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To stay competitive, hotel companies always need to be on their toes. The trick is to offer amenities that do not hamper one’s ability to run a profitable operation. In recent years we have seen hotel brands introduce Heavenly Beds and even Select Comfort brand beds that allow one to adjust mattress firmness. Flat screen televisions are the next hot “got to have.”
Years from now, when our industry looks back at the green hospitality movement and notes those events that were benchmarks, I am sure Pineapple Hospitality and Lodging Hospitality’s first Green Hospitality Conference will be considered an important one. The one-day event was held last week in Dallas at the Hilton Anatole Hotel. About 175 people attended and some of the industry’s leading green lodging experts were on hand to participate in panel discussions.
Launching a new publication is not an easy task, especially when you do it on your own and without the support of a corporation behind you. To create a successful publication, you need talented designers and writers and a network of vendors willing to purchase display ads, directory listings and sponsorships. It has been eight months since I launched Green Lodging News and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of those individuals who have supported my venture with their advertising dollars and article contributions. Green Lodging News would not exist without your help. So, thank you!
In a little less than seven weeks, it will be Earth Day. It is a perfect time to celebrate your property’s environmental accomplishments. Environmentalism is not all about doom and gloom; it is about doing positive things on property and in the community as well. Don’t be afraid to party a little bit—responsibly, of course. Here in the Cleveland area, residents will congregate at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Exhibitors ranging from car makers to local farmers will be on hand. I plan to be there. Hey, I always fit in at the zoo.
One of the criteria for being a green hotel is purchasing as many locally produced food products as possible. It could be a head of lettuce or a bottle of wine but locally made products provide significant advantages for the environment and the local community. Yes, there are times when it is impossible to buy local, but through creative purchasing you can minimize your property’s environmental impact.
Green Lodging News applauds Choice Hotels International and the Choice Hotels Owners Council for deciding to convert all 433 Comfort Suites hotels in the United States to 100 percent nonsmoking properties. As reported here this past week, the new policy will go into effect on May 1. The decision to go smoke free means that hotel employees and guests—especially those with allergy sensitivities—will all breathe a lot easier.
Late in the 19th century, Thomas Edison filed a patent for the electric incandescent lamp. Six years later, he got his patent. Since that time, the world has been dependent on incandescents. Over the past several months, however, two announcements were made with the intent of moving us all away from them. The first was an announcement made by Royal Philips Electronics in December. The second was one made by a California legislator late last month.
A report released last week by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reaffirmed what previous reports have concluded: Global warming is occurring and there is at least a 90 percent chance that humans are responsible. Unless you have been avoiding the media the last few years, the findings should come as no surprise. Almost every day there has been news about receding glaciers, record average temperatures, disappearing species, and greenhouse gas increases.
Next Sunday, hundreds of millions of people will gather in homes, restaurants and bars to watch the Super Bowl. As a Cleveland Browns fan (egads, it hurts to say that these days), I have little interest in the outcome, although I do admit it would be nice for Peyton Manning to finally win it all. I say that at the risk of forever alienating any Chicago Bears fan who happens to be reading this column. Here is one thing you probably did not know about the big game: The National Football League (NFL) will be planting trees and buying renewable-energy certificates to offset greenhouse gas emissions from the game. (Feel free to insert your own jokes here.)
Carbon monoxide, a killer, should be the No. 1 indoor air quality concern at your property. Do you have detectors installed in your guestrooms? In other areas? If not, why? How can you truly be a green hotel if you are not doing all you can to protect your guests and staff from this silent, invisible danger? Hundreds lose their lives each year after having been exposed to carbon monoxide buildup in an enclosed area. Just last month in Key West, Fla., a 26-year-old man died in a guestroom at an upscale hotel. The man’s father nearly died as well. He survived after being put on a ventilator.
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