LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA.—Legacy Vacation Resorts (LVR), the highest scoring Certified B Corp hotel company in North America, has just debuted their latest eco-friendly renovation project at the company’s signature Lake Buena Vista property. The multi-million-dollar redevelopment includes enhancements to the resort across the design, guest experience, and sustainability programs. Encompassing 28 three-bedroom villas, the project showcases a seamless integration of the brand persona and core values towards a more regenerative approach to tourism thanks to a variety of elements that lower the overall carbon footprint of the business. Highlights include a new solar panel array, elimination of single-use plastic amenities, eco-friendly building materials like carpet tiles made from recycled fishing nets, low-flow plumbing fixtures, Verdant smart thermostat system, Energy Star rated appliances, high-efficiency windows, and much more.
The Lake Buena Vista property is among the highest visited per year across the brand thanks to its prime location along Palm Parkway in Orlando and proximity to world-class attractions and shopping such as Walt Disney World, Universal Studios Orlando, SeaWorld and Disney Springs. With that in mind, the company knew they had an opportunity to deliver a lower carbon travel experience for guests at this bustling destination, and to also educate many visitors on ways in which they could use travel as a force for good. Each design decision throughout this project was intentionally made to best align with the company’s mission to help families and friends create unforgettable memories on vacation in a manner that respects the local environment, LVR team members, and the surrounding community.
“Travelers today are seeking more responsible ways to explore and enjoy the destinations they love,” said Alex Smith, Chief Operating Officer at Legacy Vacation Resorts. “With this renovation and all our enhancement projects in the pipeline, we are hoping to create a place where guests don’t need to leave their values at home just because they are going on vacation, and instead embrace a way of traveling that helps create tangible positive impact for people and the planet. Since becoming a Certified B Corporation in 2019 and committing ourselves to a purpose-driven business model, the data we are tracking shows that there has been simultaneous improvement of our social impact and profitability—proof that our mission to do good is working quite well.”
Phase 1 of New Solar Array Project Introduced
A major element of the project was a robust overhaul of energy creation and consumption activities. In addition to the existing energy-efficient lighting fixtures and complimentary EV chargers, the property introduced Phase 1 of a new solar array project which will thus far generate over 87,000 kWh of power annually. Thanks to a blend of power generated from its own array and off-site solar panels from Duke Energy’s Clean Energy Connection program, 100 percent of the resort’s electricity is now powered by clean, renewable energy. Efficient appliances, and smart thermostats further reduce consumption, ensuring maximum guest comfort and Earth-friendly energy savings. Each new room is complete with the latest in sustainability-forward water technology including low flow showerheads, faucets, and toilets. Once the entire resort is outfitted with these water-reducing fixtures, over 189,000 gallons of water will be saved per year. Like every LVR property, Lake Buena Vista resort check-ins will receive a reusable water bottle to refill at several stations across the resort, a program that debuted in 2018 and has since avoided the use of 51,000 plastic bottles. Sustainable wooden keycards and refillable bath amenity pumps further reduce single-use plastics and encourage guests to make more conscious consumption choices back at home.
The design enhancements are just as exciting. The project introduced a completely new room category for the resort, a deluxe 1,200 sq. ft. three-bedroom suite that can accommodate up to 10 guests. This allows for even larger families and groups to enjoy traveling together with plenty of space to sleep, play, and dine while enjoying the local area. The refreshed Florida Botanical theme embodied via large-scale wall art and decor not only pays homage to native flora but is also a call-out to the company’s 1% For The Planet partnership—a commitment which delivers 1 percent of LVR’s annual hotel sales to environmental charities. Modern, eco-friendly finishes are found throughout the room in a serene color palette for a relaxing aesthetic, and thoughtful design takes center stage with things like an open-concept full kitchen with island and dining table, living room with ample seating, spacious bedrooms, oversized primary bathroom vanity, and bedside charging ports.
Originally certified as a B Corp in 2019, LVR recently achieved a 42 percent increase in their B Corp score with a new total of 126.0 points out of 200—a testament to their work towards creating a better tourism industry. This project at Lake Buena Vista is but one element of a holistic approach of their commitment to becoming stewards of the regenerative travel movement. Their operations and initiatives spanning climate action, carbon reduction, stakeholder equity, social justice and environmental protection all combine to reflect their company values of accountability and transparency. Despite their previous achievements, LVR and their leadership are ever-focused on the future with ambitious goals including getting to Net Zero carbon emissions by 2030, reducing water usage per check-in (UPC) 25 percent and energy UPC 10 percent by 2025, achieving 100 percent renewable energy company-wide by 2030, and aiming to better support local economies with at least 50 percent annual spend with local and independent suppliers.