news & features


MGM Resorts Employees Donate More Than 154,000 Pounds of Food to Food Bank

LAS VEGAS—Employees of MGM Resorts International donated more than 154,000 pounds of food to Three Square Food Bank in a continuous effort by MGM employees to extend the staff of life to food insecure residents this holiday season. The food was collected during the company’s sixth annual food drive. MGM Resorts employees gave rice, flour, beans, cereal, canned meats and other food items that Three Square will use to feed the 137,000 local individuals served monthly through its approximately 1,300 community partners. Experts estimate that about 15.8 percent of the population, or more than 305,000 Southern Nevada residents, are food insecure. According to research provided by Three Square, food insecurity happens when a household is forced to short its food budget, the most flexible area of spending that a struggling household may have, in favor of paying rent or mortgage payments, healthcare costs, transportation expenses and utility bills. “This holiday season, many lives will be touched by the outpouring of generosity from MGM Resorts and their selfless, hardworking employees,” said Brian Burton, President and CEO of Three Square.

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publisher's point of view
‘Local’ Tops F&B Trends for 2016

Ten years ago, the National Restaurant Association’s What’s Hot culinary forecast said the top food trend was “bite-sized desserts.” This year that trend is nowhere to be found on the NRA’s top 20 list. Topping this year’s list of trends: “Locally sourced meats and seafood.” The NRA surveyed nearly 1,600 professional chefs to find which foods, beverages and culinary themes will be hot on restaurant menus in 2016. Interestingly, seven of the top 10 trends have something to do with sustainability and wellness: 3. Locally grown produce; 4. Hyper-local sourcing; 5. Natural ingredients/minimally processed food; 6. Environmental sustainability; 7. Healthful kids’ meals; and 9. Sustainable seafood. When asked which current culinary trend has grown the most over the past 10 years, 44 percent of survey respondents said “Local sourcing.”

guest column
How Energy Benchmarking Can Help the Hotel Industry

Being comfortable in a hotel is one of the top guest priorities, which can mean a chilled, air-conditioned room, steaming hot shower, or keeping the television on all night. However, guest comfort and satisfaction can sometimes come at a cost, equating to big energy footprints and hefty utility bills. On average, America’s 47,000 hotels spend $2,196 per available room each year on energy. It’s no surprise that energy represents the single fastest-growing operating cost in the lodging industry (according to the EPA). To track and manage that growing energy use number, hotels can benchmark their buildings, which can result in energy savings, lower utility bills, and an all-around more efficient building that guests will want to return to, again and again. The old mantra still holds true: you can’t manage what you don’t measure.

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Repurposed Shipping Container Equivalent to One-Acre Farm for The Ritz-Carlton, Naples

NAPLES, FLORIDA—The air outside may be a balmy 95 degrees but the temperature inside The Grow House (a.k.a. CropBox) at the Ritz-Carlton, Naples is an ideal 65 to 72 degrees—perfect for growing lettuce and other micro-greens. Since July, Executive Chef George Fistrovich has been growing the equivalent of an acre of vegetables in a repurposed shipping container that sits in the parking lot of the hotel. Measuring 40 feet by 8 feet in size, the container is equipped with everything one needs to grow crops—lights, planting racks, HVAC system, all of the necessary hydroponic components, and a system of sensors to monitor just about every environmental condition. On the day Green Lodging News interviewed Fistrovich, he expected to be harvesting 1,400 heads of lettuce in the following five or six days. He and his colleagues were on their third lettuce growing cycle.

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personnel profile
Auberge Resorts Collection’s Mark Harmon Inducted into Napa County Historical Society Lodging Hall of Fame

NAPA VALLEY, CALIF.—Mark Harmon, Founder and Managing Partner of the Auberge Resorts Collection, was honored by the Napa County Historical Society and inducted into its Lodging Hall of Fame on Thursday, November 12. Named for the company’s Napa Valley flagship hotel, the five-star Auberge du Soleil, Auberge Resorts Collection has played a pivotal role in putting Napa Valley on the map as a destination that is world-renowned for hospitality and culinary excellence. Harmon, who formed the company in 1998, has led Auberge’s growth in Napa Valley and beyond, to destinations as far-flung as Fiji and Costa Rica. The group’s resorts have garnered the highest accolades, and Auberge was recently recognized in Travel + Leisure as one of the top 10 hospitality brands in the world. Auberge Resorts’ Planet Auberge program ensures that the company’s resorts minimize their property footprints while making positive and meaningful contributions to their local environment and communities.

blog post
The Merger of Marriott & Starwood: A Good Green Marriage?
11 days ago

The announcement this week that Marriott International will acquire Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide will not only expand Marriott’s global property footprint, it will also dramatically increase its environmental footprint. I asked a Marriott representative to chat about the integration of Marriott and Starwood’s environmental programs but she declined, saying that it was much too early. My projection is that from a green standpoint, the marriage of the two companies will be a good one for the most part, as both companies have a lot in common. Both Marriott and Starwood have very successful environmental initiatives. For example, Marriott has a strong commitment to LEED with at least 106 LEED registered hotels and 31 LEED certified hotels. Starwood, with its Element brand alone, has at least 52 LEED hotels open or under development. When Starwood launched Element, it committed the brand to LEED certification for all properties.

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