- Denver’s 1st Gold LEED hotel is on the Auraria campus.
- The hotel is a private-public partnership of Sage Hospitality and MSU.
- The SpringHill Suites is offering a special “green getaway” package.
Denver has its first Gold LEED-certified hotel.
Metropolitan State University’s SpringHill Suites Denver Downtown and the attached Hospitality Learning Center at 1190 Auraria Parkway on the Auraria campus, have been certified LEED Gold for New Construction by the U.S. Green Building Council, a nonprofit organization dedicated to sustainable building design and construction. The hotel and learning center, which opened in 2012, represent a private partnership between MSU Denver and Denver-based Sage Hospitality.
The hotel and the 28,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art HLC, are the first of their kind in the Rocky Mountain region and only 11 in the United States.
The partnership developed hands-on environment for education and on-the-job training for students, who work along well-seasoned hoteliers from Sage Hospitality.
The HLC is an educational facility that combines classrooms with interactive laboratories to provide an experiential curriculum for the university’s more than 600 Hospitality, Tourism and Events students. Amenities include a Sensory Analysis Laboratory for wine and food tastings and a Cellar Management Laboratory, which boasts a 3,100+ bottle wine storage cellar.
“When we laid out our vision for this facility, we never imagined the SpringHill Suites Denver Downtown Hotel would become the first LEED Gold hotel in the Denver metro area,” said MSU Denver President Stephen Jordan.
“As we prepare our students to be future hotel management leaders in Denver and beyond, it’s rewarding to know that they are also learning about corporate social responsibility and the importance of sustaining the environment.”
Walter Isenberg, president and CEO of Sage Hospitality, was equally as enthused.
“Sage Hospitality is dedicated to operating eco-friendly hotels, so we are extremely proud to receive Denver’s first LEED Gold certification,” according to Isenberg.
”This property gives both business and leisure guests an amazing green lodging option in the heart of downtown Denver and we are using it as a model of sustainability for all future development projects.”
The SpringHill Suites Denver Downtown and the HLC were developed by Mortenson Development and Mortenson Construction’s Denver office was the design-builder. Denver’s RNL was the design architect and architect of record for the hotel and led the LEED administration and documentation process. JG Johnson Architects was the associate architect and hotel interiors architect.
The hotel and HLC earned a total of 62 LEED points from the USGBC, including those for water efficiency, innovative design and sustainable site and materials selection.
Green features at the hotel and the HLC include:
- More than 90 percent of regularly occupied areas offer natural day lighting, reducing the need for artificial lighting;
- The use of only high-efficiency plumbing fixtures and low VOC paints and flooring;
- Secure bicycle storage plus lockers and changing rooms to encourage employees and students to use alternative transportation;
- Both buildings offer full recycling in guest rooms, classrooms and offices;
- Nearly 20 percent of the building was constructed using recycled materials and 25 percent of the total building materials were locally sourced;
- More than 78 percent of material waste from the construction was recycled;
- All compostable food from the hotel’s banquet and catering department, as well as from the student classes, is composted;
- And the Housekeeping and Food and Beverage departments in the hotel and HLC use only green, natural cleaning products, including vinegar.
In celebration of its Gold LEED certification, the SpringHill Suites Denver Downtown has planted an Aspen tree and an on-site Chef’s Garden, in which executive Chef Daniel Hyman is growing vegetables and herbs to be used in food and beverage offerings through the hotel’s banquet and catering department.
Worm casting will be used in the Chef’s Garden to allow for organic fertilizing. Coffee grounds are disposed of in the garden’s soil to increase water retention and naturally repel insects.
The hotel is also launching a special Green Urban Garden Getaway package.
Starting at $159 per night, it includes:
- Overnight accommodations in a suite;
- Twenty dollar gift card to Denver’s Urban Roots, which serves gardeners who have limited space and unlimited desire by finding horticultural solutions for city dwellers who toil in small plots of land, vertical spaces, balconies and containers;
- Complimentary valet parking for guests arriving in an Electric or Hybrid vehicle;
- A packet of wildflower seeds to plant;
- And two Denver microbrews.
The hotel’s 150 suites each feature a flexible workspace, a separate sleeping area, a microwave, mini-fridge, a seating area with pull-out sofa bed and a spa-like bathroom. Amenities include complimentary hot breakfast served daily, a market, a fitness center, complimentary area shuttle service and complimentary wireless Internet. The SpringHill Suites Denver Downtown offers 5,000 square feet of meeting and event space and can accommodate groups of up to 250 people.
Interested in buying a home near the Auraria campus? Please visit COhomefinder.com.
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