KEY WEST, FLA.—Hyatt Key West Resort & Spa is officially the first “Green Certified” resort complex on Key West. The Florida Green Lodging Program has bestowed Hyatt Key West Resort & Spa the One Palm designation, acknowledging the resort as the first in the Keys to hold such a distinction. The award arrives on the heels of a recently completed $11 million renovation that complements the resort’s greening goals with a spa-inspired, “tropical modern” design.
The resort’s One Palm status was officially recognized by the state of Florida in a celebration held on property on December 10. The mayor of Key West, members of the press, and a host of local dignitaries were invited to join the celebration and to see first-hand the improvements the hotel has made.
“This designation has generated a lot of excitement and pride at the resort,” said Susan Santiago, general manager for Hyatt Key West. “It is a well-deserved tribute to the efforts of our Green Team and staff. Preserving the beauty of Key West is a high priority for us and a prime example of Hyatt’s commitment to giving back to the community. Our One Palm status also represents just the beginning of our campaign to show continual improvement in energy and water conservation, recycling and clean air practices as we ultimately acquire the Three Palm designation.”
Program Run by DEP
The Florida Green Lodging Program (www.FloridaGreenLodging.org ) was established in 2004 by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to recognize environmentally conscientious hotels and resorts throughout the state. With an average of 84 million people visiting Florida each year (according to Visit Florida) and 50 percent using lodging facilities, the industry stands to have a significant impact on Florida’s precious natural resources.
To achieve One Palm status, Hyatt Key West initiated 32 “improvement projects” (well over the required minimum) in the specified areas of communication, water conservation, energy efficiency, waste reduction and clean air practices, each spearheaded by its multi-disciplinary “Green Team” lead by Sixto Ramirez, the resort’s director of engineering, and Keith Wiemann, its controller. Projects touched every facet of resort operations and included: converting 85 percent of the resort’s decking to Trex (a reclaimed wood and plastic material); purchasing 5 percent of energy from renewable/green sources; implementing property-wide recycling programs in guestrooms and public areas; installing low-flow faucets, showerheads and toilets; and installing energy-efficient lighting in public areas, including LED exit signs.
Noting areas of “excellence” in the resort’s efforts, DEP assessors gave particular praise to the participation of staff in recycling efforts, resort record-keeping procedures, and the communication level between the Green Team, general manager and staff.
Two Palm designation lies just one year away for Hyatt Key West. The resort must maintain its One Palm status for 12 consecutive months and continue to improve on environmentally friendly practices. Following three consecutive years of the same, the coveted Three Palm distinction will be awarded, a lofty achievement that is the ultimate goal for the resort’s green-aware and dedicated staff.
Go to Hyatt Key West Resort & Spa.