Long before sold out, amped up rock concerts or scores of patrons lined up for the best food truck eats, Fairplex first opened its fairground gates to a hundred thousand folks back in the early 1920s. Not a bad crowd even for today’s standards! These days, it’s still the bee’s knees, but with more draws for a diverse range throughout the county. There’s truly something for everyone.
Near LA, yet miles away
Approximately 30 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, Fairflex draws around 1.5 million visitors a year. In addition to the month-long Los Angeles County Fair, the site hosts approximately 500 entertainment, sports and showcase events every year.
The year-round grounds also support and develop community activities at The Learning Centers and Child Development Center, spanning vocational training, agricultural education, charity drives, and a wide range of learning opportunities. For many county residents, Fairflex is both home and an enjoyable escape.
A hand in improving
Jim DeMonaco, director of facilities, joined Fairplex in 2012. His first big undertaking was to renovate the public restrooms throughout the 500 acres. The last major renovation happened 50 years before.
“When I took on my role, one of the first things I noticed were the demands on the restrooms,” DeMonaco said. “They couldn’t adequately handle the growing number of visitors. They were also taking a toll on our staff and budget. At the time, we were using paper towels. People would splash water all over. We wanted to create environmentally efficient restrooms that would save water and electricity, yet also please visitors. We also wanted to reduce the burden on our janitorial services.”
DeMonaco discussed his criteria in selecting a hand dryer model. “My first priority was creating a hands-free operation. Labor-saving, cost effective, fast dry times, quiet operation, compact design – those all mattered too. World Dryer’s Airforce beat the competition in all of my criteria. World Dryer took a proactive approach to ensure that these units met our expectations.”
A fair share of benefits
DeMonaco chose the Airforce for its powerful performance within a small, space-saving design. The model delivers a 12-second drying time, more than twice as fast as comparable models. It’s also quieter. Airforce uses only 48 percent of the energy required to operate traditional dryers. And hygiene is right up there too. Airforce incorporates SteriTouch® antimicrobial technology and a hands-free sensor. Additionally, its certified by GreenSpec® and the Green Restaurant Association®, helping businesses achieve LEED certification.
In terms of cost savings and efficiency, Fairplex cut its paper towel budget in half. “Labor is another important savings,” said DeMonaco. “We’re not cleaning the restrooms as often or as long. We’re not emptying trash removing wads on the floor. I went from one attendant per restroom to one attendant per two restrooms. Most importantly, our guest satisfaction ratios rose overall for the Fair experience. I can’t attribute all of it to the restrooms, but I think that’s a large part of it.”