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QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC—Group Germain Hotels announced that all electric vehicle (EV) enthusiasts will literally be able to recharge their batteries while getting a good night’s sleep at its Le Germain and Alt Hotels across the country. The independent Canadian hoteliers are among the first to roll out the new Tesla Destination Charging program thereby providing guests access to a private network of over 20 EV charging stations capable of delivering a full charge in four to eight hours. “Sustainability and innovation have always been top of mind for us at Group Germain Hotels,” said Jean-Yves Germain, co-president of Group Germain Hotels. “Not only do we always incorporate eco-friendly features into the design of our properties but we also support and encourage like-minded guests and organizations. Tesla is an industry leader in both fields making this partnership a natural extension of our guest experience. Our EV-driving guests can now have peace of mind knowing that they can get a full charge overnight or while attending on-site meetings.
HONOLULU—Hokulani Waikiki by Hilton Grand Vacations Club, which opened a year ago in December 2013, has achieved LEED certification as recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The upscale, urban timeshare resort earned the internationally recognized certification for implementing environmentally friendly construction practices and building systems. “Hokulani Waikiki was built and designed with a strong focus on honoring Hawaii’s unique cultural heritage,” said Kim Kreiger, Senior Vice President Club and Resorts for Hilton Grand Vacations. “This certification further demonstrates the importance and responsibility we feel to preserve and respect Oahu’s land and natural resources, which is part of what makes Hawaii so special.” LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a globally recognized green building certification program that provides independent, third party verification that a building project meets the highest green building and performance measures. To obtain LEED certification, buildings must pass a rigorous checklist of sustainability points that include water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and awareness and education.
DENVER—The piece-of-pie shaped Brown Palace Hotel, a fixture in the heart of Denver since 1892, has been undergoing a green transformation the last couple of years that has caught the eye of many. The 241-room property won the Good Earthkeeping Award in 2013 from the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Assn. and the Good Earthkeeping Award in 2014 from the American Hotel and Lodging Assn. While dabbling in sustainability for a number of years—bee hives have been on the hotel roof as part of the hotel’s Bee Royalty Initiative since 2009—it was in October 2012 when good things really started to happen. That is when Brenna St. Onge was hired as Executive Housekeeper. She brought a passion for sustainability to her job and it was a year ago that she was promoted to Assistant Director of Rooms and Chair of Sustainability.
NEW YORK—The International Hotel, Motel + Restaurant Show (IHMRS) has announced the winners for the 34th annual Gold Key Awards for Excellence in Hospitality Design. A record number of entries of over 280 international projects were considered by a team of nine prominent judges for these awards, which recognize outstanding hospitality design worldwide for properties completed or renovated from March 1, 2013 to March 1, 2014.
DENVER—In a press release issued by Xanterra Parks & Resorts, Xanterra says it has found it necessary to file a motion for a preliminary injunction in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado asking the court to step in to essentially keep the NPS from having to shut down most visitor services on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. Unless the Court grants the preliminary injunction Xanterra seeks in this motion, Xanterra argues that the primary visitor services (restaurants, hotels, mule rides and basic services) at the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park will likely shut down at midnight on December 31, 2014, resulting in irreparable harm not only to Xanterra and its more than 1,000 employees, but also to the Northern Arizona economy and the public at large. The most arbitrary act that has led to this state of affairs is NPS’ decision to allocate too much NPS-controlled employee housing in the Park to the new smaller contract and so little housing to the new larger contract.
ORLANDO, FLA.—Wyndham Vacation Ownership (WVO), the world’s largest vacation ownership company and a member of the Wyndham Worldwide family of companies, recently received a Lodging Sustainability Award for “Lodging Brand of the Year” at the Lodging Green and Sustainability Conference & Expo in Las Vegas.
LEESBURG, VA.—The National Conference Center, one of the largest conference training centers in the country, and West Belmont Place, an events center with a 16,000 square foot ballroom, were hosts to an unusual event earlier this month when a rescued bald eagle was released on the property to the delight of about 200 people who came out to see the bird released back into the wild. The National Conference Center and West Belmont Place have received awards for their environmental stewardship of the property and the eagle release highlighted the conference center’s commitment to protecting the environment. The National Conference Center and West Belmont Place are located just outside of Washington, D.C. and within close proximity to the Potomac River. The eagle was found on 9/11 near to NCC. He was on the ground in a backyard, too weak to fly with vultures around him. The local Loudoun County wildlife specialist was called and they, in turn, contacted Blue Ridge Wildlife Center (BRWC), one of the largest wildlife veterinary hospitals in the Mid-Atlantic.
EXETER, N.H.—Hay Creek Hotels is now providing Tesla electric charging stations at all of its properties. “The Tesla stations are a great service to be able to provide to our guests and we are proud to be able to offer this amenity to our travelers,” said Norman MacLeod, President & CEO of Hay Creek Hotels. “We continue to seek ways to surprise and delight our guests, and hope these charging stations make them feel at home, while providing us with an opportunity to contribute to the environment.”
NEW ORLEANS—The world’s largest sustainable building conference, The Greenbuild Conference and Expo, featuring the first “net zero” exhibit space, was held in New Orleans, October 22 to 24, with 23,000 attendees and 600 exhibitors. The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center helped Greenbuild set up the first “net zero” exhibit space by utilizing the building’s balcony as the location for solar generated panels that powered an on-site microgrid, generating power to the exhibit booths. The Net Zero Zone showcased how booths in the exhibit hall can unplug from the utility grid and operate totally on power generated by solar panels. If any of the power sources are interrupted, the remaining sources pick up the slack, exemplifying Greenbuild’s key theme of resiliency. Owned and operated by Hanley Wood and presented by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Greenbuild is the largest conference and expo dedicated to green building design and construction. USGBC, the sponsor of Greenbuild, is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings.
NATIONAL REPORT—Hotel bars and restaurants operate, at least in terms of energy efficiency, much the same as free-standing commercial restaurant operations. Small energy inefficiencies add up in the same ways that they do in commercial operations. When you create any personal budget, the first thing that you do is look at how much you’re currently spending. Saving energy in your commercial kitchen begins the same way: know what your energy expenditures are.
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