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Destination Earth Creates a Baseline Standard of Sustainable Practices
for Destination Hotels & Resorts Properties

Eco-Friendly Practices Part of Company Culture


 

Englewood, Colo.– November 10, 2008 – In 2008 Destination Hotels & Resorts, the fourth largest independent hotel management company in the United States, launched Destination Earth, an environmental sustainability program, throughout its collection. Since the program’s inception, properties have implemented more than 60 eco-friendly measures ranging from energy efficient lighting and reduction of water usage to property-wide recycling and purchasing eco-friendly products in all areas. Although the company has set operational benchmarks for various eco-friendly measures, the cornerstone of the program is property-based Green Teams who implement these practices and also create customized initiatives that work well in their particular operating environments and communities.
 
“Each property is an incubator for great ideas, best practices and green lodging protocols,” said Mark Hickey, senior vice president of US hospitality operations for Destination Hotels & Resorts. “Part of our company’s guiding principles is to act with the highest ethical standards and we believe this applies to being good stewards of the environment. We implemented this program as a way of doing business – it’s good business to look at how we operate and identify ways to lessen our impact on the environments in which we operate. Our customers, clients and associates have wholeheartedly embraced and supported the development of this program.”
 
In the summer of 2007, Destination hired Business Evolution Consulting (BEC) to work with the company to develop a structured sustainability lodging program for the collection which includes independent hotels and resorts, branded properties, condominiums and private homes. BEC is working with the company to define various levels of eco-friendly lodging practices and how to incorporate these efforts into the properties. These practices include but are not limited to:
  • sourcing environmentally responsible products and services locally and purchasing organize natural and eco-friendly goods and supplies;
  • creating partnerships with organizations that demonstrate a commitment to preserving the environment;
  • utilizing environmentally-responsible building practices; and,
  • retrofitting existing properties with water saving devices and energy efficient lighting, heating and cooling systems.
Destination Earth creates a baseline standard of sustainable practices for the company’s hotels, condominiums and private residences while encouraging individual properties to be innovative in their operations. As properties reach various stages in their implementation, new levels of green business practices are identified and outlined for the collection. All properties are encouraged to be resourceful in indentifying and implementing green practices that are relevant to their operation and community.
 
“Destination Earth is a dynamic program and will evolve as our properties continue to find ways to preserve the environment and respond to our customers,” said Hickey. “We learn a lot from our property-based Green Teams who share with us how certain standards can best be implemented at the property level and we share various best practices that these groups have created.”
 
With properties implementing dozens of environmental practices, following are a few examples of initiatives that are making a difference.
  • Tarrytown House Estate & Conference Center in New York dug a water well on site allowing the property to create its own water source instead of using thousands of gallons of water from local reservoirs.
  • The reservations department at Hotel ICON in Houston has gone paperless using dry erase boards, flash drives and new computer technology.
  • Royal Palms Resort & Spa in Phoenix hired a permaculturist to tend to the lush grounds of the property. The property uses sustainable landscaping practices that create naturally recurring cycles of care for vegetation. No commercial herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers are used.
  • More than 50 percent of the power purchased by Stowe Mountain Lodge is from renewable resources. The property also uses eco-friendly Bamboo sheets and robes in its guest rooms.
  • Two Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) registered constructions projects are underway at Sunriver Resort in Oregon. The stables and marina projects are on track to be the first LEED certified buildings in Sunriver by the United States Green Building Counsel for utilizing best practices in green building.
  • The new Terranea Resort, scheduled to open in 2009, is being meticulously built on the Palos Verdes Peninsula with more than 631,800 square feet of native habitat areas. One example of habitat preservation is that approximately 45 mature trees dating over 50 years have been boxed and will be replanted throughout the site as a tribute to the history of this location. Additional environmental mitigation efforts include, but aren’t limited to, protecting and enhancing local water quality. To do this Terranea is implementing a series of environmental best management practices that include wet ponds, Bioswales and storm filters. Bioswales are vegetated channels, essentially created wetlands, which enhance water quality and provide a habitat for many avian species.
Destination properties also have been recognized by various organizations for their eco-friendly practices in the last year.
  • The Shores Resort & Spa in Dayton Beach Shores, Fla. and InterContinental Tampa have been recognized by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection as “Palm One” members of The Florida Green Lodging Program.
  • Hamilton Park Hotel & Conference Center received a Certificate of Environmental Stewardship from the State of New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection.
  • The Inverness Hotel & Conference Center in Denver received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s certificate of “Green Practices for the Hotel Industry Training and submission of a Green Action Plan of sustainable practices” as part of its commitment to the Democratic National Convention that was hosting in Denver last summer.
  • To reduce air pollution, Tempe Mission Palms Hotel in Arizona participates in Maricopa County’s Trip Reduction Program by offering benefits to it employees who commute. The hotel recently was noted as one of the Best Workplaces for Commuters for exceeding the national standard of excellence designated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Destination Earth was developed in recognition of the need to preserve the world in which Destination Hotels & Resorts operates and serves its guests. The company is dedicated to practices and programs that pay respect to and lessen its footprint on the changing environment. Destination Hotels & Resorts recognizes that its customers, owners and associates all benefit from and desire a healthy, sustainable environment. As the company continues on the journey of environmental stewardship, it is committed to maintaining the superior guest experience that customers have come to expect while reducing impact on the earth’s natural resources.
 
For more information on the company’s environmental efforts, please visit www.destinationhotels.com and click on the Destination Earth icon.
 
Destination Hotels & Resorts is a privately held lodging management company headquartered in suburban Denver, Colo. With more than 30 independent, luxury and upscale hotels, resorts and golf clubs, Destination is the fourth largest independent hospitality management company in the country. The company’s portfolio features more than 7,000 guest rooms, 10 golf courses and 14 full-service spas. Destination Hotels & Resorts properties are located in key metropolitan and resort markets including Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Houston, Denver, San Diego, Santa Fe, Aspen, Austin, Phoenix, Palm Springs, Maui and Lake Tahoe. The company is a subsidiary of Los Angeles-based investment, development and management firm Lowe Enterprises. For more information on the properties in the Destination Hotels & Resorts collection, please visit www.destinationhotels.com.
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Contact:

Kristin Yantis Mettler
Malen & Mettler, (775) 831-4422
kmettler@malenandmettler.com
 

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Also See: Offering a New Model of Sustainable Hospitality The 77 room Ambrose, Santa Monica, California Earns LEED-EB Green Building Certification / July 2008
Norwegian Millionaire Torben Frantzen Outlines a Sustainable Development Operating Approach for the Cabo Sao Roque Resort in Brazil / February 2008
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