news & features


Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa Reaches Solar Energy Milestone

PHILIPSBURG, ST MAARTEN—The Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa, St. Maarten made its mark as a game-changer in the hospitality industry by completing a landmark solar installation earlier this year that allows the resort to produce six to eight hours of its own power during peak times. The resort has harnessed the power of the Caribbean sun for more than a year and reached an environmental milestone by generating one gigawatt hour of solar power, or one billion watt-hours. The resort also just installed a completely oil-free Smardt Chiller to further conserve energy; the Chiller is used in the air-conditioning and refrigeration systems throughout the resort. One gigawatt hour of power is enough to provide annual power to 92 American households, and conserves more than 1.5 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, which equals the emissions from more than 77 thousand gallons of gasoline consumed. It has also spared emissions equivalent to more than 1,600 barrels of oil consumed and enough carbon sequestering of more than 17,000 seedlings grown for 10 years.

featured vendor video
UniLinc™ - Leading the On-Premises Industry Through Innovation

Length: 6:04

UniMac's revolutionary, industry-exclusive UniLinc™ system represents the pinnacle of laundry management.

publisher's point of view
The Darker Side, the Greener Future of Chafing Dish Fuel Gel

Many of you are hosting holiday events this month. There is a good chance you are using chafing dish fuel gel to keep food hot. There is a good chance a fair portion of that gel will go unused. There is also a good chance the gel containers will be improperly thrown away. I spoke with several suppliers of what are considered to be eco-friendlier versions of chafing dish fuel gel recently and was a bit shocked when I learned the truth about what hoteliers have been using for years to heat food. One supplier told me 40 percent of fuel gel is typically wasted. It is considered hazardous waste and should be considered as such at the point of disposal. “The hazardous waste is supposed to be disposed of by opening the can, and then removing the content into a hazmat container,” one supplier told me. “The container must be shipped to a hazmat site for disposal.”

guest column
Look to the Restroom to Save Money and Stay Healthy

When anyone in the hospitality industry considers ways to cut operational costs to save money, chances are the public restroom may not be the first area that comes to mind. However, a few simple changes in restroom fixtures can help to eliminate waste and reduce maintenance costs—all while keeping the restroom clean and sanitary for both customers and employees. Sanitation in the restroom is a major concern, especially during flu season, but cost is a top concern no matter what the season. Paper of every kind has become increasingly expensive over the past decade and typically people use more than they need to in public restrooms. In fact, on average, people use 2.5 paper towel sheets every time they dry their hands. So think about how many people use your restroom every day and multiply that number by 5 cents each. It’s an expense that can add up quickly.

featured product
Experts Agree On Sterling's Sustainable Modular Mattress

Max H. Tucker, CHA, General Manager, Best Western Big America: “Sterling mattresses are an important part of our strategy for meeting guest comfort and working towards a more sustainable hotel operation.” Brian Keller, Director of Property Services, Oakwood Worldwide, LEED Green Associate: “One definite advantage is the concept of replacement components…this has been a great find for Oakwood.” The top three reasons buyers are choosing the Sterling Hospitality Sustainable Modular Mattress: 3) Shows guests you care about their comfort. 2) Reduces maintenance and replacement costs and downtime. 1) Reduces your carbon footprint. For more information, call (888) 281-2817 today!

green hotel focus
Earthkeeping a Passion at Historic Brown Palace Hotel

DENVER—The piece-of-pie shaped Brown Palace Hotel, a fixture in the heart of Denver since 1892, has been undergoing a green transformation the last couple of years that has caught the eye of many. The 241-room property won the Good Earthkeeping Award in 2013 from the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Assn. and the Good Earthkeeping Award in 2014 from the American Hotel and Lodging Assn. While dabbling in sustainability for a number of years—bee hives have been on the hotel roof as part of the hotel’s Bee Royalty Initiative since 2009—it was in October 2012 when good things really started to happen. That is when Brenna St. Onge was hired as Executive Housekeeper. She brought a passion for sustainability to her job and it was a year ago that she was promoted to Assistant Director of Rooms and Chair of Sustainability.

upcoming events
AHR Expo
McCormick Place, Chicago

Monday, January 26, 2015

Hotel, Motel, and Restaurant Supply Show of the Southeast
Myrtle Beach Convention Center

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Hotel Association of Canada National Conference
Hilton Toronto Hotel

Monday, February 02, 2015

The NAFEM Show
Anaheim, Calif.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

personnel profile
Paladino Recruits Senior Sustainability Leader for Seattle Office

SEATTLE—Paladino and Company, a leading sustainability and green building consulting firm, announced Dina Belon LEED AP ID&C is joining the company as a Director on its senior management team. Belon, who brings two decades of sustainability experience in the development and hospitality industries, will be responsible for working with Paladino’s clients to implement results-driven high performance building strategies. “Dina has an incredible reputation for delivering measurable results through sustainable development,” said Paladino founder and CEO Tom Paladino. “Adding her expertise to our team will be instrumental as we continue in our quest to help our clients innovate and get the most out of their green practices.” Most recently Belon has worked in the sustainable supply space and as principal of RUSH Hospitality, a sustainability design and construction company. Belon has served in prominent development and sustainability leadership roles.

blog post
Sometimes Survey Results Just Don't Seem to Add Up
2 days ago

As reported in Green Lodging News last week, the American Hotel & Lodging Assn. (AH&LA) and the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Foundation (AH&LEF) just released the results of its survey entitled, “The 2014 Lodging Study Hotel Trends: An Inside Look at Popular Amenities and Guest Services.” The study was conducted by STR and is easily the most comprehensive trends survey in the lodging industry. Conducted every two years, this year’s study had more than 9,600 participants. I commented on some of the survey results in my weekly column. Many of the questions in the study pertained to green operations. The AH&LA/AH&LEF surveys conducted by STR are always chockfull of valuable data. That said, there are always some findings that don’t quite seem to be add up. In this year’s study, for example, folks were asked whether or not allergy-free rooms are available to guests.

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