Home Publisher's Point of View My First Visit to a LEED Platinum Hotel—Syracuse’s Hotel Skyler

My First Visit to a LEED Platinum Hotel—Syracuse’s Hotel Skyler

Glenn Hasek

Thanks to an invitation from Hilton I had an opportunity to visit and stay at one of the world’s first LEED Platinum hotels this past week—the Hotel Skyler Syracuse (N.Y.). The 58-room property is Hilton’s first member of its Tapestry Collection by Hilton. For those of you not familiar with the Tapestry Collection by Hilton, it is the company’s 14th brand and, according to Hilton, a “portfolio of original upscale hotels that caters to guests seeking reliability and value in their independent hotel choices. Each hotel maintains its individual spirit, backed by the reassurance of the Hilton name and award-winning Hilton Honors program—providing guests the best of both worlds.”

Hotel Skyler Syracuse, first written about in Green Lodging News in early 2011, is an adaptive reuse project and is owned by the Woodbine Group, parent company of Woodbine Hospitality which manages the hotel. Woodbine Group’s hotel projects are all adaptive reuse projects.

The building was constructed in 1922 to house the Temple Adath Yeshururn congregation and later became the Salt City Center for the Performing Arts. The hotel maintains many of the features of the original architecture. Tom Fernandez, Director of Business Development for the Woodbine Group, says that when converting the building into a hotel, “We built a building within a building.”

Geothermal Heat Pump System

The hotel is truly a work of art and very efficient as well. A 63-ton closed loop geothermal heat pump (GHP) system provides heating and cooling by harnessing the earth’s constant temperature. The system consists of 16 vertical wells and 68 water-to-air heat pumps. Ninety percent of the lighting is LEDs and guestrooms feature a keycard-based guestroom energy management system, water-efficient fixtures, organic fabrics, and carpeting, tile and countertops with recycled content. One of the bars of bathroom soap has a hole in the middle to reduce waste (RoomService Amenities). Just about every direction one turns there is something made locally. The lobby wood is reclaimed timber.

There are two two-level tree house suites in the hotel. Revenue generated from the suites benefits the local children’s hospital.

Being of service to the community is part of what it means to be part of the Tapestry Collection by Hilton. While I was at the hotel, #LeadASAP Tapestry Collection Spark the Arts grants were awarded to youth for initiatives focused on issues such as hunger awareness, eating disorders and teen pregnancy. The grants were presented in partnership with Youth Service America (YSA).

“Hilton has reached over 550,000 young people through our Open Doors commitment and Tapestry Collection is proud to contribute to the goal of impacting 1 million youth by Hilton’s centennial in 2019,” said Mark Nogal, Global Head, Tapestry Collection by Hilton.

During my visit I had an opportunity to participate in a volunteer event at Westcott Community Center, which services youth through an in-house afterschool program. Earlier this month, Hilton kicked off its sixth annual Global Week of Service where hundreds of thousands of Team Members had an opportunity to participate in local volunteer projects.

Tapestry Collection Gaining Momentum

Hilton’s Nogal told me Hotel Skyler Syracuse is a perfect fit for Hilton given Hilton’s own commitment to the environment and corporate social responsibility (Travel with Purpose). “Each of our brands is actively involved in the community,” Nogal says.

Nogal says that Hilton’s partnership with YSA will expand as the Tapestry Collection by Hilton grows. He expects Hilton to have four Tapestry Collection by Hilton properties open by the end of the year. Seventy-eight deals are in some form of development. Some of those independent properties will be new construction.

Sustainability Seminar Finalized for HX: The Hotel Experience

The sustainability seminar, “2020 Vision—Lodging’s Leaders Set the Sustainability Bar Higher,” has been finalized for HX: The Hotel Experience. The event will take place on Monday, November 13 from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the Hotel stage at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. Don’t miss this seminar including Denise Naguib, Vice President, Sustainability & Supplier Diversity, Marriott International, Inc., Gardner Jackson, Assistant Vice President, the Nalco Water division of Ecolab USA Inc., and Lindsay Wilkinson, Interim Director of Corporate Responsibility—Environmental Sustainability, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG). I will be moderating the session. Attendee registration for HX: The Hotel Experience, November 12 to 13, 2017, is now open at the newly redesigned website, www.thehotelexperience.com.

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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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