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Publisher's Point of View

Each week, Glenn Hasek, publisher and editor of Green Lodging News, will address the hottest industry topics. Sometimes hard hitting, his column will challenge the industry’s leaders to take action. At other times, he will lift up the industry’s environmental champions. “Point of View” is a column you will not want to miss. To contact Glenn Hasek, call (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at: editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

Publisher's Point of View

Home Publisher's Point of View
Each week, Glenn Hasek, publisher and editor of Green Lodging News, will address the hottest industry topics. Sometimes hard hitting, his column will challenge the industry’s leaders to take action. At other times, he will lift up the industry’s environmental champions. “Point of View” is a column you will not want to miss. To contact Glenn Hasek, call (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at: editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

Orlando Marriott Unveils Industry’s First HyCube Hydroponic System

This past Thursday evening I was a guest at the Orlando World Center Marriott in Orlando, Fla. The occasion was the official unveiling of the first HyCube modular hydroponic, “cleaner than organic” vegetable production system. Glowing pink as evening settled in, the HyCube showed off stacks of leafy greens ready for harvesting for the 1,883-room, 121-suite property with nine dining outlets and 450,000 sq. ft. of meeting and event space. I guarantee you would be impressed by the structure; I certainly was. The HyCube makes local as hyper-local as it can get—literally minutes from harvest to table. I will be writing...

Dispensers Given Big Thumbs Up Thanks to Marriott Commitment

In the 2016 Lodging Survey, the most recent AHLA, AHLEF, STR survey available, the percentage of hotels with shampoo/conditioner dispensers in the shower was addressed. Not surprisingly, the numbers were not huge. Fourteen percent of independents said they use them, 10 percent of upper midscale properties said they do, and 9 percent of economy properties. Slowly but surely, however, shower dispensers have been gaining industry acceptance. Today, they look great, reduce plastic waste, save money, and can improve the customer experience with a well-known, branded liquid product inside. Shower dispensers got their biggest industry endorsement ever this past week when...

Solar Investments Counter Negative News at Wynn Resorts

It was two months ago that the Board of Directors of Wynn Resorts announced that it accepted the resignation of Steve Wynn as CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors. According to The New York Times, Wynn resigned in response to sexual misconduct allegations spanning decades—not the kind of news you want to deal with if you work in public relations (PR) for Wynn Resorts. While you probably heard about the accusations against Steve Wynn, you may not have heard about the Wynn Resorts announcement that came just two weeks prior. It was then that the company announced that...

PACE Financing the Right Solution for Hotel Indigo Owners

The former Brookfield Building in downtown Kansas City, now almost 90 years old, is now newly renovated and highly efficient thanks in part to Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing. PACE Sage Capital structured the C-PACE deal and CleanFund Commercial PACE Capital provided the $2.4 million in capital for what is now the Hotel Indigo Kansas City Downtown. The $2.4 million helped close the deal on the $36 million mixed-use project that includes the 118-room boutique hotel and 27 apartments. (See article.) The owners saw C-PACE as a perfect solution for financing high-efficiency new heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems,...

They May Be Small But Plastic Straws Pack a Pollution Punch

It was almost five years ago that I first wrote about straw elimination and its importance. Then, awareness of the problems of plastic straws were brought to light by an 11-year-old named Milo Cress. He had the support of Xanterra Parks & Resorts at the time and inspired Xanterra to remove straws at many of its properties. I revisited the issue in an article this past week. Plastic straws have been in the news a lot lately and it was time again to encourage their elimination. Each day in the United States, an average of 500 million plastic straws are...

Westin Linen Upcycling Initiative Could Have Widespread Impact

It is difficult at this point to understand the potential magnitude of the news Westin Hotels & Resorts made this past week, but it could be huge for not only the lodging industry but other industries as well. Be sure to read this entire column and you will understand why. First, to the news. Westin announced the launch of Project Rise: ThreadForward, a sustainability program that collects, processes and reweaves hotel bed linens—transforming them into thousands of pairs of children’s pajamas. The first-of-its-kind, “upcycled” pajamas will be distributed to children in need in cities around the world. Also, guests...

Make the Most of Earth Hour, Earth Day Activity Opportunities

As I am writing this column, Earth Hour (held 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. local time on March 24) is just 15 days away and Earth Day (April 22) is about six weeks away. How will you be marking these occasions at your property this year? Last year hoteliers organized many different activities. Sands China Ltd. used the entire month of March to shine an additional spotlight on environmental sustainability, focusing the attention of the public and its team members on Earth Hour and an in-house Climate Week. On Saturday, March 25, the company participated in Earth Hour for the 9th...

Virginia Green Travel Conference Wraps Up in Virginia Beach

I was fortunate to attend the 5th annual Virginia Green Travel Conference last week. It was held at the LEED Gold Virginia Beach Convention Center. Attendance was 170. The Virginia Green program is supported through a partnership between the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the Virginia Tourism Corp., the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Assn., and the Virginia Green Travel Alliance. The program encourages green practices in all sectors of Virginia’s tourism industry. More than 1,800 businesses and partner organizations have voluntarily certified their green business practices through the Virginia Green program that is run by the nonprofit Virginia...

Features of Two European Hotels: Underground River, ‘Powerhouse’ Design

This past week I learned about two innovative hotel projects in Europe worth sharing about. The first one is the 150-room Iveagh Garden hotel in Dublin, Ireland. The $49 million hotel opened on February 16. Advertised as Europe’s “first sustainable hotel,” the property sources all its energy from an underground river. The river spins large turbines that generate power to meet the hotel’s energy requirements. The turbines were installed by Eurotech Renewables, and Swedish company Ochsner Warmepumpen. The hotel is the result of a renovation of a 40-year-old building that saw its entire heating, plumbing, cooling and hot water...

NRA Sustainability Report Highlights Industry Progress, Remaining Challenges

The National Restaurant Assn. (NRA) just released “The State of Restaurant Sustainability 2018 Edition.” Be sure to read the report. It is based on a survey of 500 restaurant owners and operators about their environmental efforts and sustainability opportunities and challenges within their operations. More than 1,000 consumers also were surveyed about the best methods for restaurants to promote sustainability practices to customers. Within the 26-page report there are many highlights. I will mention just a few of the most important findings here. Energy-saving equipment and practices are common. About eight in 10 restaurant operators use energy-efficient lighting. Six in...