Home Publisher's Point of View Host Hotels & Resorts, a Heating Planet, Legionnaire’s Disease & More

Host Hotels & Resorts, a Heating Planet, Legionnaire’s Disease & More

Glenn Hasek

A number of items of note this past week.

First, I posted the promised article on Host Hotels & Resorts, based on my interview with Michael Chang, Vice President of Energy and Sustainability for the company. Be sure to give it a read.

Second, scientists from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that 2023 was the world’s hottest on record. Averaged across last year, temperatures worldwide were 1.48 degrees Celsius, or 2.66 Fahrenheit higher than they were in 1850. (Records began in 1850.) The amount of heat stored in the upper layers of the ocean also reached a record high last year.  

Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, nations agreed to limit long-term global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, and, if possible, 1.5°C degrees. In recent years, world leaders have stressed the need to limit global warming to 1.5°C by the end of this century. At present rates of greenhouse gas emissions, it will only be a few years before the 1.5-degree goal is reached—far sooner than expected.

The big question for our industry: Will it adjust its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets accordingly?

Legionnaire’s Disease—Again

Also, earlier this month it was reported that one person died, and another was sickened at the Mountain View Grand Resort last fall in Whitefield, N.H. The cause: Legionnaires’ disease. The two people stayed at the resort at different times. In a statement, the resort said, “The state confirmed they cannot be certain where these individuals contracted their infection, and we are working closely with the New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services and New Hampshire Department of Environmental services to determine if the two individuals were affected as a result of visiting the property in Fall of 2023.”

In an additional statement, the resort said, “Tests conducted by New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services detected a trace level of Legionella bacteria in the property’s hot tub filter. It is unclear at this time, and may never be known, if the trace amounts of Legionella were of the same bacterium that led to the illness of two former guests. The indoor hot tub, when operational, was a self-contained system and the trace amount of Legionella was isolated from the rest of the property. Out of an abundance of caution, the property immediately drained, closed, and eliminated the hot tub and there are no plans to re-open it. Mountain View will continue to work closely with the DPHS to ensure the health and safety of our guests.”

Last summer, three guests came down with Legionnaires’ disease after staying at two different Las Vegas hotels. Over the years too many hotel guests have had similar experiences.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, causes and common sources of Legionnaires’ disease infection include showerheads and sink faucets, cooling towers, hot tubs, decorative fountains and water features, hot water tanks and heaters, and large, complex plumbing systems.

Be sure to include inspection of these possible sources of Legionnaires’ disease in your preventive maintenance schedule. A promise of safety is at the core of hospitality—and sustainability.

Hotel Explosion in Fort Worth, Texas

Finally, an explosion occurred on Monday, January 8 at the Sandman Signature Fort Worth Hotel (Texas). It blew out at least two floors of the high-rise hotel and injured nearly two dozen people. A natural gas leak is the probable cause. Ongoing construction had been taking place in the building. Already, a lawsuit has been filed by a man who says he was injured running from the blast. How could this have been prevented? It will be interesting to find out what really happened and why.

Green Lodging News Adds Banyan Water Case Study to Website

Green Lodging News has added a Banyan Water case study to the Vendor Case Studies section of its website. The case study details how Banyan Water was able to help Hospitality Investors Trust, Inc. (HIT REIT) reduce water consumption and costs across its 50 properties. Banyan Water’s ability to track water usage in real time and prevent waste resulted in 10,523,385 gallons of water saved, a 72 percent reduction in water costs, and a two-year expected payback. A total of 514 water leaks were identified.

A lack of real-time data, increased systems issues, and untracked water usage left HIT REIT with rapidly increasing water bills and not enough visibility to address the issues. They needed a reliable way to track water usage and analyze their water bills to better understand water consumption across their portfolio and take proactive measures to reduce costs. It was imperative that the solution not only provided real-time leak detection but also the ability to resolve issues quickly.

Banyan Water collaborated closely with HIT REIT to assess the integrity of their irrigation system. Through a series of onsite visits, Banyan’s EPA Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) irrigation auditors identified a series of leaks, broken sprinkler heads, and coverage issues throughout the first property.

Banyan Water’s solution included the installation of real-time leak detection software and ET-based irrigation scheduling to optimize water usage. Additionally, Banyan provided utility bill verification to ensure savings were accurately measured, leaving no doubt about the water conservation benefits offered by the program.

For more information, contact Jennifer Hill, National Sales Director, at jhill@banyanwater.com, (800) 276-1507, ext. 715. Click here to request a demo.

Who is Your Sustainability Champion?

Green Lodging News is always looking to profile sustainability champions in our Personnel Profile section. If you would like to nominate someone for this section of Green Lodging News, contact me at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at greenlodgingnews@gmail.com.

Looking for Guest Columnists

Every two weeks Green Lodging News posts a new guest column on its website. (Click here for examples.) The guest column also appears in the weekly e-newsletter. Green Lodging News is currently in need of industry experts to contribute occasional guest columns. Experts may include consultants, architects, designers, suppliers, and those who own or operate green lodging establishments. Columns may be articles that take a stance on a particular subject or be strictly educational in nature. Columnists benefit by having their photo included along with a one paragraph description of their company. Interested in writing a column? Contact Glenn Hasek, publisher and editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at greenlodgingnews@gmail.com.

Get in our Green Supplier Spotlights!

Green Lodging News, lodging’s leading environmental news source, publishes the Wednesday Green Supplier Spotlight and Thursday Green Suppliers Spotlight. Green Supplier Spotlight features just one vendor and Green Suppliers Spotlight features multiple vendors. Click here for a Green Supplier Spotlight sample and rate sheet. Click here for a Green Suppliers Spotlight sample and rate sheet. Both e-blasts have been built to generate quick leads. A report is sent a week after each e-blast that includes the number of e-mails sent, number of opens, and number of click-throughs. Contact Glenn Hasek at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at greenlodgingnews@gmail.com for more information.

Planning Advertising for 2024?

In addition to the Spotlight ads described above, Green Lodging News is accepting reservations for other advertising spots for 2024. Many excellent spots are available on our website and in the weekly e-mail newsletter. Interested in receiving a 2024 media kit? Be sure to contact me as soon as possible at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at greenlodgingnews@gmail.com. A media kit can also be accessed by clicking here. Thank you to all those companies that consistently support Green Lodging News.

Newsletter & Green Supplier Spotlight Circulation

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Green Lodging News & Social Media

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As always, I can be reached at greenlodgingnews@gmail.com.