News for the Hospitality Executive
The San Jose Convention and Cultural Facilities, Managed
by Team San Jose, Inc.
Surpasses Revenue and Hotel Booking Goals in Fiscal Year 2007-08
From Hotels to the Convention Center, San Jose is Going Green
SAN JOSE, CA (September 29, 2008) – The San Jose Convention and Cultural Facilities, managed by Team San Jose, Inc., and promoted by the San Jose Convention & Visitors Bureau, surpassed its revenue goals set with the City of San Jose by generating over $11.5 million in fiscal year 2007-08, announced Dan Fenton, Team San Jose chairman and President and CEO of the San Jose Convention & Visitors Bureau (SJCVB).
“Since taking over operation of the convention and cultural facilities in 2004, Team San Jose has increased revenue by 83.4 percent and reduced expenses by 53 percent,” Fenton said. “This is a great testimonial to the vision we had five years ago to create a service driven organization that puts the customer experience first. Although we’re always looking for ways to raise the bar, the fact that 97 percent of our clients said they’d return to San Jose speaks volumes.
Team San Jose/San Jose Convention and Visitors Bureau’s unique service wins national accolades as well, such as Meetings & Conventions magazine’s 2008 Gold Service Award. This honor is bestowed by subscribers, consisting of 70,000 meeting planners across the U.S. who arrange conventions, meetings and incentive travel.
Meeting and event planners choose San Jose because it’s a fun and easy to manage destination, and because of the partnership between Team San Jose and the San Jose Convention and Visitors Bureau. This unique model provides convention and tourism services through one point of contact for all event services needs, making it much easier for planners. Other destinations are evaluating San Jose’s innovative model as a new approach to customer service in the convention industry.
The team generated 255,412 hotel room nights in FY 2007-2008, which is a 6 percent increase from their annual goal. Based on data from the 14 downtown hotels, San Jose hotels brought in $143 million in gross hotel room revenue, a $13.7 million increase over 2006-2007.
Three percent of the hotel room night tax revenue, or Transient Occupancy Taxes (TOT), funds operations for the Convention Center and Cultural facilities. At the end of FY 2007-2008, the team’s successful efforts have helped generate a $5.9 million TOT fund balance to support the Convention Center operations, maintenance and reserves. No City of San Jose general fund dollars are used to support the operations of the Convention Center and Cultural Facilities.
The SJCVB and Team San Jose partner as one team to attract visitors to the convention and cultural facilities, which totaled 1.68 million in FY 2007-2008. Visitor spending in San Jose last year was an estimated $200 million. In addition to hotel stays, visitors to San Jose support local attractions, museums, restaurants, nightclubs, day spas, shopping venues and other businesses throughout the community.
San Jose is grounding itself in the wide world of green. Going beyond the standard programs, initiatives all throughout San Jose are forcefully changing the way business is done. From hotels, to the Convention Center, to City organizations and the Mineta International Airport -- all are making strides to ensure that San Jose puts its best carbon footprint forward. The vision is to make this kind of environmental responsibility the standard so visitors can “stay to play!” for years to come. Initiatives include:
One of the few hotels in Northern California to utilize an Ozone Laundry Plan, Hotel Valencia on Santana Row debuted this program in February to save water, gas and electricity, as the cycles run a shorter time and use cold water to conserve. Also unique to Hotel Valencia is a Heatsvr, a liquid pool blanket technology that reduces temperature and expected to save 15-40 percent of natural gas usage for the pool and spa. Low flow toilets and shower heads along with biodegradable key cards, no use of Styrofoam products and electronic mailings all contribute to keeping one of the most popular hotels in San Jose seeing green. Calculated by energystar.com, as of May 23, 2008 the hotel has reduced its carbon footprint by 47,739.57 pounds.
The “Green Team” at Dolce Hayes Mansion monitors environmental practices and maintaining new standards sustainability. The ‘Green Team’ also researches and coordinates property and staff involvement in local environmental projects or programs. In addition, Hayes Mansion provides biodegradable food to-go containers, uses local and sustainable food and beverage products and energy efficient appliances and lights bulbs.
The San Jose City Council recently recognized the Hilton San Jose has a Green Business. The staff uses energy saving printers, faxes etc, sensored lighting and offers a linen re-use program to each guest. Cups, lids and straws are made from 100 percent U.S. grown corn, also known as PLA plastic. Use of PLA plastic saves 10 gallons of gasoline for every case of 20 oz cups.
The Clarion Hotel in San Jose saves approximately $15,000 a year with a PG&E initiative that provides air conditioning motion sensors to save energy and water conservation systems for their sprinklers, showers and faucets. They use a paperless reporting program and a guest linen program, where guests can reuse their own towels and sheets.
The DoubleTree Hotel partners with many green organizations, including the Arbor Day Foundation, to plant new trees in the area. They are proud members of the California Green Lodging Program and the Green Meeting Industry Council. The hotel is a member of the Earthcare program, which allows a 100-guestroom hotel to save 72,000 gallons of water through linen and towel reuse. Eco-friendly materials are used for renovations and remodels, and energy efficient appliances are purchased. Staff also focuses on avoiding printing brochures and correspondence whenever possible.
The San Jose Marriott stands out by offering a “Green Meeting Planner Package” that includes environmentally friendly meeting room writing pads. For every 4 pads consumed, the equivalent of one mature tree is saved, 733 gallons of water are saved, 144 pounds of air emissions and 29 pounds of solid waste is reduced. Marriott San Jose also uses ‘Green Works’ cleaners, Brita filters, corn starch drinking cups that are 100 percent recyclable and is building toward linen-less tables in all meeting spaces for 2009.
Initiated by Fairmont San Jose and adopted by all the Fairmont hotels across the state, this San Jose hotel offers complimentary parking to the overnight guests who drive Hybrid cars. The Fairmont San Jose also implements several green programs pioneered by Fairmont headquarters, such as the Green Partnership Program— a comprehensive commitment to minimizing hotels’ impact on the planet, accompanied by a guidebook on sustainable best practices in the lodging industry. The program emphasizes sustainable and responsible practices such as recycling, kitchen-waste diversion, retrofitting energy-efficient lighting, conducting community-outreach programs and buying green power. The Fairmont’s Eco-Meet program helps meeting planners by providing a meeting structure that encourages maximum waste diversion and environmental awareness for conference delegates.
Bella Mia in downtown San Jose, is a Certified Green Business and participates in Pacific Gas & Electric’s (PG&E) ‘Save Energy Program’, which uses local, seasonal products, energy efficient lighting and recycles all possible products.
Tanglewood, a newly opened restaurant on Santana Row, maintains the ‘Green’ theme with presenting diners with the motto of “Dining in the Season”. This restaurant, the newest concept from Left Bank Restaurant Group, presents a menu that celebrates the day’s best seasonal ingredients, grown and raised on small, local sustainable farms, ranches and fisheries. Staff invites guests to reconnect with the rhythm of nature’s seasons while you enjoy the harvest of this unique American cuisine.
Manresa is the showcase for the inventive cuisine of Executive Chef David Kinch. Influenced by French and modern Catalan cooking, Chef Kinch finds inspiration from American ingenuity and the vast bounty that California has to offer. Manresa's biodynamic vegetables are grown exclusively for Manresa at Cynthia Sandberg's Love Apple Farm in the nearby Santa Cruz Mountains and harvested in the morning for the evening menu. Love Apple Farm originally became known for growing 100 varieties of heirloom tomatoes each year but the farm is now the exclusive kitchen garden for this restaurant. Join Manresa for the ultimate farm-to-table experience.
Village California Bistro and Wine Bar features California inspired cuisine focusing on the bounty of artisan quality seasonal ingredients right here in their backyard from the Wine Country to the Central Valley and the Pacific waters surrounding the Northern California coast and Monterey Bay. Emphasizing freshness, quality of ingredients and classic cooking techniques our chef, David Starr, creates ever changing seasonal menus.
The San Jose Convention & Visitor’s Bureau and Team San Jose are working diligently to reduce the impact on the environment. Recycling ranges from paper products, to carpeting, and food waste. What cannot be recycled, like furniture, scrap metal and foam boards, are donated to non-profit organizations for repurposing, such as the Resource Area for Teaching (RAFT) and local schools. The company is working to become a Certified Green Business by Santa Clara County and is a member of PG&E’s ‘Climate Smart Program’ to create a climate neutral footprint.
Team San Jose uses electrically powered service carts around the Convention Center and Cultural Facilities and they set the thermostat at 68 degrees for heating and 78 degrees for cooling to maximize energy conservation. An energy efficient LED marquee was installed for advertising. Local vendors within 150 miles are used for the freshest ingredients for the available organic meals. Since May 2008, the Convention & Visitor’s Bureau and Team San Jose have one of the few West Coast centers that have the ability to compost all products that are provided through the Convention Center and Cultural Facilities for an additional fee. Team San Jose also offers products that are recyclable or compostable, such as plates, cups, silverware, napkins and box lunch containers.
Mineta San Jose International Airport Leads Environmental Conservation
The Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) is one of the country’s leading airports regarding environmental conservation and sustainability. With the continuing upgrades to the airport, San Jose’s airport has plans to keep raising the bar on green initiatives for many years to come.
Terminal B and the North Concourse are being built with dual plumbing systems so the buildings can use recycled water for non-potable purposes. The Airport is investing more than $2 million for the installation of a recycled water distribution system that can serve the new buildings and landscape irrigation systems.
The Airport has converted its entire 34-bus shuttle fleet from diesel to compressed natural gas, which will reduce the emissions by nearly 100 tons annually, compared to 2001 levels. The Compressed Natural Gas fueling station for the shuttle buses has also been open to the public since 2003, and provides lower cost alternative fuel.
An Airport incentive program and mini-grants have resulted in the conversion to more than 122 clean-fuel taxis and door-to-door shuttles that now account for over 47 percent of taxi trips at the Airport.
The Airport partners with the San Jose Environmental Services Department to use goats and sheep for weed control in open areas adjacent to the Airport, reducing the use of herbicides and mechanical equipment that both use fuel and release exhaust.
In the past year the Airport’s rate of solid waste recycling has more than doubled, from 8.8 percent to 18.9 percent, as a result of the Airport’s new off-site sorting process by the City’s materials recovery contractor that manages waste from terminals, tenants, and aircraft. Trash going to landfill has been reduced from 2200 tons in 2006-07 to 1978 tons in 2007-08.
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