Seven Springs Mountain Resort Announces New Smoke-Free Policy

By AlpineZone News |
Nov 29 2006 - 12:43 PM

CHAMPION, Pennsylvania — Seven Springs Mountain Resort announced today that it will significantly expand its non-smoking areas through the enactment of a new smoke-free policy. The resort is following feedback from guests and industry trends that show significant demand for smoke-free facilities and dissatisfaction with hotels and restaurants with too much second-hand smoke, according to Scott Bender, chief executive officer of Seven Springs.

“We are responding to suggestions from our guests by expanding our non- smoking areas within the resort’s Main Lodge and other facilities,” said Bender. “The new smoke-free policy demonstrates our absolute commitment to offering the best year-round, family recreation experience and customer service possible.”

All 418 hotel rooms, cabins and chalets at Seven Springs will become smoke-free beginning December 1, as Seven Springs begins the busy winter season. The public areas in the Main Lodge, including lobbies, recreation areas, hallways and other common areas will also be smoke-free. Restaurants at the resort have not offered smoking for several years. However, guests will still be allowed to smoke in several lounges offering designated smoking areas.

“Our organizational mission is to improve upon what Seven Springs is: a premier four-season, family destination. In addition to being a popular request from our guests, significantly expanding the non-smoking areas of the resort is a common sense move that is true to this mission,” said Robert Nutting, a member of the resort ownership’s family and chief executive officer of the family owned Ogden Newspapers. “It is a great example of the resort management team’s increased focus on families.”

According to the latest J.D. Power and Associates 2006 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study, 79 percent of hotel customers prefer a smoke- free environment that exceeds the boundaries of their guest room. The study also shows that consumers staying at luxury and upscale hotels are the most likely to prefer a non-smoking environment.

“As the findings from the J.D. Power and Associates study suggests, having a smoke-free environment was once looked upon by many guests as a distinction in the resort industry, but now has become expected. In fact, many of the most prominent names in the industry have made the move to smoke-free policies,” Bender said.

Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton, Hilton, Marriott and Westin hotels and resorts have all adopted smoke-free policies for all of their North American facilities.

In addition to the new smoke-free policy, Seven Springs is promoting the benefits of a non-smoking to its employees through the newly developed employee Wellness Committee.

“We actually developed a Wellness Committee to help improve and protect the health of our more than 1,500 full and part time employees,” Bender added. “One element of the committee is the development of tobacco cessation programs to improve the quality of our staff’s health. The smoke-free policy will significantly improve the environment for employees and protect their health in the long run.”

With approximately 1,500 full and part time employees, Seven Springs is the largest private employer in both Somerset and Fayette counties.