news & features

7/21/2016

Management Company Meyer Jabara Hotels Seeing Green by Being Green

DANBURY, CONN.—Keeping properties performing at peak efficiency is a top priority of Meyer Jabara Hotels (MJH). From the laundry facility and guestrooms to parking lots and rooftops, the East Coast hotel management company is committed to making each of its 22 hotels representing 4,000 guestrooms across 10 states energy efficient and operating green. “In today’s world, we need to manage down to the penny, and utilities are a major cost to the operation of the hotel,” said Justin Jabara, MJH VP of Development and Acquisition. “The better we can manage the consumption of energy, gas and water, the more money we can bring to the bottom line.” In July 2015, the La Quinta Inn and Suites in Danbury, Conn., owned by real estate investment company Diamond Properties and managed by MJH, installed 400 solar panels on the rooftops of two of its five buildings to generate 132,000 watts of solar electricity. Today, the 113-room hotel is significantly reducing its carbon footprint by receiving 18 percent of its annual energy from the sun.

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Massive Array a Symbol of MGM Resorts’ Commitment to Sustainability

“It provides a high sense of pride.” That is how Cindy Ortega, Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer of MGM Resorts International described the massive solar array atop the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. I spoke with Cindy this past week in regard to the 8.3 MW dc array that includes more than 26,000 photovoltaic panels. The array, certainly one of the largest rooftop arrays in the United States, was recently completed after three years in the making. The array represents one of the most significant, if not the most significant, investments in renewable energy connected to any hospitality-related company. I say “connected to” because MGM does not own or operate the installation. NRG Energy, Inc. owns and operates the array. Through a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), Mandalay Bay Resort will purchase all the electricity generated by the panels.

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Atlanta Luxury Hotel Gives Poor Ventilation & Foul Odors the Shaft

Until recently, fixing leaky ventilation shafts has been a non-starter for most hotels, motels and other hospitality facilities. The expense and disruption typically involved in finding, accessing and sealing leaky ductwork made remediation measures impractical at best. As a result, a tremendous number of U.S. lodgings across the country are plagued by the poor indoor air quality issues and high-energy bills that come from improper ventilation. That is changing. A new approach to duct sealing developed by the U.S. Department of Energy is helping solve this near ubiquitous problem. One case in point: While the JW Marriott hotel in Atlanta’s affluent Buckhead district has always been a model of elegance and luxury, owners of the 28 year-old hotel building continued to struggle with issues related to a poorly designed ventilation system. Inadequate exhaust led to musty odors that plagued the hotel building.

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green hotel focus
Republic, Mirage Hotel & Casino Unveil New Recycling Exhibit

LAS VEGAS—Republic Services and The Mirage Hotel & Casino unveiled a new recycling exhibit inside the Sustainability Discovery Center at Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. The exhibit is part of an ongoing commitment made by Republic and MGM Resorts International to increase awareness of sustainability throughout Southern Nevada and among roughly 42 million tourists who visit annually. “MGM Resorts International and Republic have partnered to increase awareness of the positive impacts of recycling, and the important role each individual can play,” said Cindy Ortega, Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer of MGM Resorts International. “The Mirage Sustainability Discovery Center serves as a valuable educational resource for the Las Vegas community.”

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personnel profile
Metroflor Names Rochelle Routman Chief Sustainability Officer

NORWALK, CONN.—Russ Rogg, President and CEO of Metroflor Corp., along with Harlan Stone, Halstead and Group CEO, announced the appointment of Rochelle Routman, LEED AP, O+M, as the first Chief Sustainability Officer for Metroflor and Halstead International. Routman will oversee product development, customer service and regulatory aspects in a collaborative fashion to define the greatest potential for environmental leadership. She will be based at the company’s Calhoun, Ga. campus. Rochelle brings over 30 years’ experience as a sustainability and environmental professional. At Lockheed Martin Aeronautical Systems, where she served as Pollution Prevention and Environmental Safety Coordinator in the 1990s, she established a “green team” to focus on addressing environmental issues through proactive program initiatives rather than mere regulatory compliance: the precursor of what we now call sustainability.

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NSF 444 Standard Will Help Prevent Legionella Outbreaks
5 days ago

Legionellosis is a respiratory disease caused by Legionella bacteria. Sometimes the bacteria cause a serious type of pneumonia (lung infection) called Legionnaires’ disease. The bacteria can also cause a less serious infection called Pontiac fever that has symptoms similar to a mild case of the flu. Unfortunately, Legionella bacteria make frequent appearances in hotels. Legionella was discovered after an outbreak in 1976 among people who went to a Philadelphia convention of the American Legion. The convention took place at the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel and 34 people died. Last year there was an outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease in New York City that left 12 dead and more than 100 infected. Part of the outbreak traced back to a hotel and there was a cooling tower connection. The CDC estimates that between 8,000 and 18,000 people are hospitalized with Legionnaires’ disease in the United States each year, with more than 4,500 cases reported in 2014.

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