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DANA POINT, CALIF.—The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel has joined with marine life artist Wyland for “Whales, Wonders, and Wyland.” The collaboration includes an overnight experience, a display of more than 25 Wyland original paintings, limited editions, and sculptures throughout the resort, as well as an exclusive reception for guests to meet Wyland and enjoy a special multi-media retrospective of Wyland’s Whaling Wall public mural project. Wyland is also the Grand Marshal for the 2015 Festival of Whales, taking place in Dana Point the first two weekends in March. The Wonders of Wyland Reception will be held Friday, March 6, 2015. The evening will include film highlights from Wyland’s 30-year campaign to create 100 life size marine life murals in more than 12 countries around the world. Spanning the sides of skyscrapers, sports arenas, and structures, these landmark public murals have captured the imagination of millions and helped inspire a new generation to become better stewards of the environment. The evening presentation will share the story of Wyland’s epic campaign.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) is accepting nominations for its Stars of the Industry Awards program. The AH&LA Stars of the Industry awards program was created to recognize outstanding accomplishments in the lodging industry by employees as well as properties to honor quality of service.
NATIONAL REPORT—In the auto industry the “Big Three” most generally has been Ford, General Motors and Chrysler. In the world of mattress manufacturing there has also been a big three of sorts—Serta, Sealy and Simmons Bedding. These three companies have historically been the primary suppliers of mattresses to the U.S. lodging industry. Green Lodging News contacted each of these companies to participate in this article on mattresses but for different reasons they chose not to participate (they never responded or said the timing was bad). These companies, in varying degrees, have sustainability initiatives in place. Their websites provide some details. Outside of Serta, Sealy and Simmons Bedding, there are many companies that have come along to offer what they say are more sustainable mattress options. Each of these companies has their own take on what is sustainable or not sustainable. This article will take a look at some of these companies and what makes their mattresses uniquely green, or at least greener than what has previously been offered to lodging.
ROCKVILLE, MD.—Choice Hotels International, Inc., one of the world’s leading hotel companies and franchisor of 11 hotel brands including Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Cambria hotels & suites, Sleep Inn and Quality, has partnered with celebrity entertainer and philanthropist Steve Harvey to help raise funds in support of The Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation and its youth initiatives. The dollars raised will go toward the Foundation’s mission of helping young men and women, largely from inner-cities and single parent families, set and achieve their goals through programs like the Steve Harvey Mentoring Camp for Young Men.
MCLEAN, VA.—Hilton Worldwide announced Meet with Purpose, a concept designed to make it easier for meeting professionals to reduce waste and incorporate health and wellness into meetings and events. Meet with Purpose provides meeting professionals with sustainable choices to incorporate into events that not only enhance the experiences of attendees, but also align with many customers’ corporate responsibility goals. Inspired by Hilton’s corporate responsibility strategy, Travel with Purpose, Hilton gathered feedback from customers and sales Team Members to identify the most pressing sustainability issues for meetings and events. To meet these needs, Hilton created Meet with Purpose, supported by two focus areas. The first, Mindful Eating, encourages meeting professionals to reexamine event dining to minimize food waste and encourage healthy choices. Hilton offers solutions such as portion control, sourcing locally, pre-plating salads and establishing central water stations with reusable containers. • Mindful Meeting inspires meeting professionals to host more sustainable events by considering practices that are less resource-intensive. The solutions range from using paperless registration and placing notepads in a central location to turning off climate control when a meeting room isn’t in use.
NEW YORK—The Call for Entries opened for the EBie Awards, a national juried competition created by the Urban Green Council that celebrates significant performance improvements in existing buildings and the people who made them happen. Entries are due by March 30, 2015.
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA—The 114-suite TownePlace Suites by Marriott in Anchorage, Alaska is scheduled to open the week of November 17, making it the first in Alaska. It is also Alaska’s first LEED certified hotel. The TownePlace Suites Anchorage Midtown will operate as a Marriott franchise, owned by Denali Land, LLC and managed by Stonebridge Companies of Denver. Located in Midtown and five miles from Ted Stevens International Airport, the hotel offers guests convenient access to the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, the Alaska Railroad Train to Denali National Park and the Alaska Native Heritage Center. “We are pleased to introduce the TownePlace Suites brand in the state of Alaska,” said Loren Nalewanski, Vice President and Global Brand Manager, TownePlace Suites. “Providing an upscale residential atmosphere, this TownePlace Suites hotel offers an appealing alternative to more standard hotel rooms designed for shorter stays.” The TownePlace Suites Anchorage Midtown’s warm lobby and friendly “hello” signage welcomes guests to the check-in area. Guests and staff interact using a floor-to-ceiling TowneMap that helps guests settle into the local area.
TORRANCE, CALIF.—Courtyard Los Angeles Torrance/Palos Verdes is taking its green efforts to the next level with the completion of a landscaping renovation project that will not only save the hotel money but will help take the edge off of California’s severe drought. The unique project brings a low-maintenance, low-water outdoor environment to the hotel in Torrance, Calif. and demonstrates the Courtyard’s commitment to the surrounding community. Flower beds, hedges and turf have been replaced by drought-resistant plants.
MADRID, SPAIN—A milestone resolution recognizing the contribution of sustainable tourism to poverty eradication, community development and the protection of biodiversity has been adopted by consensus by the United Nations General Assembly. Emphasizing the need to optimize the economic, social, cultural and environmental benefits stemming from sustainable tourism, particularly in developing countries, the resolution entitled “Promotion of sustainable tourism, including ecotourism, for poverty eradication and environment protection” calls upon the UN System to promote sustainable tourism as an instrument that can contribute to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The resolution, significantly broader in scope than previous ones on the subject, builds on a 2012 UN resolution on ecotourism and draws on a report prepared by UNWTO. In line with UNWTO recommendations, it underlines the importance of appropriate national policies, guidelines and regulations for promoting sustainable tourism, including ecotourism, and encourages UN Member States and regional and international financial institutions to support sustainable tourism projects, enabling the creation of small and medium-sized enterprises, promoting cooperatives and facilitating access to inclusive financial services.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—In recognition of the importance of sustainable parking facilities and practices to the development of sustainable communities, the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI), the certification body for the U.S. Green Building Council’s global LEED green building rating system, signed a memorandum of understanding with the International Parking Institute (IPI), the world’s largest parking association, and the Green Parking Council (GPC).
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