Case Study: Stan Walt and his shift managers take advantage of the COVID shutdown to update the bingo room in his Kelowna BC facility.
Set in the south of the Province of British Columbia, Canada, along the beautiful Lake Okanagan, sits the city of Kelowna, where Stan Walt, the proud owner of the Chances Kelowna Casino along with a management staff of four women and one man, were able to easily install Gridd last March.
The coronavirus shutdown hit the casino hard as it had to shut its doors. The loss of business forced the operation to make some tough decisions, including the painful task of downsizing many service staff. However, because of work that had been put off due to the disruption potential to customers, the operation was able to retain all five of its shift managers, getting them involved in facility improvements. As a result, this group of talented managers took part in a Gridd Raised Flooring System install once the shutdown began.
Why The Chances Team Chose Gridd
Walt first ordered Gridd40 from FreeAxez, back in 2008 for the 12,000 square foot area, which later became the casino’s slot floor. He chose to work with FreeAxez the first time because he was looking for a low-profile raised flooring and Gridd40 was 1.6”. He was having a hard time finding anything under 2”.
At that time, low-profile raised flooring solutions weren’t as easily sourced. Walt quickly found the FreeAxez website and immediately saw the potential for how the Gridd system would help the operation respond to changes as his business evolved. The investment in Gridd, the FreeAxez adaptive cabling distribution system, has paid for itself many times. The Chances team has easily reconfigured the space to accommodate new slot equipment arrangements dozens of times over the years.
“I enjoyed working with the Freeaxez team this time, too,” said Walt. “FreeAxez responded very quickly to my needs and prepared a Gridd installation drawing to accurately reflect my project. We were short on time to do this project and Freeaxez loaded 10,000 square feet of raised floor and landed it on my doorstep in a matter of days, and during the COVID-19 shutdown.”
The Installation Process from Ordering to Delivery to Installation Day
The COVID shutdown gave them time to update the bingo room, which is an additional 10,000 square foot space. This installation completed the connection of the existing raised floor and carried it through the rest of the facility. Low-profile raised flooring would provide continuity and ease of movement as gaming equipment evolved over time.
Walt sent the advisors at FreeAxez a copy of the CAD drawing for the bingo space to approximate the required number of pieces. FreeAxez was able to pull the data needed, collaborating with Stan to determine the ideal layout, and then expedited the order because the casino was unsure of the closure time frame and would not be able to do the installation with clientele on site.
The FreeAxez team of advisors is delighted to work with organizations through all stages of the process—from design to ordering and documentation, shipping and even recommending installation teams to ensure that project milestones and timeframes are met.
FreeAxez delivered the raised flooring system–the entire 10,000 square foot order–in one truck, simplifying the logistics for the casino. FreeAxez completed the design support, had product available for immediate shipment, and was able to fulfill his requirements and delivery in a matter of days. Four days later, the Gridd system crossed an international border and traveled across North America to arrive at the client’s doorstep.
RONA, the box store similar to Home Depot situated across the parking lot, loaned the casino a forklift and an operator and unloaded the pallets of Gridd40 out of the trailer. They staged the pallets outside and brought them in as needed during the installation.
A Successful GRIDD Install with An Inexperienced Crew
“My staff of managers and supervisors did the install, since COVID had closed the casino,” Walt said. “One experienced floor layer, Len, and a team of rookies–Gemma, Jess, Sean, Clancy, and Jen–did the job in 4 days. They did a remarkable job and had a lot of fun doing it.”
Except for Glenn, who had experience with other flooring and tile types, this was the first time for the team of women. That was not a problem because FreeAxez provided an online, pre-installation training to prepare them for the installation process.
FreeAxez is seasoned in providing the level of support and training each client needs. The Gridd system is designed for long term flexibility to respond to the evolving needs of an organization. The system is simple enough that a tradesperson without Gridd experience can easily install it, especially with the help of a crew of managers though unskilled in flooring installation, and still get the job done fast.
Though he had never installed Gridd before this project, Glenn and his colleagues installed 10,000 square feet of raised floor, and then they took the 18″ carpet tiles over the top of the Gridd installation.
The metal floor went down over four days. The carpet tiles took longer because the team only worked on the carpet as they had time during regular working days. At the end of two weeks taking weekends off, the team had the carpet done. It was a team-building exercise and gave them something to celebrate during the challenging time of COVID.
The crew members signed their names on the last piece of Gridd40 as a memento of their time working together. From a casino gaming perspective, a raised floor is an absolute necessity. The FreeAxez product has worked quite well for us over the years.
The Results of The New Gridd40 Installation
Because of the raised floor, they have laid out power and data in areas where it would not have been possible using the pre-COVID floor, which was slab on grade. The alternative would have been to break concrete or run 18-foot pack poles down to every slot machine.
“All in all it was a great success,” said Walt. “Now I am able to adjust our casino floor layout quickly and easily. It is a huge cost saving for me going forward.”
Moving Forward after COVID
Once Chances has approval from the BC authorities, the casino will reopen. Kelowna has many things going for it, including the fact that it is now a wine destination with the nickname “the NAPA of the North,” with over 150 wineries within a 50-mile radius.
FreeAxez clients are busy in the process of reconfiguring the workplace layout to provide a safer, practical design. Like Chances Casino, other organizations have taken the opportunity of the shutdown to rearrange and redesign offices and conference rooms.
FreeAxez has the resources in place to help facilities teams handle a Gridd installation or reinstallation quickly. Resilient design is easy when you have the right systems in place.