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SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS—With its recent $1 billion in renovations, the Holiday Inn brand has earned well-deserved publicity. Perhaps the Holiday Inn property deserving of the most buzz this year, however, is the brand new Holiday Inn Northwest/Sea World in San Antonio. The 194-room hotel is on track to be the first LEED certified hotel in Texas and the first LEED certified property within the 3,300-property Holiday Inn brand. The hotel is owned by a group of investors out of Lubbock, Texas, and managed by Dallas-based Hospitality Management Corp. Green highlights of the property include cisterns to collect water runoff.
TAMPA, FLA.—The Sheraton Suites Tampa Airport Westshore is completing a multimillion-dollar renovation project for which it has devoted significant resources to improving environmental efficiencies across the board. As part of its eco-initiative, hotel management has launched the “Make a Green Choice” (MAGC) program. Through this project, the Sheraton aims to improve housekeeping sustainability and productivity. Participating guests can decline housekeeping service for a day, and in exchange for helping the Sheraton conserve natural resources, they receive a $5 gift card.
NEW YORK—The 1,980-room Hilton New York has been awarded the 2008-2009 Environmental Recognition Program “Green Street” Award by the Avenue of the Americas Association. The award was presented at a gala reception held recently at the hotel’s Trianon Ballroom. The Hilton New York received the award in recognition of its environmentally-friendly energy fuel cell, which sits atop the building’s fifth floor roof. The Green Street Award was created to recognize members of the Association and other owners and tenants along the Avenue of the Americas.
LAS VEGAS—Crystals, the retail and entertainment district at CityCenter, has achieved LEED Gold Core & Shell certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, making it the world’s largest retail district to receive this level of recognition. Opening in December, CityCenter was created with a vision to introduce a new level of environmental consciousness to the world-famous Strip. Crystals’ achievement marks the fourth LEED Gold certification for CityCenter; previous recipients included 1. ARIA Resort’s hotel tower, 2. ARIA’s convention center and theater, and 3. Vdara Hotel & Spa.
AVON, COLO.—Colorado’s Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa announced that it has been awarded Silver Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The Westin Riverfront is the first hotel in Colorado to achieve this coveted green accolade and only the ninth hotel in the country to earn Silver LEED status. The Beaver Creek resort, which opened a year ago this week, is also the first Silver LEED Certified hotel in the Westin brand, which includes more than 160 hotels around the world. The Westin Riverfront features 210 guest residences.
CHARLOTTE, N.C.—The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte has opened, becoming the first LEED-built hotel for Ritz-Carlton and the first for greater Charlotte. The contemporary 146-room hotel features a 13,000-square-foot Wellness Center, 12,000 square feet of meeting and conference space featuring recycled aluminum conference tables and green meetings as a standard, and a slate of innovations for frequent travelers. The Ritz-Carlton is located in Charlotte’s thriving Uptown, within walking distance of the city’s most popular sports, entertainment and business destinations.
LOS ANGELES—Last week, officials at the Westin Bonaventure in Los Angeles announced that the property had received the city’s first Green Seal Silver Certification. In a press release announcing the honor, it was stated that the hotel expects to save approximately $225,000 a year because of its energy-saving and waste reduction initiatives. However, according to Steve Silva, chief engineer at the 1,354-room hotel, the Green Team has “just scratched the surface” of what can be saved and he expects the $225,000 number to eventually grow to $1 million a year.
STATE COLLEGE, PA.—The development team of The P Hotel and Spa announced suspension of construction of The P Hotel and Pure Spa project pending stabilization of the economy. The developers had been pursuing LEED Gold for the development here in State College. "Other components of the Waddle Road development will continue as planned but the owners have decided that we need to put The P on hold pending a better understanding of how the economy is going to unfold,” said Benjamin Heim, CEO of Tricore Group, LLC and lead developer on the project.
SEATTLE—The Olive 8 building has officially received LEED Silver from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a first for hotel/condominium buildings in the Seattle area. As the first mixed-use hotel and residential project to be LEED certified in Seattle, Olive 8 has been recognized as a high-performance building that is a responsible and efficient place to live, vacation and work. The Hyatt at Olive 8 located within the Olive 8 building is also one of only 20 hotels in the United States to be officially designated “green” by the LEED Green Building Rating System.
NAPA VALLEY, CALIF.—Silverado Resort’s frenetic executive chef Peter Pahk believes some things must be done slowly. Pahk has been instrumental in driving the Napa Valley resort’s numerous food-related environmental initiatives, and he has realized that to be a true leader you cannot expect overnight results. One of his many initiatives is to embrace organizations such as Slow Foods Napa and Slow Foods USA, organizations committed to identifying, preserving and promoting small agricultural producers and to educate the public about distinctive regional food traditions.
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