The Residence Inn has become the first-ever Marriott branded hotel property and the first hotel in the state of Florida to be EcoRooms & EcoSuites Certified. Both AH&LA and AAA distinguish the certification as a go-to resource for both hoteliers and consumers looking to verify how important the environment is to the green hotel.
Online PR News – 22-September-2010 – – Residence Inn by Marriott Gainesville I-75 – a 118-suites new hotel located three miles from University of Florida – is an exceptional new build on a restored EPA “brownfield” site. Having opened its doors just over one year ago after extensive restoration of the land that was once polluted but has been restored to pristine condition, the property has met EcoRooms & EcoSuites certification standards.
The Residence Inn has become the first-ever Marriott branded hotel property and the first hotel in the state of Florida to be EcoRooms & EcoSuites Certified. Both AH&LA and AAA distinguish the certification as a go-to resource for both hoteliers and consumers looking to verify how important the environment is to the green hotel. To add to the list, it has also achieved Florida’s Green Lodging certification.
“Hotels are huge consumers of energy,” says General Manager Chris Lewis. “It is not only the right thing to do. It is the smart thing to do. Utility companies are increasing unit cost every year, in many cases by as much as 30 to 40 percent from the previous year. It is an important part of our business to use only what we need and continue to look for ways to use less.”
The property was designed from the top down with the environment in mind. Cool Roofing Council certified its roofing materials. Its framing structure was made from 90% post consumer recycled steel. Demolition and construction wastes were recycled. The property is xeriscaped to save water, featuring all native plants, minimal turf areas and a water-saving irrigation system. The developers even bonded a 100+-year-old live oak tree to ensure its survival.
The road to green
Besides green design, the green hotel incorporated various green initiatives in its operating procedures, including:
Using Green Seal certified or equivalent cleaning and paper products in guestrooms
Bathrooms feature amenity dispensers or small, practical amenity sizes with guests encouraged to take the remainder of their bathroom amenities home or donate them to homeless shelters
Linen and towel reuse program
Easily identified recycling receptacles
Energy-efficient lighting using CFL and LED technology
High efficiency plumbing with low-flush toilets, water-efficient aerators and low-flow showerheads
The green hotel has also benchmarked itself with industry leaders utilizing the Energy Star Portfolio Manager, with the help of EcoGreenHotel. It’s a critical step for the hotel to monitor the utility usage data and measure the results of their energy efficiency and conservation strategies.
Social responsibility is a major component of the hotel’s sustainability initiative. “The team has really embraced the cause,” says Lewis.
As part of their contribution to the welfare of others, the Residence Inn is a proud supporter and contributor of Habitat for Humanity and Children’s Miracle Network (CMN). The Hotel raised $7,000 for CMN during their Grand opening, another $5,861 on their anniversary celebration and contributed over $16,000 in numerous ways throughout the past year. Not to mention, you’ll find the hotel’s committed employees answering phones in CMN’s upcoming radiothon. That is strong dedication and definitely inspiration for all!
“We began implementing our initiatives within the past two years and have really received a lot of positive comments from our staff members and guests, as well as financial results,” says Lewis. “We believe that going green is a winning business strategy that also has the added benefit of being the right thing to do for society and our planet.”
If you are ever in the Gainesville area, step in to see what the Residence Inn’s green team is up to next.
EcoGreenHotel LLC is a privately held company dedicated to helping lodging facilities address a broad spectrum of sustainability issues. The company provides information, tools, checklists, current news and trends to the hospitality industry through its website, www.EcoGreenHotel.com. In 2009, the company launched an online marketplace for green products and services at www.EcoGreenHotelStore.com. In addition to the online offerings, EcoGreenHotel provides customized consulting services tailored to the needs of the hospitality industry in the areas of energy efficiency and certifications, including LEED, Green Seal and Energy Star. For those properties that have reached certified levels of sustainability, EcoGreenHotel assists with marketing services to position the properties within the growing “green” space and enhance revenue. For further information, email info@EcoGreenHotel.com or call 888.229.0213