news & features


Sustainable Meetings Conference Now Less Than Two Months Away

ATLANTA—The itinerary for the Green Meeting Industry Council’s Sustainable Meetings Conference is taking shape. This year’s event, with the theme, “Power to Change,” will be held June 17 to 19 in Atlanta at The Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel. Registration is currently open. A featured speaker on June 17 this year is Laura Turner Seydel, Chair, Captain Planet Foundation. The Atlanta-based Foundation was founded by Ted Turner in 1991 and is now chaired by his daughter, Laura Turner Seydel. The Foundation supports high-quality, hands-on environmental stewardship projects that have enabled more than 1.1 million youth across the United States and around the world to make significant environmental improvements to their schools or communities. Derreck Kayongo, Founder, Global Soap Project, will be a featured speaker on June 18. Global Soap just recently became a division of Clean the World. Judith Webb, APR, Executive V.P., U.S. Green Building Council, is a featured speaker on June 18, and Angus Clark, General Manager, SongDivision, is a featured speaker on June 19.

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vendor news
publisher's point of view
Earth Week a Busy News Week for Lodging Industry

This past week, Earth Week, was a busy week for news. Much of it has already been posted on Green Lodging News but some of it has not. First of all, I heard from Ryan Dillon, Responsible Travel Specialist with TripAdvisor, and he informed me that TripAdvisor has just extended its successful TripAdvisor GreenLeaders program into Australia and New Zealand. The program’s expansion comes exactly two years after the launch of GreenLeaders. Ryan told me TripAdvisor GreenLeaders is now “live” in Latin America and the Caribbean as well, although TripAdvisor has not yet officially released that news. More than 8,000 properties in 67 countries, including 170 in Australia and New Zealand, have been awarded the TripAdvisor GreenLeader status, making it easily the largest green hotels program.

guest column
Keeping Guests Happy through A/C Cleaning

If you had to stay in a hotel room with an unpleasant smell, poor air circulation or loud noises from the air-conditioning unit, you would likely want to change rooms. You might even vow to avoid the hotel or add negative feedback to a review site to warn other travelers. Today, it’s easier than ever for hotel guests to share details of their unpleasant experiences on the Internet using social media. Negative reviews can be extremely damaging to a hotel’s reputation and the bottom line. A successful hotel operation will ensure that service and customer satisfaction are at the forefront to keep negative experiences from ever occurring. One way to keep guests happy is through proper maintenance of air-conditioning (A/C) units, which can cause unpleasant odors.

featured product
Experts Agree On Sterling's Sustainable Modular Mattress

Max H. Tucker, CHA, General Manager, Best Western Big America: “Sterling mattresses are an important part of our strategy for meeting guest comfort and working towards a more sustainable hotel operation.” Brian Keller, Director of Property Services, Oakwood Worldwide, LEED Green Associate: “One definite advantage is the concept of replacement components…this has been a great find for Oakwood.” The top three reasons buyers are choosing the Sterling Hospitality Sustainable Modular Mattress: 3) Shows guests you care about their comfort. 2) Reduces maintenance and replacement costs and downtime. 1) Reduces your carbon footprint. For more information, call (888) 281-2817 today!

green hotel focus
Westin Peachtree Launches Green Tours for Meeting Attendees

ATLANTA—Taking green meetings to the next level, The Westin Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta, the largest Green Seal Silver Level certified convention hotel in the Southeast, is launching the Green Tour. This new on-site specialty event for meeting attendees provides a behind-the-scenes look at the sustainability, conservation and environmental efficiency efforts in the John Portman-designed AAA Four Diamond hotel. From event serveware made of leaves to the Go Green Racing teambuilding activity and single-stream recycling system, The Westin Peachtree Plaza is redefining what it means to be green. “Environmental stewardship is increasingly important to meeting planners and attendees when selecting a venue for their event,” said Ron Tarson, General Manager of The Westin Peachtree Plaza. “While many hotels say they offer green features, they frequently fall short. Our new Green Tour provides guests with a firsthand look at true sustainability and gives them a rare opportunity to view these efforts in action.”

upcoming events
Southwest Florida Sustainability Summit
Harborside Event Center, Fort Myers, Fla.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

LIGHTFAIR International
Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

HD Expo
Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

National Restaurant Association Show
McCormick Place, Chicago

Saturday, May 16, 2015

personnel profile
Jim Houser Promoted to President Parks & Resorts Business at Delaware North

BUFFALO, N.Y.—Jim Houser has been promoted to president of Delaware North’s parks and resorts business, as well as company operations in Australia and Asia. Houser most recently served as COO of the parks and resorts business and company operations in Australia and Asia. A Delaware North veteran of more than 35 years, Houser began his career as a vendor with Delaware North Sportservice and steadily climbed the ranks to become general manager of the company’s operation at the former Cinergy Field in Cincinnati. Houser was promoted to director of labor relations and then chief operating officer of Delaware North Sportservice. In those roles, he managed the division’s operations and its efforts to realize growth potential for concessions, fine dining and retail groups. Houser’s impact hasn’t just been in operations; his leadership has touched virtually every corner of Delaware North’s business. As vice president of administration—a role he held until 2012—he oversaw Delaware North’s facilities, supply management, security, culinary and retail departments, as well as its environmental management system, GreenPath.

blog post
Some Earth Day Reflections—45 Years After Earth Day’s Founding
6 days ago

Happy Earth Day! This year marks the 45th anniversary of the first Earth Day in 1970. How will your property or company be marking the occasion? As mentioned in last week’s blog post, there is a lot of Earth Day activity today in our industry. Taking the time once each year to officially recognize the environmental challenges in front of us is important. You have got to understand the challenges in order to overcome them. Earth Day is also a day for celebration—recognizing the collective, positive work of individuals throughout your company. When was the last time you celebrated your team’s environmental accomplishments? For me, in my position as editor of Green Lodging News, Earth Day is a day to look back over the almost nine years of producing my publication to get a sense of how our industry’s commitment to environmental protection has evolved—and it certainly has evolved, for the better, over those nine years. Today, it is quite difficult to keep up with all of our industry’s sustainability-related news.

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