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REVERE, MASS.—Mohegan Sun Massachusetts is expected to be among the greenest resort casinos in the nation, with one of the highest LEED scores of any such facility in the industry. This is according to points earned from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification program that recognizes building best practices and scores various elements and features. The Massachusetts Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA MA) has also commended Mohegan Sun Massachusetts, calling it “markedly superior in every design aspect” compared to a Wynn Resorts proposal for Everett, Mass. In a letter to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, the AIA MA praised Mohegan Sun Massachusetts’ design for its creativity, sustainable features and strong connections to public transportation, the beach and the surrounding community. “The Revere design is curvy, playful, fun architecture that fits Revere’s long history of recreation and entertainment....The proposed project feels like a true destination,” said the AIA MA in the letter to the Gaming Commission.
SHELTON, CONN.—The International Centre, one of the largest privately-owned trade and consumer show and convention facilities in Canada, joins a growing list of world class venues to be certified to the event industry’s global sustainability standard. Located in Mississauga, Ontario, The International Centre achieved Level One certification to the ASTM Standard pertaining to the evaluation and selection of venues for environmentally sustainable meetings, events, trade shows and conferences.
DOVER, DEL.—In ongoing efforts to promote green awareness, Dover Downs Hotel & Casino will host the first Mid-Atlantic Green Hospitality Conference on September 15 and 16, a first-of-its-kind opportunity to unite foodservice and lodging facilities, tourism agencies, “eco” product suppliers and consultants around the common cause of maintaining and promoting environmentally friendly lodging and foodservice practices.
STAMFORD, CONN.—Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. announced the opening of the 138-room Element Harrison-Newark, the brand’s second hotel in New Jersey. The hotel is owned by Harrison Hotel 1, an entity of Ironstate Holdings, LLC and The Pegasus Group, and managed by Crescent Hotels & Resorts. “Element Harrison-Newark is an exciting addition to the Element portfolio and will provide a smart, sustainable lodging option for travelers to the bustling Newark metropolitan area,” said Brian McGuinness, Senior Vice President of Specialty Select Brands for Starwood. “On track to double its portfolio in the next two years, Element offers guests a bright, energizing environment that’s conducive to both work and play, as well as a lineup of innovative brand-led programming.” Designed by progressive New York architectural firm HWKN, the new hotel features a distinctive façade that tips its hat to the innovative thinking of the Element by Westin brand. By creating a trompe l’oeil effect (trick of the eye), HWKN toyed with the building’s form—creating the playful illusion that each window is three dimensional.
PARSIPPANY, N.J.—Wyndham Worldwide, one of the world’s largest hospitality companies, received U.S. Veterans Magazine’s 2014 Best of the Best Award for its supplier diversity program and commitment to supporting veteran-owned businesses. This is the first time the company received the award.
LAS VEGAS—Ed Begley, Jr. will be the keynote speaker at the second annual Lodging Green & Sustainability Conference & Expo in Las Vegas. His presentation will take place on Tuesday, October 28, the first day of the event that will run through October 30 at the LEED Gold and Green Key certified ARIA Resort & Casino. Begley, an actor who has appeared in many movies and on television in shows such as St. Elsewhere, has been considered an environmental leader in the Hollywood community for many years. He serves on the boards of The Coalition for Clean Air, The Thoreau Institute, and the advisory board of the Union Of Concerned Scientists, among many others. His work in the environmental community has earned him a number of awards from some of the most prestigious environmental groups in the nation, including the California League of Conservation Voters, the Natural Resources Defense Council, The Coalition for Clean Air, Heal the Bay, Santa Monica Baykeeper, and the Cesar E. Chavez Foundation.
COSTALEGRE, MEXICO—The Sea Turtle Protection Program at Las Alamandas has been a great success over the years, increasing the number of turtles arriving each year on the four beaches of this hideaway resort nestled inside a private nature reserve. And now guests can participate in the two critical action phases of the program—the collecting of the eggs and the protecting of the newly hatched babies—and play an integral role in boosting the sea turtle population.
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK—The large structures arriving in Yellowstone National Park’s Canyon Village are tangible indications that the Canyon Lodge & Cabins redevelopment project is truly taking shape. Constructed in Boise, Idaho by Guerdon Enterprises, the modules will eventually comprise five multi-story lodges featuring stone and wood that blend into the surrounding area. The first three lodges will open in 2015 and the remaining two the following year. The modules are being created in a controlled environment that allows for year-round work while minimizing waste and maximizing efficiency. As part of its concessions contract with the National Park Service (NPS), lodge operator Xanterra Parks & Resorts is overseeing the $70 million project that will replace more than 300 cabins with five modern lodge buildings.
OTTAWA, ON.—The Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) is now accepting entries for the 2014 Hall of Fame Awards of Excellence. The Hall of Fame Awards program continues the Association’s tradition of acknowledging the strong standards and values of those involved in and with the lodging industry. The awards program recognizes those individuals, companies or properties that have demonstrated significant accomplishments, exemplary leadership and tireless commitment to the lodging industry.
NATIONAL REPORT—There are a large number of new and updated tax incentives available to hotel owners. These benefits take the shape of conventional tax incentives, such as cost segregation, as well as incentives encouraging the saving of energy, like the alternative energy credits and the proposed extension of Section 179D, Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings Tax Deduction. If used in conjunction, these tax incentives can assist in reducing the cost of hotel ownership. Cost segregation is a method of accounting that allows for hotel owners to take advantage of the time value of money. Normally, building property is depreciated over 39 years, meaning owners are able to take an annual 1/39th tax deduction of an item’s cost over each of the 39 years. Cost segregation allows hotel owners to categorize some building property along faster depreciation schedules, such as personal property (5- or 7-year), land improvements (15 year) or soft costs (distributed evenly across all categories). This allows an owner to realize these deductions faster.
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