Hospitality: The Mohegan Sun Hotel

The Mohegan tribe created a fairy tale destination spot in 2007 with some of northeast Pennsylvania’s finest dining, retail shopping and live entertainment events. Boasting world-class casinos, it has also become a major concert venue. 

The Mohegan Sun Hotel and Casino, with its grand opening in 2014, is the latest addition to the enormous complex, housing 238 rooms in a seven-story building including a large convention center. The Mohegan tribe decided to put comfort and environmental concerns as top priorities, and the end result is a luxurious hotel with green initiatives that include maximizing energy efficiency without sacrificing indoor air quality, a vast recycling program and the installation of fuel cell power systems to minimize greenhouse gas emissions. And, Uponor was asked to provide the plumbing system to the new facility to further align their commitment to a sustainable project. 

Joe Alahverde, commercial sales manager for the East region at Uponor, worked closely with the mechanical contracting firm, JL Turner in Wilkes -Barre, Pa., to ensure a smooth installation. 

“We showed them that the Uponor Logic system reduces the number of floor penetrations in the slab, and as a result, the system needs fewer connections, fewer installers and provides a much faster installation time,” Alahverde said. 

And with the help of Uponor’s own design team, JL Turner received a Logic design with submittals, bill of materials and blue prints to follow during the installation process. Alahverde and the Uponor rep firm, Rich-Tomkins Company, trained the installers and provided ongoing jobsite support throughout the installation. 

JL Turner only needed six to eight installers for the project, a significant reduction (and savings) compared to previous jobs with copper and CPVC. 

“By being a part of the entire phase – from design to training to installation – we provided peace of mind for the installers,” Alahverde said. 

JL Turner officials, from Vice President Jim De Grazia to Site Foreman Jeff Merrick, applauded the Uponor system and told Alahverde that the secure connections and lack of dry fits makes Uponor’s PEX system their preferred product of choice moving forward. They also liked the reliable Milwaukee ProPEX tools which helped with the speed of installation. In fact, the team installed the Uponor piping 75 percent faster than copper and 50 percent faster than CPVC, according to JL Turner’s De Grazia. 

Midway through the project, JL Turner unfortunately closed their doors and Marx Sheet Metal and Mechanical in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. took over the project. JL Turner officials, including De Grazia and Merrick, were hired by Marx Sheet Metal and Mechanical to continue the project. Alahverde and his team stepped in when needed to provide additional training and support, ensuring that the new team finished the project to the highest standards. 

“It was an interesting time,” Alahverde said. “We had worked with JL Turner for quite a while when the switch happened, but it was actually very rewarding to see how professionally the transition was handled.” 

In fact, Marx Sheet Metal and Mechanical, with the staunch support of De Grazia and Joe Marx, are adding Uponor to new and exciting projects, including a plumbing project for an assisted living center and a hydronic re-piping project for a school district in Pennsylvania. 

“I’m convinced that these projects came about due to reliability and ease of our PEX system,” Alahverde said.

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