Starwood’s Element hotel brand is proof that green done right can catch on. As of February 9, there will be 10 Element hotels open in the United States. There are currently at least four other Elements in the pipeline, according to the Element website. It is great to see Element’s success. Unique to Element is its requirement for its hotels to be LEED certified.
Our industry has been waiting quite some time for another green hotel brand to come along with a similar commitment to LEED. Hilton’s Home2 Suites properties have many green features but the brand lacks a brand-wide LEED requirement. This past week, however, Highlands Ranch, Colo.-based Atmosphere Hospitality Management announced its first Adoba Eco Hotel property—a conversion of a full-service hotel in Rapid City, S.D. (See article.) The hotel will be LEED certified, per the brand’s requirement, and will complete its renovation in May. According to Adrienne Pumphrey, Global Head, Adoba Eco Hotel & Suites, the South Dakota property is the first of at least five properties in the Adoba pipeline.
I first met Adrienne and James Henderson, CEO/Green President of Atmosphere Hospitality Management almost two years ago at the Hospitality Design Expo in Las Vegas. This was after the two had officially launched the Adoba brand on Earth Day of that year. At the time they were determined to get the company off the ground with new build hotels in key markets such as Denver, Tucson, San Francisco, Portland (Ore.), Washington, D.C., etc. In a post-recessionary economy it was not so easy to raise capital. While Atmosphere still has plans to target its original market list, it is now open to conversion opportunities as well.
Pair Stuck to Ambitious Goal
How many of you would have the patience to wait two years before landing your first deal? I commend Adrienne and Jim for sticking to their goal. Our industry needs another green brand to set an example for others to follow.
With the first Adoba there most definitely will be a “coolness” factor. Antonio Ballatore from HGTV’s “The Antonio Treatment” TV show will lend his design expertise to the project. Some of the key green features of the hotel will include: solar thermal system for water heating, low flow water fixtures, LED lighting in every guestroom and public space, carpet tile in some guestrooms and stained concrete flooring in others, a baler/compactor for waste reduction, amenity dispensers, and eco-friendly bedding package and blinds. Six of the guestrooms (suites) will be named after endangered protected areas in South Dakota.
As part of the transition, the hotel’s well-known Enigma Restaurant will launch a new, upscale organic inspired menu while using local vendors. The menu will feature a variety of organic wines.
Unique to the Adoba brand is its performance-based fee plan. “There are no traditional franchise fees,” Adrienne told me. “If the owner does not meet the performance target, we don’t get paid.”
There will be an official sign raising before the end of February. Adrienne assured me that the old sign will be recycled in numerous ways. Be sure to look for future coverage of the Adoba brand on the Green Lodging News website and in the weekly e-newsletter.
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