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News & Features

Whether an industry announcement, or a hotel accomplishment, Green Lodging News reports on the most up-to-date news and offers a unique perspective on trends—all with the purpose of making your company more profitable. Got news or a story idea to share? We frequently post contributed articles here. Contact Glenn Hasek, editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at: greenlodgingnews@gmail.com.

News & Features

Home News & Features
Whether an industry announcement, or a hotel accomplishment, Green Lodging News reports on the most up-to-date news and offers a unique perspective on trends—all with the purpose of making your company more profitable. Got news or a story idea to share? We frequently post contributed articles here. Contact Glenn Hasek, editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at: greenlodgingnews@gmail.com.

As Industry Enjoys Strong Occupancy Growth, Maintenance Costs Creep Up

ATLANTA—As the hotel industry continues to enjoy strong trends in occupancy and rate in its third year of recovery, there are increasing signs that the pace of increases in certain areas on the expense side of the ledger is gaining momentum. According to a recent study, from 2001 to 2005, hotel maintenance expenses grew 18.3 percent. This is nearly 33 percent greater than the pace of growth for all other hotel operating costs during this same period. As a result of these relatively strong increases, maintenance department costs as a percent of total hotel operating expenses have averaged...

Proper Disposal of Fluorescents Keeps Mercury Out of the Waste Stream

NATIONAL REPORT—The next time you think about throwing away a fluorescent lamp, think twice. Fluorescents contain a small amount of hazardous material—mercury. In fact, it is the mercury that conducts the charge that produces light. When disposed of improperly, the mercury can cause great harm to not only the environment, but to every link in the food chain—humans included. As of November 2004, according to a report released by the Association of Lighting and Mercury Recyclers, 70 percent of the mercury lamps used by businesses were not being recycled. Throughout the United States, regulations vary on proper disposal of fluorescent...

Caribbean Hotel Association’s New Logo Reflects Nature, Diversity

SAN JUAN, P.R.—The Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA) has updated its logo and corporate identity, following the approval of the board of directors during the organization’s annual industry conference (CHIC 2006) in Miami. The new brand image reflects the changing Caribbean tourism industry. “An organization’s logo is its face to the world,” says Alec Sanguinetti, director general and c.e.o. of CHA. “After 46 years without making any change of substance to our image, we decided it was time to have a significant makeover, mainly to better reflect today’s Caribbean hotel and tourism sector.” Sanguinetti says the new image...

Moen Introduces Heavy-Duty Two-Handle Commercial Faucet Series

NORTH OLMSTED, OHIO—The Commercial Division of Moen Inc. introduces its new Heavy-Duty Two-Handle Commercial Faucet Series. The ADA-compliant products include center set and widespread lavatory faucets, bar and pantry faucets, a kitchen faucet and a vandal-proof shower head with an adjustable spray angle. “The creation of this series was based on extensive field research conducted with decision makers and facility managers from around the country,” says Allen Talley, Moen’s director of commercial marketing and product development. “This heavy-duty series was made to be responsive to real-world scenarios in a variety of public spaces and applications. For example, to...

Four Seasons Hotel Miami Receives Florida Green Lodging Certification

MIAMI—The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has added the Four Seasons Hotel Miami to the Florida Green Lodging Program. The voluntary state initiative provides the lodging industry with technical assistance, encouraging hotels and motels to adopt cost-saving green practices that reduce waste and conserve natural resources. “Green lodges take the initiative to conserve resources and protect the environment,” says DEP Secretary Colleen M. Castille. “By adopting innovative green practices, Florida’s environmentally sensitive lands are preserved for future generations.” The Four Seasons Hotel Miami reduces water consumption by using technologically advanced showerheads, faucets, spray nozzles and toilets....

LED Exit Signs Last Longer, Burn Less Energy, Save Labor and Money

NATIONAL REPORT—Every hotel owner is required to provide exit signage throughout the hotel. Many exit signs today use incandescent and fluorescent/compact fluorescent lighting technology. These older signs consume more than 350 kilowatt-hours and cost $28 each annually to operate. They also require frequent maintenance because of the short life span of the lamps that light them. Thanks to light-emitting diode (LED) technology, hoteliers need not spend as much money on energy and maintenance. Many manufacturers today sell exit signs that incorporate LED lighting that are easy to install and maintain. These exit signs start at about $40 a...

Starwood’s FuelCell Plant Installation in San Diego Will Be World’s Largest

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.—Three years after installing its first Direct FuelCell (DFC) power plants at its Sheraton hotels in Edison and Parsippany, N.J., Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. is taking the technology to a new level at its 1,044-room Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina. Soon, Starwood will launch a 500-kilowatt power plant there that will make it the largest commercial DFC installation in the world. Through an agreement with Alliance Star Energy LLC—a joint venture of Alliance Power and FuelCell Energy Inc.—Starwood purchases power generated by four 250-kilowatt DFC plants currently running at the San Diego property. The addition...

Owners of Three Resorts Purchase Renewable Energy Certificates

LUDLOW, VT.—Tim and Diane Mueller, owners of Okemo Mountain Resort in Vermont, Mount Sunapee Resort in New Hampshire, and Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Colorado, have entered into an agreement with Gunnison County Electric Assn. to purchase 27 million kilowatt hours of Renewable Energy Certificates from Sterling Planet, one of the United States’ leading retail renewable energy providers. Gunnison County Electric Assn. is a member owned, nonprofit cooperative located in Colorado. The amount of kilowatt hours represents enough renewable power to fully offset the annual use of electricity by the Mueller’s three resorts. “Protection of the environment...

EPA’s Energy Star Program Offers Myriad Benefits for Hotel Operators

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program has come a long way since it was first introduced in 1992. Then, it was a voluntary labeling program designed to identify and promote energy-efficient products to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Today, Energy Star is far more and hoteliers can benefit directly in many different ways. Here are some of those ways: • By purchasing products with the Energy Star label, hotel operators can save thousands of dollars in energy costs each year. The Energy Star label is currently on products in more than 40 product categories. Some of these categories include...

One Man’s Garbage is Another Man’s Vintage at San Francisco Marriott

SAN FRANCISCO—From the hotel’s subterranean compactor, to the sun-kissed vineyards of Napa and Sonoma, to the elegant tables of the hotel’s lounges, the San Francisco Marriott is helping complete the recycling loop by offering a one-of-a-kind “trashy” wine list in its View Lounge and Atrium Bar. The San Francisco Marriott initiated its award-winning compost program in 2003 and currently collects and compacts over a half-million pounds of its food scraps a year, enough to fill the lobby from floor to ceiling. The San Francisco Marriott and local recycler Golden Gate Disposal see food scraps as a resource, a...