In a previous post and in a column on Green Lodging News I wrote about Xanterra Parks & Resorts' one-megawatt solar photovoltaic installation in Death Valley, California. The installation covers five acres in the 3.3 million-acre Death Valley National Park—the sunniest place in the country. I had an opportunity to visit the solar project recently. It meets more than one-third of the total annual electricity needs of Xanterra's Furnace Creek Inn, Furnace Creek Ranch, Furnace Creek Golf Course, employee offices and housing.
Since visiting the site, Xanterra has made two announcements regarding the official dedication of the installation scheduled for Tuesday, December 16. In the first announcement, officials revealed that celebrity and environmentalist Ed Begley, Jr. would be on hand for the ceremony. In the second announcement, Xanterra revealed that another important guest had been added to the lineup for the opening—Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Xanterra's public relations team of Tom and Mona Mesereau have done a great job putting together this event.
Upon completion of an important green initiative at your property, what kind of dedication ceremony did you have? Or, maybe you did not have one at all? If so, why not? Even if an announcement just warrants local government officials, hotel company representatives and staff, it can be very worthwhile, especially if you invite the media and publicize properly with a well-written press release. If you do something worth crowing about, don't be afraid to tell the world. You are, in fact, in business to make a profit as well as help the environment.