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STAMFORD, CONN.—Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. announced plans for a dual-branded hotel development in Columbus, Ohio, featuring its Aloft and Element brands. Owned by Indus Hotels, the 136-room Aloft Columbus and 123-room Element Columbus will be located adjacent to The Ohio State University, minutes from downtown Columbus. Marking the debut of both the Aloft and Element brands in Columbus, the hotels are slated to open in early 2017. “Our fast-growing Aloft and Element brands are a perfect fit for the lively city of Columbus and will help meet the demand for high-caliber lodging generated by The Ohio State University and the city’s thriving business community,” said Brian McGuinness, Senior Vice President of Specialty Select Brands for Starwood.
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y.—The Radisson Hotel New Rochelle is undergoing almost $2 million in updates to improve the energy efficiency of the 10-story, 129-room property. According to Colby Brock, General Manager of the hotel, the first phase of the renovation included replacing all PTAC units with new, more energy efficient versions with digital controls. The second and most expensive part of the renovation—one costing about a million dollars—was the replacement of the boiler plant with one with digital controls. That upgrade is expected to reduce energy costs by $250,000 a year, gas consumption by more than 35 percent, and emissions by 750 tons annually. “The direct digital control system allows us to have more zones, or more points of control, which enables us to adjust specific areas of the property,” Brock says.
RENO, NEV.—The capital costs and the environmental impact of operating a large resort hotel almost always coincide. Heating, laundry, lighting, landscaping—they all have an impact on both a resort’s bottom line and the natural environment. Hotels have the opportunity to save money and save the environment at the same time, but launching conservation projects that significantly reduce a hotel’s environmental footprint and operating budget takes strategy, some innovative thinking and a commitment to capitalize conservation efforts. Here are five ways The Peppermill Resort, Spa, Casino saves millions of dollars each year while conserving water and energy and reducing the resort’s overall environmental footprint. The Peppermill made a huge bet on geothermal energy in 2011.
SEDONA, ARIZ.—El Portal, Sedona’s premiere boutique hotel located in the heart of the red rock country of Arizona, announces the installation of its new green rooftop garden. With a longstanding history of dedication to local farmers through hosting open garden spaces to produce vegetables and herbs for fresh and local meals, El Portal Sedona Hotel strives to be at the forefront of supporting sustainability initiatives in its community. The hotel continues this commitment to going green by using its rooftop to install a living green space for guests and hotel staff to visually enjoy, and reduce its carbon footprint. Green roofs carry a rich tradition of creatively using space to absorb rainfall, provide thermal protection, and engage the aesthetic structures of landscapes and buildings. They consist of a partial or complete covering over the top surface of a building with a variety of plants, grasses, and a waterproofing membrane.
SAN DIEGO—Hilton San Diego Bayfront has been named the number one most sustainable Hilton hotel in the United States of America by Hilton Worldwide. Hilton San Diego Bayfront has recently received a number of green sustainability awards for the property’s multitude of recycling and energy conservation efforts. These notable recognitions come from a national and local level. In addition to being named the most sustainable Hilton property in the United States, City of San Diego has awarded the hotel with the 2014 Director’s Recycling Award, and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) recently recognized the hotel as the Energy Champion in Hospitality at their 2014 Energy Showcase Awards. “We have achieved a nearly 20 percent reduction in energy use,” says Tip Jozsa, Director of Property Operations for Hilton San Diego Bayfront.
DENVER—Metropolitan State University of Denver announced that its SpringHill Suites Denver Downtown at MSU Denver and the attached Hospitality Learning Center have been certified LEED Gold for New Construction by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to sustainable building design and construction. Managed by Denver’s Sage Hospitality, the 150-suite hotel is metro Denver’s first LEED Gold hotel. The public-private partnership between MSU Denver and Sage Hospitality created a vibrant hotel that opened in 2012, as well as the state-of-the-art HLC, the first of its kind in the Rocky Mountain region and one of only 11 in the United States. The partnership developed a dynamic environment for education and on-the-job training for students, who work along-side well-seasoned hoteliers from Sage Hospitality.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP) has chosen the J.W. Marriott Washington, D.C. as a 2014 Northeast Business Leader for Energy Efficiency for its efforts to grow the economy and protect the environment via its commitment to energy efficiency. In the nation’s capital, JW Marriott Washington, D.C. and Marriott International’s hotels of Washington, D.C. welcome tourists and professionals year-round. The hotels that serve these visitors are some of the largest consumers of energy in the city and present abundant opportunities for energy savings. Since 2012, Marriott International’s hotels of Washington, D.C. have worked with the DC Sustainable Energy Utility to reduce energy use and costs, and to help its D.C. hotels meet sustainability standards.
LAS VEGAS—Strengthening its position in the meetings and convention industry, Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino announced plans to expand its Convention Center. Based on demand for additional space, the resort will add new exhibit space, underground parking and increase overall square footage. Mandalay Bay is a wholly owned subsidiary of MGM Resorts International. Plans include the addition of more than 350,000 square feet of exhibit space to the existing 1.7 million-square-foot Mandalay Bay Convention Center as well as underground parking and more carpeted ballroom space. The new spaces will allow Mandalay Bay to grow current shows, pursue new and larger corporate partners and achieve greater utilization of the entire facility.
YAO NOI, THAILAND—In support of Six Senses core values of sustainability and respect for the environment, Six Senses Yao Noi has launched an organic chicken farm. In January the resort purchased 200 young laying hens and as of April 2014 the farm now provides guests with fresh eggs daily. By June, it is estimated that the chickens will supply the resort with all their eggs. Jim Driskell, senior chef de cuisine at The Dining Room, the resort’s organic European cuisine restaurant, in conjunction with Khun Pim, the resort’s full time sustainability and recycling expert, developed the organic chicken farm from initial planning to implementation. Chef Jim had substantial experience from his time working in the United States, Chile and Japan at several world renowned farms to table restaurants. The opportunity to create the chicken farm within the resort is a point of pride for both Chef Jim and Khun Pim.
BOGOTA, COLOMBIA—Five years in the planning, the Biohotel Organic Suites is just one month from opening in Bogota, Colombia in the district of Usaquen, known as the culinary and cultural hub of the city. The seven-story, 72-room property is “my retirement plan,” says Samuel Huertas, majority owner. Huertas is aiming for LEED Gold certification for the hotel that includes the Green Piece restaurant and meeting space to accommodate up to 150 people. True to its name, the Biohotel Organic Suites is green throughout. The exterior of the building features windows made from recycled glass and vertical “gardens” that help to minimize heat gain from the hot Colombia sun. A 110-panel solar photovoltaic system on the roof of the hotel will supply about 10 percent of the hotel’s electricity.
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