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NAIROBI—Delegates at the recent Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) in Nairobi declared poaching to be the greatest threat to Africa’s tourism industry and branded poachers as Africa’s Public Enemy No.1. Lazaro Nyalandu, Deputy Minister for Natural Resources & Tourism, Tanzania said in an address to the whole conference: “Poaching is a global problem needing a global solution. It is estimated that Tanzania has an elephant population of 100,000 today but this is cut by 30 a day by poachers. They are so sophisticated that we need a military response. If their activities are not stamped out, we will have lost all our elephants in 10 to 15 years. We want to see our African neighbors taking a stand with us, pressuring the countries where the poachers’ clients live to stamp out this barbaric trade.” The value of ivory and rhino horn continues to rise rapidly, as does the demand for “wildlife products.” Across Africa, one elephant is being killed every 15 minutes for its tusks.
WINTER PARK, FLA.—Ask Executive Chef J. Christopher Windus of Hamilton’s Kitchen at The Alfond Inn to define his culinary style and he’ll use the phrase “refined rustic.” What that means, clarifies Chef Windus, is that, “I'm taking comfort food and trying to refine it a little bit. The dishes may seem simple but there are a lot of things going on to layer the flavors.” His efforts in the kitchen of the three-month-old restaurant have quickly earned him the title of “Best New Chef” in the Silver Spoon Awards from Orlando Magazine. At Hamilton’s Kitchen, Chef Windus works against a dining backdrop of exposed beams, brick walls, fanciful light fixtures and Dutch oak floors, the stage set for his Floridian-inspired cooking at breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. The same fare is served alfresco in the hotel’s courtyard, as well as in a private dining room that can accommodate up to 25 guests. Chef Windus also oversees The Alfond Inn’s extensive catering menu for weddings, social affairs and meetings.
CLEVELAND, OHIO—Lexington by Vantage, a collection of inns, hotels and suites, has introduced a 100-room inn prototype that is specifically designed with the guest and owner/operator in mind. The announcement was made by Lexington Group President Bill Hanley at Vantage Hospitality Group’s annual Conference & Trade Show in Las Vegas. The Lexington prototype is designed to adapt to individual sites, and offers the flexibility to build more or less rooms depending on the market. Its cost-efficient, three-diamond design will enable owners to increase quality while saving as much as 25 percent on construction costs, and enjoy a very solid return on investment and low operating costs. A strategic alliance was formed with LG Electronics to improve the energy efficiency and the guest experience in the Lexington prototype. LG will be providing an energy management system that integrates with the PMS to enable Lexington operators to reduce expenses on energy, lighting and other electronic applications required in the inn.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—When light-emitting diodes (LEDs) were first introduced in the mid-2000s for general space lighting, they were considered a disappointment. Almost too dim to be useful, they were expensive and no more efficient than traditional fluorescent technology. Today, LED-based lighting products can successfully compete with rival technologies on the basis of light quality, efficiency, dimmability, and almost any other important metric except for price—which is falling rapidly. According to a recent report from Navigant Research, revenues from LED lighting products (including lamps and luminaires) in commercial building markets will grow from $2.7 billion in 2013 to more than $25 billion in 2021. “The rise of LED technology will transform every part of the commercial lighting industry,” says Jesse Foote, research analyst at Navigant Research. “While other lighting technologies have limited potential for future improvements, new designs for LEDs that push quality and efficacy to new levels continue to emerge from lighting labs around the world.”
LAS VEGAS—Employees of MGM Resorts International more than doubled the amount of food donated to Three Square Food Bank in the largest-ever employee-donated canned food drive in Nevada. Three Square reported that 922,161 pounds—more than 461 tons—of food was donated during a campaign in October across MGM’s Nevada resorts and corporate operations.
NATIONAL REPORT—Not so long ago, the solution for dealing with a hotel pest infestation was to “call the exterminator,” conjuring up cartoony images of a man with a poison-pump, misting unknown chemicals into the air of the business, chasing out customers and pests with the plume. For hotels in New York, where daily business activity is critical for the financial health of the business, this kind of thing could be devastating, but we live in a different world today. Now, safety and health are first and foremost in the mind of any pest control professional. Modern pest control methods often employ green pest control applications, which minimize or eliminate inconvenience to business operators and their clients by ensuring safety to their most important assets; the employees and the guests, as well as minimizing or eliminating the possibility of inhaling toxic chemicals. The modern world of pest control leverages Integrated Pest Control (IPC) or Integrated Pest Management (IPM), as it is sometimes referred to.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The National Restaurant Association (NRA) each year prepares its What’s Hot culinary forecast of menu trends for the coming year. The NRA surveyed nearly 1,300 professional chefs—members of the American Culinary Federation (ACF)—to find which food and beverage items will be hot trends on restaurant menus in 2014. The top 10 food trends for 2014: 1. Locally sourced meats and seafood; 2. Locally grown produce; 3. Environmental sustainability; 4. Healthful kids’ meals; 5. Gluten-free cuisine; 6. Hyper-local sourcing (e.g. restaurant gardens); 7. Children's nutrition; 8. Non-wheat noodles/pasta (e.g. quinoa, rice, buckwheat); 9. Sustainable seafood; and 10. Farm/estate branded items. “Today’s consumers are more interested than ever in what they eat and where their food comes from, and that is reflected in our menu trends research,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the National Restaurant Association’s research and knowledge group. “True trends—as opposed to temporary fads—show the evolution of the wider shifts of our modern society over time, and focus on the provenance of various food and beverage items.”
WASHINGTON, D.C.—At the recent Greenbuild Conference International Summit in Philadelphia, it was announced that Greenbuild for Europe and the Mediterranean region will launch in Verona, Italy in 2014. “Greenbuild for Europe and the Mediterranean region is part of the global expansion of the successful Greenbuild Conference & Expo brand,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council.
SAN FRANCISCO—Cavallo Point Lodge has received the internationally acclaimed 2013 Travel + Leisure Global-Vision Award in the category of Sustainability. The award winners are recognized in five categories: Culture, Conservation, Community, Leadership, and Sustainability and Cavallo Point was chosen from a pool of 200 international entries. Also recently ranked among the “Top 5 Resorts in the U.S” by Travel + Leisure, the lodge garnered this award for its exemplary commitment to the environment, the community and establishing responsible travel practices. Since opening in 2008, Cavallo Point has earned several top environmental accolades, including LEED Gold certification and America’s top new national green landmarks by Travel + Leisure Magazine. “We are honored to be recognized by Travel + Leisure for our efforts in sustainability at Cavallo Point Lodge,” said Euan Taylor, general manager of Cavallo Point Lodge. “Our continued business growth, the positive support from guests and honors from media and other prestigious organizations confirms that we are on the right path. Our ongoing promise to current and future guests is our commitment to sustainability.”
PHILADELPHIA—Hersha Hospitality Trust announced that the company was selected to receive NAREIT’s 2013 Lodging & Resorts Leader in the Light Award; the highest achievement for lodging and resort REITs in the 2013 award competition. This national award, presented annually by the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT), recognizes Hersha and its EarthView program for superior and sustainable portfolio-wide energy use practices and sustainability initiatives.
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