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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.
ORLANDO, FLA.—The 2,000-room Orlando World Center Marriott Resort & Convention Center recently received the distinguished Two Palm status in the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Green Lodging Program. “Adopting effective eco-practices is a winning combination for everyone,” said Tim Pyne, director of sales and marketing at the property. “Collectively our guests, meeting planners and staff are all participants in making a positive difference to preserve the environment while saving resources.”
TETIAROA, FRENCH POLYNESIA—Located on the French Polynesian atoll of Tetiaroa and a product of the late Marlon Brando’s vision, construction on The Brando has officially begun with completion slated for late 2011. Construction of the luxury eco-resort has commenced with the official authorization from the Tahitian government after several years of studying the impact of construction on the environment. The Brando will feature 47 deluxe bungalow villas (each with private plunge pools).
CHARLOTTE, N.C.—When The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte opens in October, it will be the first LEED hotel to open in the greater Charlotte, N.C. area and the first Ritz-Carlton property anywhere to earn the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED designation (the company is also pursuing LEED for its new Lake Tahoe property expected to open later this year). The 146-room hotel has been designed to earn LEED Gold certification once it opens, to be followed by LEED Gold for Existing Buildings certification a year later.
STOWE, VT.—One of Stowe’s oldest inns has gotten fresh and gone green by joining the Vermont Fresh Network. By partnering with local farmers and food producers to add native ingredients to its restaurants, they’re helping strengthen and preserve the state’s agriculture base. Going local is also part of their long-term sustainability plan. “The name ‘Vermont Fresh’ says it all—the freshest, highest quality ingredients, all grown or produced right here in Vermont,” said innkeeper Patti Clark.
PUNTA CANA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC—The World Travel & Tourism Council announced that Grupo PUNTACANA, the parent company of the PUNTACANA Resort & Club, located in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, has been selected as the winner of the 2009 Tourism for Tomorrow Award in the Destination Stewardship category. The honor was granted due to the company’s dedication and success in developing a program of commitment for sustainable tourism.
BIG SUR, CALIF.—Post Ranch Inn, recognized throughout the world as a leading green coastal property, has switched on a 990-panel solar installation, the largest hotel solar project in California and one of the largest in the United States. According to the EPA, the system is estimated to reduce carbon emissions by 611,000 pounds annually. That is equivalent to removing more than 50 vehicles from the road. The solar array is owned by Recurrent Energy.
PORTLAND, ORE.—What was once a vacant bank building in downtown Portland will open in May as the Courtyard by Marriott—Portland City Center. The 256-room hotel was built to earn LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The structure, which has been given a new shell, three new floors and brand new mechanical systems, is expected to be the first LEED Gold hotel in the Pacific Northwest.
SAN FRANCISCO—San Francisco’s Orchard Hotel joins its sister property—the Orchard Garden Hotel—in green certification, earning LEED-EB (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification for an existing building by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). San Francisco’s only hotel to earn this honor, the Orchard Hotel is the second hotel in California and fourth hotel in the world with this certification.
HOUSTON—Hilton Americas-Houston has just received the unique distinction of becoming the first hotel in the state of Texas to achieve Green Seal certification. Demonstrating environmental leadership in operations and purchasing, the downtown Houston convention hotel reduced their environmental impact and improved sustainability in accordance with stringent guidelines set out by Green Seal in order to obtain the certification.
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