• Furniture built for heavy use and brand-name mattresses like Sealy, Simmons and the Ritz Carleton Sleep Experience bed are available for a fraction of the original price.
• Mattresses and upholstered furniture are sanitized using a chemical disinfectant according to state law before it is sold again.
• Warehouse has furniture for people from all walks of life looking for a bargain.
Hotel owners renovate their facilities every few years clearing rooms of nightstands, dressers, and chairs that are only two to six years old.
For a 100-room hotel or more, that’s hundreds and even thousands of pieces of used furniture still in good condition that can be used again.
The father and son team of Ray and Andrew Ranta are giving hotel furniture a second chance at life in another room — at a motel or a house — through a hotel liquidation company they started in Fresno a year and a half ago.
Equity Liquidators removes hotel furniture, light fixtures, refrigerators, and mattresses from hotels across California and other western states, disinfects them and resells them to motel owners and the public for a fraction of the original cost. The company also installs new items for hoteliers.
The mattresses and upholstered furniture like sofa beds and couches are sanitized using a chemical disinfectant according to state law under the Department of Consumer Affairs before it is sold again, Ray Ranta said.
“They are actually safer than when you stay at a hotel,” Ray Ranta said.
Furniture spills out of the company’s 20,000-square-foot warehouse in east-central Fresno where Ray Ranta operates his 25-year-old flagship business, Equity Building Materials.
Sofa beds from hotels like the Hyatt, the Hilton, and the Marriott are lined up one-by-one while chairs are nestled into open spaces between replacement windows and molding. Sealy, Simmons, and Ritz Carlton Sleep Experience mattresses are stacked up.
“I was concerned about space when we got started,” Ray Ranta said, noting that he needs more room.
Ranta got into the hotel liquidation business by accident as he was looking for ways to rebuild his company after the economic recession. The downturn brought construction to a halt in the Central Valley, leaving companies like Equity Building with a large inventory of excess supplies.
He slashed his workforce from 45 to five employees and started selling off the unused materials. It went quickly and he bought supplies from other businesses that closed and sold it.
“When I was checking out excess building materials, I ran across an article about hotel liquidation,” Ray Ranta said.
It’s a quiet industry that has been around for awhile, but there aren’t a lot of companies doing it, he said. Ranta knows of a business in Orange County and one in Seattle. He worked with Hotel Liquidation in Dallas, which is more than 30 years old, to learn how jump-start his company.
Some hotels give the furniture away and others charge a small fee, Ranta said. He provides the labor and transportation at his costs. Equity Liquidators contractors with a trucking company to move the furniture.
A 53-foot trailer will hold furniture from 20 rooms stacked and stuffed, Ranta said.
The company’s first liquidation was at the Marin Suites, north of San Francisco. The company is currently installing furniture in a hotel south of the city. Ranta will also be visiting a Southern California hotel that called recently about removing its furniture.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Ranta said. “We have a lot more foot traffic than we had in the past. We meet a lot of interesting people from all walks of life ... who are looking for bargains.”