Avalon Holdings gains assurance that the furnishings for its hotel and resort properties will always be the right fit, through the partnership it has developed with a supplier that combines flexibility and responsiveness with its longstanding reputation for providing a variety of distinctive and durable pieces.
Function, fashion and fit. Those are the priorities that Avalon Holdings adheres to when selecting furnishings for its Ohio- and Pennsylvania-based hotel and resort properties.
While many suppliers could answer that call, one—Gasser Chair—earns Avalon’s business time and time again.
“We are a higher-end location and product; we buy top of the line,” says Cory Pagliarini, Avalon’s Director of Membership and Golf Sales. “Their products are tremendous. It fits our business.”
Proximity also plays a major role in this client-supplier partnership, because Youngstown, Ohio-based Gasser is centrally located to several Avalon properties and can react quickly when needs arise, adds Avalon’s Facilities Director, Sarah Allen.
That responsiveness and flexibility came in handy when Avalon was designing Gatsby’s, a fine-dining restaurant that was a new addition to its restored, 133-room Avalon Inn & Resort in Howland, Ohio.
“We like to furnish to enhance our planned vision for a space,” explains Allen. “We need lots of options in furnishings and fabrics.”
When designing the newly constructed restaurant, Avalon “picked what we thought we wanted,” says Allen, knowing that using off-the-shelf upholstery would help with meeting the project’s short deadlines.
“Four months later, the room had taken on a strong feeling,” Allen continues. “When the chairs arrived, they didn’t work in that space. They were beautifully constructed, but the room’s strong decor proved too overpowering.
“I rearranged chairs and moved chairs between facilities to try to make [what had been originally selected] fit,” she says. But in the end, Allen went back to her supplier for new solutions. At Gasser’s shop, she rooted through fabrics and upholstery, taking samples back to the Inn to confirm the right fit.
In the interest of time, Gasser retrofitted the original chairs with an upholstered back with nail-head detail and a rolled top. “We loved the second version’s layered fabric textures with black, gold and a dark-green color palette,” says Allen. “We had short deadlines, but Gasser worked with us to complete exactly what we needed it to be.”
Based on sketches provided by Allen, Gasser also custom-designed an Italian leather bench, with an exaggerated rolled-back and tufted top, to flank the restaurant’s windows.
“I asked Gasser for green leather, and they didn’t bat an eye,” she explains. “It may not be as practical as other fabrics, but it’s stunning.”
Gasser invited Allen to preview the finished piece in person. “They wanted to hit the nail on the head,” she says. “It’s a custom piece and fits perfectly. I can’t picture anything else there.”
Elsewhere in the Inn, Gasser chairs hold up under heavy use.
“During the holiday season, we have 1,700 to 2,000 people on property every weekend during December,” explains Allen. “Guest use, moving and stacking can take their toll, and the chairs have to stand the test of time.”
Avalon uses Gasser’s Solandra Series stacking chairs, in two different fabrics and powder coatings, in the Inn’s conference space.
The Gasser chairs are a favorite of members, guests and employees, explains Pagliarini. During charity events held by Avalon properties to support local veterans, guests bid on Gasser-donated custom-designed chairs—think Ohio State Buckeyes and Cleveland Browns.
“[The Gasser designs are among] our more popular items in the raffle and auctions,” says Pagliarini. “Gasser is clearly doing something right.”
Form Meets Function
Form met function for Avalon at its Buhl Park Country Club
in Sharon, Pa., where Gasser supplied solutions for Largo’s, the club’s indoor-outdoor poolside restaurant, which was remodeled in 2014.
“Above all else when entering, people first notice the chairs,” says Allen.
“The challenge is, it’s poolside,” she adds. “You have wet bathing suits and UV lighting. We needed something durable, yet fashionable.”
Four different models of Gasser chairs—in neutrals, browns, tans and gold—bring the restaurant’s Cuban motif to life, while providing the required durability.
Gasser solved a similar poolside opportunity at Squaw Creek Country Club in Vienna, Ohio, which Avalon purchased in 2003. Overlooking the pool, Gasser installed custom oversized booths and fixed counter stools.
“Squaw Creek has emerged as a summertime social hub,” says Allen. “These [chairs] are perfect for live entertainment, card playing and casual dining. Left outside, they even withstand harsh Ohio winters.”
Back at Buhl Park, Avalon owner Ron Klingle introduced a nostalgic “Rat Pack” theme at Bogart’s, the club’s contemporary restaurant, complete with Las Vegas-style artwork and statues. To showcase the space, Gasser built custom, half-moon, tufted-back black Naugahyde booths. The Naugahyde is classic, but easy to clean and maintain, says Allen.
The mix of product quality and personal customer service that the manufacturer provides suits the Avalon team. “Although Gasser produces products for renowned destinations worldwide, the company still has the mentality of a small-town, ‘mom and pop’ shop,” says Allen.
“Service and responsiveness go a long way,” adds Pagliarini. “It’s been a very good relationship for both of us.” C&RB