A Colorado resort is increasing its sustainability and environmental credentials as it reopens to guests after weeks of shutdown.
Aspen Meadows Resort, a Bauhaus-style resort surrounded by soaring Rocky Mountains views in Aspen's West End neighborhood, reopened to guests on June 1. And while it seems that, during the pandemic, some hotels are increasing the use of single-use plastic in the name of cleanliness, Aspen Meadows is taking significant steps in lowering its carbon footprint, while adhering to increased health and safety standards.
The first step it took was eliminating single-use plastics by switching to reusables that have a specialized sanitation system, and removing all single-use items from guest rooms – saving an estimated 22,000 plastic bottles from landfill this year alone. The second was purchasing 100% clean energy including solar, wind and hydro generated, which the hotel said should reduce its carbon emissions by 59%.
"We know that the climate crisis will not wait for a more convenient time, so it’s imperative that we move forward in making changes that will benefit our employees, guests, community, and planet by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions," said Richard Stettner, the vice president of campus facilities, who is also spearheading the initiative.
The hotel comprises of 98 suites across a Bauhaus-designed block, with mountains visible from nearly every angle. Rooms are fitted with furniture from legendary Bauhaus designers including Marcel Breuer and Harry Bertoia.
Aspen Meadows is also the original home of the Aspen Institute, a nonprofit organization which gathers international leader and scholars to discuss global issues including climate change. In addition to the renewable electricity transition, the institute has helped the resort develop other eco-friendly measures such as a robust recycling program and the introduction of the slow food movement (menus featuring local and sustainable ingredients) across its three restaurants.
As it gets back up and running, the hotel and its restaurants are operating at 50% capacity under new COVID-related guidelines. Typically it's booked throughout the summer but with on-site events such as the Aspen Ideas Festival been canceled for 2020 and no large groups booked in, Aspen Meadows has reduced its rate from $107/night.
The resort has also moved to a new 24-hour cancellation policy to accommodate changing travel plans and restrictions. See more here.