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BETHESDA, MD.—Two Courtyard by Marriott hotels on opposite coasts—Chevy Chase, Md., and Portland, Ore.—made eco-history last week as they were recognized simultaneously via webcast by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). This milestone puts Courtyard—with more than 830 hotels worldwide—on track to deliver a LEED hotel prototype that will be cost-effective for hotel owners and franchisees to develop. “I applaud these two hotels and their owners for making the choice to build the most environmentally-sound properties possible and paving the way for more Courtyard hotels to be LEED certified,” said Arne Sorenson, president and chief operating officer of Marriott International, and co-chair of the company’s Executive Green Council.
MINNEAPOLIS—For the seventh time in recent history, Carlson has been recognized as one of the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers by Working Mother magazine. Cited for its family friendly benefits and strong values-based culture, Carlson once again received the honor for continuing its commitment to flexible work schedules, parental leave, adoption assistance, on-campus child care, and its focus on the advancement of women. Winners were selected for the recognition based on a 500-question application that measured companies across the board on work and family benefit issues. For this year’s “100 Best,” particular weight was given to benefits, flexibility and parental leave. “We are thrilled to be part of the ‘100 Best,’” said Hubert Joly, Carlson president and chief executive officer. “As a service company, attracting and retaining the best people is critical to our success.”
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.—Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. announced the opening of Element Dallas Fort Worth Airport North—its sixth hotel globally, and the second to open this week, following the opening of the Element Denver Park Meadows. Owned by Sava Holdings, Ltd. and managed by Aquila Lodging, L.L.C., Element Dallas Fort Worth Airport North Hotel is also the second Element hotel to open in Texas and is among the first in the Dallas/Fort Worth area to pursue the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for high-performance buildings. “The opening of two Element hotels in one week highlights our commitment to strategically expand our exciting, new eco-chic brand in the right places with the right partners,” said Paul Sacco, senior vice president of development for North America, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
OTTAWA, ON.—The Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) is now accepting entries for the 2009 Hall of Fame Awards of Excellence. Now in its sixth year, the Hall of Fame Awards program continues the association’s tradition of acknowledging the strong standards and values of those involved in and with the lodging industry.
Each year the Hall of Fame Awards attracts more and more entries from HAC members across the country. The awards program proudly recognizes those individuals, companies or properties that have demonstrated significant accomplishments, exemplary leadership and tireless commitment to the lodging industry in the following divisions: The Humanitarian Award, The Human Resources Award, The Energy & Environment Award, and Outstanding Supplier Award.
BELGRADE, SERBIA—The International Hotel & Restaurant Association announced that its 47th Annual Congress will be held January 18 to 20, 2010, at the Continental Hotel in Belgrade, Serbia. With the start of the new decade, IH&RA will host an event that highlights the future of the hospitality industry. Belgrade, Serbia embodies this year’s theme of looking towards the future for opportunities of growth and development. Leaders from all parts of the world representing some 200,000 hotels and six million restaurants will convene to exchange ideas about the major issues of this year: Climate Change and Hospitality, Natural Disaster and Hospitality, International Standardization for Hotels and Restaurants, Exploitation of Children in Tourism, Free Migration of Labor between Countries in Hospitality Field, and importantly Emeraude Hoteliers (IH&RA’s prestigious recognition of hotels that practice sustainable hospitality).
ALBANY, N.Y.—New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Pete Grannis today announced the launch of a new initiative to certify lodging establishments as “green” for employing environmentally friendly and sustainable practices. Forty-three hotels and inns—spread across every region of New York—are the first to sign on for the certification process. “Green tourism is good for our economy and good for our environment,” Governor David A. Paterson said. “The new Green Lodging Certification program will certify and assist New York’s hoteliers in the transition to environmental sustainability, helping them remain competitive and protect our environment at the same time. I am pleased that New York will soon have 43 new green hotels, providing travelers with green lodging options while they enjoy all of the natural beauty and tourism opportunities that New York has to offer.”
LAS VEGAS—Today, CityCenter embarked on the single largest hiring effort in the nation as it began to fill 12,000 permanent positions. The urban resort destination will open on the Las Vegas Strip this December. “We’re proud to celebrate this significant milestone as we begin to extend job offers to 12,000 deserving individuals,” said Bobby Baldwin, president and CEO, CityCenter. “Rich in diversity, intelligence and passion, this team will form the foundation of the extraordinary experience that CityCenter will deliver. Since breaking ground in 2006, CityCenter has employed more than 9,000 construction workers who have helped bring this vision to reality. When we open this December, demand created by CityCenter will result in thousands of additional jobs at outside companies. This is more than a collection of resorts; we see it as a beacon of hope for a future of renewed economic vitality in Las Vegas.”
VALLEY CENTER, CALIF.—Harrah’s Rincon Casino & Resort has diverted more than 400 tons of recyclables, reduced Styrofoam use by 25 percent and cleaned up more than eight miles of San Diego County beaches. These conservation efforts are the result of the employee driven “Green Committee,” which meets bi-weekly in support of the company’s CODEGreen Commitment. “CODEGreen is our commitment to conservation and sustainability,” says senior vice president and general manager Janet Beronio. The Green Committee is comprised of Harrah’s employees who want to make a difference. “There were so many ideas at the first meeting,” exclaims Brendan O’Kane, facilities manager and chairman of the Green Committee. “But rather than start a lot of different projects at once, we wanted to focus on the low hanging fruit and execute those projects well before moving on to the next opportunity.”
HORSHAM, PA.—The Green Key Eco-Rating Program (Green Key), one of the first of its kind to rank and certify hotels and resorts based on their commitment to sustainable “green” practices, has expanded its operations to the United States. The launch of the website www.greenkeyglobal.com signifies the evolution of the program from its Canadian roots to one that serves the needs of conservation-minded properties across Canada and the United States. The Green Key evaluation is a comprehensive 140-question audit that is self-administered by staff at the participating property. The audit covers the following operational areas and sustainable practices: Corporate Environmental Management, Housekeeping, Food & Beverage Operations, Conference & Meeting Facilities, Engineering, Energy Conservation, Water Conservation, Solid Waste Management, Hazardous Waste Management, Indoor Air Quality, Community Outreach, Building Infrastructure, Land Use, and Environmental Management.
SILVER SPRING, MD.—Choice Hotels International, Inc. and Rebuilding Together launched their national relationship on September 11, by providing substantial repairs and renovations to Stepping Stones Shelter in Montgomery County, Md. More than 100 Choice Hotels volunteers were onsite to help with the renovations. This project is the first of 20 Rebuilding Together projects made possible by a grant awarded by the Choice Hotels International Foundation, in addition to a grant provided by the Rodeway Owners Assn., focused on repairing the homes of low-income families. The multi-year relationship—named “Room to Rebuild”—is part of the ongoing commitment by Choice Hotels to strengthen the local communities in which their associates and franchisees live, work and provide hospitality.
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