Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Kissimmee Touts New Environmentally-Friendly Initiatives; Receives Florida Green Hotel Certification

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Gaylord Palms Resort, located five minutes from Walt Disney World theme parks, is now a certified green hotel, according to the state of Florida. The state green lodging designation goes to hotels who excel in the areas of water conservation, clean air, energy efficiency, waste reduction, and communication. The convention resort is also working with meeting planners to host "green meetings" and environmentally friendly conventions.

Green Lodging

By participating in the Florida Green Lodging Program, their leadership serves as a challenge to other hotels in Osceola County to adopt green practices, which conserve resources and save money.

Gaylord Hotels and The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today welcomed Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center into the Florida Green Lodging Program. The 1,406-room resort is one of the largest in that state to participate, and the first in Osceola County's popular Kissimmee resort corridor.

In addition, the resort announced the upcoming roll out of a new guest communications program, called 'We're Eco-Logicalâ„¢', designed to share the spirit of the resort's eco-friendly initiatives with guests and meeting planners, while encouraging them to take an active role in the programs.

"Together with the citizens of Osceola County, we have created one of the most successful meetings and conventions resorts in Florida," said Kemp Gallineau, senior vice president and general manager. "And now, we are leading the way to creating a more logical blueprint for the county's largest industry, as we develop these sustainable 'eco-habits' for our business."

The resort hosts millions of visitors every year and, as one of the busiest meeting facilities in the state of Florida, is often singled out as a leader in the state's successful meetings business.

To be designated a Florida Green Lodging property, hotels must follow certain green practices. These practices include, but are not limited to, water conservation measures through low-flow plumbing fixtures and a linen reuse program, and energy efficiency achieved by installing ENERGY STAR® appliances and programmable thermostats. The waste reduction criteria are met by providing the opportunity to recycle, purchasing items in bulk, purchasing recycled materials and by recycling ink and toner cartridges. All Green Lodging properties must also use green cleaners and use high efficiency air filters and clean air handler units frequently.

"I am excited that the Gaylord Palms is making the commitment to Florida's environment by becoming a designated member of the Florida Green Lodging Program," said DEP Central District Director Vivian Garfein. "By participating in the Florida Green Lodging Program, their leadership serves as a challenge to other hotels in Osceola County to adopt green practices, which conserve resources and save money."

Environmentally-friendly features at Gaylord Palms include a towel and linen reuse program to conserve energy and water, an advanced computerized energy management system and a recycling program for guests and staff. In total, the resort has identified more than four dozen separate initiatives that fall under their new "Eco-Logical" umbrella. Some of the highlights include:

  • All guest rooms now feature energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs in most fixtures, ensuring energy efficiency. Hotel lighting, especially guest room lighting, accounts for about 30 to 40 percent of hotel electricity consumption. According to Energy Star statistics, by replacing an average of ten bulbs in every Gaylord Palms guest room, the annual energy saved could light more than 117 homes for one year, and save the emissions equivalent to taking nearly 880 cars off the road for one year.
  • An in-room "comfort management" system helps to reduce energy consumption in guest rooms by an estimated one-third. This innovative technology features occupancy sensors that automatically monitor and adjust individual room temperatures. For example, a sensor will automatically modify the room temperature to "energy efficient" mode when no guests are detected, then back to the most comfortable temperature upon the guest's return. In addition, normal "high and low" temperature points can be set for all rooms, which are adjusted based on time of year.
  • Extensive cardboard recycling program in place, reducing total waste. Last year, Gaylord Palms recycled more than 100 tons of cardboard, or the equivalent weight of about 25 adult elephants. This saved more than 900 cubic yards of landfill space.
  • Guest rooms and public restrooms feature low-flow faucets and low-flow toilets, reducing water consumption. Assuming 2 flushes per day per guest room, these low-flow toilets save more than 3 million gallons of water per year in guest rooms alone.
  • Gaylord Palms restaurants and banquet chefs have committed to supporting local and organic farming. Some industry publications estimate that the average meal travels approximately 1,500 miles before it reaches your table. Eliminating air travel and shorter transit distances drastically reduces the amount of fossil fuel consumed in bringing foods from farm to table.
  • Gaylord Palms is working with individual meeting planners to incorporate "Earth-friendly" components into their meeting plans. According to recent research, 67% of meeting and incentive professionals have taken environmental considerations into account when planning a conference or incentive program. Gaylord Palms is working to increase that average.
  • Gaylord Palms is going "paperless" whenever possible. For instance:

-- The Sales department process has been changed to electronically store client files, instead of printing hard copies to store in paper files.

-- Convention Services is providing client materials, including interactive floor plans of the meeting space, in electronic form via Gaylord Hotels' "MyMeetingPlanner" website.

-- Accounting now provides detailed meeting-specific invoices - sometimes large enough to fill an entire binder - on a single compact disc.

-- Payroll now offers an option to view pay statements online, eliminating the need to print a pay statement for every STAR employee.

-- Human Resources posts internal manuals and similar materials online.

  • Gaylord Palms will soon introduce "green meetings" packages for smaller meetings that may find it difficult to hold an eco-friendly convention otherwise.
  • Gaylord Hotels was among the first hotel brands to announce a resort-wide "no smoking" policy, clearing the air for our guests and staff.

Launched in March 2004, the Florida Green Lodging Certification Program establishes environmental guidelines for hotels and motels to conserve natural resources and prevent pollution. As reward for designation, Florida is recommending Green Lodges to companies and trade organizations seeking environmentally-conscious lodging and convention facilities.

For a complete list of Gaylord Palms' Eco-Logical initiatives, please visit: http://www.gaylordhotels.com/gaylordpalms/press/february_28_08_2.cfm

About Gaylord Palms
Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center has gained the attention of the meeting and convention industry by providing world-class convention and leisure-focused amenities - all in one place. The award-winning Gaylord Palms is a Gaylord Hotels-branded property owned by Gaylord Entertainment (NYSE: GET), a leading hospitality and entertainment company based in Nashville, Tenn. For more information, visit http://www.gaylordhotels.com.

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