News for the Hospitality Executive
PHOENIX (June 15, 2009) – With a focused eye towards being more environmentally conscious, the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel has planted a 120-square foot seasonal garden on the fourth-floor deck of the 31-floor hotel. In addition, the hotel is working with Philips Electronics to determine possible CFL or LED technology for custom lighting fixtures that currently only work with traditional incandescent bulbs. These two initiatives are amongst many eco-friendly practices of the new hotel, others of which include a comprehensive banquet recycling program; installment of a So Clear water filtration system to purify water and reduce waste; and an internal “Green Team” that regularly meets to proactively identify ways in which the hotel can be more sustainable.
“In this day and age, it is crucial for all companies to be good corporate citizens. Since well before the hotel opened, we have been identifying ways we can reduce our carbon footprint while also operating as a first-class hotel,” said Leo Percopo, general manager of the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown.
The seasonal rooftop garden has been planted and is currently growing chilies, okra, mint, peppers and a variety of herbs which will be incorporated into dishes served in District American Kitchen and Wine Bar, the restaurant located on the bottom floor of the hotel. Many of the additional produce items come from Singh Farms, a local grower. District will also return compostable items, such as fruit and vegetable peelings, to Singh Farms. The compost can then be used by the farm to aid in the growing of new produce, continuing a sustainable cycle.
Frank Belosic, executive chef at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel, has been working closely with Singh Farms throughout the last several months. “We want this to be a viable garden that can continue to produce vegetables and herbs to be used in our dishes,” said Belosic. “We worked closely with Singh Farms to look at all angles and figure out what will work best to produce the freshest and most tasteful items possible while also making this garden sustainable.”
In addition to the development of the seasonal garden, the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown has also made a commitment to utilize the most energy efficient lighting possible. With more than 24,500 light bulbs throughout the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel, utilizing CFL or LED lighting wherever possible yields a tremendous reduction on energy consumption. For example, by utilizing CFL light bulbs in all of the 1,000 guestrooms, the hotel uses just 24% of the electricity of a hotel that does not utilize CFL bulbs – a savings that would power approximately 31 U.S. households per year. Further, because the lifespan of CFL bulbs is 8,000 hours compared to less than 1,000 hours with standard incandescent bulbs, the hotel reduces the quantity of light bulbs sent to the landfill by 800%. (Note: Energy savings are based on a projected occupancy forecast, with every occupied guestroom bulb being utilized for six hours per day in the bedroom and three hours per day in the bathroom - yielding an estimated savings of 312,909 kWh.)
While the utilization of energy-saving CFL lighting is currently limited in most applications that require dimmable lighting, the hotel’s engineering team is working closely with Philips Electronics and other vendors to determine possible CFL or LED technology that can work in these settings. Once a potential bulb is identified, it is sent to RCI/Unison Lighting for extensive testing prior to application in the property. For example, in December, a CFL bulb was certified by RCI/Unison for a can light fixture utilized in the public areas, and the hotel will be utilizing this bulb moving forward.
In addition to these energy-saving practices, the hotel team has also developed a comprehensive recycling program that extends throughout the entire hotel. Guests can recycle in their rooms, associates can recycle in their offices and meeting planners can customize plans and amenities to reduce waste.
Furthermore, the internal “Green Team” is responsible for identifying, implementing and training fellow associates on new sustainable practices, which included the roll-out of digital menus which are now available in all catering settings. In addition, the hotel works with other community partners such as Waste Not to donate unused items rather than send them directly to a landfill.
ABOUT SHERATON PHOENIX DOWNTOWN
The 1,000 room hotel, which opened on September 30, 2008, is the largest hotel in Arizona and accommodates more guests for events and meetings than any other hotel in the downtown area. The hotel features a 3,500-square foot fitness center, a 4,500-square foot outdoor pool and sundeck, an 11,500-square foot restaurant with bar and lounge and more than 80,000 square feet of flexible, state-of-the-art meeting space. Located in the heart of downtown Phoenix and just one block from the newly expanded Phoenix Convention Center, it is the first hotel that has been built in Downtown Phoenix since 1976. This particular property is the first to feature the new design, representing the future of the Sheraton brand. It strives to be a place that is warm and comforting, second only to home, where visitors can come to connect and belong.
Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel
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