Home Guest Columns

Guest Columns

Green Lodging News provides a forum for anyone in the lodging industry to offer their take on a particular topic. All are welcome to participate. Submissions should be approximately 800 words and should include a photo of the writer. Contact Glenn Hasek, editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at: editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

Guest Columns

Home Guest Columns
Green Lodging News provides a forum for anyone in the lodging industry to offer their take on a particular topic. All are welcome to participate. Submissions should be approximately 800 words and should include a photo of the writer. Contact Glenn Hasek, editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at: editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

What is the Value of a Hotel Sustainability Assessment?

When was the last time you took an objective look at your hotel operations? Have you ever drilled down on how much you spend on plastic cups and trash liners? One client spent $47,000 annually on trash liners. They were shocked, and even more surprising was this cost could be reduced by $21,150 annually. How? Recycling better and reducing trash liners, because recycled items tied up in trash liners are not accepted by most recycling facilities, anyway. Choosing the right-sized trash containers and liners reduces cost, because you don’t need a 60-gallon liner for a 30-gallon container. Eliminating desk...

The Green Hotel Revolution

In 2005, I co-founded Boston Green Tourism, to help Boston hotels reduce energy and water use, enhance indoor air quality and improve waste management. I didn’t realize then that our job would become easier, because the hotel sector was on the cusp of a green revolution. The scope of recently introduced, environmentally-smart innovation is astounding. Here are some of the green products and practices that have emerged or flowered in the last 13 years. Which ones have your hotel incorporated? Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Since 2005, LED lighting was introduced, and it now dominates the hotel lighting market. Today’s building management systems and guestroom energy management...

Aspire to Be a Role Model & Steward for Planet Earth

The other day I picked up my 5-year old son from school and as we were driving to pick up his brothers from their respective schools, he asked me a question that led to an eye-opening conversation. My son: Daddy, does your car have gas? Me: No, my car does not use gas. My son: How does it move? Me: It has a battery and uses electricity. My son: That’s good for the Earth. Does mommy’s car have gas? Me: Yes, it does. My son: That’s not good for the Earth because it makes the Earth sneeze. Me: Laughter : )  (Daddy 1 – Mommy 0) This simple yet innocent...

Why It’s the Perfect Time to Go Solar

For those that see the benefits of solar the question is when to make the investment; not if to make it. Although not the right timing for everyone it might be the right time for you. Taking a look at what goes into this investment will help you better decide if now is the perfect time. Should I Wait for Better Technology? The advancement of technology in the past couple of decades has made some hesitant. People that once paid a hundred dollars for a basic calculator can now use one for free on their phone or computer. For those on board...

Hotel Technology Tax Incentives

R&D Tax Savers firm members had the distinct pleasure of presenting on hotel EV charging stations at the HX: The Hotel Experience trade show on November 12 to 13 at the Javits Convention Center in New York City. EV Charging is one of the many newer technologies installed at hotels on a national basis. The hotel industry is at the center of technology improvements and 61 percent of hoteliers plan to increase technology spending from prior year amounts. Hotel owners and hotel project designers are eligible for R&D tax credits for their technology initiatives. The Research & Development Tax Credit Enacted in 1981,...

Hotel Maintenance as a Revenue Opportunity

Hotel preventive maintenance (PM) has long been viewed as a necessary hotel engineering function and best practice. Most owners assume the management team is doing proper maintenance to achieve the useful life of assets (equipment, guestrooms and public spaces) and to avoid costly premature failures or replacements. Both owners and operators want to know PM’s are getting done, but few prioritize and monitor maintenance as a key performance metric like they do with revenue. Research shows strong hotel maintenance is a revenue opportunity. Hotel guest satisfaction research has shown for years that guests are less likely to return if they...

One Hotel’s Trash Is Another One’s Treasure: How to Discard Old Furniture During a Renovation

In early 2012, the hotel renovation industry began its recovery, led by construction booms in major cities and rising occupancy rates at hotels across the nation. In the years since, thousands of hotel rooms, lobbies and restaurants have been renovated with gleaming bathroom fixtures, fresh carpeting and plush pillow-top mattresses. When hotels redecorate or upgrade they replace older furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) with new items. So, you may ask, what does a hotel undergoing a renovation do with 200 bedding sets and televisions? Or 450 mattresses? Or 250 sofas and chairs. Or two truckloads of mini-fridges? Thankfully, more and more hotels are...

Sustainable Design Considerations for Commercial Buildings

Whether you’re starting from scratch or renovating a new building (hotel, school, business center, etc.), there’s more to a building than just obtaining the cheapest or most commonly used materials to get the job done. Now that more and more builders are incorporating green building techniques, there are new and innovative methods that offer style, affordability, and durability, and that mesh with the 21st century. Choosing the right eco-friendly and sustainable building materials are paramount to staying on top of modern trends to make appealing buildings, as well as incorporating cutting-edge materials to ensure that your building stands the test...

What About Those Sustainability & Green Initiatives?

The hospitality industry has seen record performance in recent years and with it, a record number of new hotel rooms being built and renovated. Across the real estate industry, hotels are often the most active at evolving their product by refocusing on their target clients’ demands, refreshing design schemes, and, of course, becoming more sustainable. Everything in a hotel has a fixed life expectancy and is regularly replaced: mattresses after 10 years; carpeting, wall vinyl, light fixtures, and artwork, every seven years. A small portion of that is resold or donated, but the majority gets tossed into a dumpster and...

New Tax Rules Create Opportunities for Green Hotel Investments

The travel industry is currently one of the fastest growing sectors, which is leading to increased real estate investments by hotel owners hoping to capitalize on this growth. Supplementing this increase, two major tax legislation pieces were passed over the past year that allow hotel owners higher rates of return on investments in new construction and renovations, especially ones which incorporate alternative energy or energy efficient technologies. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed on December 22, 2017, and the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, passed on February 9, 2018, both contribute to a climate that is likely, from...