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A body dryer instead of towels? When Julien Veyron, Architect and CEO of atelier arcau, responded to my request for additional information on the Light Human Hotel concept (see article and column from last week), he mentioned the use of body dryers in the hotels as one step in helping to reduce environmental impact. Yes, all Light Human Hotel bathrooms will include body dryers. (Google “body dryer” and you will find just a few examples of companies that make them.) The use of body dryers is one example of the brand developers’ willingness to innovate and create a guest experience unlike any other. Would your guests give up their towels in exchange for air drying? In case you missed it, the Light Human Hotel, a new eco-friendly brand and concept created by two France-based entrepreneurs—Jean-Pierre Bandeira, CEO of Light Human Hotel and Veyron—will make its first appearance in the United States later this year in Miami.
Those of you interested in learning about new hotel brands should follow the progress of the Light Human Hotel. It is a new brand coming out of France and the idea of Julien Veyron and Jean-Pierre Bandeira, two French entrepreneurs who first met during a business summit focusing on Latin America Property Development. Architect and planner, Julien Veyron was there for architecture firm atelier arcau’s business development. Jean-Pierre Bandeira was there to develop YOO Co. (founded by Philippe Starck and John Hitchcox). They met at the outdoor bar of the Trump International Hotel & Tower Panama and started to discuss real estate and architecture. A few months later, Bandeira joined atelier arcau to develop the global business of the company. After a few years of observation and discussion, the idea of launching a new brand and concept for hotels came up in 2015. The result: the Light Human Hotel, a new brand designed to appeal to Millennials.
A big thank you to all of you who have already signed up for and/or completed the Green Lodging Survey that was launched by Green Lodging News and Greenview this past week. The survey will remain open through the end of August. If you have not yet visited the survey site, please take a moment to do so. Owners and operators of lodging establishments around the planet are eligible to participate. Please be sure to spread the word about the survey. You will continue to see reminders on the Green Lodging News website and in our weekly e-newsletter. Please be sure to support our survey sponsors: The Arbor Day Foundation, Pineapple Hospitality, reCollect2 Co. and Aquawing Ozone Laundry Systems. If you are interested in sponsoring the survey, click here for details. You can also contact me at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at email@example.com. On another note, I am sure you have noticed that Green Lodging News publishes guest columns every couple of weeks.
This coming week will be a very exciting week for Green Lodging News. On Wednesday, June 8, together with Greenview, we will launch the planet’s premier Green Lodging Survey. Owners and operators of lodging establishments around the globe are being asked to participate. If you fall into that category, please complete the survey. If you are part of a company that owns and/or manages multiple properties, please direct representatives at each property to participate. And, if you are in a position to influence participation through direct contact, publicity, etc., please do that as well. We need as many people as possible to complete the survey! Subscribers of the Green Lodging News weekly e-newsletter will get a reminder on Wednesday, June 8 to visit the survey site. An article will be posted at the top of the Green Lodging News website directing site visitors to the survey and ongoing promotional ads will also link to it. While the survey is open you will receive reminders.
During one of my travels in Oregon I had an opportunity to dine at one of the McMenamins restaurants. If you live in Oregon or Washington you have most likely experienced McMenamins. The McMenamin family now has more than 60 brewpubs, breweries, music venues, historic hotels, and theater pubs. I recently spoke with Shannon McMenamin, General Manager of Lodging, Gift Shop and Spa Operations to learn more about her family’s company. Shannon told me they now have 10 hotels open and two under development. Each of the hotel properties has a fascinating story behind it. For example, once home to a restaurant and lounge, banquet hall, Greyhound bus depot, Western Union, soda fountain and beauty parlor, a 1905 building in McMinnville, Ore. is now the 42-room Hotel Oregon. McMenamins’ sustainability story is primarily the revitalization of aging structures—stopping the flow of brick and mortar to the landfill and creating jobs and energy in communities that need it. McMenamins now employs 2,500 and is still hiring.
I posted an article this past week on Tom Rhodes, NC (North Carolina) GreenTravel Initiative Program Manager. I had an opportunity to meet Tom at a conference a number of years ago. One of my readers suggested Tom as someone I should profile in our Personnel Profile section. Of course Tom was a great choice. Any kind of city, regional, state or national green lodging recognition program is only as good as the person or people behind it. Tom is a very good reason North Carolina’s GreenTravel Initiative is such a success. For those of you not familiar with the NC GreenTravel Initiative, it is a program that was developed through a partnership of the North Carolina Division of Environmental Assistance and Customer Service (NCDEACS), The Center for Sustainability at East Carolina University, Visit North Carolina and the Waste Reduction Partners program. It was launched toward the end of 2011 and allows businesses to be certified and recognized as green businesses, meaning they have accumulated enough points for their best practices as noted in the Application for Recognition.
I recently wrote about water bottle filling stations, their many advantages (dramatic decrease in plastic bottle consumption), how they can be used to increase profits, etc. This past week I posted an article on atmospheric water generation and several companies that have come along to offer systems that produce filtered, drinkable water from the humidity in the air. Whereas the water bottle filling stations require a water line connected to the machines, the atmospheric water generators do not. If they are solar powered they can be located just about anywhere—as long as humidity levels are at least 40 to 45 percent. I first learned about atmospheric water generation during last fall’s HX: The Hotel Experience in New York. There, Florida-based Atmospheric Water Solutions, Inc. featured its air to water generators. That company offers a machine capable of producing water cooler quantities, high-capacity bottling machines that produce up to 2,000 bottles per eight hour day and generators that produce up to 5,000 gallons per day.
Trade shows and conferences seem to come and go in our industry but one that has had staying power is HD Expo. The event, held at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas last week, brought together over 10,000 designers, architects, hotel owners and operators, developers, specifiers and purchasers with more than 800 hospitality design manufacturers and product providers. HD Expo is always a great venue to connect with suppliers of green products and services and this year was no different. Interestingly, there was one year the planners of HD Expo actually separated out many of its green suppliers and placed them in a green zone of sorts. That idea lasted one year and today you need to pay a little more attention if you want to connect with a company committed to sustainability. I walked the entire trade show floor twice and discovered some interesting companies to pay attention to—some are newcomers, others have been around for quite some time. Glass Recycled was at the show with many examples of countertops and other items made by mixing crushed glass with an epoxy resin.
I just added another hotel to the Geothermal Powered page on the Green Lodging News website—The Hotel at Oberlin in Oberlin, Ohio. Anyone familiar with Oberlin College would not be surprised by the college’s latest venture. The 70-room hotel, set to have its soft opening this month (May), is on track for the rare LEED Platinum certification and will join just a handful of hotels in the United States in that group. I recently spoke with Christopher Noble, Project Developer, SMART Hotels LLC, to learn more about this outstanding property. “Our path to LEED Platinum is based on energy efficiency more than anything else,” Noble told me. The Hotel at Oberlin features a hydronic radiant heating and cooling system tied to the geothermal system. There are 48 geothermal wells, each 405 feet deep, surrounding the property. There is LED lighting throughout the hotel. “It is fair to say we are solar powered as well,” Noble says. During the planning stages for the Peter B. Lewis Gateway Center, of which the hotel is a part, a nearby solar array was built. The energy from that array helps power the Center.
I used Earth Day to announce the launch of the planet’s premier Green Lodging Survey. Set to launch in June (watch for it!), the survey is being produced in partnership with Greenview. Eric Ricaurte is the Principal of Greenview and I will be working with him on this exciting project. Greenview has helped launch several innovative industry initiatives including the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative, the Cornell Hotel Sustainability Benchmarking study, the Hotel Footprinting Tool, the Green Venue Report, and the UNWTO’s sustainable cruise development strategies for South-East Asia. In June and months following hoteliers and innkeepers will be asked to complete the online survey that will consist of about 75 questions covering topics ranging from indoor air quality to energy management to procurement. The intent of the survey is not only to cover the best practices you are familiar with but to also uncover innovative new green products, technologies, and steps seen nowhere else that hoteliers are taking to reduce their impact while increasing profitability.
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