news & features


Virgin Hotels Breaks Ground with Lam Group on Virgin Hotels New York City

NEW YORK—Since the iconic Virgin Megastore left Times Square in 2009, New York City has been vacant of a Virgin hub. That will soon change as Virgin Hotels has broken ground with the Lam Group on Virgin Hotels New York City. Located in the NOMAD neighborhood at 1227 Broadway between 29th and 30th, the property will serve as the brand’s flagship hotel. Virgin Hotels is aiming to achieve LEED certification. “New York City isn’t just a destination for the Virgin airlines, but a place where some of the most successful Virgin brands have been incubated, where we’ve stunned crowds with stunts and where some of our most devoted fans live,” said Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group. “It’s a very special city to the Virgin brand and I’m elated that Virgin Hotels will soon call it home.” To commemorate the groundbreaking and the history Virgin has in the Big Apple, Branson joined Raul Leal, CEO of Virgin Hotels to bury a Virgin time capsule, a chest of mementos from Virgin company moments in New York.

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A luxuriant shower from High Sierra Showerheads at just 1.5 gallons per minute.

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publisher's point of view
Spafinder Wellness Report Details Increasing Interest in Healthy, ‘Green’ Travel

The Spafinder Wellness 365 eighth annual 2015 State of Wellness Travel report offers a glimpse at the evolving travel habits of those travelers interested in “maintaining or enhancing one’s personal well-being.” This includes the pursuit of physical, mental, spiritual or environmental wellness while traveling for either leisure or business. The study was conducted in July and August. More than 200 travel agents in North America and Europe participated. I found the results quite interesting. Eighty-six percent of agents reported that they expect wellness travel to grow this year. Fourteen percent expected it to stay the same. The 86 percent is the highest percentage in the history of the survey.

guest column
Defining Water Use, Water Consumption in Indoor, Outdoor Water Parks

“How much water does an outdoor waterpark use?” I am frequently asked that question, but the answer isn’t as simple as it seems. Calculations for outdoor waterparks are heavily dependent on factors that simply don’t apply to their indoor counterparts, namely those related to climate and the environment. There is no way around it—outdoor waterparks require large amounts of water. Public perception often assumes that the outdoor waterpark is constantly being refilled with a giant spigot that is tapping the community’s water supply, which may be at a premium. Water use, however, is not water consumption. Facilities that practice proactive water conservation can save water.

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green hotel focus
LEED Platinum Luxury Hotel to Become New Neighbor to Monterey Bay Aquarium

PACIFIC GROVE, CALIF.—Domaine Hospitality Partners, LLC, and representatives from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Foursome Development Co., and the City of Pacific Grove, Calif., announced the launch of Project Bella at a press conference in Pacific Grove. Developed by Domaine Hospitality Partners, Project Bella will be located across the street from the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station at the site of the American Tin Cannery, at the end of historic Cannery Row. Now in planning with world-renowned architect Mark Hornberger of Hornberger+Worstell, Project Bella aims to be one of the leading luxury hotels in the United States.

upcoming events
WaterSmart Innovations Conference & Expo
South Point Hotel and Conference Center, Las Vegas

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

IMEX America
Sands Expo and Convention Center

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

World Waterpark Association Show
Palm Springs Convention Center and the Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel (Calif.)

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Boutique Lifestyle Leadership Symposium
Fairmont Miramar Hotel, Santa Monica, Calif.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

personnel profile
Fran Hughes Appointed Director of International Tourism Partnership

LONDON—ITP (the International Tourism Partnership) announced that, following an extensive search and interview process (including with Wolfgang M. Neumann, Chairman of ITP’s Governing Council), Fran Hughes has been appointed ITP Director, effective October 1, 2015. Confirming the appointment, Business in the Community’s Director of Environment and Market Solutions Stephen Farrant said, “Fran is a long-standing champion for responsible tourism. Her passion for ITP’s unique role, her knowledge of the industry and the key issues, coupled with her irrepressible enthusiasm and determination make her a natural for this appointment.” Before joining ITP as Head of Programmes in early 2012, Fran worked for CTS Horizons, Explore Worldwide, The Travel Foundation and as an independent sustainable tourism consultant.

blog post
A Long Night with a Long-Winded Solar Salesman
5 days ago

It was a Wednesday night when my doorbell rang. It was immediately clear that the gentleman standing outside my front door was selling something. He introduced himself as a representative of American Solar Energy and he was in the neighborhood setting up appointments for estimates on solar systems. Living in Florida and of course having an interest in solar as editor of Green Lodging News, I was all ears. I agreed to setting up an appointment the next day. The salesman then put me on the phone with someone from his office who confirmed my contact details. Maybe at this point I should have been a bit suspicious. The salesman had already taken my contact information. Why would someone have to validate what he just did? Did his own company not trust what he was doing?

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