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PITTSBURGH—Fairmont Hotels & Resorts announced the opening of the Fairmont Pittsburgh, the city’s first premier luxury hotel. Featuring 185 guestrooms, 12,000 square feet of event space and a 6,000 square-foot health club, Fairmont Pittsburgh has made its home at Three PNC Plaza, one of the largest mixed-use buildings to be certified by the United States Green Building Council in accordance with its LEED rating system. Later this year, Fairmont Pittsburgh expects to receive LEED certification at a Gold level, which complements the company’s industry leading Green Partnership, a program focused on responsible tourism practices.
LAS VEGAS—Las Vegas Sands Corp., a developer of multi-use integrated resorts, has launched its Sands Eco 360° Global Sustainable Development program. The program’s launch was highlighted by an announcement that the company’s Venetian Resort and Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas have achieved LEED for Existing Buildings Gold as part of the U.S. Green Building Council’s building certification program. The combined Venetian, Sands Expo, and Palazzo Las Vegas, which in 2008 received LEED for New Construction Silver certification, now comprise the largest LEED building in the world.
ORLANDO, FLA.—The Florida Department of Environmental Protection recently welcomed the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center into the Florida Green Lodging Program. The resort is one of the largest in the state to participate. In addition, the resort announced the rollout of a new guest communications program, called “We’re Eco-Logical,” designed to share the spirit of the resort’s eco-friendly initiatives with guests and meeting planners. “Together with the citizens of Osceola County, we have created one of the most successful meetings and conventions resorts in Florida,” said Kemp Gallineau, senior vice president and general manager.
SANTA MONICA, CALIF.—Convention center hotels in Denver are set to gain new competition when a new 403-room Embassy Suites hotel opens directly across from the Denver Convention Center in December 2010. Windsor Management Services, the hotel management arm of Windsor Capital Group headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif., has reached an agreement with developer, White/Peterman Properties, Inc. in Merrillville, Ind., to manage the new Denver hotel. The new Embassy Suites hotel development boasts 403 rooms and 17 function rooms, totaling 21,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space, and features unique design elements.
KAANAPALI NORTH BEACH, MAUI—The newest full service hotel development on Kaanapali Beach, the Honua Kai Resort & Spa, has unveiled details of its comprehensive sustainability program—in line with the traditional Hawaiian concept of “malama aina,” (caring for the land). Honua Kai’ practices begin with the ocean, protect the surrounding beach, and extend to every room at the property. Honua Kai, which opened in January 2009, has its own director of sustainability, Lance Gilliland. “We call it ‘Eco-nomics,’—practices that are ecologically sound and economically feasible,” Gilliland says. “It just makes sense to conserve energy.”
BIG CYPRESS, FLA.—Developers including Florida Everglades Resort, LLC and the Seminole Tribe of Florida are in discussion with potential investors who would help raise $23 million for a unique eco-resort within the Florida Everglades. The Florida Everglades Resort will be built on a 15-acre site and within the 72,000-acre Seminole Reservation near Big Cypress. The site is located adjacent to Billie Swamp Safari, a 2,200-acre nature and wildlife park. Jupiter, Fla.-based Florida Everglades Resort, LLC is the result of a multi-year collaboration between EcoExperience Development, Inc. (EDI) and several hospitality and sustainability experts.
SAINT-HYACINTH, QUEBEC—IHG announced that the company’s first sustainable hotel in Canada and the first of its type in Quebec officially opened in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec. The Holiday Inn Express and Suites Saint-Hyacinthe has been built to meet the criteria of the LEED Green Building Rating System for its sustainable practices. The Holiday Inn Express and Suites Saint-Hyacinthe features several key amenities that create a green environment, with a high efficiency energy distribution, ultra-insulated building, and LED and low voltage fluorescent lighting. The property has employed several key factors to reduce its overall carbon footprint.
PARK CITY, UTAH—The Treasure Mountain Inn, Park City’s only 100 percent wind powered and 100 percent carbon-neutral “eco-tique” hotel, has taken an additional step towards sustainability by adding solar power to its host of green initiatives. The system was appropriately launched on the first day of winter, the darkest day of the year, and is now generating green power for the lodging property’s spa and courtyard. Andy Beerman, Treasure Mountain Inn’s co-owner and general manager, said the solar system cost about $35,000. The inn’s owners were unable to obtain tax credits for the installation because the inn is considered a condo hotel.
SHELTON, CONN.—Jekyll Island, Ga., has its first new hotel in 35 years with the grand opening of the new Hampton Inn and Suites, announced New Castle Hotels & Resorts, which will manage the property on behalf of co-owners Jekyll Ocean Oaks, LLC, an affiliate of the ownership group of the Jekyll Island Club Hotel. In its building design and operation, the new hotel is focused on sustainability to compliment the island’s environment and is among the greenest hotels in New Castle’s portfolio, having used many recycled materials during construction, underscoring the property owner’s commitment to green business and building practices.
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.—Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. announced the opening of its first Element hotel in New Jersey and the seventh Element hotel globally, Element Ewing-Hopewell in Ewing, N.J. The hotel is owned through a joint venture between American Properties Realty, Inc. and Hersha Hospitality Management, L.P., which is also the manager of the hotel.
Element made history when it launched as the only major hotel brand to mandate that its properties pursue the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification for high-performance buildings.
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