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RALEIGH, N.C.—Capping off a year in which they raised more than $100,000, Concord Hospitality Enterprises Company associates—from the bussers to the board room—banded together on June 9 to provide food and shelter to those in need. Since starting Share Day in 2009, Concord Hospitality associates have raised more than $500,000, distributed one million meals, and refurbished dozens of homes.
LOS ANGELES—The Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Assn. (BLLA) announced that its 2015 Boutique Lifestyle Leadership Symposium is now officially open for attendee registration as well as sponsorship and exhibit space reservations. The two and a half day event, being held October 21 to 23 at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica, Calif., will address the industry's most relevant topics, crucial to the success of independent boutique lifestyle properties in this rapidly growing industry sector.
PORTLAND, ORE.—This summer, the Oregon Convention Center will install what is anticipated to be one of the largest solar arrays on a convention center in the United States. More than 6,500 rooftop solar panels are expected to produce 25 percent of the facility’s electricity. Construction of the two megawatt project is scheduled to begin in August and the system is expected to be in service this fall. “One of our core values is sustainability,” said convention center Executive Director Scott Cruickshank. “The rooftop solar installation will help us meet our carbon emission reduction goals, offset utility costs and provide an important learning opportunity for our convention center visitors and guests.” “I want to personally thank our partners at Pacific Power Blue Sky renewable energy program and Energy Trust of Oregon for supporting this installation,” Cruickshank added. “Their financial support made it possible to expand the original project scope of 1.1 MW to 2.0 MW, with no upfront costs borne by the facility or the taxpayers.”
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) launched its newly acquired SITES rating system, a comprehensive program and toolkit for developing sustainable landscapes. SITES was developed through a collaborative, interdisciplinary effort of the American Society of Landscape Architects, The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin, and the United States Botanic Garden.
ITHACA, N.Y.—The hotel industry will be able to compare ranges of energy and water use, as well as carbon footprint, using a new tool from the Center for Hospitality Research (CHR). Developed by researchers Howard Chong and Eric Ricaurte, the “Hotel Sustainability Tool 2015” is available from the CHR at no charge. Chong is an assistant professor at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, and Ricaurte is the founder of Greenview and an adjunct instructor at New York University's Tisch Center. Chong and Ricaurte developed the benchmark ranges using aggregate input for 4,725 hotel properties from 11 international hotel organizations: Hilton Worldwide, Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Host Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt Hotels Corp., IHG, Mandarin Oriental, Marriott International, Park Hotel Group, PGA Golf Resort, Saunders Hotel Group, and Wyndham Worldwide. For purposes of this tool, the hotels were grouped into the chain scale segments established by STR Global, and the tool also includes an overall measure for hotels in a particular geographic area regardless of chain scale.
JACKSON HOLE, WYO.—Jackson Hole’s award-winning Bentwood Inn has teamed up with Tesla Motors to provide Tesla Destination Charging, an increasingly desirable amenity. The decision to add the new charging station was easy, according to innkeepers Bob and Virginia Schrader. “Environmental sustainability and energy conservation are two of our core principles.” The inn, built in 1995 and constructed using massive 200 year old logs sustainably harvested from the Great Yellowstone Fire of 1988, is rated among the top Inns in Jackson Hole by Trip Advisor after achieving their Gold rating for environmental standards. The Bentwood Inn is the only Select Registry Property in Wyoming and has been recognized as “One of North America’s Top Ten Ecolodges” by Outside magazine and Away.com. The Bentwood Inn joins a rapidly growing network of resorts in Tesla Destination Charging, including more than 160 other Select Registry properties throughout the United States. This new program provides hotels, resorts, and restaurants around the world with charging equipment, and gives Tesla drivers the freedom to charge wherever they want to travel.
LAS VEGAS—The Green Parking Council (GPC) announced the first seven parking facilities in the United States to achieve Green Garage Certification, a comprehensive sustainability standard for existing and new parking facilities launched in 2015 and evaluating 48 elements of garage operation, programs, structure, and technology. The parking garage at the Charles Square Hotel in Cambridge, Mass., is among the seven to be certified. The Green Garage Certification program will be delivered and promoted globally by the Green Business Certification, Inc., the certification body for the U.S. Green Building Council’s global LEED green building rating system. “Cars are getting smarter, people are getting smarter, and parking garages are getting smarter,” says Paul Wessel, Executive Director of the GPC, an affiliate of the International Parking Institute. “The greening of parking facilities transforms them into enablers of sustainable mobility. Certified Green Garages offer significant benefits for drivers, tenants, building owners, property managers, and society overall.” Launched in 2015, Green Garage Certification recognizes parking facility management practices that maximize performance.
MONTEGO BAY, JAMAICA—Voluntourism and giving back while on vacation has long been a popular activity for conscientious adult travelers throughout the world but now a new generation of travelers are getting in on the act following the launch of a unique ‘Volunteenism’ program catered specifically for teens. Beaches Resorts, the family-focused brand of Sandals Resorts International (SRI), is expanding its voluntourism work with Island Impact, a new program set to launch in the Caribbean islands of Jamaica and the Turks and Caicos that allows students to earn community service hours while undertaking community work on their all-inclusive vacation. Students can embark on a variety of volunteenism projects including “Reading Road Trip,” a literacy outreach campaign, tutoring and homework help, assistance at special interest local youth camps, Pack for a Purpose—an opportunity to collect, pack and deliver much-needed school supplies and personal hygiene goods—as well as beach, park or community cleanup projects. Each volunteenism project is carefully developed by the Sandals Foundation and their locally-based partners to provide the greatest positive impact.
STAMFORD, CONN.—Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. announced it has reduced energy use by 12.08 percent, carbon emissions by 16.07 percent and water use by 17.26 percent across all owned, managed and franchised properties from 2008 through 2014. The reductions stem from Starwood’s 30/20 by 20 environmental goals, launched in 2009, to cut energy use by 30 percent and water use by 20 percent by 2020 globally. In 2013, Starwood added a goal to reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent during the same timeframe. “We’re pleased with the progress and are encouraged by the reductions we made while maintaining an aggressive global growth strategy,” said Ken Siegel, Chief Administrative Officer, General Counsel and Head of Global Citizenship at Starwood. “Our 30/20 by 20 goals challenge us to create short- and long-term programs and partnerships that protect the environment, reduce operating costs, enhance the guest experience and make sustainable upgrades possible for properties.” Starwood has made reductions by working together with its properties.
DESERT HOT SPRINGS, CALIF.—Having achieved its initial goal of reinvigorating a historic property, the ownership group of Two Bunch Palms Spa Resort has retained Maxim Hotel Brokerage, Inc. to represent them in the sale of the asset. The iconic Two Bunch Palms Spa Resort located in Desert Hot Springs, Calif., is 15 minutes from the Palm Springs International Airport. Two Bunch Palms, the oldest hot mineral spa resort, is celebrating its 75-year anniversary by commissioning a 3.5-acre solar farm. The resort recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation to update and expand its rooms, restaurant, yoga, meeting facilities and IT infrastructure. The first phase of improvements was part of a major rebranding designed to highlight the 600 year old waters, award winning spa therapies, healthier gourmet cuisine and robust movement and enrichment programs with over 35 classes weekly.
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