East Valley hotels embrace ‘green’ - East Valley Tribune: News

East Valley hotels embrace ‘green’

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Posted: Sunday, August 19, 2007 2:15 am | Updated: 7:40 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Scottsdale’s tony resorts and trendy urban hotels are going green. The upscale inns are replacing standard light bulbs with less energy-devouring fluorescents and installing low-flow shower heads to save water.

Hotels thinking ‘green’

But can conservation interfere with comfort for the city’s upscale customers?

“Quite the contrary,” said Rachel Sacco, president of the Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Many people who are loyal to luxury brands are the most concerned about the environment.”

Hotel guests are typically given choices about participating in energy-saving programs, for example, choosing whether to have their sheets and towels changed daily, she said.

“And so many of the ways we’re learning to be greener don’t interfere with the guest experience at all,” Sacco said.

Those measures include using nontoxic cleaners and detergents and recycling the vast amount of back-of-the-house waste.

Scottsdale’s Hotel Valley Ho recycles tons of paper and cardboard, but the hotel has also replaced light bulbs and installed water-saving fixtures in guest rooms.

“We haven’t had any customer complaints,” said Jesse Thompson, sales and marketing director.

Nor has the Fairmont Princess Resort in Scottsdale, which has embarked on an employee-driven greening effort, which includes some of those same back- and front-of-the-house initiatives.

“We are cognizant of the standards we need to meet as a AAA five-diamond property,” said resort spokeswoman Jennifer Franklin. “We work within those standards.”

Franklin said a key has been to educate employees and guests about green programs. To that end, the sprawling resort built a nature trail and a desert tortoise environment.

“At the end of the day, guests want to know we are making good choices,” Sacco said. “Sometimes it’s just how you tell the story.”

Some big hotel industry names are betting lots of bucks on Scottsdale’s well-heeled visitors’ commitment to saving the planet.

Starwood mogul Barry Sternlicht has created “1,” a new brand of ecofriendly, luxury hotels, and plans to build one of the first versions at the Scottsdale Waterfront.

And the $400 million Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley, a 123-acre resort and residential community pegged for the southwest corner of Indian Bend and Scottsdale roads, is registered to be built according to the U.S. Green Building Council’s tough standards.

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