Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort Case Study

Facility

Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort; Hogansburg, NY

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BACKGROUND

In Upstate New York, the casino market has become increasingly competitive. While the region’s gaming market becomes more crowded, it’s important that existing facilities take the necessary measures to ensure a safe, healthy and enjoyable environment for both patrons and employees. In order to remain competitive in today’s marketplace, smoker-friendly casinos must find a balance between safety and enjoyment that provides a healthy environment for both smokers and non-smokers alike.

THE CHALLENGE

The Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort (AMCR) is located in Hogansburg, New York and is owned by the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe. As a tribal casino, they are granted exemption from state enforced non-smoking laws. As a facility that caters to both smoking and non-smoking patrons coming from Upstate New York, Southern Ontario and Western Quebec, as well as the state of Vermont, AMCR is fully dedicated to improving the gaming environment for all guests and employees throughout its 130,000 square foot facility.

However, the lingering effects of indoor smoking can be highly difficult to mitigate, resulting in continual complaints from customers regarding tobacco smoke and associated odors. Determined to find a solution to this growing problem, AMCR sought out an affordable and effective solution to address the harmful and unpleasant effects of cigarette and cigar smoke that would allow all guests to feel more comfortable and welcome as they enjoy many hours of gaming and entertainment.

THE SOLUTION

To increase their facility’s indoor air quality, AMCR deployed Plasma Air’s air purification system via the company’s equipment leasing program. This innovative solution for managing and reducing the amount of smoke throughout an indoor environment utilizes bipolar ionization technology to naturally reduce both harmful toxins and unpleasant odors without the use of perfumes or ozone. As air passes over ionization tubes, millions of ions travel throughout the duct system and out onto the gaming floor, attacking pollutants at the molecular level, neutralizing odors, controlling Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and killing bacteria and viruses, leaving behind a comfortable, safe and healthy breathing environment. Plasma Air installed 78 model 51F ionizers into 29 of the casino's Air Handling Units (AHUs).

In addition, Plasma Air’s leasing program allowed AMCR to avoid the large capital expenditure associated with the purchase of air purification equipment. Instead, the casino now utilizes its operating budget to provide superior indoor air quality while receiving free maintenance, including annual tube replacement and an extension of the equipment’s warranty through the full term of the lease.

THE RESULTS

Since installing the Plasma Air system AMCR's fourth quarter, survey results indicated a 24 percent reduction in smoking complaints from its patrons, while eliminating the need to install a walled-in smoking section that would isolate smokers from the general gaming floor. Employees also immediately noticed an improvement in air quality which is very important to AMCR management.

As Shannon Keel, the CEO/General Manager at AMCR, explained, "At Mohawk Casino, customer satisfaction is at the heart of our business, so when the odors and health hazards of second-hand smoke became a growing concern for many of our patrons, we knew we had to take action. After installing the Plasma Air system, our fourth-quarter survey results indicated a significant reduction in odor complaints."

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