In 2007, the bathrooms of Minneapolis-St. Paul international airport made the headlines due to a controversy involving a US senator. Now, the airport is the subject of positive news; the first batch of the renovated bathrooms at the MSP airport is the 2016 winners of the 15th annual America’s Best Restroom Contest.
The contest was hosted by Cintas, a Cincinnati-based company that provides cleaning services and cleaning supplies for public bathrooms. The public was asked to vote on the 10 finalists that pitted the lavatories of MSP airport to the likes of a Doctor Who-themed Tardis bathroom of a bar located in Brooklyn, New York and a bathroom in St. Louis that is papered by classic books. The restroom of Coca – Cola Park in Allenton, PA with the hands-free, motion-control urinal gaming system is also among the contestants.
MSP airport restrooms were the subject of a terminal-wide restroom rehabilitation plan that started in 2009. The project will continue through 2025 to encompass more than 100 public restrooms in the airport. The restroom is usually the first place that is visited upon arrival and the last stop before departure. Allan Howell of Metropolitan Airports Commission is very happy with the award. It was a reward for all the efforts made at enhancing the aesthetics of airport bathrooms to provide the customer with a memorable experience.
Aside from the restroom overhaul, the airport added features like stalls with out-swinging doors, niches for rolling luggage, baby changing stations with sinks and diaper dispensers and shallow trough sinks to reduce splashing. Customers were also given easy access to touch-less faucets and soap dispensers. Mosaic art with a Minnesota theme can be found at the entrance of the restroom with each set created by different artists. The mosaic art easily catches attention and it showed that the airport is supporting local artists.
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