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MOUNT LAUREL, N.J.—The Wyndham Philadelphia-Mount Laurel is just a few weeks away from going “live” with its 756-kilowatt solar photovoltaic (PV) system on 10 carports in the hotel’s parking area. The carports cover 70 percent of the 400-vehicle parking space and were constructed—along with the solar panels—as part of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). The PPA was signed by the owners of the Wyndham hotel with US Solargy, Inc. US Solargy secured the financing for the system. US Solargy then placed the PPA with SolarMax Technology which financed and developed it. The owners of the hotel incurred no upfront costs; they will purchase electricity from SolarMax at a guaranteed rate for 15 years. The solar installation is expected to provide 50 percent of the electricity needed by the full-service, 245-room hotel.
ATLANTA—The Atlanta Airport Marriott Gateway, adjacent to one of the world’s busiest U.S. airports and home to the Georgia International Convention Center, recently earned Silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). The eco-savvy, 403-room property is among the greenest hotels in the city and is one of only 41 LEED Silver hotels for new construction in the United States to earn this level of accreditation. “We are proud of this outstanding achievement in being recognized as an environmental leader,” said Robert Woolridge, general manager. “Our contributions in making the environment a healthier place by reducing waste, conserving energy and water and using “green power” provided by the city of College Park are paying off and will continue for years to come.”
QUITO, ECUADOR—There is a new destination for experiencing natural beauty, biodiversity and eco-adventure in the Ecuadorian Andes: the Mashpi Rainforest Biodiversity Reserve. Located two-and-a-half hours west of historic Quito, this 3,000-acre reserve protects a small slice of the Tumbez-Chocó-Magdalena biodiversity “hotspot,” and will be home to a new retreat called Mashpi Lodge, new on the heels of its sister property Casa Gangotena that opened in Quito Old Town in October. This lodge has been designed as a springboard for exploring the biodiverse world of its reserve. A private getaway only accessible to its guests and located on a high plateau, Mashpi Lodge offers views of the forest and valleys at nearly every angle and offers the highest level of service.
BURLINGTON, VERMONT—Increasing recycling, implementing a food waste collection program for composting, and increasing green purchasing have allowed the 309-room Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center in Burlington, Vermont to reduce its environmental footprint, save money on disposal, and to be recognized as a Green Hotel through the Green Hotels in the Green Mountain State Program (also known as the Vermont Green Hotels Program). In April 2009, the Sheraton Hotel agreed to work with the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC), the Vermont Green Hotels Program, and EPA New England to increase its overall recycling, initiate a food waste diversion program, and to increase and document its green purchasing efforts. These efforts further supported the hotel’s environmentally conscious business practices and made it recognized as a Green Hotel in the State of Vermont.
BOSTON—As early as April 2012, Boston will welcome its new Boston Hostel. Perhaps the most expensive hostel in the world, the $43 million project has been designed to earn LEED Silver certification. The new hostel’s location at 19 Stuart Street is at the intersection of Boston’s midtown cultural district, theater district, and Chinatown, close to the Boston Public Garden and adjacent to public transportation. Set in the renovated six-story, 60,000-square-foot Dill Building, the Boston Hostel will have 468 beds, a common area for guests, a self-serve kitchen, and another kitchen for group functions. The hostel is expected to attract 46,000 guests annually, 30,000 of whom will visit from outside the United States. They are expected to spend $16 million or more in the Boston area. The hostel is being developed by the nonprofits Hostelling International USA and Hostelling International New England.
SYRACUSE, N.Y.—November 17 was a day to celebrate for Syracuse, N.Y.-based Woodbine Group. It was then that the company learned that its Hotel Skyler had earned LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED Platinum is a rare feat as only two other hotels in the United States—the Proximity Hotel in Greensboro, N.C., and the Bardessono in Yountville, Calif.—have earned the designation. According to Lynee Sauer, business manager for Woodbine Group, the road to LEED Platinum was more than a year and a half long; the company first registered for LEED on March 24, 2009. “It feels really good to have gone through the process,” Sauer says. “We took a piece of Syracuse’s history and reclaimed it,” adds Tom Fernandez, director of marketing and product development for Woodbine Group.
CANCUN, MEXICO—Cancun has become one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world. The sandy beaches, the blue water and the warm weather have brought tourists back year after year. Understanding that this natural beauty is extremely fragile, the JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa has started important green initiatives to ensure tourists can enjoy Cancun for years to come. This resort in Cancun, Mexico, has introduced a number of important environmentally conscious programs this year. Many of them focus on cutting down waste from the Cancun hotel. For instance, the JW Marriott Cancun Resort has begun an aggressive recycling program. Staff now throws away litter in pre-sorted containers, which initiate recycling before the garbage even nears a landfill.
ST. JOHNSBURY, VT.—Offering recycling to its guests and staff, and expanding green purchasing have allowed the 107-room Comfort Inn & Suites to reduce its environmental footprint, respond to guest requests, and to be recognized as a Green Hotel through the Vermont Green Hotels in the Green Mountain State Program (also known as the Vermont Green Hotels Program). In April 2009, the Comfort Inn agreed to work with the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC), the Vermont Green Hotels Program, and EPA New England to initiate a recycling program and to increase and document its green purchasing efforts. These efforts further supported the hotel’s environmentally conscious business practices and made it recognized as a Green Hotel in the State of Vermont.
CHATTANOOGA, TENN.—The Residence Inn Chattanooga near Hamilton Place, among Chattanooga extended stay hotels, announced that it has added two new environmentally friendly Level 2 Blink Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Stations. The charging stations are complimentary to hotel guests. The hotel has taken great strides in the local and global effort to create a healthier, greener environment since its opening in 2009. Residence Inn is a member of the Chattanooga Green Lodging Certification Program. The hotel recycles soap, uses environmentally friendly laundry detergents, recycles plastic, and offers towel and linen reuse program which saves water. ECOtality, a leader in electric transportation, launched the EV Project.
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.—The Las Vegas community of Summerlin is now the home of Nevada’s newest LEED certified hotel. Designed to be “green from the ground up,” Element hotels blend eco-inspired smart design, bright, open spaces, and flowing layouts in guestrooms. Element serves as Starwood’s green innovation lab, where sustainable practices are tested before migrating to other brands. With Element Las Vegas Summerlin’s certification, six Element hotels in North America now boast a LEED designation. Element made history in 2008 by becoming the first major hotel brand to mandate that all its properties pursue LEED certification.
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