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LAS VEGAS—Relax and recharge has a new meaning for visitors at Caesars Entertainment resorts. While guests enjoy their stay, they can now conveniently plug in and charge their electric vehicles thanks to new EV charging stations at 13 Caesars’ resorts and casinos. In partnership with NV Energy, nearly all of Caesars’ Northern and Southern Nevada resorts and casinos now have operational EV charging stations on site, in addition to Harrah’s Resort Southern California. A total of 48 charging ports have been installed in guest parking lots as well as valet areas, and are available for guests to use at no cost. Caesars is working to expand the availability of EV charging at its domestic resorts, with the next round of deployment planned for the following locations: Harrah’s New Orleans Hotel & Casino, Harrah’s Philadelphia, Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City, and Horseshoe Casino Hammond. Once completed, the gaming-entertainment company will provide a wide network of charging stations spanning across the country from east to west.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced the launch of an expanded online data visualization resource that will allow any user to access aggregated LEED green building project information in the more than 150 countries with LEED projects under way.
DOVER, DEL.—Dover Downs Hotel & Casino and its Dover Conference Working Group (DCWG) will host the Mid-Atlantic Green Hospitality Conference, a first-of-its-kind opportunity to unite food service and lodging facilities, tourism agencies, “eco” product suppliers and consultants around the common cause of maintaining and promoting environmentally friendly lodging and food service practices. The DCWG is an employee collaboration chaired by George Fiorile, General Manager of Hotel Operations at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino. The company’s DCWG is comprised of Jerry Lawrence, Director of Purchasing, Doree Kuhn, Director of Hotel Operations, Gordon Basht, Director of Sales and John Doerfler, Hotel Sales Manager. Doerfler is also the in-house Conference Coordinator. The DCWG has contracted for conference planning and development HospitalityGreen LLC, outside consultants who were responsible for co-chairing and co-coordinating the highly successful 2014 Green Tourism Conference in April in Callicoon, N.Y. The region’s proximity to multiple major metropolitan areas positions it as an up and coming destination for tourists, meeting planners and conference coordinators seeking environmentally responsible lodging and food service providers.
ATLANTA—ASHRAE and the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA) have agreed in principle to join forces, combining resources to improve indoor air quality in the built environment. Pending a three to six month period of due diligence, IAQA will become a part of the ASHRAE organization while maintaining its own brand and Board of Directors. IAQA will operate independently within ASHRAE’s organizational structure.
RALEIGH, N.C.—A state environmental program recently recognized North Carolina’s 100th tourism business for its use of sustainable practices that save energy and protect the environment. The NC GreenTravel Initiative now boasts 100 sustainable tourism-oriented businesses with the recent addition of the Greenville Uptown Umbrella Market, a farmer’s market that features locally-grown food and uses a refurbished trolley to shuttle people for free to the market from outlying areas in eastern North Carolina. “On top of being a gorgeous place to live and visit, North Carolina is ideal for those who want to travel green,” said John Skvarla, Secretary of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources. “The NC GreenTravel Initiative has made people more aware of sustainable, travel-oriented businesses that make sound investments in sustainability. These businesses are a vital part of our efforts to protect the environment and encourage economic growth.” NC GreenTravel started in October 2011 to promote sustainable travel. Tourism-focused businesses, including hotels and state parks, apply and are selected for the program.
NEW YORK—The Nyman Group of Scottsdale, Ariz. and Las Vegas, and Robert Rippe & Associates of Minnetonka, Minn., have been selected as the winners of the International Hotel, Motel + Restaurant Show’s 2014 Foodservice Pioneering Concept. The foodservice consulting groups’ “BOWLS—Food That’s Good For You!” concept will be built to a scaled working model on the exhibit floor during the IHMRS, November 9 to 11, and will host demonstrations throughout the Show.
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. “Our contractors, Long Island Energy Partners, specifically recommended the Thermal Solutions system for its extreme reliability, low maintenance and the ability to control the entire building from a laptop or smartphone.”
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The National Restaurant Association has issued a new report focused on sustainability best practices for the foodservice industry. Created by the NRA’s Conserve sustainability program, the report, “Spotlight on Sustainability: Expert Tips from NRA Show 2014,” features tips, trends and real-world advice from industry experts who appeared at the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show in Chicago.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Health-conscious travelers now make up more than 40 percent of the U.S. travel marketplace and that number is trending upward. Already a $439 billion market, the wellness travel industry is expected to grow another 50 percent through 2017, according to the Global Wellness Tourism Congress (GWTC). Meanwhile, hotels and resorts are spending billions of dollars on new facilities and upgrading existing properties to meet the demand of travelers looking for the best possible healthy destination experience. To help legitimize the business of healthy travel destinations, a new, first of its kind nonprofit has been formed called the Institute for Healthy Destination Accreditation (IHDA). The Washington, D.C.-based IHDA utilizes a proprietary science-based certification process, the only one in the industry, designed to help resorts and hotels measure and improve their health-related initiatives, amenities, facilities and personnel. Likewise, the IHDA-operated website will serve as a consumer portal where health-focused travelers can find useful and timely IHDA-certified information about healthy travel options throughout the United States and eventually throughout the world.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched the 2014 Energy Star Battle of the Buildings: Team Challenge. More than 5,500 buildings nationwide are going head-to-head to reduce their energy use. In support of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, which calls for businesses to cut in half the amount of energy they waste over the next 20 years, the competition specifically targets wasted energy in commercial buildings, and will motivate businesses to improve energy efficiency, reduce harmful carbon pollution, and save money.
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