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Marriott to Expand Green Hotel Portfolio Ten-Fold

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Marriott is to expand its green hotel portfolio ten-fold over the next five years by introducing a green hotel prototype that will be pre-certified LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), an internationally recognized green building certification system designed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

 The green hotel prototype, which will be available in April 2010, is believed to save owners approximately $100,000 and six months in design time. It will also reduce a hotel’s energy and water consumption by up to 25%, based on national averages. These savings, combined with incentives offered in many jurisdictions, could provide a payback for the LEED building investment in about two years.

The green hotel prototype, referred to by the USGBC as “volume build certification,” has been created for Marriott’s Courtyard brand, which has a development pipeline of nearly 160 hotels worldwide. In 2010, the company expects to introduce similar green hotel prototypes for its Fairfield Inn, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites and TownePlace Suites brands, which represent more than 290 hotels in the pipeline worldwide.

“Marriott's’ commitment makes it among the first in the world to commit to implementing green buildings on this scale,” said Doug Gatlin, Vice President, USGBC. Marriott was the first hospitality member of the USGBC, and has more than 20 LEED accredited professionals on staff.

While many of the benefits of LEED certification, such as improved energy savings, better indoor air quality and reduced CO2 emissions, are transparent to guests, others are easier to identify such as easy access to public transportation, in-room recycling, and light sensors in the guest rooms.

“The green hotel prototype gives Marriott a competitive edge with guests who prefer a green hotel experience, and with the growing number of owners and franchisees who want to provide it,” said Arne Sorenson, Marriott’s President and Chief Operating Officer at the USGBC’s annual Green Build conference in Phoenix.

The Courtyard Settler’s Ridge in Pittsburgh, Penn., scheduled to open in the summer of 2010, will be the first to be built based on the new green hotel prototype concept.

 Marriott already has 50 hotels registered for LEED, with 15 open or set to open by the end of 2010.

The Inn & Conference Center by Marriott at the University of Maryland in College Park was the first LEED hotel in North America, and Marriott’s recently opened Portland Courtyard City Center in Oregon was just awarded LEED-Gold status. Other green hotels are planned in the Caribbean and Latin America, in partnership with Caribe Hospitality. As a benchmark, there are only 31 LEED-certified hotels across the entire U.S. lodging industry.

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