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NATIONAL REPORT—In hotels, utility costs consist of four major components. According to the 2015 edition of Trends in the Hotel Industry, electricity is the largest utility expense comprising 60 percent of total expenditures. Water/service is the next largest utility cost (23.8 percent) followed by gas/fuel (10.6 percent), and steam (2.3 percent). Trends in the Hotel Industry is the annual survey of U.S. hotel operating statements conducted by PKF Hospitality Research (PKF-HR), a CBRE Company. Over the years, the energy component of the consumer price index (CPI) has been a good indicator of the direction of the change in total utility expenditures at hotels. In general, when the energy CPI has gone up, hotel utility costs have increased, and vice versa. The energy CPI measures the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for gasoline, fuel oil, electricity, and piped gas service. In the past three years we have seen a departure from this relationship. Starting in 2012, the energy CPI increased, while hotel utility costs declined.
MCLEAN, VA.—Hilton Worldwide recently celebrated its second annual Careers@Hilton Live: Youth in Hospitality Month, a global career awareness initiative showcasing the diversity of opportunities available in the hospitality industry. Throughout the month of May, Hilton Worldwide properties and offices hosted more than 750 events globally totaling 22,365 volunteer hours and reaching more than 90,000 young people. Careers@Hilton Live is just one program in support of the company’s Open Doors commitment to impact one million young people around the world by 2019 and better prepare them to reach their full potential.
KELOWNA, B.C.—They say winners are willing to go the extra mile to succeed. Bruce and Susan Stout did that, quite literally, to take top honors in the third annual E-mazing Race. Their cross-country adventure took them to many places, including a pit stop at one of the more forward-thinking Kelowna hotels. In total, the Vancouver couple drove their new Tesla Model S 17,895 kilometers coast-to-coast-to-coast for the competition that’s aimed at raising awareness for electric vehicles (EVs). They added another 1,600 kilometers in the final two days of the month-long competition (May 27 to June 26) to finish with a staggering 19,495 kilometers. “We were impressed with the three charging stations in May, and the addition of a Tesla charging station in June on our return trip,” says Bruce, of their Kelowna stops. The Best Western now leads all Kelowna hotels with a total of five charging stations. “The installation of five charging stations almost guarantees that one will be available when you visit,” adds Bruce, who is President of the Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association (VEVA).
LAS VEGAS—MGM Resorts International employees have pledged more than $6 million this year to The MGM Resorts Foundation to support 1,400 nonprofit organizations and programs serving the resort company’s host communities in Nevada, Michigan and Mississippi, as well as other regional and national nonprofit organizations.
LAS VEGAS—Hosted buyers, visitors and exhibitors alike can all enjoy a greener IMEX America this year thanks to a host of sustainability initiatives focusing on waste reduction and education. A new charity recycling initiative, becoming part of the Green Team and attending relevant education sessions will help attendees to reduce waste and increase their awareness of corporate social responsibility. This follows the results of the MeetGreen Sustainability Report for IMEX America 2014 which showed a 31 percent reduction in total waste from the previous year. The use of locally sourced foods increased by over 150 percent and food waste decreased by 56 percent. The organizers of IMEX America 2015, which takes place October 13 to 15 in Las Vegas, are building on this success as Carina Bauer, CEO IMEX Group, explains, “IMEX America is committed to encouraging the meetings and incentive travel industry to address sustainability issues and to tackle these issues in a proactive, practical way. The intention is to raise the green bar across the board and strengthen our sustainability efforts.”
ASHEVILLE, N.C.—Sustainable business practices have never been more important nationally than at present. Green and Greening businesses have the power to facilitate changes in systems of old operations which previously took resources and the biosphere for granted. In sustainable economics terms declining social structures and climate change are threats to resource security worldwide. Green Festival Expo believes there is an enormous capability for businesses to reduce environmental and social impacts, and that consumers are ready to take part in a more responsible market in order to increase wellbeing and to reduce impacts to poverty and climate change, as well as the environment.
PACIFIC GROVE, CALIF.—Domaine Hospitality Partners, LLC, and representatives from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Foursome Development Co., and the City of Pacific Grove, Calif., announced the launch of Project Bella at a press conference in Pacific Grove. Developed by Domaine Hospitality Partners, Project Bella will be located across the street from the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station at the site of the American Tin Cannery, at the end of historic Cannery Row. Now in planning with world-renowned architect Mark Hornberger of Hornberger+Worstell, Project Bella aims to be one of the leading luxury hotels in the United States. Speaking from the future site of the sustainability-focused hotel, Founder and Executive Director Julie Packard of the Monterey Bay Aquarium spoke of how Project Bella intersects with the aquarium’s mission: “We all look out over one of the world’s great ocean stories. Economic boom built on extracting the ocean’s resources can now be converted and transformed into a new story of something more sustainable for humans and animals for the long term.”
NEW YORK—Attendee registration is now open for the newly renovated HX: The Hotel Experience (formally IHMRS), November 8 to 10 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Now celebrating 100 years, HX has a new brand and mission that is directed to growing hospitality businesses by connecting buyers and sellers in the duration of this three day event.
STAMFORD, CONN.—Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. together with Atlantic Hotels Group and Civitas Capital Group announced plans for a 224-room dual-branded Aloft and Element hotel development in the fast-growing Love Field district in Dallas. Scheduled to open in December of 2016, Aloft Dallas Love Field and Element Dallas Love Field will anchor a new mixed-use development just one mile from Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL) and the Dallas Medical District. “Aloft and Element will bring new energy to the Dallas Love Field lodging market by offering travelers the choice of two distinct lifestyle brands in close proximity to the airport, the central business district and leading attractions,” said Brian McGuinness, Senior Vice President of Specialty Select Brands for Starwood. “An industry leader in the eco-space, Element fuels a life of balance with its emphasis on wellness and sustainability, while Aloft is designed to meet the needs of the evolving global traveler with its unique design aesthetic and live music scene at the W XYZ Bar.”
GREENSBORO, N.C.—Stephen P. Holmes, Chairman and CEO, Wyndham Worldwide, and Faith Taylor, Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, Wyndham Worldwide, recently presented a check for $100,000 to “Birdies Fore Backpacks” from the company’s Wishes by Wyndham Foundation. Birdies Fore Backpacks launched in 2014 to fight childhood food insecurity in the Piedmont Triad and is perhaps the most important charitable initiative in tournament history.
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