NASHVILLE, TENN.—John Q. Hammons’ Embassy Suites Nashville South/Cool Springs announces the availability of the hotel’s green guest services shuttle with zero emissions. The hotel’s 7-foot-9-inch Nissan Leaf limousine is the world’s first all-electric stretch limo and replaces a traditional limo service. In addition, the hotel launched on-site guest electric-car charging stations as a part of its latest eco-friendly amenities. The 250-suite, nine-story hotel is operated by Springfield, Mo.-based John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts, the largest private, independent owner and manager of hotels in the United States.
According to Bob Horner, general manager of Embassy Suites Nashville South/Cool Springs, numerous local and state civic and business leaders were on hand to celebrate the milestone occasion of the arrival of the Nissan Leaf limo at a recent vehicle unveiling VIP event. Representatives in attendance spanned John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts, Embassy Suites Hotels, Nissan North America, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, City of Franklin, and Williamson County.
Susan Whitaker, commissioner, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, publicly commended Embassy Suites Nashville South/Cool Springs for its progressive efforts to meet the needs of the sustainable traveler.
“The geo traveler is looking for places to stay that value and nurture our resources,” Whitaker said. “Embassy Suites Nashville South/Cool Springs’ debut of the world’s first all-electric limo guest shuttle is a prime example of the hospitality and tourism industry stepping up efforts to address the demands of the sustainable traveler and convention goer.”
Took a Year to Bring Idea to Life
The roadworthy, licensed electric limousine conversion was 12 months in the making. The idea was conceived by the hotel team at Embassy Suites Nashville South/Cool Springs along with the hotel’s transportation partner Black Tie Valet Solutions.
Imperial Coach Builders in Springfield, Mo., brought the big idea to life, adding 400 pounds and about 4 feet to the center of the car to make room for more seating, totaling eight seats. Additional mirrors, plush leather and cedar wood trim were also added to create a more luxurious experience.
“When the idea of building an electric limousine emerged, we immediately knew it had to be a Nissan Leaf,” Horner said. “Not only because Nissan North America is our neighbor and strategic partner, but also because of the vehicle’s high quality and global popularity. Nissan’s decision to produce the Nissan Leaf in Middle Tennessee by year-end 2012 also made it a natural choice.”
A Core Company Value
“Being an exceptional community partner, including as an active good steward of our environment, is a fundamental pillar of the John Q. Hammons legacy of excellence,” said Paul Francisco, regional vice president for John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts.
Francisco shared that Hilton’s LightStay program, which measures sustainability performance across the Hilton global portfolio of hotels, has been rolled out at the 36 Hilton Worldwide properties within John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts’ 78-property portfolio, including 31 Embassy Suites. At the property level, the system can analyze performance across operational practices such as housekeeping, food waste, energy and water use, and carbon output.
The LightStay system also includes a feature called a meeting calculator that can calculate the environmental impact of any meeting or conference held at the property. Francisco noted this is especially compelling to John Q. Hammons Hotels and Resorts, as the company operates 5.4 million gross square feet of meeting and convention space as a part of its upscale hotel portfolio spanning nearly 19,000 rooms in 24 states.
“Our new electric-car charging stations for guests in Cool Springs and Murfreesboro and our green guest shuttle are just a sampling of our proactive sustainability efforts portfolio-wide to move toward more eco-friendly meetings and guest stays,” Francisco said.
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