News & Features

Whether an industry announcement, or a hotel accomplishment, Green Lodging News reports on the most up-to-date news and offers a unique perspective on trends—all with the purpose of making your company more profitable. Got news or a story idea to share? Contact Glenn Hasek, editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at:

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Management Company Meyer Jabara Hotels Seeing Green by Being Green


DANBURY, CONN.—Keeping properties performing at peak efficiency is a top priority of Meyer Jabara Hotels (MJH). From the laundry facility and guestrooms to parking lots and rooftops, the East Coast hotel management company is committed to making each of its 22 hotels representing 4,000 guestrooms across 10 states energy efficient and operating green. “In today’s world, we need to manage down to the penny, and utilities are a major cost to the operation of the hotel,” said Justin Jabara, MJH VP of Development and Acquisition. “The better we can manage the consumption of energy, gas and water, the more money we can bring to the bottom line.” In July 2015, the La Quinta Inn and Suites in Danbury, Conn., owned by real estate investment company Diamond Properties and managed by MJH, installed 400 solar panels on the rooftops of two of its five buildings to generate 132,000 watts of solar electricity. Today, the 113-room hotel is significantly reducing its carbon footprint by receiving 18 percent of its annual energy from the sun.

Javits Center Announces Live Video Stream from Green Roof


NEW YORK—New York Convention Center Operating Corporation (NYCCOC) President and CEO Alan Steel announced the creation of a live video web stream from the Javits Center’s green roof, the second largest of its kind in the United States. The live stream, which displays a rooftop view of Manhattan’s rapidly developing West Side, will be available 24 hours a day and provide users with a unique perspective of the 6.75-acre green roof. Since its installation in 2014, the green roof has become a sanctuary for area wildlife, serving as a home for 17 bird species, five bat species and 300,000 honeybees. The green roof was constructed as a part of the Javits Center’s recent renovation, which included major upgrades to its façade, flooring, and mechanical and technology systems. The Javits Center has partnered with the New York City Audubon and other research institutions to study the impact of the green roof and other sustainability efforts. The live green roof cam can be found here:

Skamania Lodge Planning Two Tree Houses


STEVENSON, WASH.—Skamania Lodge, A Destination Hotel, recently broke ground on its Columbia Gorge resort property to build two luxuriously customized tree houses, designed by MG2, which are scheduled to be open to guests later this summer. The tree houses are cozy, secluded, elevated rooms that sleep up to four guests, with modern amenities, overlooking Skamania Lodge’s lush forest and the Columbia River. Each tree house offers a large outdoor deck, an indoor/outdoor fireplace, a bathroom, one king size bed and easy access via an attached staircase.

Reminder to Complete Planet’s Premier Green Lodging Survey


ODESSA, FLA. & SINGAPORE—Green Lodging News, lodging’s leading environmental news source, and Greenview, a leader in advancing hotel sustainability, remind you to complete the planet’s premier Green Lodging Survey. Owners and operators of lodging establishments around the globe are being asked to participate. The Green Lodging Survey is the lodging industry’s annual exercise to assess and catalyze green innovation, best practices, and awareness regarding the state of sustainability across hotels worldwide. There is no cost to participate in the survey. The Green Lodging Survey is sponsored by The Arbor Day Foundation at the Silver level and Pineapple Hospitality, Aquawing Ozone Laundry Systems and reCollect2 Co. at the Bronze level. The survey launches with the support of Green Key Global, Mekong Tourism Office, Horwath HTL Asia Pacific and Clean the World. Tens of thousands of green lodging establishments around the planet—primarily those in the United States, Canada, and Southeast Asia—are encouraged to benchmark their sustainability practices by completing this survey. “I am excited to partner with Greenview on this global project that has been built to uncover and analyze lodging’s leading innovative best practices in the area of sustainability,” says Glenn Hasek, Publisher and Editor of Green Lodging News. “Green Lodging News and Greenview intend to reach tens of thousands of lodging establishments with this survey.”

Coral Caye Opens off Coast of Belize


PLACENCIA, BELIZE—The Family Coppola Resorts announced the opening of Coral Caye, a private island eight miles off the coast of Placencia, Belize. A 20 minute boat ride from Coppola’s beachfront retreat, Turtle Inn, the rustic two-acre island makes the property the only Belizean mainland resort with its own private island. Furthering The Family Coppola Resort’s commitment to sustainability, Coral Caye relies heavily on solar power and caught rainwater and participates in coral and mangrove restoration programs. Guests are provided with personal stainless steel water bottles to fill with the island’s fresh filtered water.

Audits Help Caesars Reduce Waste as It Approaches 2020 Goal


LAS VEGAS—Caesars Entertainment Corp., with the help of Ecova, is digging deep into its own trash to uncover opportunities to improve its waste diversion rate. That diversion rate currently stands at 44 percent, up from 23 percent in 2013. The company’s 2020 goal is a 50 percent diversion rate. Key to Caesars’ success so far is its commitment to consistently measure its waste stream and conduct a “dumpster dive” every now and then to uncover opportunities for continuous improvement. When Jeff Ruskowitz, Caesars’ Manager of Engineering and Sustainable Operations, joined the company in 2013, he found that Caesars had not been actively measuring its organizational diversion level as part of the company’s overall CodeGreen program. “Execution was happening in site-specific silos,” Ruskowitz says. “There was no centralized, aggregate reporting effort, so we were unable to make an accurate assessment of our progress. In addition to this decentralization, we realized that not everything being diverted, particularly organics, was being reported. We had not physically opened up a compactor. We didn’t really have an idea of what was there.”

U.S. Coral Reefs Facing Warming Waters, Increased Bleaching


NATIONAL REPORT—A new National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) outlook shows that many coral reefs across around the world will likely be exposed to higher-than-normal sea temperatures for an unprecedented third year in a row, leading to increased bleaching—and with no signs of stopping. While the bleaching event is global, it will hit the United States hard, especially in Hawaii, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Florida Keys, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. The deeper reefs in the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, 100 miles off the coast of Texas in the Gulf of Mexico, are also in the crosshairs. NOAA Coral Reef Watch finds there is a 90 percent chance of widespread coral bleaching in the Pacific island nations of Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia during the probable La Nina. La Nina conditions can cause high ocean temperatures in the western Pacific. NOAA is currently predicting a 75 percent chance of La Nina development this year.

Carlson Wagonlit Travel Releases Sustainability Report


AMSTERDAM—Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT), a confirmed responsible business leader in the travel industry, released its fourth annual Responsible Business Report. The report shows how CWT is leading as an ethical and socially responsible company. It also highlights unique and personal stories from employees around the world, showing how they are bringing responsible business to life inside the company.

Sustainable Practices Drive Destination Choice for Majority Of Travelers, New Research Unveils


NATIONAL REPORT—A majority of travelers in the United States spend more money per trip, travel more frequently and stay longer when destinations offer sustainable practices, according to a report released by Sustainable Travel International and Mandala Research. The 2016 Role of Sustainability in Travel & Tourism report revealed compelling results, most notably that 60 percent of U.S. travelers (105.3 million) have taken a “sustainable” trip in the last three years and that these travelers are extremely valuable to the tourism industry. These travelers spend more (on average $600 per trip), stay longer (seven days compared to four days) and bring higher benefits to local communities including job creation, giving-back and volunteering. Visit California, a nonprofit organization that works in partnership with the state’s travel industry to develop marketing campaigns that drive tourism to the state, was a lead sponsor of the study. “The findings show that tourists, especially California tourists, value and intentionally seek sustainable tourism options,” said Visit California President & CEO Caroline Beteta. “A sustainable mindset is woven into the California brand, and travelers who come here will find California’s travel industry is leading the way in sustainable practices.”

Omni Hotels & Resorts Says ‘Goodnight to Hunger’


DALLAS—Just as Omni Hotels & Resorts says “goodnight” to millions of guests every year, the luxury hotel brand will now Say Goodnight to Hunger! For every stay booked directly on the brand’s website,, it will make a donation to Feeding America to provide a family of four dinner for an entire week. Donations will benefit Feeding America and local members in the 42 communities where Omni Hotels & Resorts’ 60 properties are located.

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