For more than 20 years, Gary Platt Manufacturing has been a leading provider of performance casino seating. Combined, the design team has more than 50 years of experience in providing products with comfort and excellence. The company produces premium seating for casinos on five continents and creates chairs for slots, table games, poker, bar-top, sportsbook and bingo.
Vice President of Sales Joshua Corrick recently took some to answer questions for Casino Journal’s Associate Editor Joan Mantini on how seating design trends have evolved and what the company is doing to accommodate operator needs.
When it comes to designing chairs what is top priority for the company?
CORRICK: When designing chairs, Gary Platt Manufacturing’s top priority is delivering unsurpassed comfort. After more than 20 years of making casino chairs, Gary Platt research clearly shows that when players are comfortable, they stay and enjoy themselves longer, and that can have a positive effect on a casino’s bottom line. Gary Platt lead designer Ed Abadie refers to his design creation process as “the refinement of the sit,” through which Abadie and his design team study and refine ergonomics, pursuing an even more comfortable sit. According to Abadie, “when people sit in an aesthetically pleasing chair, the last thing that they expect is comfort and that’s exactly the reaction you get when they sit in a Gary Platt chair. They look nice, but the ‘wow factor’ comes in when they sit down and experience Gary Platt’s unsurpassed comfort.”
How have you seen seating design evolve over the years? How do you predict it will change in the future?
CORRICK: Ergonomics is an evolving science driven by experience, testing and evolving technologies. When casino seating first came to casinos it was the most comfortable available, primarily because before that, players stood up to play. Any chair was an improvement. Since chairs have been introduced, the technology in and around them has evolved, just as the slots they sit in front of have evolved with technology. Today’s materials, including the foam, frame and upholstery, are all better now, and those advances have played a role in the evolution of technology. For Gary Platt, its X2 line—named for extended play—was a point of differentiation for the company and for the industry, because it took the principles of ergonomics and seating to a new and more comfortable level.
Since then, the company has been focused on continually perfecting the comfort of its chairs inside and out—from ensuring the front edge relieves leg pressure to ensuring the foam and upholstery work together to create a comfortable sit. The chair architecture has also evolved, which has also been driven by advances in materials. Today, metals are both stronger and lighter, enabling more creativity in design, without the fear of creating a chair that is too cumbersome for slot or other casino personnel to move. Abadie has an architecture background, which has taught him to work with the raw materials to create new inspirations.
What processes does the company have in place for testing seating quality and comfort?
CORRICK: It all starts in engineering. The design, prototypes, materials and research all lead to new creations that are then put to sit tests. In those tests, every inch of the chair is analyzed for detail on hundreds of points of contact, such as where a seat lands on legs, where curves land on the spine, where armrests land on forearms and more.
From engineering, quality assurance moves to the production line. Every Gary Platt chair is made by hand in the company’s factory in Reno, Nev., and multiple quality checks along every step of the production process ensure each chair is built to the highest standards. There are quality checks on the foam, stitching, thread, finish, base, back, and even packing and shipping to ensure the quality doesn’t diminish during any part of the chair building process.
What are some of your most sought-after products in designing social spaces on the gaming floor? What do you think makes them popular?
CORRICK: In today’s world, the entire casino is a social space, so Gary Platt creates each of its chairs with that in mind. People want to be comfortable and enjoy themselves whether that means a social setting where one guest is playing and the other is observing, whether they are playing side by side on a slot bench, in the race and sports book or in the convention area.
Part of the new social space is being driven by suppliers who are creating larger slots where more than one player can enjoy the game at once, and Gary Platt has had a great deal of success with its Sonoma bench line, which brings all of the ergonomics and comfort of its single sit chair to a bench environment. Gary Platt also showed a bench version of its patented Monaco design at last month’s G2E, and attendee reviews were very positive.
The race and sports book is also a social gaming area, perhaps more than any other in the casino. At G2E, Gary Platt unveiled its new line of sportsbook seating, which includes an all new high luxury club chair, a new spin on the classic Lido and many other new and exciting options.
Of course, table games have a long-standing tradition of being a social area in the casino, and at G2E, Gary Platt introduced a new line of comfort-rail tables that takes Gary Platt’s world-famous seating foam and injects it into table game rails. The new comfort rails are available on the most popular casino table games including baccarat, blackjack, poker and roulette.
With sports betting currently trending, is Gary Platt seating doing anything to target this section of the gaming market with design and seating functionality?
CORRICK: Yes indeed. Gary Platt has conducted a tremendous amount of research in race and sports book seating. As we mentioned earlier, Gary Platt unveiled its new line of sports book seating at G2E, and the response was very positive. Whether guests are playing the ponies all day or watching a three-hour football game, seating comfort is a priority in sportsbooks. It’s an area that has been overlooked, and operators have been incredibly receptive to our new sports book chairs.