In a world increasingly concerned with environmental issues and what we can do to ensure that these issues don’t get any worse – at least at the speed they are – even the biggest cities are doing what they can to get their carbon footprints to decrease. While the Ozone Layer is reportedly slowly healing itself, we still have a long way to go. Still, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that even the likes of Las Vegas, NV have taken it upon themselves to start going green.
Is Sin City really a Green City?
While no building, hotel or casino will ever be as eco-friendly as the increasingly popular and growing market of online casino games and the gambling it entails, there is no denying that some of Vegas’ biggest and best hotels are stepping up to become some of the eco-friendliest in the world. The still legendary strip filled with glitz, glamour and plenty of neon lighting seems like a hub for all things Carbon Footprint. But while it may seem that way, the Las Vegas strip is actually becoming one of the most model communities in America for sustainable environmental practices.
In a city practically run on tourism and travel, environmental concerns are an issue that need a lot of attention. The sheer size of the industry, the number of visitors and the increasingly delicate desert environment all mean that Las Vegas is balancing in its environment, and so any change could be monumental for the city. However, while the majority of businesses still haven’t adopted any sustainable practices for becoming more eco-friendly, there are three of the largest organisations in the area that have – Caesars Entertainment, Las Vegas Sands Corp. and MGM Resorts International. Each of these companies have come out with an extensive and highly comprehensive plan as to how to turn their resorts and casinos eco-friendly, and offered an amazing model for other businesses in cities all over the world to follow.
Mandarin Oriental, CityCenter Las Vegas
If you search for eco-friendly hotels in Las Vegas, it’s likely that the Mandarin Oriental in CityCenter Las Vegas will be the first to be suggested to you. While it holds the title as the most luxurious of the hotels in the city centre complex of Las Vegas, the Mandarin Oriental also holds its title as one of the most effectively and sustainably eco-friendly hotels in the whole of Vegas. Low-flow fixtures are found in every room, with low-wattage lighting and plenty of other eco-friendly fixtures. 85% of the materials used to build the hotel were from the old Boardwalk Hotel and Casino, meaning that most of the hotel has been constructed from reused or recycled materials.
The hotel’s façade effectively blocks heat and maximises the natural light that our environment has to offer. The lamps all use compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) and with toxin-free furniture and a sustainable fish Sushi Bar, there is no shortage of ways that the Mandarin Oriental hotel is proving to be eco-friendly and located in the city centre of Las Vegas.
The Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino, Las Vegas Blvd South
The Palazzo Resort in Las Vegas isn’t far off the Mandarin Oriental in the way of its eco-friendly ways. The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified building has much larger suites than any of its competitors on the strip, and with a resort theatre showing some of the best shows around, it’s a surprise that the hotel has reached this green status at all. But behind all of the shows and generous suites it is actually one of the most eco-friendly resorts in Las Vegas.
Of the building’s core materials, 95% of its structural steel and 26% of its concrete is completely recycled. Its stunning pool is heated by solar power, and the hotel claims that with the amount of energy that it saves as a whole, it could light a 100-watt bulb for over 12,000 years.
ARIA Resort and Casino, Las Vegas Blvd South
Another of the Las Vegas Strip’s most popular hotels, this MGM Resort International hotel is a hub for all things eco-friendly. Similarly to the Mandarin Oriental, 85% of the building that stood in its place before the ARIA was built was recycled into making the hotel that stands there today. Any food that isn’t used during dinner services is reused by local farmers, meaning that food waste from the hotel is minimal at best, and with their state-of-the-art central power plant recycling excess heat to keep the pools a constant temperature of 82 degrees, you can be sure that your good time isn’t at the cost of the environment.
Any guests staying in the sky suites will begin and end their trip with limo transportation to and from the airport, but each limo and Navigator is clean-burning and compresses natural gasses, reducing CO2 emissions by nearly 30%. Their cooking fuel is repurposed and converted into biofuel that ultimately heats and provides electric for the hotel, creating a sustainable cycle of energy. There really is an eye-opening amount that ARIA does to ensure that their hotels and its services are all eco-friendly. You can sleep easy in the comfortable beds with glorious views knowing that none of your stay and enjoyment is at the cost of the environment locally or globally.
Vdara Hotel and Spa, Harmon Avenue
The Vdara hotel is a no-gaming, all-suite hotel perfect for visitors that want to escape the gaming and gambling life that is so popular in Vegas today. This award-winning resort is rewarded for its responsible building standards, and its smoke-free policy only helps to reduce the emissions from the hotel. Sitting adjacent to the famous Bellagio, there are still plenty of opportunity for guests to enjoy the rush of Vegas life, before retiring to quiet, zen-like conditions that are entirely eco-friendly.
There is low-wattage lighting in every room and in all of the public spaces and even the garages, and the use of wood and wood products all come from responsibly managed forests. All of the plants in the grounds are native to the area, and drought-tolerant to save water in long periods of dry all while keeping the grounds looking luxurious all-year round. The comprehensive recycling program only adds to the reasons to stay at the Vdara, and its position on the Las Vegas strip gives you access to the heart and soul of the city, while resting in the comfort of an eco-friendly hotel.