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LAS VEGAS—Strengthening its position in the meetings and convention industry, Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino announced plans to expand its Convention Center. Based on demand for additional space, the resort will add new exhibit space, underground parking and increase overall square footage. Mandalay Bay is a wholly owned subsidiary of MGM Resorts International. Plans include the addition of more than 350,000 square feet of exhibit space to the existing 1.7 million-square-foot Mandalay Bay Convention Center as well as underground parking and more carpeted ballroom space. The new spaces will allow Mandalay Bay to grow current shows, pursue new and larger corporate partners and achieve greater utilization of the entire facility. Upon completion, the Mandalay Bay Convention Center will boast more than 2 million total square feet and 1.1 million square feet of exhibit space. This elevates its ranking in North America from No. 7 to No. 5 in total square feet and from No. 11 to No. 5 in square feet of exhibit space.
YAO NOI, THAILAND—In support of Six Senses core values of sustainability and respect for the environment, Six Senses Yao Noi has launched an organic chicken farm. In January the resort purchased 200 young laying hens and as of April 2014 the farm now provides guests with fresh eggs daily. By June, it is estimated that the chickens will supply the resort with all their eggs.
SINGAPORE—Agoda.com, one of Asia’s leading hotel booking sites and part of Nasdaq-listed Priceline Group, announced the results of their Global Earth Day Hotels Survey, which shows that while most travelers like environmentally friendly hotels, they don’t want to pay much more to stay in them. The survey, conducted online in March, 2014, asked 57,000 Agoda.com customers how they felt about environmental efforts by hotels. While 58 percent of all travelers said they preferred hotels that claimed to be environmentally friendly, only 39 percent said they would pay an extra $10 or more per night to stay in one. Travelers from the Netherlands, Denmark and the United Kingdom cared the least about eco-friendly hotels*. Only 35 percent of Danish and Dutch travelers and only 38 percent of U.K. travelers said they preferred them. They were among the least likely to want to shell out more cash, too, with 57 percent, 47 percent and 47 percent respectively saying they would not pay anything extra to stay in a green hotel.
IRVINE, CALIF.—About one million partly-used bars of soap are disposed of daily by U.S. hotels. With April 22 serving as Earth Day, this month marks the time of year to think about the ways individuals and companies can be less wasteful and more environmentally friendly.
KANSAS CITY, MO.—Marriott International announced that the Courtyard Kansas City at Briarcliff in Missouri is the company’s first hotel to earn LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) green building program status through the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) self-certification program. The only LEED certified Marriott property in Missouri, the Courtyard Kansas City at Briarcliff was constructed on top of a mine, land previously undevelopable, and 10 percent of building materials used contain recycled content. Like all Marriott LEED Certified hotels, this hotel features a number of elements that focus on energy conservation, water efficiency and recycling. Some of those elements include: white roofing material that reflects heat to save energy; Kohler low volume, plumbing fixtures; Philips low energy consuming LED lighting and controls; a salt water pool, reducing the number of chemicals used in treating the pool; an electric car charging station, and preferred parking for low-emission cars and carpoolers; and 20-foot floor to ceiling glass wall of windows in the ballroom for day lighting and optimal view.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—As part of its efforts to support sustainability practices in the foodservice industry, the National Restaurant Association announced it has joined Share the Gulf, a coalition of chefs, restaurateurs, restaurant associations, seafood suppliers, fishermen, consumers and environmentalists working to protect their access to fish in the Gulf States.
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, CALIF.—Yosemite Lodge at the Falls, operated by Delaware North Companies (DNC) Parks & Resorts at Yosemite, Inc., announces the completion of a $10 million dollar multi-phased refurbishment of the hotel’s guestrooms and lobby in addition to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) updates to accessible paths of travel. Reflective of DNC’s award-winning environmental stewardship platform GreenPath, the hotel’s guestrooms were remodeled using eco-friendly materials. Yosemite Lodge at the Falls guestrooms were designed with a soothing, neutral palette featuring Yosemite-themed artwork by local photographers. Highlighting eco-friendly upgrades, all rooms were freshly painted using California-based Kelly Moore paints with low or zero VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). Each room features new carpet and bathroom tiles made from recyclable materials, as well as Energy Star flat-screen televisions. Lighting was enhanced with steel wall sconces, pendants and floor lamps using energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs. Yosemite Lodge at the Falls sourced furniture from U.S.-based Old Hickory Furniture Co. to outfit the rooms. This rustic, durable collection is made using midwestern hickory saplings.
PORT HURON, MICH.—Port Huron, Michigan will become home to a new eco-friendly boutique hotel; CityFlatsHotel brand will open its third Michigan location in this historic downtown setting. Located at 301 Huron Avenue, CityFlatsHotel—Port Huron will revive one of the most well-known landmarks in the area. The building which once housed Sperry’s Department Store will be converted into a truly unique hotel property, a project CityFlatsHotel is familiar with from the construction of its Grand Rapids, Mich. location. “There is nothing more exciting than to see your baby take their first steps,” said Chuck Reid, owner of CityFlatsHotel. “We are honored and excited to be chosen to expand our CityFlatsHotel brand, along with developing a new center of activity for the bustling Port Huron downtown.” After purchasing the building in 2011 and beginning restorations, development group Sperry’s Landmark Inc. has now signed a licensing agreement with CityFlatsHotel. In addition to licensing, CityFlatsHotel will operate the property through a management agreement.
NEWTON, MASS.—TripAdvisor announced the 10 highest-rated TripAdvisor GreenLeaders hotels in the United States and the results of its eco-travel survey of more than 2,100 U.S. respondents. According to the survey, 23 percent of respondents have consciously made an eco-friendly travel choice in the past year, and 85 percent said doing so made them feel more positive about their trip. The top five most common ways U.S. respondents travel green: 1. Ensured the lights were turned off when not in hotel room—96 percent; 2. Participated in hotel’s linen/towel reuse program—90 percent; 3. Used recycling in the hotel—81 percent; 4. Ensured the air-conditioning was turned off when not in the hotel room—72 percent; and 5. Walked, biked, or used public transportation as much as possible—69 percent. “Not only is seeking out an eco-friendly accommodation good for the environment, but our survey also shows that most travelers find travel experiences more enjoyable when they make greener choices,” said Jenny Rushmore, Director of Responsible Travel at TripAdvisor.
CHICAGO—In celebration of National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day on Wednesday, April 2, broughtonHOTELS prepared 10,000 sandwiches that were donated to St. Jerome’s Ministry, Chicago Lights, Pacific Gardens, and several additional charitable organizations in Chicago to aid in the fight against hunger. The event took place on April 2 at the Majestic Hotel, 528 W. Brompton Ave. in Chicago. Volunteers from broughtonHotels, the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce and neighboring businesses assisted in preparing the sandwiches.
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