When two icons of Americana stand face to face across a well-traveled retail street, it is a given that people will come. On the north side of Chicago sits Wrigley Field, home to the legendary Chicago Cubs, and the second oldest MLB ball field in the United States. Across the street, at Addison & Clark, sits one of the area’s newest mixed-use retail projects where the latest Fox Motors outpost of Harley Davidson resides in a newly constructed 10,000 sq ft showroom. To provide heightened visibility and invite the highest retail traffic, the showroom hosts large garage-style roll up doors that open direct to the sidewalk and adjacent street. Savvy retailers know such accessibility drives traffic, buyer engagement and ultimately sales. Situated less than a mile from Lake Michigan, the city’s wind-driven conditions are no insignificant climatic condition and can be problematic for open retail environments.
Known for supply chain excellence and a zealous dedication to top performance, Harley Davidson is the kind of American brand that is known for knowing value. Deploying a series of Mars Standard 2 commercial air doors across the large expansive opening provides an industrial commercial hybrid solution for the dealership that needs a strong, steady performer. Featuring a 1/2 horsepower motor and available with ETL sanitation features when needed, the Standard 2 air curtain door is suited for large spaces that need protection from dust, untreated air (too hot or too cold), debris, flying insects, and smelly vehicle emissions while forming that protective barrier against the clammy midwestern air that runs an average of 70% relative humidity year ‘round. Now store management, who know that open doors increase sales, can readily host the kind of warm midwestern welcome they want to deliver without any compromise to their operation.
When a popular sports bar in Downtown Overland Park, Kansas added a track-guided garage door and a series of fold-out windows along the second-floor dining area to open the space and bring the outdoors in, Johnson County health code regulations threatened to halt the experience-enhancing plans. Prohibitions again open exposure to flying pests in food prep and food serving areas were circumvented when Mars Air Systems was part of a rescue served up to meet regulatory requirements, amplify guest comfort, and cut utility bills. a cleverly designed exterior-mount solution provided a simple ledge to cradle the hard-working air curtain units while doing double duty as an architectural mullion. A painted custom-made protective covering was then placed around the units to shield them from the often harsh Midwestern elements while blending in with the building and appearing to be part of an intentional facade. Now the threat of flies and mosquitos has been halted as the air curtains provide the proven invisible protective shield the health code demands. Able to operate continuously whenever the garage door or windows are open and provide trusted defense, patron experiences are also separated as any drifting cigar or cigarette smoke from guests on the patio is safeguarded from reaching inside diners.
While a Health Department code may prescribe air curtains to create cleaner, pest-free food prep areas, the real mandate comes from patrons. Creating a pest-free space with evenly distributed conditioned air does more than give guests the impression of clean, it’s actually a building block to designing a truly hygienic venue. Food poisoning is directly linked to flies who carry pathogenic organisms that cause E. coli, salmonella and shingles and introduce other bacteria. Working hand in hand with the sanitation protocols you already have, Mars Air Systems’ air curtains above entry doors, pass through windows and back receiving doors becomes a silent sentry that seizes control to keep the uninvited out. And, we’ve been doing that for over 50 years for iconic hospitality brands such as Panda Express, In-N-Out Burger, Taco Bell, Subway, Olive Garden and growing up-and-comers like Smashburger and Five Guys Burgers. Whether it’s the need for a recessed unit that blends seamlessly in a well-defined décor vision, or defense against brutal weather conditions – both hot and cold – or the need for food storage areas to be vigorously defended Mars products have been the solution of choice for the most demanding operators world-wide.
Being asked to partner with what may be the most beloved American treasure is a big responsibility. It means helping create a special experience for the more than four million tourists – every year who visit the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island. While studies consistently affirm that consumer buying intention increases with warmth (Journal of Consumer Psychology), the prevailing winds off the Atlantic were creating an ongoing chill at this national monument causing discomfort for gift shop visitors. But when four of Mars Air Systems’ electric-heated air curtains were installed to form an invisible barrier to the wind gusts and contribute to a consistent temperature at the site’s gift shop, liberation from the wind was realized and the entire interior space – including entryways – was restored to profitable comfort.
When a cavernous brick 35,000-sq ft. Romanesque Revival-style structure built in 1888 called for climate control and flying pest protection, they realized only the Mars Air Systems air curtain would do. Occupying nearly the full sprawling city block, upgrading the energy efficiency of this historic building was a challenge as the structures don’t easily adapt to modern precision mechanical systems. To welcome the daily throngs of visitors and food shoppers, the building hosts a series of entry doors yet the multitude of openings introduces flying pests, dust and debris. Repeated opening of entry doors also exposes the interior to the Eastern Seaboard-chilled air in the winter and the stuffy conditions that pervade during the region’s humid summers. Now with the Mars solution in place to create an appealing...and safe... internal atmosphere, this community gathering spot is as welcoming as it is significant.