Following its private acquisition from the State of Maryland in 2012, Rocky Gap Casino Resort with its 200-room hotel has recently experienced impressive growth and undergone major facility upgrades. The resort’s managers, facing an enviable problem of rapidly expanding customer demand, recently initiated the search for a solution to improve their housekeeping operation’s turnaround speed—a key to maximizing revenues across the facility’s gaming, golf, restaurant and bar businesses.
After considering the alternatives, Rocky Gap chose OPTii Keeper based on its innovative labor cost reduction and task automation capabilities. The resort rapidly realized ROI on its investment in OPTii with positive, tangible results:
ROCKY GAP CASINO RESORT BACKGROUND
The only casino in Maryland with an attached hotel, Rocky Gap Casino Resort includes an 18-hole golf course. Initially developed by the state in 1998, the resort was acquired in 2015 through a merger between Lakes Entertainment and Golden Gaming, which also operates 48 slot taverns and three casinos in Nevada. Rocky Gap’s casino boasts a wide array of 24-hour table games, lotteries, and slot machines. The facility’s hotel includes 200 guestrooms and suites rated “4-diamond” by AAA.
At a multifaceted facility with many indoor and outdoor activities for its guests to enjoy, getting the clientele checked into their rooms as quickly as possible creates more opportunities to engage customers at the resort’s gaming tables, slot machines, eateries, and bars. “The goal is to keep people checked in as long as we can, and then get new people back in the rooms as quickly as possible,” says Wanda Holtschneider, Director of Marketing & Hotel Operations at Rocky Gap.
With more than 20 room attendants, plus supervisors and managers, Rocky Gap’s housekeeping operation employed the traditional, laborious clipboard-and-paper assignment system (producing an annoying amount of trash each day). Two-way radios were also employed by supervisors and front desk staff—a distracting and noisy mode of communication which did little to improve the hotel atmosphere from a guest’s perspective.
Rocky Gap’s housekeeping opera on needed an innovative solution that would cut down the noisy and inefficient radio chatter, streamline room-attendant scheduling, reduce paper waste, and allow its staff to focus on improving the efficiency of room turnarounds.
"The amount of time it takes now to turnaround rooms on busy weekends at Rocky Gap has been reduced by an impressive two hours", according to:
SKYLAR DICE, GENERAL MANAGER, ROCKY GAP CASINO RESORT, MARYLAND, USA
THE OPTII SOLUTION
Rocky Gap’s hotel business is managed by the Maestro property management software solution, which meant the new housekeeping solution needed to seamlessly interface with the facility’s existing system. “It was a new interface with Maestro, but OPTii’s team has personnel who understand interfaces well,” says Chris Soule, Rocky Gap’s Director of IT. “Together, we were able to dig deep into the logs and figure it all out. OPTii worked with us hand in hand, along with the programmers at Maestro.”
After a brief ramp up, the new housekeeping solution was up and running, “with a clean and really smooth interface,” Chris says. Now, instead of reams of paper filling shelf after shelf, and cumbersome clipboards hanging all around, just a sleek row of charging iPods lies nestled and charged each night in Rocky Gap’s back office, loaded with the OPTii Keeper solution and ready to go the next morning.
ROOMS READY WHEN THEY’RE NEEDED
With OPTii, the dedicated staff at Rocky Gap has been liberated from a laborious paper-based system and freed to focus on what they do best: preparing rooms quickly and efficiently so that they’re available for occupancy more of the time. Perhaps most impressive, total housekeeping labor costs at Rocky Gap have been reduced by a remarkable 25%.
The amount of time it takes now to turn around rooms on busy weekends at Rocky Gap has been reduced by an impressive two hours, according to Skylar Dice, the resort’s General Manager. Meanwhile, failed room inspections have been reduced by more than 50 percent—now less than 10 percent of rooms are put back in queue by supervisors because of failed inspections, whereas before it was 22-25 percent.
“Here’s a great example,” says Wanda Holtschneider. “Yesterday, we started the day with housekeeping coming in at 9 a.m. and we knew our rooms were sold out that night. Check in time is three o’clock, and by this time we already had 50 percent of our arrivals checked into the system. That’s a big number! When you can meet 50 percent of your arrivals before check in time, that has a hugely positive effect on guests. OPTii is absolutely a key part of our efficiency process.”
On a more human level, while OPTii represents an innovative new technology for efficiency when compared to the old clipboard and two-way radio method of managing housekeeping staff, it has noticeably improved morale among room attendants, according to Wanda. “I would say the biggest positive impact of OPTii has been on the morale of staff, to be honest with you,” she says. “It’s made a huge difference.”