Home Publisher's Point of View Just a Few More Hurdles for Highly Innovative Casino/Hotels Project

Just a Few More Hurdles for Highly Innovative Casino/Hotels Project

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Assuming the project gets the approval of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission in the next few weeks and is not appealed by voters in November, Mohegan Sun Massachusetts could end up being one of the greenest construction projects in U.S. lodging history. To be located at Suffolk Downs in Revere, Mass., the $1.3 billion destination resort will include a main casino hotel and boutique hotel totaling 500 rooms and over 170,000 square feet of casino floor space and 5,000 gaming positions. Gary Luderitz, V.P. of Operations & Development for Mohegan Gaming Advisors, told me this past week that the project will at least earn LEED Gold. “We will be shooting for [LEED] Platinum,” he says.

Mohegan Sun Massachusetts, developed by the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, will create 2,500 construction jobs and 4,000 permanent jobs. There is a commitment to hire 75 percent of the workforce from within a 15-mile radius of Revere.

Luderitz says Mohegan Sun Massachusetts will feature a 1 MW solar photovoltaic system on its roof. A 1 MW cogeneration system will generate electricity and heat for the complex. Organic waste will be sent to a facility where it will be converted into energy as part of an anaerobic digesting process. All of these efforts will result in Mohegan Sun Massachusetts generating about 40 percent of its own power.

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

There will be on-site bicycle accommodations, electric vehicles for maintenance and security, electric vehicle charging stations for both staff and public use, and preferential parking for low-emitting fuel-efficient vehicles. High-efficiency HVAC equipment and recovery systems will help reduce energy consumption. Even slot machines will be as energy-efficient as possible.

A 5,000 square foot greenhouse on the roof of the complex will be used to grow produce and herbs to be used on-site. This will reduce the carbon impact of food delivery. The greenhouse will be used to help educate employees and guests. Low-flow water fixtures will help reduce water consumption. So too will native plants. Rainwater—about 4 million gallons annually—will be collected for reuse. The project will be set on 40 acres and be located within easy walking distance of a Metropolitan Transportation Authority subway stop. “About 11 percent of patrons will use public transportation,” Luderitz says. One of the resort’s main entrances will be located close to the subway stop.

A 100 Percent Nonsmoking Facility

Still unique among large gaming facilities in the United States, Mohegan Sun Massachusetts will be 100 percent nonsmoking. “It is one of the things we are excited about,” Luderitz says.

The project’s developers are committed to reviving the creek and adjacent land that runs through the property. “We will make the slopes to the creek a much more gradual grade and will plant native, filtering plants,” Luderitz says.

The project is expected to create tens of millions of dollars in new revenue for Revere and surrounding communities. This includes $10 million a year in purchases from Revere businesses and hundreds of thousands of dollars annually dedicated to small business development. Once construction begins, the project will take about 30 months to complete.

It is exciting to see an organization like the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority set such strong green building goals. It is clear they put a lot of time and effort into their proposal. It will be interesting to see whether or not they get the chance to go after LEED Platinum.

Impact of California Drought on Your Hotel

Local water agencies across California are taking action in the face of record-dry conditions in 2014. Many water suppliers are implementing mandatory restrictions on water use and stepping up conservation outreach to help their customers reduce water use and protect water supply reserves for a potential dry 2015. What steps have you taken at your property to reduce water consumption? How effective have those steps been? I would love to hear from you for a Green Lodging News article on the drought topic. I can be reached at editor@greenlodgingnews.com, or by phone at (813) 510-3868. 

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 editor@greenlodgingnews.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 editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

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