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BLOOMINGTON, MINN.—The 500-room Radisson Blu Mall of America was green out of the gate when it opened in March this year just next to the bustling 520-store Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn. A highly energy efficient building, typical of all new Radisson Blu properties, it is on its way to be the first hotel in Minnesota to achieve LEED certification. While the hotel is the second Radisson Blu in the United States, all future hotels will strive for LEED certification. “Why would we do it any other way?” says Ted Lorenzi, Senior Director of Technical Services, Americas, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. “Building in the most energy efficient and sustainable way possible just makes good business sense and keeps our guests comfortable and happy.”
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA.—Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort is changing its roof top landscape by adding six wind turbines to the 25-story all-suite resort located across from the Atlantic Ocean on AIA in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The 374-suite resort has been committed to saving energy since opening in 2007. Continuing the commitment of going above and beyond environmental regulations and voluntarily implementing hotel conservation programs, the hotel has begun installation of the six wind turbines that will help reduce energy consumption that will eventually provide a cost savings. “We are committed to implementing innovative programs and making continual improvements to our overall sustainability results each year,” says Andreas Ioannou, general manager.
DETROIT—MGM Grand Detroit has completed the light-emitting diode (LED) lamp retrofit of its 61-acre parking garage. Cited as one of the nation’s largest LED parking garage makeovers, the three-month installation boasts 3,117 LED lamps and will reduce the garage’s annual energy use by 80 percent at the Four Diamond destination resort. “As a property fully committed to the fundamental principles of environmental stewardship, we are proud to complete the LED lamp installation and further minimize MGM Grand Detroit’s energy consumption,” said Steve Zanella, president and COO of MGM Grand Detroit. “Like many of our conservation initiatives, this renovation is a win-win for us and the environment.”
COEUR D’ ALENE, IDAHO—The 118-suite SpringHill Suites by Marriott in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, opened on August 5. The SpringHill Suites Coeur d’Alene will operate as a Marriott franchise, owned and managed by CDB Hospitality, LLC of Spokane, Wash. Located two miles from downtown, 35 miles from Spokane International Airport and five minutes from Lake Coeur d’Alene, the hotel offers guests convenient access to Centennial Trail, the Spokane River, and Silverwood Theme Park. The SpringHill Suites Coeur d’Alene has been awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for its contributions in making the environment a healthier place by reducing waste and conserving energy and water.
DALLAS—NYLO Dallas South Side has achieved LEED Gold certification—one of the highest possible rankings from the U.S. Green Building Council. The hotel, which opened in August 2012, is the first NYLO property to achieve LEED certification, the first historic hotel in Dallas to achieve LEED Gold certification and one of only 69 LEED Gold certified hotels in the United States. “This was NYLO’s first adaptive-reuse project, and it’s in a landmarked historic building to boot—which meant our design team did even more creative problem-solving than usual,” said Michael Mueller, NYLO Hotels’ CEO. “We couldn’t be happier or more proud of the LEED Gold certification and NYLO’s continued leadership in green initiatives at all of the NYLO Hotel properties.” NYLO Dallas South Side is housed in a 102-year-old former factory that sat vacant for more than 10 years.
ATLANTA—About a year ago, not long after starting as director of engineering at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta, Wes Shirley was overlooking the third floor terrace of the 439-room hotel during a rainstorm. He thought to himself, “What a waste. If only we could somehow harvest and reuse all that water we could really save some money.” With the assistance of a plumber, the Director of Administration and Development at Southern Polytechnic University (who is an engineer), and some students at Southern Polytechnic University, Wes came up with a plan to harvest the rainwater that falls on the 32,000 square feet of third floor rooftop surface. For the students at Southern Polytechnic University, it was part of a class project to help come up with a design and plan for a rainwater harvesting system.
STAMFORD, CONN.—Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. announced that its “Different by Design” Aloft brand has doubled its presence in Tulsa, Okla., with the opening of Aloft Tulsa Downtown. The opening also marks the successful completion of the Aloft brand’s second adaptive reuse project. The former City Hall was transformed into Aloft Tulsa Downtown by owner and developer TOCH, LLC. Managed by Presidian Hotels & Resorts, Aloft Tulsa Downtown offers 180 loft-like rooms and leading-edge technology. “Aloft Tulsa Downtown brings new life to a historic building by infusing it with the energy of the Aloft brand’s urban design and buzzing social atmosphere,” said Brian McGuinness, senior vice president, Specialty Select Brands for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. “Adaptive reuse projects like this one represent an important growth channel for the Aloft brand.”
OQUNQUIT, MAINE—A year after installing one of Maine’s largest solar thermal projects, The Cliff House Resort & Spa reports saving 20,000 gallons of propane, 82 percent more than originally projected. Owner Kathryn Weare anticipated saving 11,000 gallons of propane based on equipment specifications and is pleased with the nearly double first-year results. Located on a cliff abutting the Atlantic Ocean, the resort’s solar panels productivity benefits from the reflective surface of the water. The installation comprising 2,100 tubes on 70 collectors was initially estimated to provide solar-heated water for the 32 guestrooms in Cliff Spa, the spa building along with the entire spa facility and common area heat. Now the solar collectors heat the spa building as well as the 104 guestrooms and kitchen facilities in the resort’s original Cliffscape building. The energy created from the solar thermal system is equivalent to that required for generating hot water for about 50 households a year.
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA—Ellerman House has launched an initiative to become Cape Town’s most eco-friendly boutique hotel. Through newly implemented green projects such as solar panels, LED light bulbs, heat pumps, earthworm farms and recycling systems, the property aims to be Cape Town’s leader in eco-friendly luxury hospitality by September 2013. In order to measure the carbon footprint for the entire property, including the main house, villas, spa, art gallery and all administrative housing and offices, Ellerman House hired an energy efficiency company, BrightBlack, as a consultant and to administer extensive energy testing. The staff at Ellerman House began taking energy-reducing steps immediately, beginning with the installation of energy-efficient and motion-sensor activated LED lights.
ST. JOHN, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS—Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. and NRG Energy, Inc. announced a new global alliance to expand the use of renewable energy systems at Starwood properties. The alliance will begin with three properties, including the installation of a 1.3 megawatt (MW) solar array at the Westin St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands where NRG will build, own and operate the project. This array will provide clean, efficient power to the resort and help to reduce local air emissions and the impact of shipping on the fragile Caribbean ecosystem by directly reducing demand for diesel fuel imports. NRG will own the solar arrays while Starwood will be the enabling partner.
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