STATELINE, NEV.—There is no way around it; Edgewood Tahoe Resort, a boutique property nestled on the shores of Lake Tahoe, is one of a kind when it comes to providing an eco-luxury experience for its guests. Sustainability is top of mind during every decision regarding design, construction, operations, and the guest and community experience. The resort’s commitment is best explained on its website: “Every decision we make and action we take must align with our calling to be stewards of the land, guardians of the Lake, and sincere, difference-making corporate citizens of the communities in which we operate.”
Edgewood Tahoe Resort, with its 154 guestrooms, seven villa suites (seven more villa suites coming in October), 18-hole golf course, three restaurants and spa, has the potential to leave quite a footprint on the edge of Lake Tahoe. Thanks to a constant focus on continuous improvement, however, its energy and water consumption and waste production is minimal.
A sustainability committee keeps the resort team focused. Brittani Schue, Marketing Manager, leads that team. Smart investments in systems and technologies have also been impactful. The Lodge at Edgewood Tahoe is LEED Silver certified. The property, a Beyond Green member, is one of only a small number of resorts in the world that use a lake/ocean source cooling system. It extracts 43-degree water from 500 feet away in Lake Tahoe. The closed-loop system is used for cooling 24/7, says Terry Cage, Director of Engineering.
Variable Frequency Drives
Jacob Berry, Assistant Superintendent of Greens Maintenance, adds, “There are variable frequency drives on all HVAC systems including boilers and pumps and the cooling system.” A building management system that includes infrared-sensing thermometers in guestrooms cuts back on energy consumption when areas are not in use. There are motion sensors in stairways, hallways and back of house. Almost all lighting on property is LEDs.
Electric vehicle charging stations are complimentary. “I have seen them full more times than not,” says Siobhan Fajayan, Director of Marketing and Sales.
To reduce water consumption, low-flow water fixtures are in place. “Water is the number one priority” on the golf course, Berry says. The course is certified as part of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf. Water conservation and water quality management are key parts of that program.
Also unique to the resort is its own water company, Fajayan says. It is a revenue center for the resort and the company distributes and treats the water for about 10 customers.
Aluminum Water Bottle Program
A key part of the property’s waste-cutting initiative is its aluminum water bottle program. “Guests get two water bottles in their room,” Fajayan says. This step has eliminated 5,000 plastic water bottles from the waste stream. Guests can fill their bottles at refill stations on every floor of the Lodge and at other stations across the property. Plastic straws, utensils and to-go packaging have also been replaced with more eco-friendly versions.
Cardboard, paper and glass are recycled, and cooking oil and grease are taken to Reno, Nevada for recycling. Schue says the resort uses biodegradable coffee pods from Tayst. “We save about 60,000 K cups that would go into the landfill,” she says.
Fajayan says the resort utilizes as much food as possible during preparation and if there is excess food, it is donated to food banks for distribution in the community. “We are not able to compost due to the wildlife in the area,” she says.
All partially used soaps and other bottled amenities are donated to Clean the World to be distributed across the world to people who need them.
Being close to Lake Tahoe and Edgewood Creek creates unique responsibilities for the resort. It treats and removes 500,000 pounds of sediment per year from Lake Tahoe via enhanced wetlands and deepened filtration settling ponds. It minimizes the amount of lighting impacting Edgewood Creek to allow native fish passage and spawning habitat. There is even a fish ladder on the property to help salmon travel. The resort acquired and demolished several obsolete, environmentally unsustainable properties and restored the land to a natural state.
Edgewood Tahoe Resort supports Clean Up the Lake (CUTL), a local nonprofit. It is focused on scuba dive clean-ups, beach and community clean-ups, and waste reduction strategies in the Lake Tahoe Region.
Glenn Hasek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.