LAS VEGAS—Alex Dixon, a veteran executive of the hotel-casino industry who also spent some of his career as an analyst for major investment firms, recently joined laundry services company PureStar, headquartered here, as West region president. The company provides a one-stop solution for a full range of outsourced laundry and dry-cleaning services, producing 850 million pounds of clean laundry annually across the U.S., Mexico and the Bahamas, according to Dixon. It consists of a family of independent brands, including Brady Linen, United Laundry Services, Royal Hospitality, AC Linen, Hotelier Linen Services and Five Star Laundry, among others. PureStar serves more than 1,000 client partners ranging from 7,000-key resorts to 200-room boutique hotels, spas, restaurants, fitness centers and private clubs throughout North America.
Dixon sat down with Hotel Business to discuss his move to PureStar, as well as the effect the coronavirus has had on the company.
Your career in hospitality took you to a number of hotel-casinos around the country. Why did you choose to go to PureStar? I came to PureStar to learn an entirely new industry while still being able to serve within the broader hospitality community. PureStar is unique in that it is the only outsourced laundry service provider with an international footprint serving almost exclusively the hospitality industry. With PureStar’s headquarters in my hometown of Las Vegas, I saw a tremendous opportunity. I love working with large hourly workforces and believe in the senior leadership team that PureStar is building. We are the first to develop a truly national linen and laundry provider and, personally, I feel there is nothing more exciting than to be a part of a company that is expanding its footprint across a global landscape.
What do you bring to the company? I am a third-generation hospitality operative with a thorough understanding of the service industry. I have a sense of humility that I bring to every aspect of my job and deeply enjoy connecting with my frontline employees. Developing connections with every team member is critical to creating a collaborative and communicative environment where everyone can succeed. Discipline, structure, leadership, communication and a general sense of hope and optimism are all qualities I strive to bring to every organization I join. Lastly, I believe in the importance of being customer-centric, and that is something I have carried into my position at PureStar. Anticipating the needs of our customers is of the utmost importance in my role. Ensuring the customer is top of mind allows our team to provide high-quality services to our clients.
What did you learn from your previous hospitality experience that you have taken into your new position? I started my career in hospitality as a director of planning and analysis. Those early experiences have ingrained in me to approach the business through an analytical lens. I’ve learned data is king, and keeping a keen eye on movements is essential to improving the day-to-day operations and the lives of my frontline team members and beyond. In my experience, making data evaluation a habit enables you to pivot quickly when necessary. Constant evaluation provides assurance you are aligning the right actions to best service all aspects of our company, from the delivery drivers to our facility workers and our customers.
Furthermore, having opened new hotels and casinos in several jurisdictions, I’m able to advise our current clients throughout the lifecycle of a development. As PureStar continues to expand its footprint, understanding the evolution of extending a business in a new market is a great tool to offer the clients we serve.
What effect has the coronavirus pandemic had on PureStar? COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact on Las Vegas and the hospitality industry, and we are no different. The safety of our employees and our customers is always our top priority and of paramount importance to PureStar. As a standard practice across all our facilities in the U.S., we maintain the highest standard of cleanliness and sanitation, with vigilant adherence to the EPA and OSHA operating safety procedures. Our laundering processes consistently exceed the recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to eliminate contagions such as the coronavirus and other infectious organisms.
The coronavirus is an evolving situation with still many unknowns. At all of our facilities, we have taken proactive and precautionary steps in accordance with the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) while complying with government mandates to reduce the impact of COVID 19. We will continue to exceed industry recommended measures to prepare our facilities, readying resources and instituting best practices gleaned from our expertise in managing affected linens during infectious outbreaks. These measures include steps to protect our employees, our customers and the communities we serve to ensure their health and safety in the workplace during this time.
You are involved in many philanthropic causes. Can you tell us about them? As a Las Vegas native, I’ve been deeply involved in the local philanthropic and civic community for decades. Currently, I serve as a trustee for the Vegas Chamber, and I previously have served as the treasurer for Habitat for Humanity Las Vegas. I’ve also served as the president of the Las Vegas Urban League Young Professionals, which worked with professionals, age 21 to 40, to empower their communities and change lives through the Urban League Movement. Currently, PureStar is working through our long-term philanthropic engagement plans within our local communities and we are in active discussions with various charitable groups to define our philanthropic endeavors that align with our mission and purpose to serve as good corporate stewards and support the communities where we work and live.
Where do you see yourself and your company in five to 10 years? I’d like to be a seasoned laundry and linen executive with a large footprint and a growing client base that spans numerous sites and locations along the West Coast. My hope is that PureStar continues to grow and flourish and expand globally in the next five to 10 years. PureStar is a leader in the linen and laundry space, and my hope is that we continue to serve our partners and clients with the highest quality of service.