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NASHVILLE, TENN.—An effort to raise money for The Purpose Hotel has launched. Celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart (Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Sting, etc.) is using Kickstarter to gather financial support for the project that aims to fight against injustices of war, hunger, poverty, global warming, racial tension, unclean water, addictions and natural disasters. Every aspect of the global chain will directly contribute to those in need through partnerships and sponsors. Through the project’s Kickstarter, individuals have the opportunity to become co-founders as backers of the project. With a dedicated goal of $2 million in funding, backers of the hotel will receive perks and rewards based on their pledge to The Purpose Hotel Kickstarter. As of July 27, 2016, more than $300,000 had been raised. According to The Purpose Hotel website, the first $2 million raised will fund the initial design phase of the hotel that will be located in Nashville. The next $4 million will go toward securing land for the hotel.
ITHACA, N.Y.—Cornell’s Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) has released the latest benchmarks from an ongoing international project to create default sustainability data for the global hotel industry. The report, “Hotel Sustainability Benchmarking Index 2016: Energy, Water, and Carbon,” led by Eric Ricaurte in collaboration with 11 global hotel firms, analyzes data provided for 8,880 properties. The report, which details the Cornell Hotel Sustainability Benchmark Index (CHSB), is available at no charge from the CHR at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. “By adding new segmentation by climate and hotel type, we have strengthened our industry-centric approach to this effort, given the realization that a practical benchmark must start within specific locations and segments, rather than trying to compare all properties,” said Ricaurte. He pointed out that the hotel sustainability study’s goal is to build a representative database that provides raw benchmarks as a base for industry comparisons and data integration. The results are presented in the CHSB2016 Index report, where users can obtain the range of benchmarks for energy consumption, water consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions for hotels within specific segments and geographic locations.
DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA—The Tanzanian based Bakhresa Group has appointed Verde Hotels from South Africa to develop and manage the total overhaul and upgrading of the old Mtoni Marine Hotel in Zanzibar, 2 kilometers from Stone Town. The brand new five star property will be known as Hotel Verde, Zanzibar’s greenest hotel. “We are serious about being the leaders of the green economy sector and therefore we approached the developers of Africa’s greenest hotel, Verde Hotels, to ensure that Hotel Verde Zanzibar will be the greenest hotel in East Africa,” stated Said Salim Awadh Bakhresa, Chairman of the Bakhresa Group. Hotel Verde Zanzibar is set to take sustainable development to new heights in East Africa and become a flagship for tourism in Zanzibar and Tanzania. Bahkresa has commissioned the Verde Hotels Group to manage the development and operate the hotel as a certified sustainable establishment that offers a carbon neutral hotel experience. Verde Hotels will work with Estim Construction which has a strong reputation for project excellence in the East African region.
BETHESDA, MD.—Marriott International’s commitment to changing young people’s lives has resulted in more than 4,000 youth employed into the company’s European operations since 2015. An additional 8,000 training opportunities in the form of work experience placements and apprenticeships have been created since 2015, giving young people an invaluable step into employment.
DANBURY, CONN.—Keeping properties performing at peak efficiency is a top priority of Meyer Jabara Hotels (MJH). From the laundry facility and guestrooms to parking lots and rooftops, the East Coast hotel management company is committed to making each of its 22 hotels representing 4,000 guestrooms across 10 states energy efficient and operating green. “In today’s world, we need to manage down to the penny, and utilities are a major cost to the operation of the hotel,” said Justin Jabara, MJH VP of Development and Acquisition. “The better we can manage the consumption of energy, gas and water, the more money we can bring to the bottom line.” In July 2015, the La Quinta Inn and Suites in Danbury, Conn., owned by real estate investment company Diamond Properties and managed by MJH, installed 400 solar panels on the rooftops of two of its five buildings to generate 132,000 watts of solar electricity. Today, the 113-room hotel is significantly reducing its carbon footprint by receiving 18 percent of its annual energy from the sun.
NEW YORK—New York Convention Center Operating Corporation (NYCCOC) President and CEO Alan Steel announced the creation of a live video web stream from the Javits Center’s green roof, the second largest of its kind in the United States. The live stream, which displays a rooftop view of Manhattan’s rapidly developing West Side, will be available 24 hours a day and provide users with a unique perspective of the 6.75-acre green roof. Since its installation in 2014, the green roof has become a sanctuary for area wildlife, serving as a home for 17 bird species, five bat species and 300,000 honeybees. The green roof was constructed as a part of the Javits Center’s recent renovation, which included major upgrades to its façade, flooring, and mechanical and technology systems. The Javits Center has partnered with the New York City Audubon and other research institutions to study the impact of the green roof and other sustainability efforts. The live green roof cam can be found here: http://bit.ly/29IX99A.
STEVENSON, WASH.—Skamania Lodge, A Destination Hotel, recently broke ground on its Columbia Gorge resort property to build two luxuriously customized tree houses, designed by MG2, which are scheduled to be open to guests later this summer. The tree houses are cozy, secluded, elevated rooms that sleep up to four guests, with modern amenities, overlooking Skamania Lodge’s lush forest and the Columbia River. Each tree house offers a large outdoor deck, an indoor/outdoor fireplace, a bathroom, one king size bed and easy access via an attached staircase.
ODESSA, FLA. & SINGAPORE—Green Lodging News, lodging’s leading environmental news source, and Greenview, a leader in advancing hotel sustainability, remind you to complete the planet’s premier Green Lodging Survey. Owners and operators of lodging establishments around the globe are being asked to participate. The Green Lodging Survey is the lodging industry’s annual exercise to assess and catalyze green innovation, best practices, and awareness regarding the state of sustainability across hotels worldwide. There is no cost to participate in the survey. The Green Lodging Survey is sponsored by The Arbor Day Foundation at the Silver level and Pineapple Hospitality, Aquawing Ozone Laundry Systems and reCollect2 Co. at the Bronze level. The survey launches with the support of Green Key Global, Mekong Tourism Office, Horwath HTL Asia Pacific and Clean the World. Tens of thousands of green lodging establishments around the planet—primarily those in the United States, Canada, and Southeast Asia—are encouraged to benchmark their sustainability practices by completing this survey. “I am excited to partner with Greenview on this global project that has been built to uncover and analyze lodging’s leading innovative best practices in the area of sustainability,” says Glenn Hasek, Publisher and Editor of Green Lodging News. “Green Lodging News and Greenview intend to reach tens of thousands of lodging establishments with this survey.”
PLACENCIA, BELIZE—The Family Coppola Resorts announced the opening of Coral Caye, a private island eight miles off the coast of Placencia, Belize. A 20 minute boat ride from Coppola’s beachfront retreat, Turtle Inn, the rustic two-acre island makes the property the only Belizean mainland resort with its own private island. Furthering The Family Coppola Resort’s commitment to sustainability, Coral Caye relies heavily on solar power and caught rainwater and participates in coral and mangrove restoration programs. Guests are provided with personal stainless steel water bottles to fill with the island’s fresh filtered water.
LAS VEGAS—Caesars Entertainment Corp., with the help of Ecova, is digging deep into its own trash to uncover opportunities to improve its waste diversion rate. That diversion rate currently stands at 44 percent, up from 23 percent in 2013. The company’s 2020 goal is a 50 percent diversion rate. Key to Caesars’ success so far is its commitment to consistently measure its waste stream and conduct a “dumpster dive” every now and then to uncover opportunities for continuous improvement. When Jeff Ruskowitz, Caesars’ Manager of Engineering and Sustainable Operations, joined the company in 2013, he found that Caesars had not been actively measuring its organizational diversion level as part of the company’s overall CodeGreen program. “Execution was happening in site-specific silos,” Ruskowitz says. “There was no centralized, aggregate reporting effort, so we were unable to make an accurate assessment of our progress. In addition to this decentralization, we realized that not everything being diverted, particularly organics, was being reported. We had not physically opened up a compactor. We didn’t really have an idea of what was there.”