Green Hotels Association
    September 2014  

By Leigh Gold, Dining Room Manager, 928/354-2227x14,, 40 rms and cabins

Water conservation at Mormon Lake Lodge has been an ongoing process resulting in great success. As with most hotels and restaurants, guests generally don�t conserve water as they might at home. With our water consumption over the top, we decided to take action at our Mormon Lake, AZ resort in ponderosa pine country. We were able to reduce water consumption in our cabins as well as throughout the property.

In 2007 Mormon Lake Lodge and the Steakhouse began a series of practices to improve water conservation. We started in the Steakhouse dish room by installing a low-flow sprayer. We also trained our dishwashers to use tub washing instead of trying to spray off every dish. This alone reduced water consumption in our Steakhouse profoundly. With such a huge impact on water consumption in the Steakhouse, we decided to take it a few steps further. With a budget of $11,600, we're switching out all the toilets with Glacier Bay 1.28 gpf toilets chosen because of their cost effectiveness and their flush rating of 10 out of 10. Our showerheads all over the property are being replaced with Glacier Bay 2.5 gpm models. We've installed Sloan waterless urinals in the Steakhouse and Saloon. It will take a while to get them all in place, having to shut down certain rooms for short periods, but most of the work has to occur in our off season between December and April. Our high elevation (7,120 feet) caused some issues along with some of our worst winters. One storm dropped 7 feet of snow in two days and another storm gave us temps as low as -26�F. We will soon be able to finally complete the low-flow installations.

We researched our billing records from 1997 to 2013 to try to determine how much water is actually being saved. There are a lot of factors to be considered including volume of business, how many cabins were open, occupancy rate and winter weather. All of these affect our water usage, but comparable years� statistics prove we have made a significant improvement.

In 2007 when we elected to install low-flow and waterless fixtures, we had used 2,786,700 gallons of water on the property and earned just over 3 million dollars in revenues. As the upgrades were completed in 2009, only 1,990,400 gallons were consumed with just under 3 million dollars earned. In that brief period, we were able to save 796,300 gallons or use 28.6% less water per year. Annually we continued to see a savings pattern even during busier years. In 2000 and 2001 when Mormon Lake Lodge only had 22 cabins on property, our water usage was 3,225,900 gallons in 2000, and in 2001 usage was 3,919,100 gallons. In 2000 we earned just over 1 million dollars and in 2001 revenues were just a little higher. In 2013 we had a total of 39 cabins and 16 rooms that are occupied 100% of the time in the summer, and consumed only 3,075,700 gallons while earning 2.2 million dollars. Not only have we been consistently busier, we have more variables as we are able to continue reducing water usage.

Last year we started to see a pattern on our guest comment cards stating that even though we had interpretive information in the rooms they did not like or understand why our water flow was so slow. We decided to add a brochure (printed on recycled paper) regarding water conservation including what guests could do while at the lodge as well as at home to save water and money. As a result, our guests are much more understanding about our water issues and our plumbing choices.

Did we stop there? No. We took conservation another step, and decided to look closer at energy conservation. So, in 2007 we made the decision to change all the incandescent bulbs on property to fluorescent. In early 2009 over 700 incandescents including dimmable bulbs were changed to fluorescent. We also instructed staff that lights in cabins or in the Steakhouse and Saloon must be off when they aren�t needed. As a result, we have been able to reduce our electricity usage and reduce our electricity bill just as we have our water bill! Not only are we saving money, but we are proud now to have become very environmentally friendly.

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At PARTNER MEMBER The Greenporter Hotel in Greenport, NY, Deborah Pittorino says, "We are proud to use discarded hand soaps in our all-purpose cleaning solution that we use to clean all surfaces including floors and walls."





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