Without good maintenance staff, a hotel would shut down in a New York minute. Sure, you need the friendly front desk clerks to check guests in and take their money and you need housekeeping to make the rooms up nicely, but it’s the maintenance staff that keeps the water running and the lights on.
It’s much better to prevent breakdowns than wait until guests are stranded in a broken elevator or when you’re booked solid and the cable goes out. Hotel managers know this and make sure the maintenance department runs routine checks on all the major systems including heating, air conditioning and plumbing. The maintenance team ensures smooth operations by running preventive weekly, monthly and yearly maintenance checks. Also, they regularly change air filters and smoke detector batteries, clean pool filters and fix safety hazards such as ripped carpet or cracked floor tiles.
When a crisis hits a hotel, the consequences can be devastating. If an electrical short takes out the power in the entire building, you’ve got to deal with angry guests and then spend money to find them other accommodations. A highly trained and experienced maintenance crew can often tackle an emergency quickly and avert a huge loss. The maintenance crew at a hotel needs to be ready and able to fix all the major systems in the building, including plumbing, electrical, and heating and air conditioning.
While management may hire a subcontractor to do a big hotel overhaul that includes painting, wallpapering and laying new carpet, it’s usually the hotel's maintenance crew seen in the hallways doing touch-ups and minor carpentry. When a luggage cart scrapes against a wall and rips the wallpaper or gouges the wall, maintenance is called to make it right. Hotel maintenance crews are proficient in basic beautification skills, such as repairing drywall, painting and replacing window screens.
When the television remote doesn't work, call maintenance. When the bubbles aren’t gurgling in the hot tub, call maintenance. When the Murphy bed won’t move smoothly out of the wall or the sofa bed sticks, call maintenance. It’s the hotel's maintenance crew that responds to customer requests to fix -- in a timely manner -- everything from a burned out light bulb to a stuck water tap.
Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years reporting experience. She's covered business for newspapers and magazines, including the "Greenville News," "Success Magazine" and "American City Business Journals." Ray holds a journalism degree and teaches writing, career development and an FDIC course called "Money Smart."