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NATIONAL REPORT—Paper or cloth? That is the “napkin” question that is answered in restaurant and other foodservice situations millions of times each day around the world. How that question is answered can have a sizeable impact on the environment and the volume of waste exiting a hotel. Not surprisingly, experts come down on both sides of the issue but most give cloth napkins the edge from a “green” standpoint. Also, as has been discovered time and time again by hoteliers, the kind of napkin presented can significantly impact the guest experience. Several years ago, Milliken & Company, a producer of table linens, hired a research company to gauge consumer preferences between paper and cloth napkins at sit-down restaurants. The study found that a majority of U.S. consumers prefer to dine at sit-down restaurants with a cloth napkin. Eight-two percent associated cloth napkins with a better restaurant appearance and ambiance, 75 percent associated them with better food quality, 88 percent with better service, and 84 percent with being environmentally friendly.
BETHESDA, MD.—From the panhandle of sunny Florida on the east coast of the United States, to Berlin, Germany, five properties of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company house honeybees as extensions of their Community Footprints programs and continued commitment to environmental sustainability efforts. The first hotel of The Ritz-Carlton portfolio to act on the growing environmental concern over the honeybee shortage was The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte in North Carolina. The LEED certified luxury hotel welcomed beehives on their rooftop in early 2010. The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte now produces 60 to 100 pounds of honey each season, and in turn has used the honey throughout the restaurants in the hotel, as well as in the spa. Tours are available every Saturday for guests looking to deepen their understanding about the hives and support the ecosystem surrounding the hotel. The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota responded to the national honeybee shortage by welcoming honeybees to the golf resort and went as far as to send their Director of Golf Grounds, Sean O’Brien, to become a certified beekeeper.
KIGALI, RWANDA—Marriott International officially opened the doors of its first Marriott Hotel in Rwanda. “Rwanda is going through an economic transformation and we are proud to be a part of it,” said Marriott International President and CEO Arne Sorenson, who attended the Kigali Marriott’s opening ceremony with political dignitaries and executives including Alex Kyriakidis, Marriott’s President and Managing Director, Middle East and Africa region. “Coupled with that transformation is a mutual promise for opportunity—both for Marriott as a hospitality company and for the associates and partners who will help us succeed in this market.” Highlighting the importance of hospitality’s role in Rwanda, the World Travel & Tourism Council says Rwanda’s travel and tourism industry generated 7.1 percent of the country’s GDP in 2015 and predicts it to rise at 4.1 percent annually through 2025. Known as the Land of a Thousand Hills, Rwanda is becoming a popular destination for meetings and tourism. The 254-room Marriott in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city, is creating approximately 500 jobs and will be among the country’s biggest and most luxurious properties.
BROOKLYN, N.Y.—1 Hotels, the mission-driven luxury lifestyle hotel brand announced that the newest addition to its portfolio, 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, is set to make its debut in February 2017. Located at Pier 1, just south of the iconic bridge in the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood and minutes from downtown Manhattan, the 10-story sustainable ground-up development is designed by New York-based architecture studio Incorporated and will feature 194 guestrooms with sliding floor-to-ceiling windows—many offering views of the East River, the Brooklyn Bridge and New York skyline—including 29 two to six bedroom suites and The Riverhouse, its Presidential Suite. Guests of the hotel will enjoy a nine-treatment room Bamford Spa, a state of the art signature Field House fitness center, a yoga and barre studio operated by POE Yoga, and a 50-seat screening room. All aspects of the hotel’s design and construction will be carefully chosen to reflect 1 Hotel’s commitment to environmentally responsible hospitality. “The 1 Hotels brand aims to show sophisticated travelers they can live well, do good, and connect with the world around them,” said 1 Hotels founder and SH Group CEO Barry Sternlicht.
MADISON, WIS.—OMNI Solutions, a Wisconsin-based energy-saving laundry and cleaning solutions company, has been named Trade Ally of the Year by Southern California Gas Co., (SoCalGas), their highest honor achievable, for helping businesses throughout Southern California save energy and operating costs.
MINNEAPOLIS—For a sweet spin on Happy Hour, FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar Mall of America launches a new Buzz Hour special, available daily in the Cocktail Bar. The newly launched promotion offers a menu of dishes and drinks that incorporate local Minnesotan honey, grown on the Honey Bee colonies on the rooftop of Radisson Blu Mall of America.
DAHLONEGA, GA.—Breakthrough technology designed to completely eliminate water bourne bacteria legionella, tested by a research chemist at the Centre Des Technologies De L’Eau (CTE) in Montreal, is a proven strategy to save lives and possibly prevent future disease outbreaks. In July 2015, a deadly outbreak of Legionella in New York City claimed 12 lives. Legionella outbreaks have also been recently reported in Illinois, Detroit, Orlando, San Francisco, Maryland, Georgia, Spain, England and Australia.
MANCHESTER, N.H.—Xeros, the innovator of an ultra-low water laundry system, announced that it has agreed with Jamsan Hotel Management (JHM) Group that its award-winning polymer bead cleaning laundry system is to be installed in each of its hotels. The program will see the replacement of conventional washers in more than 50 properties with Xeros laundry systems which reduce water and energy costs without sacrificing the quality of service to hotel customers.
CLEVELAND—Thundering applause. Palpable excitement. Large-scale events are marked by common elements, but one universal feature exists just behind the scenes: food waste. As attendance numbers pile up, so does the food waste. But Grind2Energy, Emerson’s large-scale food waste recycling system, is putting food waste to work—by converting it into energy. Because more food waste leads to more energy, the impact at large venues like the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland can really add up.
ST. PAUL, MINN.—Ecolab Inc., a global leader in water, hygiene and energy technology and services, has been named to the 2016 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) North America index, a comprehensive and highly regarded assessment of leading sustainability-driven companies. This is the second consecutive year Ecolab has been named to the North America index, and the company’s third listing since 2012.