LAKE PLACID, N.Y.—Next spring will be an exciting time here at the Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort, located in idyllic Lake Placid, home of the 1980 Winter Olympics. Up on the roof of the 153-room property, just between the main lobby and the restaurant, a green roof will be installed. Similar to a garden, the roof will include a bed of soil and plants that will have both aesthetic and environmental benefits.
The roof originally was going to be put in place this fall but it was determined that the plants that will rest in the roof modules need more time to establish themselves. Lake Placid’s winters can be harsh. The Golden Arrow Lakeside resort is working with West Chester, Pa.-based Weston Solutions Inc. to install a GreenGrid system. The plants are being grown in Connecticut.
When installed, the green roof will cover a 3,000-square-foot area. Diners at Charlie’s Restaurant, the hotel’s on-site eatery, will no longer have to gaze at a black tarred roof. Instead, they will view vegetation that will provide a habitat for birds, butterflies, bees and other beneficial insects.
Jenn Holderied, whose family owns the resort, says the green roof is one way they can raise environmental awareness in a highly visible manner. The green roof will be visible to passerby. It will also improve air quality by releasing oxygen into the air, reduce dust and storm runoff, provide insulation during the winter and help cool air during the summer.
Transition Began in 2002
The green roof is just one of the resort’s many environmental initiatives. Since 2002, the property has been 100 percent nonsmoking. Compact fluorescent light bulbs have been installed and were purchased from a local Boy Scouts troop. Suppliers are selected based on their commitment to environmental and social responsibility.
“We are currently looking at floor covering companies that can supply us with recyclable carpeting,” Holderied says.
In one guestroom, a modular mattress system is being tested that allows one to replace interchangeable parts such as zippered mattress covers, foam overlays and other components instead of replacing the entire bed. If implemented throughout the property, it will reduce the volume of mattress waste substantially. In two other guestrooms, an energy management system that will help reduce heating and cooling costs is being tested.
Recycling is practiced throughout the resort and bins are placed in each guestroom. Eighty percent of the resort’s guests participate in the recycling program. Since launching a recycling program in June, recycling volume has doubled.
One floor of the resort is for guests who have allergies. The Allergen Free Floor features bamboo flooring—hallway included. Guestrooms feature leather furniture, air filters and a showerhead with a chlorine filter. Only green cleaning products are used. Guests are not charged more to stay in a guestroom on the Allergen Free Floor.
“Our guests who have allergies love those rooms,” Holderied says.
Other green initiatives at the resort include:
• Purchase of 100 percent recycled paper goods.
• Both sides of copy paper is used.
• Use of phosphate-free laundry detergent.
• Lighting sensors turn off lighting in several areas when guests or staff are not present (public restrooms, for example).
• Exterior lights are on timers.
• LED lighting used on building’s exterior.
• Double-paned windows save energy.
• Showers and toilets are low-flow.
• The white sand beach behind the hotel, which is made from limestone, helps counteract the effects of acid rain on the nearby lake.
• Sodium-free ice melter is used during the winter.
• Cohosted a rally and education seminar for Step It Up—an initiative with the goal of getting congress to reduce CO2 emissions by 80 percent by 2020.
A Green Leaf Participant
The Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort, which is undergoing an expansion that will increase its room count to 165 by next spring, participates in Audubon International and Green Leaf Environmental Communications Inc.’s Green Leaf Eco-Rating program. It received a rating of three leaves out of five in April 2006. Holderied says the process to get that rating was extensive and required completion of a 40-page form.
To help share its environmental commitment, placards that include green tips are placed throughout the property. Guests who arrive by hybrid vehicle, on foot, skis or on bicycle receive a “Thank you for being kind to the Earth” gift bag. The bag includes items such as tree seeds, granola bars and more.
Holderied says her family has discovered that going green is much more of an evolution than a destination.
“We will never be done going green,” she says.