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WICHITA, KAN.—Value Place, the United States’ largest economy extended-stay lodging brand, unveiled a refreshed property standard that delivers cost efficiency and convenience for operators and new room features for guests. The new “Value Place 2.0” design carries more than 30 significant enhancements that range from more energy-efficient lighting and appliances to improved locking systems and expanded storage and counter space. Value Place’s property in Alpharetta, Ga., is the first location to incorporate the 2.0 features throughout the building. Intended as the established standard for all future development, the upgrades are being implemented in all new Value Place properties and phased in at existing locations. Several components introduce greater operational efficiency, such as improved energy-saving refrigerators and new, 7,000-BTU packaged terminal air conditioners with remote management to ensure units run only when needed. Corridors feature LED lights for lower utility costs and less-frequent bulb changes, while motion sensors in guestrooms control lighting without wasting energy. Operators benefit from new 2.0 upgrades that make housekeeping upkeep faster and easier.
LOS ANGELES—As part of the company’s rebranding initiative, Mars Air Systems is launching a clean new website to engage customers through interactive videos, information portals and client case studies. The website also now serves as an industry resource for new laws, studies and programs related to energy-efficient air curtains.
FORT WORTH, TEXAS—Traulsen, a leader in the design and manufacture of premium commercial refrigeration equipment, has released a white paper, “Buying the Right Refrigerator: Considerations for investing in your business.” This paper is written to benefit foodservice operations that are contemplating the purchase of a new refrigerator by discussing all of the features of the refrigeration unit that can impact long-term success.
NEW YORK—Conrad New York, a luxury waterfront, all-suite hotel located in the heart of lower Manhattan’s Battery Park City, has been awarded LEED Gold for New Construction Certification established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). This is the first LEED Gold New Construction major renovation project certified under the latest rating system in New York. Since its inception in 1998, LEED is the nation’s top rating system for design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings, homes and neighborhoods. The Conrad New York, having already achieved ISO 9000 certification in quality management and ISO 14001 certification in environmental management, along with the hotel’s new LEED Gold certification, further affirms the Conrad brand’s commitment to be a luxury leader in smart, sustainable hotel development and operations. “Part of Conrad New York’s commitment to being ‘smart luxury’ is being conscientious and mindful of our impact on the environment and on our Battery Park City community,” said Robert Rechtermann, general manager, Conrad New York.
HONOLULU, HAWAII—Aqua Kauai Beach Resort, an Aqua Hospitality property, has completed a series of enhancement projects that are equal parts innovation and renovation. Leading the list of projects is a large solar array built over the parking lot, providing cover and shade for vehicles while greatly reducing the popular beachfront hotel’s carbon footprint. “We are blessed with 25 beautiful acres along the coast, so we had plenty of land to erect our solar array,” said David Sosner, general manager of Aqua Kauai Beach Resort. “Our guests suggested covered parking would be a nice addition to the resort, so we’ve met that need while taking advantage of the abundant Hawaiian sunlight. We’re helping Mother Earth and lowering our energy costs by at least 20 percent. It’s a win for the planet, a win for our guests and a win for our owners.” The solar installation is projected to save almost 100,000 kilowatt hours per month.
SECAUCUS, N.J.—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized Panasonic Eco Solutions Division with a 2013 Energy Star Partner of the Year—Sustained Excellence Award for their continued leadership in manufacturing innovative ventilation fans and protecting our environment through superior energy efficiency. Panasonic’s accomplishments will be recognized at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. on March 26, 2013.
SILVER SPRING, MD.—Choice Hotels International’s announcement that it will require U.S. Econo Lodge hotels to participate in its Room to be Green program should elevate its overall number of Room to be Green participants to approximately 2,000 U.S. hotels by the end of the year. Currently, Room to be Green is an optional program for Choice’s other brands. Created in 2008, Room to be Green includes three elements: compact fluorescent or LED bulbs in all guest fixtures, excluding ceiling lights; a towel/linen reuse program; and recycling for guests and staff. Choice hotels that participate in Room to be Green are noted as such on the Choice Hotels site with these words: “Supports Green Practices.” Craig Mustard, head of domestic brand management for Econo Lodge, said the new Econo Lodge mandate was made after visiting with Econo Lodge owners and operators—each part of the Econo Lodge Franchisee Association—to get their feedback. “I was surprised how easy it was,” Mustard says. “I haven’t heard any negative comments.”
SATELLITE BEACH, FLA.—Lighting Science Group Corporation announced the launch of its “Edison inspired” A19 and GP19 LED lamps as a direct replacement for traditional general purpose lighting. These LED-optimized lamps replicate the form, weight and function of the incandescent Edison-shaped bulb that is most familiar to residential consumers and professionals alike.
TORRANCE, CALIF.—LEDtronics, Inc. announces the newest members in its series of high-brightness, energy-efficient LED replacements for A19-style light bulbs for home and commercial use. The DEC-A19F-13W-XIW-120AWD DécorLED Series comes with a softly diffused, precision domed lens that directs light in an omni-directional illumination pattern.
MAUI, HAWAII—Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, situated oceanfront on Kaanapali Beach, has become the first commercial business partner in the state of Hawaii to begin testing for Maui Electric’s (MECO) semi-automated Fast DR (Demand Response) Pilot Program. In partnership with Hawaiian Electric, MECO launched Fast DR last year to help business customers control the cost of their electric bills while helping the utility maintain reliability and add more renewable energy to the grid. Fast DR rewards commercial and industrial customers for designating parts of their electricity use that can be turned off during critical energy situations with 10 minutes’ notice or less. “We are proud to be the first commercial business in the state to begin testing this important clean energy program,” said Michael Jokovich, general manager of Hyatt Regency Maui.
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