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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.

Starwood’s New Element Brand Inspired by Nature

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.—Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. unveiled its new extended-stay hotel brand: Element, a brand extension of Westin Hotels & Resorts. The Element name, new logo and website were unveiled last week at the 2006 Lodging Conference in Phoenix. “With Westin, we recreated the upper-upscale segment in the hotel industry,” says Starwood’s Chief Executive Officer Steven J. Heyer. “Strategically, Element fits into this mold. It is about creating a new category from the ground up. We know that Starwood’s guests are hungry for a new kind of extended-stay experience, and Element fills this white space in our portfolio...

New York’s Hotel & Restaurant Show a Hot Spot for Green Products

NEW YORK—If you have plans to attend this year’s International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show in New York City and are interested in checking out vendors that sell green products, you may want to bring some comfortable shoes. Suppliers of environmentally friendly products will not be segregated in one spot but located around the huge trade show floor. That is probably a good thing; all of the show’s free food samples justify the miles of walking. “The defining characteristic of the 91st annual International Hotel/Motel and Restaurant Show is ‘new,’ says Christian Falkenberg, show manager. “This show promises to...

Westin Teams with Jewelry Designer to Support Smoke-Free Living

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.—Westin Hotels & Resorts has teamed with celebrity jewelry designer Mauri Pioppo to create a talisman necklace in support of smoke-free living. The Renewal Talisman will raise awareness of the benefits of going smoke-free, especially for women and girls, and provide a tangible way for women to share their support for a smoke-free lifestyle with their loved ones. Westin created the piece to celebrate its own commitment to breathing free, made in December 2005 when it announced it would become the first major hotel chain in North America to go smoke-free. While women are embracing...

Gaia Napa Valley in Pursuit of LEED gold Certification

AMERICAN CANYON, CALIF.—Imagine a hotel with the sound of birds chirping on a green roof, swans gliding across a half-acre lagoon and koi swimming in a pond. Designed to appeal to eco-tourists who want luxury and comfort, Napa Valley’s first environmentally sustainable hotel, Gaia Napa Valley, will open next month. Cutting-edge, environmentally friendly technology was used in its construction and will be applied in the daily operations. Gaia Napa Valley will offer the ultimate experience of harmony with nature. The hotel is pursuing gold LEED certification. The lagoon has its own eco-system, is surrounded by a lush...

Time to Give Your Guests a Chlorine-Free Shower?

NATIONAL REPORT—Your guests may shower in it without thinking about it, but is chlorinated water really good for them? Guests with chemical sensitivities would quickly say no but other travelers are beginning to feel the same way. Increasingly, guests are seeking out hotels that offer chlorine-free, filtered shower water. According to one industry expert, some guests even travel with their own showerheads in case filtered water is not available. If you think of shower filters as an unnecessary capital expense, you may want to reconsider. Many hotels are charging premium rates for rooms that offer filtered shower water as part...

Xanterra Parks & Resorts Receives National Park Service Award

DENVER—National park and resort concessioner Xanterra Parks & Resorts has received the National Park Service (NPS) 2006 Environmental Achievement Award for its performance at the Zion Lodge in Zion National Park. The NPS Environmental Achievement Award recognizes superior accomplishments in environmental stewardship. Zion Lodge also received the award in 2004. Xanterra also has received National Park Service Environmental Achievement Awards for environmental stewardship at the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, Yellowstone National Park and Mount Rushmore National Memorial. The 2006 award was presented by Fran Mainella, director of the National Park Service. “Xanterra at Zion...

AH&LEF, Smith Travel Survey Offers Insight into Green Trends

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The latest American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AH&LEF) and Smith Travel Research 2006 Lodging Survey provides valuable insight into industry availability of liquid soap dispensers, recycling programs, air purifiers, energy management sensors, linen/towel reuse programs and nonsmoking rooms. A total of 42,407 hotels were polled and twenty-one percent (9,300 hotels) responded to the survey that wrapped up the first quarter of this year. Survey results were released earlier this summer. The survey was funded by AH&LEF, the nonprofit affiliate of AH&LA, and tracked the size, scope and emerging trends of the U.S. lodging industry. The AH&LA...

2006 WasteWise and NPEP Conference Set for October 19 to 20

ARLINGTON, VA.—The 2006 WasteWise and NPEP (National Partnership for Environmental Priorities) Annual Conference, with the theme “Partnering for Success in Sustainability,” will be held October 19 to 20 in Arlington, Va. The two-day conference, at the Westin Arlington Gateway Hotel, will cover topics such as waste reduction, the climate/waste link and the reduction of Priority Chemicals. Contact Jeff Tumarkin or go to WasteWise for more information.

Florida DEP Partners With DadePaper to Improve Air Quality in Hotels

TALLAHASSEE, FLA.—The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has partnered with DadePaper Co. to help Florida’s lodging industry improve indoor air quality in hotels and motels across the state. The partnership is the latest component of DEP’s Green Lodging initiative, which encourages hotels and motels to adopt cost-saving green practices that conserve energy, reduce water consumption, protect air quality and reduce waste. “By participating in the Green Lodging Program, DadePaper becomes an example and leader within the lodging industry,” says DEP Secretary Colleen M. Castille. “Their environmental commitment serves as a challenge to hotels, suppliers, trade associations and...

Beware of Remarketers As You Plan Your Energy Purchasing Strategy

NATIONAL REPORT—Imagine as a hotel general manager or chief engineer never having to worry about energy budgets, energy deviations and energy conservation. This is a new marketing strategy being employed by suppliers of gas and electricity to the hotel industry. These suppliers are commonly known as energy “remarketers.” The concept is fairly simple. The remarketer approaches the hotel owner, general manager or chief engineer with a proposal that entails just one payment every month for all forms of energy, regardless of how much energy the hotel uses. At first glance, this proposal may seem very attractive, as the negotiated figure...