Upstate New York’s winter wonderland is no match for Turning Stone Resort Casino’s facilities wunderkind Matt Falvo.
Matt, whose formal title is Director of Golf and Grounds, heads up Turning Stone’s snow response effort. This means he’s in charge of a team of 30 employees who fan out after every snowfall to plow roadways, clear sidewalks, and mitigate ice. Their goals: To reduce slips and falls and to keep guests and employees safe.
As Matt explains it, most of this work is done with snow plows. Crews use the plows to push snow off main roads and mound up snow in parking lots so vehicles can get in and out. In a 24-hour snow event, the Turning Stone crew can log 500 miles between six trucks.
Matt said the team also has special lawnmowers that double as snow blowers with salters on the backs; in addition to blowing snow off sidewalks, these machines drop salt to keep walkways safe.
“We always say our response is organized chaos,” Matt said, adding that he has worked at Turning Stone for nearly 22 years, and that most of the snow crew has worked together for at least a decade. “I used to look forward to winter; now four-inch storms keep me up at night, thinking about the coming snow event.”
In most storms, Matt is one of the people to drive a plow.
This winter, he has spent most of his time plowing the road around the resort. During Winter Storm Stella in 2018, he and his team used plows and shovels to dig out more than 100 cars.
Another of Matt’s tools for minimizing ice: a non-chlorine liquid ice-melt product that Turning Stone employees spray in front of all entryways to the property. He added that this product, named “Entry,” helps minimize the number of small granules guests track into the casino, thereby creating less work for the folks who keep inside the resort clean.
“If we put granular product down and guest steps in it, the guests grind it into a powder and they track that inside,” said Matt. “Our new strategy makes our Environmental Services Department very happy because people aren’t tracking it in on the tile and carpet. It’s a win-win.”
When winter dissipates, Matt and the crew will go back to the job they know best: Tending to golf courses. Until then, look for Matt behind the wheel of a snowplow and give him a honk hello.
Winter Response Fun Facts: