HARPERS FERRY, W. VA.—A little more than a year after the installation of 289 SolarWorld 285W modules on top of the back roof of the Clarion Inn Harpers Ferry, the solar photovoltaic installation is performing well, according to John Eliot, General Manager. “We have not had any maintenance issues and on an annual basis the modules are providing about 10 percent of the electricity we need.”
The investment in solar by owner Family Adventure Resorts, LLC has helped lift the hotel to level 3 status as part of Choice Hotels International’s Room to be Green program. Eliot says the Clarion Inn is one of just a few Choice properties that have reached that level. The Clarion Inn was a Quality Inn when there was a ribbon cutting for the panels in March 2016. The transition to the Clarion brand better fits the hotel that has a restaurant and banquet space. “We are becoming more of a resort,” Eliot says.
A visitor driving up to the front of the hotel does not see the panels but the hotel does all it can to promote it. A TV in the lobby area continuously runs a segment about the installation and there is a blown-up photo of the installation along with a bulletin board with educational information about how the panels work.
Accommodates Guests with Electric Vehicles
The solar panels are just one of a number of green initiatives under way at the 100-room, 70-employee property. There are six charging stations for electric vehicles. About 10 vehicles a week currently charge up at the hotel.
Recycling containers are located in guestrooms and public areas. “We have a recycling dumpster out back for mixed recyclables,” Eliot says. “In the breakfast area there are biodegradable paper products. We send partially used soap and amenities to Clean the World.”
The Clarion Inn is in the process of installing LED lighting outside the hotel and in hallways and guestrooms. Grants are helping to pay for the LEDs.
Glenn Hasek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.