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Published on November 30th, 2010 | by Guest Contributor


Las Vegas Hotels Are Going Green

Much to the delight of conservationists and eco-conscious individuals, green business developments in recent years have included a massive surge in the efforts to preserve our planet by increased recycling and decreased resource consumption. And consumers have graduated from working on their own homes and habits to incorporating eco-conscious decisions into their buying habits, including when determining where they want to stay on vacation.

The hotel industry was an early adopter and responder to the wave of environmentally-friendly sentiment, and quickly pounced on the green conscious bandwagon by taking large strides to reduce energy consumption and appeal to eco-conscious travelers. With updates as simple as replacing older style light-bulbs with more modern compact fluorescents, hotels have been able to dramatically reduce their environmental foot prints, but new light-bulbs is just the tip of the iceberg of options for potential environmentally-friendly updates.

Red Rock Resort

Red Rock Resort

One hotel that has quite successfully altered its impact on the planet and improved business operations along the way is Red Rock Resort, Casino & Spa in Las Vegas, Nevada. Without sacrificing on creature comforts, the Resort has managed to increase its efficiency in electricity consumption, waste production, and water usage, earning it our vote for one of the best eco-friendly options in all of Las Vegas.

Examples of the efforts that Red Rock Resort has taken in their “Going Green” campaign include the installation of energy efficient thermostats in their guest rooms, along with the replacement of traditional lighting sources with more energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs. In the 5 years since it opened, Red Rock claims to have successfully reduced energy consumption by about 8%, resulting in an average annual savings of electricity equivalent to an amount that could power over 375 average Las Vegas Valley homes.

Red Rock is also looking to further capitalize on improving energy efficiently by installing additional energy efficient lighting throughout the rest of the property in the coming year. Hotel management predicts that these updates could save energy equivalent to the annual amount used by 125 homes! Along these lines, they have removed the traditional incandescent lights from marquee signs on the Resort’s buildings, replacing them with much more efficient LED based technologies, reportedly reducing those fixtures’ consumption by over 85%!

But electricity is only one of the many avenues available for improving sustainable business practices and protecting our natural resources. Red Rock Resort seemed to realize that early on, likely due to the nature of their surroundings. The Resort resides within a desert climate (Las Vegas was literally no more than a dusty town in the middle of the desert before the big hotels moved in) where water conservation has always been vital to business success.

Fortunately, Red Rock decided to pursue greater techniques than the typical “Only leave your towels on the ground if you want them washed” cards. In an effort to reduce their impact on the already strained Las Vegas water supply (no thanks to the Bellagio’s fountains!), Resort Management made the difficult decision to landscape the grounds with exclusively water-conserving plants and artificial turf, creating a hotel grounds that is both beautiful, but also highly efficient. But that’s not all, for they’ve even installed “drift eliminators” that automatically shut off water features (think fountains and sprinklers) when the wind is blowing, helping to keep those precious drops of water from being spilt on bare ground.

Green practices seem to have been incorporated into just about every single area of the hotel’s operations, allowing them to boast some staggering (and heart-warming) statistics, like the fact that they recycle 10.5 tons of plastic, aluminum and glass, 35 tons of solid waste, and 24 tons of cardboard each month! Leaving no stone unturned, Red Rock delivers leftover food waste to the R.C. Combs animal farm for feed, and converts over 23,000 gallons of used kitchen grease and fryer oils into bio-diesel fuel each year.

It’s no surprise though that Red Rock Resort takes every effort to protect the environment, because it’s one of their biggest draws! The hotel is surrounded by some of the most spectacularly beautiful desert scenery in the world and is just over 6 miles away from the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, an incredibly beautiful landscape.

If you are interested in supporting the Resorts “Going Green” campaign, and would like to take advantage of its geographical proximity to this incredible national treasure, you may want to consider booking a Las Vegas hotel package deal as a vote of confidence in favor of their eco-friendly business practices. Their “Adventure Packages”, including hotel stays, spa visits, and a Red Rock Canyon Horseback Tour, Bike Tour, or Kayak Tour each come highly recommended.

It’s evident that the importance of sustainable business practices are likely to play a large role in the continued health of our society for years to come, and this author would like to salute the work that Red Rock Resort has put in place in order to help protect our planet by preventing their impact on its limited resources. It’s a breath of fresh air to see conservation efforts being promoted in an era of widespread corporate irresponsibility, especially from a hotel property in the notoriously environmentally irresponsible town of Sin City.

Tim Lavelle


Tim Lavelle (@tlavelle) is a Search Engine Optimization expert who enjoys travel, writing, photography and outdoor pursuits. He spends his weekends at top camping, hiking, and backpacking destinations throughout the American Southwest, chronicling his experiences at http://www.chayacitra.com.

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One Response to Las Vegas Hotels Are Going Green

  1. @AccessVegas says:

    OK, let's get this straight: The writer lives in Southern California (Irvine according to his personal site). , He consumes water out of his tap (and with neighbors filling swimming pools and with businesses running decorative fountains) that has been pumped hundreds of miles from the Colorado river using VAST amounts of electricity. 25% of the electricity from Hoover Dam goes just to pump Colorado River water to Southern California.

    Don't take my word for it. Check out this pumping station then carefully zoom in and follow the high-tension electric lines north. Directly to Hoover Dam: http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=34.148354,…

    California uses 10 times the amount of Colorado River water that Nevada uses. Literally. If California stopped the horrendous practice of using so much electricity to move that water, that power could be used elsewhere replacing coal and gas generated power. Not to mention that all the lakes on the river would fill to overflowing in about a year. Lakes that support numerous wildlife, both aquatic and mammal.

    Las Vegas' strained water supply (as the writer put it) is simply because we're not allowed to use the water running by our back door.

    We in Las Vegas pump Colorado River water 15-30 miles (depending on what part of town it goes to) from the river. A perfectly acceptable practice around the world (using water from a close-running river).

    Southern California pumps it hundreds. At great expense to the environment. Without it, Southern California would not exist. That's not exactly a model of sustainability.

    And yet Southern Californians tell we in Las Vegas about being green? Seems just a tad hypocritical…

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