HEI Hotels & Resorts' Marriott La Jolla Showcased During Tour of Department of Energy's Better Buildings Challenge Participant Facilities

Chairman Gary Mendell Reaffirms Commitment to Environmental Stewardship

Aug 30, 2012, 12:29 ET from HEI Hotels & Resorts

SAN DIEGO, Aug. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Department of Energy showcased the Marriott La Jolla, owned and operated by HEI Hotels & Resorts, on Tuesday during a tour of the facilities of its Better Buildings Challenge participants. As part of a three-day tour in California of participant facilities, the Department of Energy recognized and highlighted the energy-efficient and energy-saving practices and technologies implemented by the Marriott La Jolla.

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President Obama selected HEI Hotels & Resorts to participate in the Department of Energy's Better Buildings Challenge in 2011, and as part of the initiative, HEI commits to reduce energy consumption by 20 percent by 2020. All HEI properties are participating in this initiative. The Better Buildings Challenge requires its participants to be transparent and share best practices – making energy efficiency the industry standard.

By making energy efficiency and conservation upgrades and improvements, the Marriott La Jolla will save $200,000 annually.

"With HEI's commitment to enhancing the Marriott La Jolla with both a complete physical remodel and energy retrofits, we expect the hotel to be one of the greenest hotels in San Diego and the best accommodations in the area," said Gordon Luster, Marriott La Jolla general manager. "Our guests will experience the shift from a normal hotel stay to something more memorable through the combination of increased comfort and social responsibility."

HEI Hotels & Resorts Vice President of Facilities, Bob Holesko was on hand to give a tour of the hotel's energy-saving initiatives. "By investing in energy conservation at the Marriott La Jolla, HEI is utilizing the conservation perfect storm that we have developed over the years – which is a rare combination of the hotels' physical plant needs teamed with the effective deployment of capital funding and expertise to make it all happen quickly," he said. "At this hotel, we are investing $800,000 on the energy conservation upgrades that will deliver an annual savings of $200,000."

The Marriott La Jolla is the ideal property for energy efficiency upgrades and renovations. From an operational standpoint, HEI installed its custom energy monitoring dashboard called the Energy Looking Glass (ELG), as well as the Energy Set-Point (ESP) program, which defines optimum settings for key systems (domestic hot water, chilled water, etc.). Additionally, the hotel's BUZZ Committee gets all hotel associates engaged in conservation efforts. Core energy upgrades, such as lighting and HVAC are proven technologies that were adopted and implemented years ago by the Marriott La Jolla and other properties in the HEI portfolio.

"Our commitment to being a leader in environmental stewardship is highlighted by our involvement in the Better Buildings Challenge," said HEI Hotels & Resorts Chairman Gary Mendell. "Even though we've already made significant improvements in energy conservation and efficiency, we're participating in this initiative because we know there are always improvements to be made."

HEI Hotels & Resorts' commitment to environmental stewardship has established the company as a leader in the hospitality industry in deploying innovative approaches to resource conservation and sustainable energy. Since its inception, HEI Hotels & Resorts has worked to reduce carbon, waste, and water usage across all properties as well as its corporate office, and spent over $12 million in energy conservation efforts and projects since 2005. For the past three years, HEI Hotels & Resorts has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year.

About HEI

HEI Hotels & Resorts, headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut with 44 properties in 16 states, creates socially responsible investment and employment opportunities through real estate portfolios of hotels and resorts throughout the United States under such well-known brand names as Marriott, Sheraton, Westin, Le Meridien, Embassy Suites, and Hilton. HEI takes a holistic approach to creating value for its investors and employees by setting the highest standards across all aspects of hotel management and operation and focusing on the central principles of excellence and continuous improvement. HEI prides itself on some of the highest employee satisfaction scores in the hospitality industry, fuels local economic prosperity by investing in communities and is committed to environmental stewardship and sustainability. For more information about HEI, visit the company's website, www.heihotels.com.

SOURCE HEI Hotels & Resorts