From left to right: Chief Financial Officer of Devco, Alix Smith, General Manager of Courtyard by Marriott, Melisa Gonzalez and President and Chief Executive Officer of Devco, Vince Lujan, Esq.

Salt River Devco “LEED-ing the Way” with Green Award for New Courtyard by Marriott

By Candace Romero
Au-Authm Action News

Salt River Devco and the Courtyard by Marriott Scottsdale Salt River received Best LEED Hotel in 2012 at the Marriott Architecture & Construction Select Service/Extended Stay Conference in Phoenix on Dec. 4. The conference was held at another Marriott property, the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa.

A certification program by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED® stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The award was for best LEED hotel in 2012 – this includes both LEED Volume Program (LVP) and traditional LEED hotels. The Marriott’s LVP is a pathway for owners to build LEED hotels in a more efficient and less expensive process.

“There are currently 13 LEED hotels and 3 LVP hotels open and operating,” General Manager, Melisa Gonzalez, said. “These LEED hotels range from Marriott’s most luxurious brands like JW Marriott and Ritz Carlton to select service and extended stay brands like Courtyard and Towneplace Suites.”

For Devco, it was the second time just this year that the hotel made history. The first time was at the grand opening of the hotel earlier this year, as the first Marriott-branded property to open on U.S. tribal land, and now it is an award-winning hotel for environmentally friendly design, construction and maintenance practices.

Demonstrating their commitment to environmental stewardship and respect for the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, Devco jumped on this opportunity to participate in the LEED program. 

“Conceptually, [the hotel] has been in play for about six years,” said Vince Lujan, president and CEO of Salt River Devco. “The actual retention of an architect happened in 2009, and over that time, we were getting approvals and permits.”
The Courtyard Scottsdale Salt River was the first hotel to open under the Marriott LVP. Ultimately, with reduced utility expenses and maintenance, the program will save Salt River Devco money that can be returned back to the Community for new business development.

The hotel has more than 5,000 square feet of meeting space that has attracted local Scottsdale businesses to host their conferences and company events.

Environmentally friendly features include preferred parking for high fuel efficiency and carpool vehicles, LED lighting, recycling throughout the hotel, and native plants and foliage that require less water for maintenance.

“The biggest portion of green design came during construction with the types of building materials used,” explained Melisa Gonzalez, general manager of Courtyard by Marriott Scottsdale Salt River. “Using things like hot mud versus the regular drywall mud and recycled backing for the wallpaper is where the LEED comes in with the building of the hotel.”

The hotel is also a showpiece for the culture and people of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and includes textiles, artwork and display pieces from local Community members.

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