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NATIONAL REPORT—Light has been around as long as the human race. First came fire—primitive, serving a dual purpose of heating and illumination. Fire, as a technology, was around for thousands of years. Relatively recently, roughly a hundred or so years ago, incandescent light was invented. This light source remains in use today and is a relatively simple process—passing an electrical current through a resistor, which creates both light, and heat. In the last 60 or so years, newer technologies have appeared—fluorescent, low and high-pressure sodium, metal halide, compact florescent. While these are significantly more efficient light sources than fire or incandescent (as measured by their ability to convert energy primarily into light), they pale in comparison to the last 18 months of development of solid-state light sources, such as LED. Solid-state lighting at its core is a basic machine—a power-transformer converts high voltage alternative current to low voltage direct current and a solid-state semiconductor, typically an LED, becomes excited and creates light.
BONAIRE, DUTCH ANTILLES—Already a leader in efforts to ensure that Bonaire’s vibrant coral reef system continues to thrive, Harbour Village Beach Club has installed an innovative underwater video and data monitoring system. The equipment will let students on the island and throughout the world gain field research experience, along with a deeper understanding of how important coral reefs are to healthy coastal ecosystems and the underwater creatures inhabiting them. Harbour Village will work with the Teens 4 Oceans network and the group View Into the Blue to give students everywhere a way to view the fascinating marine life just off the resort’s sandy shore.
NEW YORK—Since the iconic Virgin Megastore left Times Square in 2009, New York City has been vacant of a Virgin hub. That will soon change as Virgin Hotels has broken ground with the Lam Group on Virgin Hotels New York City. Located in the NOMAD neighborhood at 1227 Broadway between 29th and 30th, the property will serve as the brand’s flagship hotel. Virgin Hotels is aiming to achieve LEED certification. “New York City isn’t just a destination for the Virgin airlines, but a place where some of the most successful Virgin brands have been incubated, where we’ve stunned crowds with stunts and where some of our most devoted fans live,” said Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group. “It’s a very special city to the Virgin brand and I’m elated that Virgin Hotels will soon call it home.” To commemorate the groundbreaking and the history Virgin has in the Big Apple, Branson joined Raul Leal, CEO of Virgin Hotels to bury a Virgin time capsule, a chest of mementos from Virgin company moments in New York.
NEW YORK—More than 300 boutique hotel leaders, travel advisors, media and industry professionals will gather from October 21 to 23 at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel, Santa Monica, for the annual BLLA Leadership Symposium. BLLA is the leading Boutique & Lifestyle Assn. aimed at connecting independent, upscale hoteliers with fellow industry innovators, discerning travelers and hospitality professionals.
NEW YORK—Hospitality Design (HD) magazine has launched HD Select, a brand new event that brings buyers and sellers together to discuss the most current projects and products in the hospitality design realm. The new series will officially launch at Motif Seattle on April 3 to 5, 2016, with a focus on sustainability and best practices. A fall event will be held in Charleston, S.C., discussing luxury design trends.
AUSTIN, TEXAS—Global hospitality association Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) is adding to its successful community giving efforts with HFTP Helps. The first portion of the program, HITEC Helps, first held this year in Austin, Texas to support the United Way for Greater Austin during the Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference (HITEC) raised over $15,000 in support of the Austin area’s Memorial Day flood victims.
LOS ANGELES—The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, one of the world’s leading foundations working to improve the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people throughout the world, announced a $2 million commitment to launch The Hilton Prize Coalition. This new grant will formalize the unique coalition comprised of many of the first 19 Hilton Humanitarian Prize-winning organizations and kick-start the implementation of two new signature initiatives: the Hilton Prize Laureates Fellowship Program, designed to inspire a new generation of humanitarian leaders, and the Disaster Resiliency and Response Program, created to help Prize laureates combine forces to leverage their work partnerships, and to improve services and programs in the field. In addition, the Foundation announced that the monetary award for the Hilton Humanitarian Prize, the world’s largest humanitarian prize for nonprofits, is being increased from $1.5 million to $2 million to commemorate its 20th Hilton Humanitarian Prize laureate, which will be announced in New York City on October 14. Each year, the Foundation reviews hundreds of nominations for notable nonprofit organizations from across the globe.
HONG KONG—Burba Hotel Network, Horwath HTL, and Stiles Capital Events, co-hosts and organizers of the annual Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific (HICAP), announced the winners for the HICAP 2015 Sustainable Hotel Awards. The 26th annual HICAP will be held October 14 to 16, 2015 at the InterContinental Hong Kong.
STAMFORD, CONN.—Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide announced the debut of its eco-wise Element brand in Bozeman with the opening of Element Bozeman, marking the first Starwood hotel in the state of Montana. Owned by a group of Bozeman investors, the newly constructed Element Hotel offers a stylish and sustainable new option for travelers with 104 light-filled rooms and an atmosphere designed to fuel a life in balance while on the road. “Our eco-wise Element brand is a terrific fit for Bozeman, a thriving hub for business and entertainment and a leading destination for outdoor recreation within the Rocky Mountain region,” said Brian McGuinness, Senior Vice President, Specialty Select Brands for Starwood. “On track to triple its global portfolio in the next three years, Element offers travelers a bright, energizing environment, great design and everything they need for smart, sustainable living.” Element Bozeman is ideally positioned at the center of the city’s entertainment district, one block from Historic Main Street and a 10-minute walk to the campus of Montana State University.
SONOMA, CALIF.—Tens of thousands of Californians, including a pledge of hundreds of California Fairmont Hotels & Resorts colleagues, friends and family members volunteered to remove debris from the coast, creeks, rivers, lakes and shorelines all around California protecting wildlife from harm while taking care of the environment on Saturday, September 19, 2015 for California Coastal Cleanup Day.
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