I came across an article in Resort Trades about Environmental Stewardship several months ago and was happy to read how other timeshare resorts are making it important to contribute to the cause. At the time, I was very proud of the resort and the changes we have been making and were planning to make. Once our world returns to normal, I hope to implement even more of our plan. I would like to share with your readers how we have been working to save the planet in our own way.
Since 2012, I have been the General Manager of Atlantic Terrace in Daytona Beach Shores, Florida. The resort opened in 1986 and is proudly managed by Capital Vacations. The company also manages another 70 timeshare resorts in the United States and the Caribbean.
Like the resorts in your article, in the past couple of years we too started to make changes to our daily operations to reduce paper waste, water, electricity, chemical usage and to encourage our guests to recycle. We always had recycling bins placed in our rooms and common areas but quickly realized that the education of our owners and guests is very important, so we actively started to advocate for going green.
Emailing became our primary form of communication. Reservation Confirmation Letters and Newsletters that used to be mailed are now being emailed. We reduced our Check-In Papers to the minimum. Sales, Activity and Unit Inventory information that was previously given out to guests individually has been placed in all rooms as permanent material. This simple change has reduced our front office paper usage and printing by about 30-40%.
We reduced our complimentary daily towel exchange to only Mondays and Wednesdays. We also eliminated the complimentary mid-week cleanings and now provide the room cleaning services for a $30 fee, which has drastically reduced our cleanings and most importantly, with this policy change, we are significantly reducing our water, gas, electricity and chemical usage in our resort laundry.
We have replaced in-room and common area lights with LED lighting. We are placing more and more motion sensors and solar lights in common areas and areas that don’t need constant lighting. Just recently, we installed wall-mounted shampoo/conditioner and body soap dispensers in our showers to reduce the plastic waste from the traditional small amenity bottles. We did this in all of our master bathroom showers and are planning to do the same in our guest bathrooms as soon as our budget allows.
Educational materials were placed in all rooms to explain to guests all the changes that we have been making and asking them to make recycling important not only at the resort but also in their own homes.
To help our community, we placed a food donation box in our lobby where guests can place non-perishable items prior to their departure. We are also making community service one of our priorities for the future, and just recently, our staff visited our local Humane Society, where we helped with landscaping work. This experience was not only helpful for the organization, but it was also a wonderful team-building activity. We will continue to find volunteer opportunities to complete as a team.
We are planning to continue our journey to become a green resort and hopefully down the road install our own solar panels, which would be really fantastic for our property. We hope this narrative shares some insight into what Atlantic Terrace is trying to achieve in terms of Environmental Stewardship within the timeshare industry.
Zsuzsanna Noviello is General Manager of the Atlantic Terrace Resort in Daytona Beach Shores, FL,