Green Hotel Focus

In Green Hotel Focus, Green Lodging News features those properties that deserve just a little bit more attention than your typical green hotel—those properties that have invested in green building design and technologies, energy and water conservation, indoor air quality, and much more. Would you like to nominate a property for coverage? Contact Glenn Hasek, editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at:

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Fairmont Kea Lani Celebrates Completion of 500 kW Solar Installation


WAILEA, HAWAII—Today, Fairmont Kea Lani will hold a Power Up Celebration and blessing to mark the completion of a photovoltaic installation project. The 500 kilowatt, 1,528 panel solar installation generates 845,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, enough electricity to power 139 homes on Maui. The project is expected to reduce the resort’s current energy demand by more than 10 percent and reduce CO2e emissions by 462 metric tons of CO2e annually. This reduction in CO2e emissions is the equivalent of removing 97 passenger cars from local roads per year. “Fairmont Kea Lani’s commitment to social responsibility is deeply ingrained in the culture of the resort,” says Fairmont Kea Lani General Manager, Charles Head. “We are extremely proud to take a major step towards reducing the overall footprint of Fairmont Kea Lani with this important energy initiative.”

The Purpose Hotel Launches, Inviting Individuals to Back Project Through Kickstarter Campaign


NASHVILLE, TENN.—An effort to raise money for The Purpose Hotel has launched. Celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart (Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Sting, etc.) is using Kickstarter to gather financial support for the project that aims to fight against injustices of war, hunger, poverty, global warming, racial tension, unclean water, addictions and natural disasters. Every aspect of the global chain will directly contribute to those in need through partnerships and sponsors. Through the project’s Kickstarter, individuals have the opportunity to become co-founders as backers of the project. With a dedicated goal of $2 million in funding, backers of the hotel will receive perks and rewards based on their pledge to The Purpose Hotel Kickstarter. As of July 27, 2016, more than $300,000 had been raised.

Long-Vacant Salvation Army Building Reborn as The Asbury in Asbury Park


ASBURY PARK, N.J.—A lawn with a white picket fence isn’t standard at hotels—especially on the roof overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. But The Asbury, which opened Memorial Day weekend, is the opposite of standard. An exuberant reimagining of the classic beach hotel, The Asbury feels like Asbury Park itself—spontaneous, original, and surprising, with rock ‘n’ roll energy. The Asbury’s opening marks the next chapter in Asbury Park’s rebirth. The first new hotel in Asbury Park in more than 50 years, the 110-room property is part of the multi-billion-dollar redevelopment plan by Master Developer iStar, a ten year proposal that is being hailed as one of the most significant and ambitious redevelopment plans on the Eastern Seaboard. To transform a long-vacant Salvation Army building into The Asbury, iStar tapped two hotel-industry titans.

Republic, Mirage Hotel & Casino Unveil New Recycling Exhibit


LAS VEGAS—Republic Services and The Mirage Hotel & Casino unveiled a new recycling exhibit inside the Sustainability Discovery Center at Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. The exhibit is part of an ongoing commitment made by Republic and MGM Resorts International to increase awareness of sustainability throughout Southern Nevada and among roughly 42 million tourists who visit annually. “MGM Resorts International and Republic have partnered to increase awareness of the positive impacts of recycling, and the important role each individual can play,” said Cindy Ortega, Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer of MGM Resorts International. “The Mirage Sustainability Discovery Center serves as a valuable educational resource for the Las Vegas community.”

New York’s Hotel Pennsylvania Beats out 1,600 Competitors to Win Energy Star National Building Competition


NEW YORK—New York’s Hotel Pennsylvania announced that it has won the 2015 Energy Star National Building Competition for demonstrating leadership in water conservation. The hotel competed against more than 1,600 buildings with the goal of reducing its water use and protecting the environment. The recognition was awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). “We are pleased to be recognized for our water conservation efforts,” said Gene Nicotra, General Manager at the hotel. “Not only do we offer excellent location and value, but we also continue to improve efficiencies in reducing our carbon footprint.”

Barclay Hotel Reopens Following 20-Month, $180 Million Renovation


ATLANTA—InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) announces the opening of the newly-renovated, InterContinental New York Barclay, which made its grand debut to New York society in 1926 as one of the original “Railroad” hotels. For generations the hotel served as one of New York’s most preferred addresses and now, The Barclay is celebrating its return following a $180 million, 20-month top-to-bottom renovation with more than 420,000 square feet of redesigned interiors. The revitalized hotel brings to life The Barclay Experience—quintessential New York sensibility, sustainable practices and a celebration of the thriving, fast-paced local culture, while continuing to offer international expertise. These touchpoints are expressed in all design details and service offerings at the renewed property.

LEED Platinum Hotel at Oberlin Readies for May Soft Opening


OBERLIN, OHIO—One of the world’s most innovative green hotels—The Hotel at Oberlin—is just one month away from its soft opening in Oberlin, Ohio. The hotel is owned by Oberlin College and eventually will qualify for the rare LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The 70-room Hotel at Oberlin is the first LEED Platinum hotel owned by a college and anchors the Peter B. Lewis Gateway Center, the cornerstone of Oberlin’s Green Arts District, an ongoing development conceived by the city and college to transform Oberlin into a model for environmentally aware economic development based on education and the arts. The Peter B. Lewis Gateway Center also includes a conference center, commercial and office space, jazz club, and restaurant that features locally grown and sourced fare.

LEED Platinum Moon Resort Planned for Coachella Valley, California


LOS ANGELES—Moon World Resorts Inc. (MWR), a Canadian architectural design, intellectual property developer and licensor, has revealed its plans for MOON USA. The project will rise in the City of Coachella, situated in California’s desert region known as the Coachella Valley. Triangulated between Los Angeles and San Diego, the Coachella Valley already welcomes some 12 million annual visitors. “We are thrilled MWR chose the City of Coachella as the location for this truly amazing and highly imaginative project,” said Mark Weber, City of Coachella’s Economic Development Manager. “We look forward to assisting the MWR team as they proceed through the planning, approval and development stages.” MOON USA claims it will be the world’s “most innovative, inspiring and environmentally sensitive mega-resort destination.”

Red Frog Beach Island Resort Adds 193kW Solar Power System


BOCAS DEL TORO, PANAMA—Red Frog Beach Island Resort announced the installation and operation of a 193kW centralized solar power system in Bocasdel Toro, Panama. This system will provide over 332,000 kWh’s per year of sustainable, clean energy to Bocas Del Toro’s most upscale resort. Installed on the roofs of service buildings, these solar panels will provide over 22 percent of the resort’s current power needs and will be expanded as demand increases. Wiebke Krüge, a solar energy expert from SMA Sunbelt Energy GmbH, said, “It was a privilege to implement a centralized solar source at Red Frog Beach in such a beautiful island environment. We are very confident that our modern solar technology will reduce the carbon footprint in Bocas del Toro. Our company has partnered with MGM to offer strategic ways to offer financing to resort developments looking to save on energy costs and help the environment.”

Hilton San Francisco Gaining Notoriety for Green Leadership


SAN FRANCISCO—The Hilton San Francisco Union Square has quite a win streak going. On February 17, the 1,919-room hotel hosted the Hotel Council of San Francisco’s first Stay Green Forum. The event drew 275 attendees. “Lieutenant Governor Newsom was the keynote speaker,” says Jo Licata, Community Projects Manager at the hotel. It was a great success. We had almost every hotel in San Francisco represented.” Also in February, the hotel garnered a lot of publicity for being the first hotel to participate in the Better Buildings Challege SWAP, a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) program that saw officials from Hilton Worldwide and Whole Foods Market swap energy teams in order to uncover new energy efficiency strategies. In December, Hilton Worldwide announced that it was the first hospitality company to achieve Superior Energy Performance certification from the DOE.

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