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“It Was Really Worth It!”: Why One Hotel Manager is Looking Forward to the Expo

What can a hotel facility manager gain from attending OJBA’s Interstate Expo? That was the question Ari Friedman asked himself when Meilech Weber, CEO of OJBA, encouraged him to attend last year’s show. Friedman wondered what he would do there. Wasn’t the Expo for people who worked in the construction industry?

Yet, as the facility manager of the Crowne Plaza in Stamford, CT, Friedman is responsible for maintaining the hotel’s hundreds of thousands of square feet. That means lighting, elevators, heating and A/C, carpeting, furniture and, and, and…

So yes, he did have plenty to do with the construction industry. He decided to go; and he’s still reaping the dividends today.

“Meilech told me I won’t regret it,” says Friedman. Not only does he not regret it, but now “I’m anxiously awaiting the next show.”

We head over to the Crowne Plaza’s sprawling complex in Stamford to see for ourselves how he benefitted from the Expo. The hotel is meticulously maintained by Friedman and his staff, who give us a tour of the facility.

So, what does a hotel facility manager gain from attending the Interstate Expo?

Well, for one thing, a roof that no longer leaks. A drippy roof is a major headache for a hotel manager, yet the nature of roofs is that they crack over time – and cost a small fortune to replace. That’s why Friedman was thrilled to meet SBH Seal at the Expo, whose innovative liquid roofing membrane provided exactly the foolproof and cost-effective solution he was looking for.

Then there’s the new boiler system. A hotel of this size uses an enormous amount of hot water, and upgrading to more energy-efficient boilers can mean significant savings. Friedman was highly impressed with what Laars Boilers had to offer when he met them at the Expo, and from that initial contact they are now contracted to upgrade the hotel’s entire heating system.

And there’s more! Thanks to meeting Cross Town Glass at the Expo, the hotel now boasts a beautiful new glass entrance to the pool/fitness area, in addition to decorative glasswork on the main lobby staircase. Friedman’s meeting with MD Doors led to hiring them to provide several fire department-mandated smoke doors.

Finally, walking by Complete Equipment’s booth, Friedman saw a forklift on display that rises 20 feet to perform hard-to-reach maintenance tasks – such as changing one of the hundreds of lightbulbs in a high-ceilinged lobby. It was exactly what he needed to replace his old machine, and he purchased it on the spot.

As Friedman learned, the Interstate Expo is most definitely the place to be for facility managers and those in related professions.

“It was really worth it. I encourage everyone to go!” He’s looking forward to making new business contacts at this year’s upcoming show, on Dec. 18.

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