Besides the fact that they meet the spirit of the ADA better (which makes you look better), inclined platform lifts can earn your customer more money. With a job in Aspen, Colorado, we have first-hand experience with a New York architect who wouldn't let us show him how an inclined could help his customer earn an extra $5,520 per year (which in turn would have helped him).
What is the Cost of Space?
This shop is in Aspen, Colorado. What does retail space cost in Aspen? Depending upon location (and this lift is in a prime downtown location), lease rates can be upwards of $100 per square foot per year. Further, that retail space needs to earn at a bare minimum $400 per square foot per year. So for a retail shop, maximizing space usage is critical. Granted, this is a high-end example - but wait until you see the numbers. Then, run them for your own application - the results will speak for themselves.
How a Cheap Vertical Becomes Very Expensive
There is a 3-step (21") elevation change near the back of the shop. Because the architect had the all-to-common (and flatly incorrect) mindset that nobody would use this lift, he chose the cheapest piece of equipment available (in fact, we will show how this "solution" was more expensive within the first year, and how the right solution would have earned back the cost difference within months).
This inexpensive vertical like the one to the right (an Opal, if you're curious) cost them around $14,000 for the equipment, installation, and warranty service. In addition, it requires right at 17.3 square feet of space. It sits there, full time. You can't do anything else with that space - ever. So, at $100/s.f., that lift is costing them $1,730 per year in rental costs. (Not counting the fact that there's over 150 square feet of wall space that can't be used for displays, racks, or storage).
An XPress II Inclined Platform Lift would have required that they widen the stairs by about 6 inches. It would have cost around $17,000. But, once installed, that inclined platform lift would occupy exactly zero square feet of retail space, and would be using wall space that was already lost on the stairs. So to be fair, if you factor in the 6 inches of space along about the stair wall, they would have given up 3.5 square feet to use this solution. This reduces the 17.3 feet to 13.8 feet of saved space.
How an Inclined Saves Money
In this application, with a net savings of 13.8 square feet, this is how the numbers look if they had used the inclined platform lift:
- 13.8 square feet of floor space freed up for for retail use.
- Over 150 square feet of wall space freed up for retail, storage, or display use.
- $1,380 per year of retail lease "saved".
- At a super-conservative $400 per year per foot in revenue, over $5,500 in additional revenue per year.
This "cheap" vertical cost them an extra $2,500 in the first year, and at least $5,500 each subsequent year.
And this holds true in many, many applications. Restaurants, retail spaces, office spaces. In fact, most commercial spaces could benefit financially from choosing an inclined platform lift instead of a vertical. And while a vertical is often a less expensive piece of equipment, remember: An inclined requires no costly building modifications in most cases, it takes no floor space, and an inclined lift meets the spirit of the ADA in a way that is sure to keep the disable community coming back.