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April 24, 2018

Supplier News: Big Sustainable Events Developments in Las Vegas

Two big developments in sustainable event venues lead this week's supplier news in the meetings and events industry. 

Wynn Las Vegas Plans Major, Sustainable New Events Venue

Wynn Las Vegas announced plans for a new, 280,000 square foot meetings space expansion at this year’s Global Meetings Industry Day. The resort also outlined its sustainability practices. 

The new meetings and conventions complex, set to debut in March 2020, will be built on repurposed land that was previously the Wynn golf course. The complex will be adjacent to a 25-acre lagoon, which Wynn says is a first for Las Vegas

The grand rotunda entrance will lead to 18 new rooms aimed at a variety of uses from small receptions to general sessions, highlighted by sunlit promenades and oversized terraces. Unique to this development is a 20,000 square foot outdoor events pavilion and an 83,000 square foot pillar-less ballroom, Wynn said.

The new space will be powered by 100 percent renewable energy sourced from the 160-acre Wynn Solar Energy Facility. The resort will begin receiving power in the first half of 2018 from the facility, which will be used to offset up to 75 percent of its current meetings and conventions peak power requirements until the expansion opens.

Combined with the recently installed solar panels covering 103,000 square feet of Wynn's convention space rooftop, enough renewable energy will be generated to power 5,056 homes and eliminate 33,734 metric tons of CO2 emissions from the environment annually, Wynn said.

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Also at Global Meetings Industry Day, Wynn shared a little more about sustainability practices at its Las Vegas resort. 

"Our meetings and conventions clients are increasingly concerned about their impact on the environment, prioritizing clean energy use, responsibly supplying and using data, and recycling," said Wynn Las Vegas' Director of Energy Procurement, Erik Hansen, in a written statement.

Wynn's information technology infrastructure, housed at Switch, is powered by 100 percent renewable energy. This means that clients have access to data capabilities in their on-site business centers, and can support hundreds of laptops and thousands of personal phones, with no impact on the environment. Switch was able to retire over 835 geothermal and solar renewable energy credits in 2016, and expects to retire over 850 in 2017, on behalf of Wynn Las Vegas. Independently tracked and verified, each renewable energy credit is proof that one megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity was generated from an eligible renewable energy resource and delivered to the energy grid, Wynn said.

Wynn said it has also implemented a wet-waste single-stream recycling program used to capture the value of a variety of materials at once. This method collects and sorts food and landscape waste, as well as recyclables such as paper, plastic, and cardboard. The reclaimed materials are repurposed for various commodity streams or used as sustainable food sources for local farm animals. The practice also reclaims items that have been inadvertently discarded, like flatware, dinnerware, glassware, linens and more, keeping them from entering landfills.

MGM to Build Giant Solar Array to Power Vegas Resorts

MGM Resorts International and Chicago-based renewable energy company Invenergy have partnered on a new solar photovoltaic array, which will generate 100 megawatts of clean, renewable energy. The MGM-Invenergy Solar Project will be located 25 miles north of Las Vegas and MGM Resorts will purchase all the energy generated by the project to help power its 13 properties on the Las Vegas Strip. The project will be operational by the end of 2020. 

The MGM-Invenergy Solar Project will be made up of approximately 336,000 panels on 640 acres of land within the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone. The project will produce enough electricity to power the equivalent of approximately 27,000 homes. Aside from the renewable energy being used directly by MGM Resorts' Nevada properties, the project will also yield other significant benefits for the state of Nevada, MGM said. Construction of the project will employ approximately 350 workers. Once operational, the project will generate approximately $20 million of sales and property tax revenues as well as indirect economic benefits to local businesses like hotels and restaurants, while also reducing carbon emissions.

MGM Resorts' properties line the Las Vegas Strip from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino to Circus Circus Las Vegas, including the Bellagio, Mirage, Aria and MGM Grand. By building the array close to the Las Vegas Strip, it will enable MGM Resorts to directly use the electricity generated from the array.

In 2016, MGM Resorts completed the expansion of the nation's largest contiguous rooftop solar array. The 26,000 panel, 8.3-megawatt solar array is located on the roof of the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

Since 2015, Invenergy has partnered with ten corporate customers to develop over 1,100 megawatts of new renewable energy capacity. 

Photo by Tatiana Popova/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Istanbul’s New Airport to Get YOTEL Hotel

Finally, in airport hotel news,Istanbul’s New Airport is set to get a new, YOTEL-branded hotel with a lineup of flexible meeting spaces. 

The new, 451-room YOTEL will have both airside and landside access in a location inside the main terminal building. 

Istanbul New Airport (INA) is currently scheduled for an October 29 inauguration, said Kadri Samsuniu, CEO of IGA Airport Operation, in a written statement. The capacity of İNA will be expanded to cater up to 200 million people once all four phases are completed and will have a total of six runways and three terminals. İNA will connect over 350 destinations from Istanbul and host nearly 100 airlines.

The YOTEL property will be divided into two zones – one airside (102 rooms) and one landside (349 rooms). Both parts of the new hotel will have public spaces including YOTEL's signature Club Lounge concept with smart vending, co-working and relaxing areas, wellness centres and planted glazed atriums to connect people with nature. In addition, the landside zone will include a restaurant, bar and 24/7 gym. The new hotel will also have flexible meeting spaces with seamless technology, aimed at small or large, formal and casual meetings, conveniently located for airport businesses and passengers alike.


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