Published on January 10th, 2014 | by Sara Stroman
Las Vegas Hotel’s Green Rewards – Offering an Environmental Option
Las Vegas– Sin City, known more for the slogan of “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas” than it’s green initiatives. Vegas is a city that makes my heart cringe but simultaneously makes me feel as excited as a kid at Disney World. Last month, after almost 10 years, I spent a week in Las Vegas for business. I was equally disgusted and amused.
When I arrived, I didn’t know what to expect– I had heard that Vegas had changed quite a bit since my last visit. On my first visit I had anticipated hating the City but I loved every minute I spent there. But this time around, it was the opposite. I didn’t love every minute I spent there, but I didn’t hate it either. Rather, I felt oddly indifferent. Not sure if it was because I didn’t walk around as much as I did the first time around, but when I did walk, it wasn’t with the same captivation. It was with a sense of “I need to get to point B immediately!” By the end of the trip, I was ready to board my plane and say sayonara! Getting back to New Jersey never felt better.
One of the things that overwhelmed me the most was the extravagance. I was astounded by the amount of energy being used to fuel the casinos and the endless assortment of food everywhere, and the endless cars driving just around the strip alone. I kept thinking, “when are people going to wake up and realize this isn’t going to last forever?” There is so much of everything and maybe that is the appeal of amusement parks, that everything is at your finger tips? I don’t know. What I do know is that we ate at four buffets over the course of my stay, and at each buffet I kept thinking, “where does this food come from?” Was it delicious? Some of it was, but most of the time, it was mediocre. The question that kept popping into my head with each bite though was, “is any of this sustainably sourced?” A question probably best left unanswered.
With each night though, My “greenliness” felt validated when I’d reach my room in the Las Vegas Hotel, formerly the Las Vegas Hilton, and the casino where Elvis performed, and call the cleaning service department and tell them to please not clean my room the following day. That was my zing at Las Vegas’ waste! I was one person staying in a hotel room. With the exception of clothes draped over chairs, I did not leave a mess. I used three towels and brought my own shampoo and soap so as not to use what they offer. Not to mention, I have always been a fan of not having my room cleaned during a long stay at a hotel. My six night stay at the hotel did not warrant a cleaning every day. I barely spent time in the room and when I did, it was to sleep and shower.
I know, I know. There are plenty of articles by people who explain why they want their room cleaned every day. After all, they are on vacation. Why shouldn’t they have the luxury of having people clean up after them and bring them new, clean towels every day? That’s fine. I’m not here to judge those people, even if I don’t agree. If you want your room to be cleaned every day, I ask that you at least consider the following options for eco-friendly traveling in the article “Green Your Hotel Stay.”
What made me excited to participate in the Las Vegas Hotel program was not only the fact that they offered one, but the incentive. This is where I think all hotels should perk up their ears and take note. For every day that cleaning service does not clean your room, the Las Vegas Hotel gives you an $8.00 credit to be used on food and beverages in the hotel. You can combine them and use them all together, or can use them one at a time. By the end of my stay, I had amassed $40 worth of credits and used them for breakfast twice during my stay.
I’ve written a lot about green lifestyles and my belief that people should make every effort to live a green lifestyle and I still maintain that. A person should make an effort to recycle and be aware of the amount of distress and waste they are creating on the planet, but I realize that this is not the case. I am aware that some people don’t care, or don’t want to face the reality of our situation on Earth. I also realize that some people need incentives that create a tangible “value” that has them listen and move to participate and take measures to be “environmentally friendly.” I would have opted out of the cleaning service without these credits, because again, I don’t mind sleeping in the same sheets and using the same towel for a few days in a row, but the credits made the deal sweeter, especially for my bosses who paid the bill at the end of my stay.
I know a few people who stayed in other casino/hotels and when I talked about the Las Vegas Hotel’s option were floored and interested. I wondered when these other hotels would offer this as an option? Would it take months or years? Do they even know? Again, I barely walked around enough to pop in and find out what other hotels were doing, but after staying at the Las Vegas Hotel, I’d stay there again and again and again, depending on whether I go to Vegas all those times, just because they are doing something environmentally green.
If you’re heading out to Vegas any time soon, I highly encourage you to stay at the Las Vegas Hotel. It is a distance from the strip, but a good walk will do you wonders after all the eating and sitting you’ll end up doing over the course of your stay.