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CHARLOTTE, N.C.—The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte has unveiled plans for its first-ever Summer Honey Festival—three months of special events and dining festivities celebrating the 100,000 honeybees which live on the hotel’s green, vegetated roof. The Summer Honey Festival began this June 1, as the hotel’s Bar Cocoa all-dessert dining experience and The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Charlotte introduced a roster of seasonal honey-based offerings available until September. On June 20, the first honey harvest of the summer will take place, reaping more than 30 pounds of natural honey to be used in Bar Cocoa’s breakfasts, all-day desserts and freshly-made gelato. The honey may also be enjoyed at the property’s weekend ice cream socials, which feature house-made honey-pecan gelato, and in several specialty treatments presented by the spa. For the first time, the hotel’s signature honey-pecan gelato will also be available for purchase directly at Bar Cocoa. The Summer Honey Festival at The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte will include dining, cooking classes, and other events and activities.
DEARBORN, MICH.—Adoba Hotel Dearborn/Detroit announced that it has partnered with Stash Hotel Rewards, the largest point-based loyalty program for independent hotels in the United States. As a result of the partnership, both leisure and business travelers that are members of Stash can now earn and redeem points at the Adoba Hotel Dearborn/Detroit, one of the nation’s leaders in green hotel practices and sustainable ecotourism.
CHICAGO—The McCormick Place convention center has become the largest convention center in North America to be certified to a new international sustainability standard. This certification was introduced in 2012 to promote responsible environmental and social practices in the event industry. McCormick Place achieved Level One Certification to the ASTM Standard pertaining to the Evaluation and Selection of Venues for Environmentally Sustainable Meetings, Events, Trade Shows, and Conferences. “We can all be very proud of this international honor for McCormick Place, which highlights how Illinois is on the cutting-edge when it comes to sustainability and the green economy,” Illinois Governor Pat Quinn said. “Here in Illinois, we understand that long-term economic development must be sustainable and respect our environment. This well-deserved distinction for McCormick Place will help attract even more conventions and trade shows, driving our economy forward and creating jobs.” “I congratulate McCormick Place on achieving the international sustainability standard certification,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “This highlights Chicago’s continuing efforts to be the greenest city in the world.”
NATIONAL REPORT—The bicycle is making a big comeback. More than 500 cities in 49 countries now have advanced bicycle-sharing programs—evidence of the growing interest in carbon-free travel. In the lodging industry, making bicycles available to guests is becoming more common and even standard practice in some companies. Starwood’s Element hotels, for example, are required to have at least two bicycles available for guests as part of the brand’s Bikes-to-Borrow program. All Kimpton hotel properties offer bicycles as well. Properties offering bicycles as an amenity are meeting the needs of an increasingly green-minded and health-conscious traveler community. The cost of renting a car or the high cost of gasoline are also driving travelers toward two wheels instead of four. Running a bicycle lending program on one’s own can be a challenge. “Some have underestimated what it takes to run one,” says Timothy Ericson, CEO and co-founder of Zagster. There are maintenance, safety, liability, and even marketing concerns that can be a hassle for a hotel owner or manager.
CAMBRIDGE, MASS.—Zagster, a company that provides bikes as a service, announced it has partnered with the Hyatt Regency Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing to offer bike sharing services to guests. Hotel guests can reserve and ride comfortable, city-friendly cruiser bikes, giving them a healthy, convenient and fun way to explore the area, visit friends or attend business meetings.
MINNEAPOLIS—Club Carlson, the hotel rewards program for Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, announced that it has become the first hotel loyalty program to commit to a global meetings and events carbon offsetting initiative. Club Carlson will purchase carbon credits to offset the estimated carbon footprint of 100 percent of Club Carlson for Planners meetings and events globally, across the group’s six brands totaling 1,077 hotels in operation worldwide. The carbon offsetting—a free service for the meeting planners—will be managed through Carlson Rezidor’s new partner, Carbon Footprint Ltd. Carbon credits will be purchased and invested in renewable energy in India and with the planting of one tree for every ton of carbon offset in the Great Rift Valley in Kenya. Any of the 10 million Club Carlson members globally will also have the opportunity to redeem their Gold Points, in various increments, to these projects on an ad-hoc basis. “Carlson Rezidor takes sustainability seriously,” said Suzanne Riesterer, chief commercial officer for the company.
BOULDER, COLO.—EnvironmentallyFriendlyHotels.com (EFH) has connected eco-conscious travelers with the best green hotels for many years. This Earth Day, EFH announces the release of a significant site upgrade, making both finding and promoting sustainable hotels even easier. “Staying in hotels that follow sustainable, earth-friendly practices is a great way for those who support today’s Earth Day events to help improve the environment year round,” said Patrick McClear, president of HealthyStays.com, LLC, which owns and operates EFH.
SAN FRANCISCO—When visitors to San Francisco see the colorful new banners on display around Moscone Center, they’ll know the city is welcoming them. What they won’t know is that they’re being welcomed in a far more environmentally-friendly way as a result of a new fabric that’s being used to make the banners.
MIAMI—The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. announced that two new Caribbean destinations are offering the award-winning Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment program. Reflecting the popularity of the environmental program’s first collaboration with The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, it’s now available at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas, in addition to the newly launched first Reserve in the Americas, Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve. The pioneering program, which emphasizes education and respect for environmental sustainability, is exclusively crafted for each diverse landscape and culture, designed for guests to explore the world’s natural wonders and heighten getaways with innovative environmental education and activities. Through eco-adventures, exploration and excursions, native resources serve as platforms and living laboratories to showcase the diverse biological character and cultural heritage of each destination while fostering a greater understanding and appreciation for nature. Guided by expertly-trained naturalists, the program provides a comprehensive selection of recreational activities for children, adults and families of all ages through exotic backdrops, including snorkeling, kayaking, hiking and underwater photography.
HONOLULU, HAWAII—Aqua Hospitality is donating a portion of room reservations on Earth Day to celebrate a number of green improvements throughout its collection. Aqua Hospitality’s hotels and resorts will be doing their part to care for the oceans via room reservation donations to Hui o Koolaupoko, an organization whose mission is to protect ocean health.
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