In keeping with this issue's green theme, first up are facilities that have helped tothrough land and resource use or energy-saving programs, or that have been recognized for their environmental efforts.
Audubon International and the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary System named MARRIOTT'S EVERGREEN CONFERENCE RESORT a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary for Business. The Stone Mountain, Ga., facility is the first American business, and one of only 55 businesses in the world, to receive the certification. Businesses must maintain high standards in environmental planning, wildlife habitat management, resource conservation, waste management, and outreach and education. The resort has more than 32,000 square feet of indoor function space, as well as 336 guest rooms and 21 suites.
CLUB PEACE & PLENTY, a 32-room inn in George Town, Exuma, Bahamas, donated 1 percent of revenue made during February and March at the Club Peace & Plenty and the Peace & Plenty Beach Inn to the Committee for the National Coastal Awareness Campaign and to coastal awareness projects. Guests who contribute to the Exuma Foundation (a nonprofit organization that provides environmental education and community services) will have their bill reduced by 10 percent of their contribution. The resort also pays for carbon credits to make guests' trips carbon neutral.
Orlando, Fla.'s, 1,500-room ROSEN SHINGLE CREEK, set on 230 acres at the headwaters of the Florida Everglades, and its sister properties Rosen Plaza and Rosen Centre, often exceed the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Green Lodging Program standards. The hotels have water-efficient faucets and washing machines, and conservation efforts are ongoing. Associates have a monthly conservation meeting, and management regularly implements ideas from these meetings, such as installing additional light switches in offices to ensure that lights are turned off when not in use. Shingle Creek offers 445,000 square feet of meeting and event space.
GAIA NAPA VALLEY HOTEL & SPA, American Canyon, Calif., is the first hotel in the U.S. to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The 132-room property features chemical-free landscaping, recycled tile, a guest van that uses alternative fuel, and guest rooms with carpets made of recycled materials. The hotel received points for providing bicycle storage and changing rooms, storm-water management and treatment, water-use reduction, use of renewable energy, and use of recycled content in building materials.
The 27-room GREENHOUSE 26, the first green boutique hotel in New York, will open in spring 2008. It will apply for LEED Gold status. The 19-story building will be the first hotel in the city to use a geothermal heating and cooling system, which requires a 1,500-foot-deep well for every six to 10 stories. Greenhouse 26 is being constructed with eco-friendly, nontoxic building materials. Rooms will be stocked with certified organic products, and the bar/cafe will exclusively serve organic food and drinks.
Vail Resorts Inc. is planning a $1 billion green project. EVER VAIL will transform 9.5 acres into a resort village. If approved, Ever Vail will be the largest LEED-certified project for resort use in North America. It is also one of the first proposed projects for consideration in LEED's Neighborhood Development certification program, the first national standard for neighborhood design. Vail Resorts plans to have all buildings meet LEED criteria.