Hotel Online
News for the Hospitality Executive


Environmental Sustainability Report for Xanterra Parks & Resorts
Shows Strong Progress Toward 2015 Environmental Goals and
Cites 10 Significant Projects and Improvements

DENVER, July 19, 2011
Xanterra Parks & Resorts is making significant progress toward reaching environmental goals outlined in its 2015 Environmental Vision, a set of aggressive environmental performance goals. The operator of lodging and concessions in national parks and resorts around the country spelled out its progress using environmental performance metrics, called “Ecometrix.” The company’s achievements and measurable progress toward its environmental goals are detailed in the company’s fourth Environmental Sustainability Report , published this spring.

In the report, Xanterra’s president and CEO, Andrew Todd, wrote about the devastation brought about by recent environmental disasters, such as the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Todd cited Xanterra’s attempts “to find ways to reduce our fossil fuel consumption and associated carbon footprint, doing our part to indirectly prevent future environmental catastrophes.”

Xanterra’s mission is simple, he added. Not only has it already begun programs that leave a “softer footprint,” but it also has a 2015 Environmental Vision with goals that “articulate how this vision relates to energy, carbon emissions, waste, sustainable design, sustainable foods, transportation and water.”

The Sustainability Report summarizes Xanterra’s progress in reaching these goals based on measurements taken over a 10-year- period from 2000 to 2009.

Absolute greenhouse gas emissions, for example, are down 20.9 percent since 2000, and Xanterra’s goal is a 30 percent decrease by 2015. The company has already doubled its goal to increase usage of renewable energy to provide 7 percent of total electricity consumed. As of 2009, renewable energy provided 14.1 percent of companywide electricity usage. And Xanterra is closing in on its 2015 goal to divert 50 percent of solid waste from landfills. In 2009, its companywide diversion rate had reached 47 percent, and several operations achieved diversion rates in excess of 70 percent.

Xanterra’s commitment to environmentally sustainable operations has led to many permanent changes to the way it operates or enhances existing facilities. Here are 10 examples of cutting-edge environmental initiatives undertaken at Xanterra operations during the last few years.  Follow the links for complete information about these initiatives.
  1. Developed a retail store “with a conscience.” Called For Future Generations: Yellowstone Gifts, the store not only sells environmentally sensitive products, but also educates shoppers about making sustainable consumer choices using a one-of-a-kind product environmental scorecard system.
  2. Retrofitted the inefficient and polluting steam-powered engines of the Grand Canyon Railway to run on clean-burning, 100-percent-recycled vegetable oil. Also, collecting rainwater on site is saving 11,000 gallons of potable water per trip.
  3. Banned the sale of plastic water bottles at Zion Lodge in Zion National Park. Hydration stations have been installed so guests can use their own refillable bottles. Plastic water bottles were banned from national park operations in Zion as well. The initiative immediately took 30,000 plastic bottles out of the park’s waste stream.
  4. Installed a 1.3 MW solar photovoltaic system, the largest in the tourism industry, at the Furnace Creek Resort in California’s Death Valley National Park, generating enough electricity to supply the resort with 100 percent of its power during the day.
  5. Started reusing waste vegetable oil at operations in Yellowstone National Park; it is now plumbed directly to boilers to heat buildings.
  6. Started replacing all the old diesel-powered buses at the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park with new clean-burning, compressed natural gas (CNG)-powered buses. There are now 11 CNG-powered buses in the fleet.
  7. Installed a wind turbine at Maumee Bay State Park Lodge in northwest Ohio to generate electricity.
  8. Replaced all in-room amenities that were formerly in small plastic bottles with environmentally preferable, fully biodegradable cornstarch-based containers.
  9. Swapped out old, more toxic cleaning products for the more sustainable Green Seal-certified cleaning products at all Xanterra properties.
  10. Donated more than $1.7 million to the National Park Foundation over the past eight years.
All these efforts have garnered the company a multitude of awards. For a complete list of Xanterra’s sustainable efforts, and the full sustainability report, go online to and click on Environment.

Xanterra Parks & Resorts® (consisting of several affiliated Xanterra entities) operates lodges, restaurants, tours and activities at national parks and state parks and resorts. Xanterra Parks & Resorts is the country’s largest park concessioner. Xanterra Parks & Resorts has operations in the following locations: Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Zion, Crater Lake, Rocky Mountain and Petrified Forest National Parks, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Furnace Creek Resort in Death Valley National Park, Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Va. and eight Ohio State Park Lodges as well as the Geneva Marina at Ohio’s Geneva State Park. Xanterra Parks & Resorts also operates Windstar Cruises as well as Grand Canyon Railway in Williams, Ariz.

Xanterra Parks & Resorts has been committed to the preservation and protection of the environment for many years. Through its environmental program, “Ecologix,” Xanterra Parks & Resorts has been recognized repeatedly for environmental leadership in the hospitality industry and is the recipient of many honors, including major awards from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Environmental Protection Agency, Travel Industry Association of America, American Hotel and Lodging Association, National Parks Conservation Association, Conde Nast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, Colorado Department of Public Health, State of Arizona, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and Utah Department of Environmental Quality.

For more information about Xanterra Parks & Resorts, links to individual properties and reservations numbers, visit

Xanterra Parks & Resorts
6312 S. Fiddlers Green Circle
Suite 600 North
Greenwood Village, CO 80111

Media contact:
Mesereau Public Relations

Receive Your Hospitality Industry Headlines via Email for Free! Subscribe Here  

 To Learn More About Your News Being Published on Hotel-Online Inquire Here
Also See: Xanterra's Nine Lodging Facilities in Yellowstone Park Serve More Guests than Ever During Summer of 2010 / October 2010

A Brief History of Yellowstone National Park?s Roosevelt Lodge as it Celebrates its 90th Anniversary / July 2010

Xanterra Completes Comprehensive Renovation of the Historic Western Cabins at the Zion Lodge; Built in 1927 by the Union Pacific Railroad, the Cabins are on the National Registry of Historic Places / June 2010

Xanterra’s Environmental Preservation Programs are Highly Creative, a Necessity When One’s Operations Are in Remote Yellowstone National Park / March 2010

The Menu at Xanterra’s Lake Yellowstone Hotel Stresses Sustainable Fshing, Farming and Ranching Practices / June 2009

To search Hotel Online data base of News and Trends Go to Hotel.OnlineSearch

Home | Welcome| Hospitality News |
Industry Resources

Please contact Hotel.Online with your comments and suggestions.