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Thayer Lodging Breaks Ground on 15,500 sq ft LEED Certified and IACC Certified
Conference Center at the The Palm Beach Gardens DoubleTree Hotel


Palm Beach Gardens, FL - 15 May 2008 - Thayer Lodging Group CEO Leland C. Pillsbury broke ground on a project that will introduce Florida's first LEED-certified GREEN, PURE-designated conference center that will be approved by The International Association of Conference Centers.  
Shortly after the ceremonial first shovel of dirt was tossed, Mr. Pillsbury escorted the crowd to a ceremonial tree planting in recognition of the project's commitment to the environment.  A few days prior to the event, special invited guests received a hand-crafted wooden box that contained a 12-inch sapling of a Longleaf Pine tree that would be planted in their name as part of the development of the Palm Beach Gardens Arbor.  A commemorative plaque is being placed at The Arbor.  The Longleaf Pine is indigenous to the region and they are rich in biodiversity which is often used as a measure of the health of a biological system. The Longleaf Pine's seeds are large and nutritious, forming a significant food source for birds and other Florida wildlife.
A total of 15 saplings were planted at this ceremony, highlighted by comments from Palm Beach Gardens Mayor Eric Jablin who said "this wonderful hotel has always been a hub of activity for Palm Beach Gardens and now, with the new IACC-approved conference center, it will be at the core of increasing corporate commerce in our city.  It will also reflect the entire community's commitment to environmental consciousness and sustainability with the development of this new conference center and the Palm Beach Gardens Arbor."  
Designed by Gobbell Hays Partners of Palm Beach Gardens, FL, the project includes modern functionality within a shell that is complimentary of the adjacent hotel.  Details include 15,500 square feet of tech-savvy, purpose designed meeting space, eight meeting rooms, teleconference rooms, pre-function areas, and an outdoor plaza.  The flexible space will allow for large assemblies, and smaller meetings and designated areas for personal communications and networking. 
LEED certification

Started in 1983 as a Pilot Project of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the first (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program was launched in 1998 as a measurement system designed for rating new and existing commercial, institutional, and residential buildings.  

The (LEED) Green Building Rating System as compiled and managed on a consensus basis by the USGBC membership is the nationally accepted benchmark rating system for the sustainable design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. The prescribed sustainable building practices can substantially reduce or eliminate negative environmental impacts and improve existing unsustainable design, construction and operational practices. 
Carol Hochheiser of Hochheiser-Ross Interior Design commented that the overall design element of the new conference center will reflect their recently completed renovation of the hotel's lobby, lounge and Oz Restaurant.  Hochheiser is committed to meeting the standards of LEED certification by incorporating locally reclaimed materials as part of the design of the conference center.  
The experience of walking into the Executive Meeting Center, is a transition from the regular routine to an event and an adventure.  When you enter the meeting center, creamy white floors naturally reflect the sparks of quartz.  Actually, there are recycled beer cans in the flooring that brings depth of color with flecks of light and dark.  There is softness and comfort in how the light dances on the surface.  The smooth feel of the terrazzo under foot is solid and massive reflecting the warmth of the sun.  The combination of natural colors and textures slows the visitor to enter the lobby and stop to pause, collect and, then, adventure with the senses.  

The main hall lined with meeting rooms is organized by materials where the craft and texture of materials abounds and the play between light and shadow, sleek and rounded, mass and detail, resonate the excitement and the calm.  The reclaimed 100% select heart cypress wood on the walls and niches are at least 500 years old when it was cut down in the nineteenth century.  Salvaged from the local Florida swamps, it has aged with unique colorations of honey cinnamon and textures.  

The recycled glass has its own luster and colors.  When materials are recycled, locally harvested and reclaimed, the materials have a history that shapes the spaces.  The niches, with comfortable seating, allows a visitor to enjoy the composition and daydream of ideas that they have for their own compositions whether it is a new product idea, a business plan or a new logo.  Among the most important features is the healthy air quality where materials do not cause a physical reaction or discomfort to the visitors.  All the materials meet the air quality standards that create a healthy environment which has proven to be a more productive environment for learning and growing.  The Executive Meeting Center becomes a passport for creativity because the senses are awakened naturally. (Baskervill, Hochheiser Ross Hospitality Division )

According to Leland C. Pillsbury, "We recognize that the commercial environment will continue to have a dramatic impact on our natural environment, economy, health, and productivity. The Executive Meeting Center at the DoubleTree Hotel at Palm Beach Gardens will strive to the help the environment through the accomplishment of LEED Silver Certification."
PURE Allergy-Friendly Rooms

The property's allergy-friendly hotel accommodations are treated with the latest technologies available. In-room filtration systems purify air particles, while surfaces are treated to minimize the growth of bacteria. Available for a surcharge, our allergy-friendly Palm Beach Florida hotel accommodations are nearly 99.9% allergen-free, and include: 

  • Sanitized heater and air conditioner, further cleaned with PURE Tea Tree Oil 
  • Cleansed and sanitized soft surfaces, to eliminate contaminants that trigger allergies 
  • PureShield application on all surfaces, to minimize the growth of bacteria 
  • One-time high ozone shock treatment, to remove any remaining allergy triggers, and to eliminate room odors 
  • In room air purification system (class II medical device), to render air quality four times cleaner than threshold for asthma patients 
  • Hypo-allergenic pillow cases and mattress covers, to eliminate dust and dander associated with bedding 
Fact: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has indicated that indoor air pollutants may be up to 100 times higher than outdoor air. 

Result: The PURE program significantly reduces the impact of potential irritants on your guests. 
According to a recent survey conducted by Cornell University's Survey research Institute, general interest for allergy-friendly rooms was very high with the vast majority (83% ) saying they would prefer to stay in a hotel room to remove airborne allergens, if they had the option.  Business travelers were slightly more likely to say that they would prefer an allergy-friendly room ( 90% vs 82% ).
IACC certification

The International Association of Conference Centers is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting understanding and awareness of the conference center industry and to providing member properties with the tools necessary to provide an exceptional meeting experience. The 400 members worldwide conform to a set of stringent Universal Criteria that sets them apart from other meeting venues.  Mark Smith of Gobbell Hays Partners said. "The owners were very specific about meeting all the criteria required to be approved by IACC.  They recognize the growing significance of differentiating this Executive Meeting Center as a purpose-designed, technologically advanced conference center dedicated to productive meetings."
The development project is estimated to be completed by the end of this year and scheduled for Grand Opening on January 1, 2009.

The Palm Beach Gardens DoubleTree Hotel was bought and renovated by Thayer Lodging Group in 2006. The hotel includes 279 guest-rooms, a restaurant, meeting rooms, and a new state of the art Executive Meeting Center (EMC). Following guidelines established by the International Association of Conference Centers (IACC) the EMC demonstrates a concept of a pure, clean indoor environment.


Laura Thomas
Director of Sales and Marketing
DoubleTree Palm Beach Gardens
4431 PGA Boulevard
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410
Direct: 561-776-2928


Also See: Portland Doubletree Makes a Conscious and Measurable Effort in Becoming an Eco-business - Earns the Green Seal® GS-33 Lodging Sustainability Certificate / November 2006
Amstar Completes Sale of the Repositioned Doubletree Hotel in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, to Thayer Lodging Group / April 2006


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