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YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK—The large structures arriving in Yellowstone National Park’s Canyon Village are tangible indications that the Canyon Lodge & Cabins redevelopment project is truly taking shape. Constructed in Boise, Idaho by Guerdon Enterprises, the modules will eventually comprise five multi-story lodges featuring stone and wood that blend into the surrounding area. The first three lodges will open in 2015 and the remaining two the following year. The modules are being created in a controlled environment that allows for year-round work while minimizing waste and maximizing efficiency. As part of its concessions contract with the National Park Service (NPS), lodge operator Xanterra Parks & Resorts is overseeing the $70 million project that will replace more than 300 cabins with five modern lodge buildings as well as a trail system conducive to pedestrians and bicyclists. Trucks are departing the Guerdon factory Mondays through Saturdays through late September. They stage in West Yellowstone, Mont. and can enter the park after midnight, when traffic is light.
OTTAWA, ON.—The Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) is now accepting entries for the 2014 Hall of Fame Awards of Excellence. The Hall of Fame Awards program continues the Association’s tradition of acknowledging the strong standards and values of those involved in and with the lodging industry. The awards program recognizes those individuals, companies or properties that have demonstrated significant accomplishments, exemplary leadership and tireless commitment to the lodging industry.
NATIONAL REPORT—There are a large number of new and updated tax incentives available to hotel owners. These benefits take the shape of conventional tax incentives, such as cost segregation, as well as incentives encouraging the saving of energy, like the alternative energy credits and the proposed extension of Section 179D, Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings Tax Deduction. If used in conjunction, these tax incentives can assist in reducing the cost of hotel ownership. Cost segregation is a method of accounting that allows for hotel owners to take advantage of the time value of money. Normally, building property is depreciated over 39 years, meaning owners are able to take an annual 1/39th tax deduction of an item’s cost over each of the 39 years. Cost segregation allows hotel owners to categorize some building property along faster depreciation schedules, such as personal property (5- or 7-year), land improvements (15 year) or soft costs (distributed evenly across all categories). This allows an owner to realize these deductions faster.
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, ILL.—The Air Movement and Control Association International, Inc. (AMCA International) recently announced that air curtains are an approved alternative to vestibules. Following tests with air curtains in accordance with ANSI/AMCA standards and manufacturers’ instructions, the 2015 version of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) will contain this new provision.
BETHESDA, MD.—Marriott International, Inc. released its 2014 Sustainability Report—available this year as 10 separate and concise issue reports—sharing the company’s progress against a 2007 baseline, including a nearly 13 percent decrease in water intensity, 11 percent decrease in energy intensity, and a 12 percent decrease in greenhouse gas emissions intensity. One of Marriott’s key environmental goals is to achieve a 20 percent reduction in energy and water intensity by 2020. “Our sustainability strategy is critical to the growth and success of our communities, our company, and our efforts to help protect our planet’s natural resources,” said Arne Sorenson, President and CEO of Marriott International. The Green Hotels Global tool used by Marriott International worldwide helps drive the company’s sustainability efforts and transparency, and was made a brand standard in 2013. The tool tracks the environmental footprint of each hotel in the company’s portfolio, including water and energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, recycling and over 100 property-level environmental practices.
STAMFORD, CONN.—Westin Hotels & Resorts unveiled the next stage of its year-long Westin Well-Being Movement with the announcement of two new nutrition-focused partnerships with SuperChefs and The Juicery and the newest member of the brand’s Well-Being Council, dietician Ashley Koff RD.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA.—A month after the official launch of the Institute for Healthy Destination Accreditation (IHDA), more details about the nonprofit and its certification programs are being released. Green Lodging News spoke with Mary Ellen Rose, PhD, co-founder and Chief Science Officer of IHDA, to get more details. Already, six U.S. hotels/resorts, all inaugural founding members, have been IHDA approved. They were accredited as Approved Healthy Destinations. One property has earned Certified Healthy Destination status, a much more difficult level to reach. According to Rose, the organization expects to have 300 hotels on board by December. Unique to the IHDA’s accreditation and certification is what is considered. IHDA reviews and evaluates hotels and resorts for their health-related programs, services, facilities, amenities and personnel. Utilizing the PIECES® system for audit processes, the Approved Healthy Destination status indicates that leisure and business travelers can, at a minimum, expect that Healthy Hospitality Best Practices are documented for guest review and are part of the Healthy Guest Experience™.
YARDLEY, PA.—Lodging Magazine is accepting submissions for its first Lodging Sustainability Award. There are five categories in the competition: Individual Person; Individual Hotel Property; Hotel Brand; Hotel Supplier; and Other Corporate Entity (Hotel Group, Property Management Company, Design/Architecture/Engineering/GC Firm, Consulting Organization, Finance Organization, Association, or Other entity).
CHICAGO—Hyatt Hotels Corp. announced a global initiative to increase procurement of responsibly sourced seafood at Hyatt hotels, starting with an initial goal of responsibly sourcing more than 50 percent of their inventory by 2018. As a part of this effort, Hyatt will also work toward purchasing more than 15 percent of its seafood supply from fisheries or farms that have been certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC). This is the first phase of a long-term seafood sustainability strategy in partnership with World Wildlife Fund (WWF), a leading global conservation organization, to build on Hyatt’s existing environmental stewardship. The partnership also focuses on enhancing the sustainability of seafood sourcing at Hyatt hotels by eliminating the procurement of highly vulnerable seafood species. “We are deeply focused on improving the health of our planet and our communities by implementing sustainable practices, and we hope that this effort to responsibly source more than 50 percent of seafood purchased by our hotels by 2018 will set a new standard for the hospitality industry,” said Mark Hoplamazian, President and CEO of Hyatt Hotels Corp.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—A webinar on carbon monoxide safety will be held for AH&LA members on Thursday, August 21, 2014, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. (EST). The moderator will be Tony Mendez, corporate safety/security services, resort management, Bluegreen Corp. Speakers will include: Byron Briese, Rolf Jenson Associates; Tom Daly, The Hospitality Security Consulting Group; and Stacy Welch, PE, Senior Director, Fire Protection and Life Safety, Marriott International, Inc.
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