Case Study: Smoking Detection Systems Boost Hotel Guest Approval
Contributed by Jack O'Toole, founder, FreshAir Sensor
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,” says 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 molecularly specific 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,” says 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.”