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COLLEGE PARK, MD.—College Park Marriott Hotel & Conference Center announces that it has achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council—LEED’s highest level of certification. The designation makes College Park Marriott one of just four LEED Platinum U.S. hotels. The hotel’s Platinum certification follows the completion of an extensive multi-year renovation of meeting and event space, guestrooms and public areas that emphasized green building techniques and enhanced eco-friendly practices in daily operations. This new designation highlights College Park Marriott’s longstanding commitment to preserving the environment. In 2004, the hotel was North America’s first LEED-certified hotel.
NEW YORK—SH Group, the hotel brand management arm of Starwood Capital Group, announced the opening of 1 Hotel Central Park. This is the second property for the recently launched 1 Hotels, and the first in New York City. Known for his innovations, Sternlicht developed the brand with goals of truly upending the world of hospitality through a socially and environmentally conscious platform in celebration of the beauty and preservation of nature. A natural haven in the middle of Manhattan, 1 Hotel Central Park stands one block south from New York City’s largest green space, at the corner of 58th Street and Sixth Avenue. A true homage to Central Park with its ivy-covered facade, the hotel offers respite from busy New York life for visitors and the community. “1 Hotels started from a simple belief: those who travel the world, care about it,” said SH Group CEO and Chairman Barry Sternlicht.
BROOME, AUSTRALIA—Wyndham Hotel Group has announced the signing of a franchise agreement for the 55-key Ramada Resort Eco Beach Broome, an eco-friendly property in Australia that adds to the company’s growing Ramada brand portfolio in the South Pacific. The four-and-a-half-star resort, located just over an hour’s drive south of Broome in Australia’s Kimberley region, provides guests with a beachfront location boasting outstanding views of the Indian Ocean. With a strong focus on conservation, Ramada Resort Eco Beach Broome practices sustainable energy and water use throughout the property, including the use of solar power, fluorescent lighting and recycled water to maintain the property’s expansive landscaped grounds.
DESERT HOT SPRINGS, CALIF.—Having achieved its initial goal of reinvigorating a historic property, the ownership group of Two Bunch Palms Spa Resort has retained Maxim Hotel Brokerage, Inc. to represent them in the sale of the asset. The iconic Two Bunch Palms Spa Resort located in Desert Hot Springs, Calif., is 15 minutes from the Palm Springs International Airport. Two Bunch Palms, the oldest hot mineral spa resort, is celebrating its 75-year anniversary by commissioning a 3.5-acre solar farm. The resort recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation to update and expand its rooms, restaurant, yoga, meeting facilities and IT infrastructure. The first phase of improvements was part of a major rebranding designed to highlight the 600 year old waters, award winning spa therapies, healthier gourmet cuisine and robust movement and enrichment programs with over 35 classes weekly.
MINNEAPOLIS—Radisson Blu Mall of America announced that it has officially become the first hotel in the metro Twin Cities area to house honey bee colonies from the University of Minnesota Bee Squad. As the first LEED certified hotel in the greater Twin Cities area, this further enhances the hotel’s commitment to the environment and sustainable programs. Without the pollinating services bees provide, there would be serious challenges in the production of many common foods as 35 percent of global food supply and more than 80 percent of flowering plants are dependent on animal pollination. Inspired by Dr. Marla Spivak at the University of Minnesota Bee Lab, the Bee Squad helps beekeepers and the community in the Twin Cities area foster healthy bee populations and pollinate landscapes through education and hands-on mentorship. The Bee Squad delivered two honey bee colonies to Radisson Blu Mall of America—each with about 10,000 honey bees per colony.
ANDERSON, CALIF.—G6 Hospitality, known for its economy lodging brands, Motel 6 and Studio 6 in the United States and Canada, announced another of its Motel 6 properties is now drawing power from the sun. The Motel 6 franchise located in Anderson, Calif., has installed more than 350 photovoltaic (PV) solar panels that are expected to generate 100 percent of energy used by the property. “We are very proud to see our franchise partner’s committed to finding innovative ways to improve our environment,” says Dean Savas, EVP Franchise and International Development at G6 Hospitality. “This solar initiative aligns with our intention to embed sustainability into every part of the G6 Hospitality business operations.” NC Lodging Inc. opened its first Motel 6 in 2010 and has been a member of the G6 Hospitality family for nearly five years.
DUBAI, U.A.E.—InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) announced the signing of a management agreement with Diamond Developers to launch the second Hotel Indigo in the U.A.E. Hotel Indigo is IHG’s boutique brand and each Hotel Indigo property is designed to reflect the local neighborhood it is located in. From the design of the building to the hotel’s artwork and locally-inspired menus, each Hotel Indigo property is unique to its surroundings, so no two properties are the same. In addition, guests can look forward to immersing in stories of the neighborhood through creatively crafted spaces reflecting the area’s heritage—a key cornerstone of the brand.
PORTLAND, MAINE—The Olympia Companies will manage a state-of-the-art hotel that is currently being built in Oberlin, Ohio by Oberlin College. The property will anchor The Peter B. Lewis Gateway Center, the cornerstone of Oberlin’s Green Arts District, an ongoing development encompassing the northeast corner of North Main Street and East College Street. It is a planned 100,000-square-foot, mixed-use development that will incorporate renewable energy systems and other innovative technologies designed to meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Platinum rating. “We’re honored to be chosen as the manager of this remarkable new property,” said Kevin Mahaney, President and CEO of The Olympia Companies.
ATLANTA—Taking green meetings to the next level, The Westin Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta, the largest Green Seal Silver Level certified convention hotel in the Southeast, is launching the Green Tour. This new on-site specialty event for meeting attendees provides a behind-the-scenes look at the sustainability, conservation and environmental efficiency efforts in the John Portman-designed AAA Four Diamond hotel. From event serveware made of leaves to the Go Green Racing teambuilding activity and single-stream recycling system, The Westin Peachtree Plaza is redefining what it means to be green. “Environmental stewardship is increasingly important to meeting planners and attendees when selecting a venue for their event,” said Ron Tarson, General Manager of The Westin Peachtree Plaza. “While many hotels say they offer green features, they frequently fall short. Our new Green Tour provides guests with a firsthand look at true sustainability and gives them a rare opportunity to view these efforts in action.”
NEW YORK—Starwood Capital Group Chairman and CEO Barry Sternlicht announced the launch of the new mission-driven luxury lifestyle brand 1 Hotels. The first property debuted in South Beach on March 25, followed by Central Park in late spring and Brooklyn Bridge Park at the end of 2015. 1 Hotels aims to change industry standards—more than a hospitality brand, from no paper or plastic in the guestrooms to nature as art and lobby farmstands. 1 Hotels celebrates nature while encouraging sophisticated travelers to live well, do better, and connect with the world around them. Each hotel in the portfolio is consciously designed in collaboration with eco-friendly architects and craftsmen, and each property features high-design with low-impact, reclaimed and natural materials wherever possible. The architecture, landscaping and decor all showcase the art in nature.
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