to teach the vended laundry business a thing or two.
Scientific approach… proper investigation and research
Unema didn’t jump quickly into the coin laundry business. No, this nationally certified science teacher formed her hypothesis, questioned, researched, and interviewed over the course of two years.
“We never came across a ‘game over,’” she said of not finding a sticking point in her business plan, which started with an exit strategy first.
Along the way, Unema crunched numbers, talked with industry veterans, and studied the competition. She also stressed how important it was to surround herself with good people, those who forced her to be firm in her plan and numbers. She jokes that her brother, a CPA, and a “conservative” one at that, “holds me to the fire” on pro forma projections.
Electrolux distributor, Rich Boyd, owner of SeaTac,Washington-based CESCO Laundry Systems, was another of her team of trusted experts. “He is much more than our consultant; he has become a trustworthy friend,” Colleen shared. “We leaned heavily on his advice, recommendations and insights.”
The culmination of best practices – and something completely different
When it came time to put her plan to action, Unema adopted industry best practices, and as the “Monty Python” show used to say, “…and now for something completely different.”
So in an industry as mature as ours what could possibly be new? Well, you won’t find a 50-inch HDTV…or any TVs for that matter.
“We have a great sound system,” Unema said of letting her music soundtrack set the atmosphere of her 3,000-square-foot laundry. But that’s not where the atmosphere stops.
Forget about those tired, old drop tile ceilings, boring white walls, and cold lighting. Q Laundry features natural wood, warm colors, and complementary lighting. How about that hole in the wall that an attendant peeks out from? Not here. At Q Laundry, the service counter is an attractive, sweeping, focal point.
“It’s artistic and crafty…it’s not what everyone would do,” Unema said. Very true. Not every store boasts a custom chandelier from Italy hanging above the front counter.
“I wanted to raise the bar and create a whole new laundry experience – and Electrolux was the perfect partner to help make that happen. It’s important to me that my customers know we chose equipment that is not only innovative and produces great results, it fits with our community’s philosophy on sustainability,” she added.
The ABCs of community and custom
Bellingham is an outdoorsy community situated 90 minutes north of Seattle and about 45 minutes south of Vancouver, Canada. There are a lot of rentals within a mile of the store and houses within the community are mostly small. “You can’t really get big machines in most of the homes around us, so our laundry comes in handy,” explained Unema. The store is near a big university and two community colleges as well.
This is the type of place where the term “green” means something to people. So when word spread that Unema was installing a laundry that wasn’t just “green” in name, but had ultra-efficient Electrolux Professional laundry equipment to be green in practice, people wanted to be part of it.
How else do you explain a man stopping in during construction to tell Unema one of his cedar trees fell over and he was going to use the wood to make her custom coffee tables and stools…for free? Or the concrete contractor who decided stained concrete would work well with her store’s color pallette and did the staining work for free?
Clearly, there was a buzz in this small community well in advance of her grand opening.
“People just want in on this,” Colleen shared. “There’s a lot of satisfaction in building this business and serving my community.”
Plenty of other custom elements await the Bellingham community. A local sail-maker is creating custom bags to fit Q Laundry’s carts, while folding tables feature solid butcher block tops.
What Q Laundry customers won’t find much of is plastic. Those stiff, slippery plastic chairs that are almost standard issue for many laundries have been replaced by comfortable wooden stools.
The green machines
Unema explains that machine selection was one of the first decisions she made. And this science teacher wasn’t going to be fooled by green claims. The company she chose wasn’t just going to be efficient it was going to be dedicated to manufacturing in an environmentally sustainable manner.
“I’ve been watching what they do,” Unema said, adding that Electrolux’s role as one of the most sustainable companies in the world is impressive. Every year since 2006, Electrolux has been named sector leader in the prestigious Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for long-term economic, environmental, and social performance. Equally impressive, however, is the company’s track record of customer satisfaction, durability, and world-class products. “I wanted a machine that’s going to last 15 years or more.”
Q Laundry offers customer 39 washers, ranging from 62 and 45-pound capacity solid-mount units to ultra-high 350 G-Force extract soft-mounts in Energy-Star rated 18-, 25-, and 45-pound capacities. Eighteen Electrolux 45-pound capacity stack dryers complement the washers. Even the installation of the washers veered from the norm. Those with a keen eye will note there are no chases — those narrow walls that run from the ceiling to the bulkhead to house utilities. CESCO installed the equipment with utilities hidden in the floor and bulkhead.
“I’m really proud to offer the community the Electrolux products I have!” Colleen exclaimed. “Whenever I’m asked the question ‘what makes your store green,’ the answer is simple: It’s the machines. The Electrolux models use less water and less energy – plus they dry faster, which my customers appreciate. Electrolux delivers on its promises and I couldn’t be more satisfied.” Rebates the business received for installing the efficient products are a testament to their green status.
Elevated customer service
Those arriving at Q Laundry with baskets and bags of bulky items to wash will find unique amenities to help them efficiently accomplish their task.
Unema programmed her Electrolux Professional washers with special cycles for materials like Gore-Tex, fleece, nylon and canvas. She added a roll up overhead door for ease of loading and unloading. With Bellingham being a hub for outdoors activities, she also created a unique drying area that utilizes a hanging metal frame for hoisting laundered tents for drying. The space has floor-to-ceiling tile and two large fans to make short work of the drying process. It’s the perfect spot for really tough clean-up jobs.
Customers are also treated to free wi-fi access and a store that is fully attended. In addition to offering drop-off service, once a week Q Laundry hosts a professional to perform alterations.
“Go big or go home,” Unema joked of her approach to the business, including a heavy focus on marketing to the community.
With Q Laundry’s location in a busy strip mall that’s anchored by a Trader Joe’s, the store is sure to see ample traffic and excellent visibility. There is also a large university and two community colleges nearby.
“We have a great neighbor in Trader Joe’s, an amazing and supportive community, and a great landlord,” Unema said. “Top that off with Electrolux Professional equipment and we have a real recipe for a sustainable and successful business. We are thrilled to be part of it all.”