Friday, April 15, 2016

CityCenter is a Green Tourist's Dream

Global tourism accounts for 5 percent of the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions. For every one day a traveler stays in a hotel, some estimates suggest enough fossil fuels are burned to release approximately 33 pounds of carbon dioxide, the leading cause of global warming, into the atmosphere. The green tourism movement is striving to put a dent in those figures. It’s a capitalistic approach to reducing the global tourism industry’s carbon footprint. Green tourists protest with their feet, opting to travel and lodge with environmentally friendly businesses.

Aria is the centerpiece of CityCenter, located in the heart of the Strip.
CityCenter is one Las Vegas Strip property getting in on the act. The $8.4 billion brainchild of MGM Resorts and Dubai World is the world’s largest private green development by far. CityCenter as a whole and its various entities (Aria Resort & Casino’s hotel tower, convention center and theater; Vdara Hotel & Spa; Mandarin Oriental; Veer Towers and The Shops at Crystals) have all received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) “Gold Certification” from the U.S. Green Building Council, virtually unheard of with regards to such large urban developments.

It’s almost unbelievable the lengths to which the properties go to maintain this coveted status. For starters, CityCenter boasts the Strip’s first on-site 8.5 megawatt, natural gas co-generation plant, providing efficient electricity to the casino and hotel rooms, reducing emissions and using "waste heat" to provide hot water to the rooms and pools. Aria employs the world’s first fleet of limousines powered by compressed natural gas. The casino utilizes slot machine bases that serve as displacement ventilation units, efficiently cooling guests from the ground up, rather than wasting energy on empty space by cooling from the ceiling.

What guests of Aria and other CityCenter hotels will appreciate most is the technology present in every room. When guests leave a room, lights are automatically turned off, curtains close, the television is turned off and the climate control settings revert back to a preset temperature. These built-in features provide a savings equivalent to powering 8,800 households annually, according to MGM Resorts.

While most can agree that reducing carbon emissions is important, many people do not actively strive toward a reduction. That’s the beauty of staying at a hotel like Aria. The carbon emission reduction happens automatically. Setting aside the environmentalism for a moment, a stay at Aria is just plain luxurious. For the environmentally conscious, the choice seems clear.


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