Green Hotel Focus

In Green Hotel Focus, Green Lodging News features those properties that deserve just a little bit more attention than your typical green hotel—those properties that have invested in green building design and technologies, energy and water conservation, indoor air quality, and much more. Would you like to nominate a property for coverage? Contact Glenn Hasek, editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at:

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Courtyard Mankato Green from the Ground to the Rooftop


MANKATO, MINN.—All that’s left is the waiting for the official plaque from the U.S. Green Building Council. When it arrives the Courtyard Mankato Minnesota will become the first hotel in the Gopher State to receive LEED certification. Considering all of the property’s green features, the honor will be well deserved. The 93-room property, about a year old, is owned by Mercury Investments L.P. Preston Lougheed is the general manager. “As far as we know we are the first Marriott in the United States to have solar panels,” Lougheed says. “It was a big investment.” The 40 kW, 192 panel system on the roof of the hotel supplies about 3 percent of the property’s electricity. Including a monitor in the lobby that provides daily, weekly, monthly and annual savings information, the solar system cost $279,182. With state, federal and utility credits, the return on investment is expected to be about 10 years.

Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City Uses PACE to Fund $7 Million in Upgrades


PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y.—In Los Angeles County, Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing is available to commercial, industrial and multi-family property owners to pay for building improvements that save energy or create renewable energy on-site. The Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City took advantage of this fixed rate, 100 percent financing to fund $7 million worth of sustainable upgrades. The Hilton project is the largest commercial PACE project in the United States, more than twice the size of two projects completed this past year at just more than $3 million each. The Hilton project will result in an annual energy savings of $800,000 and water savings of $28,000, conserving more than 2.8 million gallons of water. This comprehensive retrofit includes energy efficiency glass installations and new LED lighting, which is expected to reduce energy consumption by 50 percent.

Hope Lake Lodge at Greek Peak Mountain Resort Receives LEED Certification


CORTLAND, N.Y.—Hope Lake Holdings, LLC has received a congratulatory letter from the President, CEO & Founding Chairman of the U.S. Green Building Council, S. Richard Fedrizzi, on earning LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, certification on Hope Lake Lodge & Convention Center. The project has achieved LEED Certification under the LEED for New Construction Rating System. “LEED certification identifies Hope Lake Lodge & Convention Center as a showcase example of sustainable design and demonstrates leadership in transforming the building industry,” Fedrizzi said. “In honor of this impressive achievement and in appreciation of Greek Peak’s participation in LEED, certificates recognizing the accomplishment were awarded.”

Hilton Meadowlands Opens in New Jersey with Solar Installation


MCLEAN, VA.—Northern New Jersey’s newest Hilton Hotels & Resorts property, the 427-guestroom Hilton Meadowlands, is now open at Two Meadowlands Plaza in East Rutherford. The property, which recently completed the first phase of a multi-million dollar renovation, was previously a Sheraton. The greenest highlight of the Hilton hotel is its 1.1-megawatt solar photovoltaic installation on its carport. The solar panels are expected to generate 20 percent of the property’s energy. Other green programs include composting of organic waste, meeting space recycling, food donations, elimination of Styrofoam, and energy-efficient digital signage. The hotel participates in Clean the World, a nonprofit, global health program that hygienically recycles and donates more than 3.2 million bars of soaps.

Seasonal Dumpster Service Cost at Grand Canyon Lodge-North Rim Axed from $54,000 to $4,000


GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK—Forever Resorts’ Grand Canyon Lodge-North Rim has received an Environmental Achievement Award from the National Park Service for Environmental Stewardship at the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. The award was conferred specifically for the Grand Canyon Lodge-North Rim’s waste reduction program. In 2009, the lodge embarked on a program of daily hand sorting of all solid waste. In 2012 alone, it recycled nearly 55,000 pounds of cardboard, 3,600 pounds of paper, 10,000 pounds of metal, 40,000 pounds of glass and 18,000 pounds of plastic. In addition, 103,000 pounds of food waste was converted to a nutrient-rich liquid and safely discharged into the national park sewer system. Together, these amounts represent a 100 percent diversion of these waste streams.

Herb N’ Kitchen Restaurant Debuts at New York Hilton Midtown


NEW YORK—Hilton Hotels & Resorts, the flagship brand of Hilton Worldwide, announced the launch of Herb N’ Kitchen, its new dining concept that infuses fresh, local gourmet food into an upscale restaurant and convenient culinary market. Now open inside New York Hilton Midtown, the largest hotel in Manhattan, the first Herb N’ Kitchen offers locals and travelers healthy fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner; and the choice of restaurant dining at their leisure, meals packaged to take away or in-room delivery for hotel guests. With a shift in the way today’s travelers dine, the quick service segment is moving to the forefront of the hotel experience. According to a recent report from food industry research group Technomic, 85 percent of casual dining consumers say they visit fast casual dining outlets at least once a month.

Radisson Blu Mall of America: a Green Star in the Gopher State


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.”

Wind Turbine Installation Begins at Hilton Fort Lauderdale


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.

MGM Grand Detroit Completes One of Nation’s Largest LED Parking Garage Retrofits


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.”

SpringHill Suites by Marriott, Idaho’s First LEED Hotel, Opens


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.

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