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MILTON, N.Y.—The recent opening of Henry’s Farm to Table restaurant at Buttermilk Falls Inn + Spa, in the 300-year-old Hudson River-side hamlet of Milton, N.Y., completes the property’s evolution from charming bed and breakfast to country chic resort—one with a decidedly green sensibility. The new contemporary American 60-seat dining destination restaurant embraces the locavore movement by sourcing locally to showcase the bounty of the Hudson Valley. Indeed, Henry’s Farm to Table reflects its name literally since much of the produce and eggs used by executive chef Paul Kelly comes from Buttermilk’s on-site 40-acre working organic farm—Millstone.
GRAND RAPIDS, MICH.—Charter House Innovations (CHi) has opened its second green CityFlats Hotel—this time in the heart of Grand Rapids, Mich. The Holland, Mich.-based company, which also manufactures sustainable furniture, is pursuing LEED for New Construction certification at the Gold level for the 28-room property. CHi also has a CityFlats Hotel in Holland, Mich., that opened almost four years ago and, according to Chuck Reid, owner of the CityFlats Hotel brand, investors have expressed interest in developing additional CityFlats properties in Michigan and on the East Coast. CityFlats Hotel Grand Rapids, which includes the CitySen Lounge on the main floor, is in a building originally constructed in 1874. The previous tenant in the five-story structure was Fox’s Jewelers which vacated the building in 1997. Much of the exterior of the original building was kept intact during the restoration.
RENO—Being part of the unique high desert canvas of Reno-Tahoe has inspired the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino to adopt sweeping green initiatives to dramatically reduce the resort’s carbon footprint. For several years the resort has been mindful to minimize the impact of operations on the environment while maintaining a premiere level of service and experience for guests. The resort has used geothermal energy to heat the domestic hot water for the Tuscany Tower, including the 43,000 square foot Spa Toscana and Fitness Center as well as the two outdoor swimming pools and spas, since the 2007 expansion project. With the culmination of a $9.7 million investment, the entire resort is now online to heat both space and domestic water with geothermal energy.
MAMMOTH LAKES, CALIF.— Britannia Pacific Properties, a Lewis Trust Group company, announced that the town of Mammoth Lakes, Calif., has granted entitlements to build an innovative hotel and residences project called “Handmade Hotel Mammoth View.” With an extensive portfolio of properties, Britannia Pacific Properties has now set their sights on driving business and providing jobs to the town of Mammoth Lakes with their latest initiative, a 5.51-acre project which will feature geothermal heating for purposes of encouraging conservation of natural resources. Handmade Hotel Mammoth View will be an entirely new concept for the hospitality market in the small but lively mountain town: an expansive eco-friendly 54-room boutique hotel and 52 residences consisting of 28 eco cabins and 24 eco lofts.
VINELAND, N.J.—For the last year and a half, drivers motoring down Route 55 in Vineland, N.J., have been met with a surprising site—a 2,500-solar panel installation behind the Ramada Vineland. The .5-megawatt system sits on three acres of land owned by NGL Property Management, owner and operator of the adjacent 102-room Ramada. The solar system provides about 75 to 80 percent of the hotel’s power. That is significant given that the hotel has a banquet hall and three food and beverage facilities: Dakota Prime Steak House and Sushi Bar, Harry’s Pub, and The Speedway Café. According to John Scipione, owner of the hotel with his family, if there were no restaurants the solar panels would meet all of the hotel’s electricity needs. After the Ramada was purchased by NGL Property Management in January 2009, Scipione was looking for ways to update the tired property that was 25 years old at the time.
LAGUNA BEACH, CALIF.—Montage Deer Valley, which opened in Park City, Utah in December 2010, has been awarded Silver Certification as part of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for New Construction V2.2. This third-party rating system has been designed to encourage the design, construction and operation of more sustainable buildings. Montage Deer Valley, the first certified hotel in the state of Utah, is a newly constructed mixed-use hotel and residential project which has been LEED certified as a single development, denoting it as a high performance building that is a responsible, efficient and healthy place to live and work. “We’re gratified to have created a hotel and residential project in Park City that has obtained LEED certification,” said Alan J. Fuerstman, founder and CEO of Montage Hotels & Resorts.
AUSTIN, TEXAS—Manchester Texas Financial Group LLC announced a proposal for a 1035-room hotel adjacent to the Austin Convention Center that will pursue Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification. The project includes two restaurants, retail, and 115,000 square feet of meeting and exhibit space. Manchester Financial Group LP of San Diego (the parent company), contributed the land for the San Diego Convention Center and built both the Manchester Grand Hyatt and The San Diego Marriott Marquis and Marina consisting of approximately 3,000 rooms. Douglas Manchester admires what he refers to as “Texas’ finest city” and believed in the potential of downtown development enough to expand his interests to Austin in November of 2010 and establish Manchester Texas Financial Group LLC.
MIAMI—Up on the roof of the 16-story Hampton Inn & Suites, a 221-room hotel in the Brickell Financial District of downtown Miami, building developer Hospitality Operations, Inc. originally planned to install solar thermal panels for the purpose of heating hot water. A local hurricane ordinance will prohibit them from adding the system to their property that is scheduled to open September 15. Even without the panels, the hotel is set to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification, according to Howard Wolfson, vice president operations for Nashville-based Hospitality America, Inc., the company that will manage the hotel. The Hampton Inn & Suites is the 12th Hampton to be managed by Hospitality America. “[Hampton] is a great product with a great following, and profitable,” Wolfson says.
NEW YORK—Harvesting crops in Manhattan is tough. So Element New York Times Square West is doing the next best thing. Giving guests and neighbors easy access to fresh, seasonal produce and artisanal farm products, the earth-friendly hotel will launch a pioneering partnership with Holton Farms, an eighth-generation Vermont-based farm and Community Sponsored Agriculture (CSA) program. The partnership makes Element Times Square West the nation’s first hotel to participate in a Community Sponsored Agriculture program. Element will join Holton Farms’ CSA as an active member, supporting the program by purchasing a “share” in this season’s harvest. Memberships are usually available only to individual CSA members. The hotel will also become the designated weekly drop-off location for other Holton Farms CSA members in the neighborhood.
OURAY, COLO.—If Karen and Richard Avery could save another therm, they would. They certainly are trying. The couple, who own the 39-room Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs in Ouray, Colo., have reduced the lodge’s natural gas consumption by more than 70 percent in the past four years. The Averys have wisely invested in a geothermal system that utilizes the natural hot springs on their 2.6-acre property. Once used by the Ute Indians many years ago and last century for a sanitarium, the hot springs are used to heat the guestrooms and all of the hot water for the property. Water flowing out of the hot springs is 140 degrees. It flows into a concrete tank where hundreds of feet of copper coils have been placed. City water, which flows at a temperature of 40 degrees through the pipes, is heated to about 130 degrees through a heat exchange process.
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