Over the last few years there have been a number of new hotel brands introduced that have a strong environmental focus—Starwood's Element and NYLO come to mind. Others such as Hyatt's Andaz and Hilton's new Home2 Suites have what I consider to be some green attributes. What has been very unusual so far is for the word or words in a brand's name to strongly reflect the brand's attention to the environment. One could argue that "Element" is about as green a word as one might find but it really does not scream, "Stay here, we're green." The word "NYLO" certainly does not prompt one to think about waterfalls and forests.
Since launching Green Lodging News three years ago, I have been waiting for someone to come along and create a green brand that actually includes the word "green" in its name. I just learned about a property in Springfield, Mo., that has the name of Greenstay Hotel & Suites. It is not a new property but a converted Hampton Inn hotel. The owners tout the fact that the hotel follows and exceeds the American Hotel & Lodging Association's 11 Minimum Guidelines for Going Green. The guidelines includes such steps as forming an Environmental Committee, replacing incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents, etc.
On its website, Greenstay Hotel & Suites says, "Our goal is to reduce our energy usage and carbon footprint but not the enjoyment of your stay." While there certainly are many other hotels around the world that are far greener—that have implemented renewable energy systems, etc.—Greenstay Hotel & Suites is among the first to be "in your face" bold about its environmental efforts. I am glad that somebody has finally taken that risk.
Is a brand like Greenstay Hotel & Suites franchisable? Time will tell. Watch for more details about Greenstay Hotel & Suites at www.greenlodgingnews.com.