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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.
KOLKATA, INDIA—ITC’s new luxury hotel in Bengaluru, the ITC Hotel Royal Gardenia, was conferred the highest rating for green buildings in the world—the LEED India Platinum Rating. This recognition makes it the world’s largest platinum rated hotel and is another manifestation of ITC’s leadership in sustainability practices. ITC is the only company in the world to be carbon positive, water positive and solid waste recycling positive. The LEED Platinum rating for the ITC Hotel is one more green milestone for ITC. It is close on the heels of the ITC Green Centre in Gurgaon—one of the world’s largest green buildings.
LAS VEGAS—Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas, a hotel located at the new CityCenter, has achieved LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. It is the first hotel in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group to receive a LEED rating, and marks the sixth LEED Gold certification for CityCenter, which is one of the world’s largest sustainable developments. “Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is known for demonstrating its leadership in the hotel industry,” said Rajesh Jhingon, general manager of Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas. “We are honored to have the Group’s first LEED Gold certified hotel.” The hotel's exterior was designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox.
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.
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