Before developing a LEED property or any kind of resource-efficient lodging structure—whether new or renovation—I strongly recommend visiting several successful existing “green” buildings first. I encourage this no matter what size structure you are pursuing—a mega-hotel or B&B. It is critical that you learn the money-saving lessons that others have learned. In most cases, architects, designers, sales staff and general managers are more than happy to provide a tour (try to always have the architect or designer along). They are proud of their projects and passionate about minimizing environmental impact.
I recently returned from Portland, Ore., certainly a hub for green hotels with three LEED certified properties and six hotels that have been Green Seal certified. I did not have time to visit all nine hotels but I did get to tour The Nines and the Courtyard by Marriott—Portland City Center. Both are located in downtown Portland. Thank you to Lisa Zangerle and Fernand Banna with Portland-based SERA Architects, Inc., for showing me around The Nines. SERA was the project architect for the hotel and ForrestPerkins (Cliff Tuttle) was the interior designer. Mike Castro, general manager of the Courtyard hotel (another SERA project—this time as architect and interior designer), as well as Zangerle, did a great job explaining that property’s green elements.
What struck me most about each hotel? First of all, business at both properties is very good—certainly compared to the current industry average. Does that have anything to do with the fact that both are green hotels? Yes, especially when it comes to attracting meetings business, and there definitely has been a public relations/marketing buzz surrounding the openings of both properties. What is propelling these hotels through the current downturn primarily, however, is fresh, unique, hip, well-designed product, and talented sales and management teams. Location certainly does not hurt either; both properties offer great views of downtown Portland.
Mannequins Dressed to ‘The Nines’
The LEED Silver certified The Nines, a Starwood Luxury Collection Hotel located in the former Meier & Frank department store, includes design touches borrowed from the store: mannequins positioned throughout public spaces and photographs in the Georgian Room from the days when the store thrived. The hotel’s Urban Farmer restaurant, set within the atrium of the hotel’s lobby level, is a modern steakhouse with an emphasis on simple, straightforward preparations of meats, poultry, seafood and produce garnered from the efforts of local ranchers, farmers and fishermen. I was impressed by the walls filled with jars of preserved vegetables and fruits—food waiting for the restaurant’s winter visitors.
At the LEED Gold certified Courtyard by Marriott—Portland City Center, located in what was once an office building that never opened, rooms are heated by water-source heat pumps, large windows allow sunlight to blanket guestroom spaces, and dual flush toilets help reduce water consumption. The property was designed to lower overall energy consumption by 28 percent. All of the hotel’s electricity comes from renewable sources, including wind and hydroelectric. Mike Castro says the property is so resource efficient that he keeps asking his controller if the bills are accurate. The Courtyard hotel, like The Nines, features original artwork by local artists. Guestrooms include large photographs representing Oregon’s past. Fabrics, wall treatments and carpets throughout the property graphically represent the topography of the state.
I cannot say enough about how I was impressed by The Nines and the Courtyard by Marriott—Portland City Center. Make a point of visiting these two hotels and all of the other green gems in our industry. Don’t forget to take careful notes; you will be glad you did. (Use the search engine on this website to learn more about the properties.)
GLN Welcomes Allegheny Printed Plastics as Directory Partner
Green Lodging News welcomes Allegheny Printed Plastics as a Green Product & Service Directory partner. Allegheny offers eco-friendly material options to meet key card and signage needs: BioPVC has been certified as fully biodegradable; Recycled PVC is made from carefully segregated waste generated in the company’s factory. PLA, made from renewable resources like corn, can be commercially composted. Allegheny also offers customized key card sleeves, door hangers and door inserts. For more information, call (800) 933-4123, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to www.printedplastics.com.
Is Your Company Still Producing Print Directories?
Can you help this person? I received the following e-mail this past week: “We are proposing the discontinuation of our print directories to reallocate those funds to other marketing tools. I’ve been searching for some research to back up this topic—particularly that people use the Internet as a main search directory—but also that it would be considered a good ‘green’ initiative to stop the production of thousands of paper directories. Do you have any ‘green’ research links that I could read that would help support this theory?” Has your company stopped producing print directories? If so, was it a positive step? Negative? Have you run across any research that might help the person who wrote to me? Send any information or comments to email@example.com.
Have a Product You Would Like to Feature?
The Featured Product Spot in the Green Lodging News weekly e-mail newsletter is available December through March. Interested in having your product featured there? Call me at (440) 243-2055, or contact me by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional ad spots are also available for the remainder of 2009. Both 2009 and 2010 media kits are available by request or by clicking here. Thank you to all of those companies that consistently support Green Lodging News.
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