With a footprint of nearly 500 acres, Fairplex, located approximately 30 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, has been the home of the Los Angeles County Fair since 1922. An average of 1.5 million visitors attend the L.A. County Fair each year. Jim DeMonaco, director of facilities, joined Fairplex in 2012. One of his first goals was to renovate the public restrooms—which had seen their last major renovation more than 50 years ago.

“We wanted to create environmentally efficient restrooms that would please our visitors, but also save on water and electricity. An additional goal was to reduce the need for janitorial services and also be as hands-free as possible for the guests,” said DeMonaco. An extensive redesign program for the Fairplex restrooms was launched that included hands-free faucets, high-pressure toilets and high-speed hand dryers.

DeMonaco took a methodical approach to find the hand dryer that would fit perfectly in the renovated restrooms. The hand dryer of choice had to be in the top 10 percent of hand drying speed and he wanted the dryers to be relatively quiet. Additionally, the dryer unit needed to be small. DeMonaco wanted a hand dryer that would work with or without a heating element to save electricity and hand drying time.

World Dryer, based in Berkeley, Ill., was the one manufacturer that answered these requirements. DeMonaco chose Airforce, a model that provides a 12-second drying time, more than twice as fast as comparable models, and with a lower sound level. The dryer uses only 48 percent of the energy required to operate traditional dryers.  The product can also help facility managers earn LEED credits. Fairplex purchased 77 Airforce hand dryers and has installed them primarily in the fairgrounds area.

In terms of cost savings and efficiency, Fairplex has cut its paper towel budget in half. “Labor is another important savings,” said DeMonaco. “We’re not cleaning the restrooms as often, and the process takes less time. I went from one attendant per restroom to one attendant per two restrooms.”

Looking ahead, DeMonaco plans to continue the restroom renovations at Fairplex where appropriate. “We’ve demonstrated that upgrading the restrooms has been a success on many levels and our plan is to upgrade more of our restrooms in the future. It is safe to say, World Dryer's products will definitely be part of those renovations."

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