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WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Willard InterContinental Hotel will celebrate Earth Day this year with a park cleanup and light bulb exchange. On April 22, from 11 a.m to 2 p.m., the Willard, with members of the National Parks Service, will spend the day across from the hotel in Pershing Park, where employees and community members are invited to help clean the park and learn some of the ways the Willard is working to reduce its environmental impact. These include a peak at some of the eco-friendly products used in the hotel. Also on Earth Day, I Spa at the Willard estheticians will be on hand offering complementary mini massages.
SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ.—The Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau is offering a Scottsdale Green by Design Tool Kit to encourage members of Scottsdale’s tourism industry and business community to implement measures that will reduce their impact on the environment. From simple steps that can be taken immediately to ideas for larger-scale programs, the tool kit has everything needed to start greening a business today.
NASHVILLE, TENN.—The inaugural Great Smoky Mountains Sustainable Tourism Summit will be held April 28 to 29 at the Knoxville Convention Center in Knoxville, Tenn. The summit, designed to kick off and honor the 75th anniversary of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is a partnership effort of the states of Tennessee and North Carolina and the National Geographic Center for Sustainable Destinations, The University of Tennessee, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area.
FREEPORT, MAINE—Maine Innkeepers across the state are slashing their rates in half this spring to support “Hospitality for Habitat”, a program which raises funds for Habitat for Humanity projects in Maine, announced Greg Dugal, Executive Director of The Maine Innkeeper’s Association. (MEIA) This year participating MEIA members hope to entice visitors to their properties with half price discounted rates offered between May 1 to 23. In exchange for the deep discount, guests agree to donate $35 to Habitat for Humanity. Sponsored by MEIA, Hospitality for Habitat was initiated in 2004 and has been successful in raising money for the Maine chapters of the national organization.
PHOENIX—The first Best Western hotel to be built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards recently broke ground in Golden, Colo. The 86-room Best Western Inn and Suites at Dinosaur Ridge in the west Denver area is expected to be complete in May 2009. This $13 million project is being designed to achieve a silver LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. It will be the first LEED-certified property in Golden. Gateway Development Group, developer of the hotel, has plans to build another three LEED-certified properties in the Denver area.
ATLANTA—Hotel Indigo will celebrate Earth Day 2008 by announcing its partnership with Earth Share, a nationwide network of the United States’ most respected environmental and conservation organizations. It is the first partnership of this kind for the brand and will serve as the foundation of Hotel Indigo’s commitment to the environment through implementation of sustainable building practices, hotel operating procedures, guest-engagement activities and community-related and charitable giving events.
SAN DIEGO—Planners of the Eighth Annual Resort Conference, the only conference planned by resort executives for resort executives, are educating attendees about ways to incorporate sustainable practices into their own day-to-day operations while taking steps to become more environmentally friendly. Conference planners are cutting down on paper use at the three-day conference April 16-18 at the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego. Attendees will receive an electronic show program on a specially produced jump drive that will replace the traditional printed program.
LAS VEGAS—The Palazzo Las Vegas, a Las Vegas Sands Corp. property, announced that the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) made its green status official with the presentation of a Silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certificate at an award ceremony held on Wednesday, April 9. Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons and David E. Rodgers, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency at the U.S. Department of Energy, were also on hand to honor this accomplishment. During the ceremony Governor Gibbons issued a proclamation in recognition of The Palazzo’s commitment to energy conservation.
PARK CITY, UTAH—Powdr Corp. announced that it will offset 100 percent of the grid-supplied electricity consumed at its seven ski and snowboard resorts and one tubing park through the purchase of renewable energy credits (RECs) beginning in June 2008. Powdr Corp.’s purchase of nearly 50 million kWh of RECs is the second largest among the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) partners in the travel and leisure category.
SCARBOROUGH, MAINE—National Geographic Traveler magazine has named Scarborough, Maine’s historic Black Point Inn and South Casco, Maine’s Migis Lodge to its first-ever “Stay List.” The list, launched as an annual feature, debuts in the April 2008 issue of the magazine; it features 150 properties which best represent an authentic “sense of place” in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. The magazine’s Stay List recommends the best places to stay the night that embrace authenticity, are dedicated to giving back to the community, and are mindfully green, according to editorial staff.
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