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NEW YORK—The 1,980-room Hilton New York has been awarded the 2008-2009 Environmental Recognition Program “Green Street” Award by the Avenue of the Americas Association. The award was presented at a gala reception held recently at the hotel’s Trianon Ballroom. The Hilton New York received the award in recognition of its environmentally-friendly energy fuel cell, which sits atop the building’s fifth floor roof. The Green Street Award was created to recognize members of the Association and other owners and tenants along the Avenue of the Americas.
NEW YORK—The latest and best efforts at cultural preservation, environmental conservation, and community building through tourism have been recognized in Travel + Leisure’s 2009 Global Vision Awards. Selected by a jury of eight members including Dan Barber, Céline Simone Cousteau, Bruce Mau, and Dr. Joseph E. Stiglitz, the fifth annual Global Vision Award winners include the Rainforest Alliance for setting the bar for green travel, Element Hotels for its commitment to achieving LEED certification at all of its properties, Ecoventura for charting a new course for travel to the Galápagos Islands, and Sassi di Matera Albergo Diffuso in Italy for transforming abandoned cave dwellings of a UNESCO World Heritage site into guestrooms. Profiles of all 17 winners along with insights from the jury are featured in Travel + Leisure’s November issue, available on newsstands October 23.
LAS VEGAS—Crystals, the retail and entertainment district at CityCenter, has achieved LEED Gold Core & Shell certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, making it the world’s largest retail district to receive this level of recognition. Opening in December, CityCenter was created with a vision to introduce a new level of environmental consciousness to the world-famous Strip. Crystals’ achievement marks the fourth LEED Gold certification for CityCenter; previous recipients included 1. ARIA Resort’s hotel tower, 2. ARIA’s convention center and theater, and 3. Vdara Hotel & Spa.
BUFFALO, N.Y.—The Buffalo Green Hospitality Initiative, formed in August 2007 to develop and maintain environmentally responsible practices and promote a green experience for travelers and conventioneers visiting the Buffalo Niagara region, is expanding with the launch of “Green & Mean (It).” Led by the Buffalo Niagara Convention & Visitors Bureau, the purpose of the program is to help make Buffalo Niagara a more environmentally responsible meeting destination. As part of Green & Mean (It), a comprehensive lodging certification program has been introduced. It is now available to lodging establishments in the Buffalo Niagara area. A corresponding website, www.greenandmeanit.com, will be rolled out in the next several weeks. According to Cheryl Zanghi, national sales manager for the Buffalo Niagara Convention & Visitors Bureau, almost 50 people on five sub-committees were involved in putting together the certification program and corresponding workbook.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in conjunction with the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and NEWH announced the winner of the first-ever Sustainable Suite Design Competition—a competition for interior designers to showcase the best hospitality design strategies that boast environmental responsibility while enhancing the guest experience. Because the hospitality industry is a large consumer of energy and water use, this competition aims to motivate sustainable practices industrywide among newly built and existing hotels. Submissions from 65 professional designers and aspiring young professionals were received, each one redefining how a high-performance, energy-and-resource-efficient hotel suite should look and function. The winning design came from the team of WATG, a destination design firm.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released its first WaterSense specification for a commercial building product. WaterSense labeled flushing urinals will use 50 percent less water than standard urinals, saving businesses 4,000 gallons of water per year for every model installed. While current federal standards set the maximum allowable flush volume at one gallon per flush, an estimated 7.8 million urinals in use today are older inefficient models. In addition to using no more than a half gallon per flush, urinals bearing the WaterSense label must meet EPA’s performance requirements, ensuring they work as well or better than standard models. In addition to businesses, schools can save by switching to WaterSense labeled urinals; a college with 10,000 students that installs WaterSense labeled urinals in its classroom buildings will save each year enough water to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.—Hundreds of new products will take center stage at the 94th annual International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show (IH/M&RS), as some 35,000 professionals look to the event for the latest products to enhance the guest experience. Taking place November 7 to 10, 2009, at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, the IH/M&RS will feature the latest technologies and resources of nearly 1,000 exhibiting companies. “The IH/M&RS has a long-standing reputation as the industry event where products are launched, and this year is no exception,” said Lynn White, show manager. “From greening technologies to luxury linens, the scope of new products being introduced to the market encompasses every product category.” New green products to be showcased include The Green Room Obsessively Natural Bathroom by Amenity Services, a complete collection of all-natural bathroom amenities.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J.—Most Americans are aware that nearly every auto maker in the world today is committed to producing electric cars. So, what about electric parking spaces? According to Gas2.0.org, “most potential plug-in vehicle consumers do not have an adequate place to charge their vehicles.” There simply are not enough charging stations for the electric cars on the road. Recently, a guest checking in for a conference at Hamilton Park Hotel & Conference Center in Florham Park asked if there were electric car parking stations available. The front desk clerk replied, “not yet, but we’re working on it.” According to Steve Migliara, director of sales & marketing, “we have just completed the installation of eight electric car charge stations, which is consistent with our commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability. We are trying to stay ahead of the curve by anticipating customer needs such as this.”
NATIONAL REPORT—Over the past several years public awareness of climate change has lead to a significant shift in the way we all live our lives. This public awareness has also lead to a groundswell of support for green facilities design that supports the desire to save the planet by reducing dependence on fossil fuels and natural resources like forest timber. One integral component in green facilities design is the method of construction, and the method of construction that is the greenest is insulated concrete forming (ICF). ICF is widely used and recognized and has been used successfully for both residential and commercial/institutional applications for more than 20 years. Quite simply, the concrete forms used to pour the concrete into are an insulating material, usually polystyrene, which are left in place after the concrete sets.
GLEN ELLYN, ILL.—The DuPage Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) recently awarded the Crowne Plaza Glen Ellyn-Lombard the 2009 Green Initiative Award. The award was presented at the DuPage CVB’s 20th Anniversary Annual Meeting & Luncheon on October 2 at the Eaglewood Resort & Spa in Itasca, Ill. The bureau recognized the hotel’s environmental commitment, including sustainable programs like guest recycling, insulated low-E glass windows and energy-reducing boilers. The committee also acknowledged the hotel’s adjacent restaurant, Glen Prairie, serving locally-sourced, seasonable fare from local farmer’s markets. At the event, DuPage CVB’s executive director, Skip Strittmatter, presented the award at the luncheon in front of an audience of 275 people, all members, partners and supporters of the bureau.
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