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Three Marriott Vacation Club Resorts Receive Florida Green lodging Program Designation
ORLANDO, Fla. - June 23, 2009 - Marriott Vacation Club International (MVCI), the vacation ownership division of Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE:MAR), proudly announces Marriott's Grande Vista, Marriott's Cypress Harbour and Marriott's Crystal Shores on Marco Island as the first resorts within the Marriott Vacation Club portfolio to achieve Florida Green Lodging Program designation from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Having met all of the requirements to officially become part of the environmentally-friendly association, the brand's two largest vacation resorts in Orlando and latest resort offering in Southwest Florida see their "One Palm" designation as a winning combination for everyone.
"Now, more than ever, environmental stewardship is a critical part of delivering unforgettable vacation experiences to our Owners and guests and vital to the future of travel and tourism," said Troy Asche, regional vice president of operations for the Florida-Caribbean region of Marriott Vacation Club. "By taking strategic steps to 'green' our resort operations, our collective efforts can make a huge impact on preserving our beautiful Florida environment."
Perfectly situated on 164 acres in the heart of Orlando, Marriott's Grande Vista (originally opened in 1997) boasts 900 one-, two- and three-bedroom villas with resort amenities including hiking trails surrounded by native flora and wetlands; Faldo Golf Institute by Marriott with nine-hole golf course and the neighboring 18-hole Marriott's Grande Pines Golf Club, both members of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses. Less than a mile from SeaWorld Orlando, Discovery Cove and Aquatica by SeaWorld, Marriott's Cypress Harbour offers guests a peaceful retreat surrounded by tall pine, oak and palm trees. Originally opened in 1990, guests enjoy the resort's nature walks, barbeque and picnic areas, and other outdoor activities including bicycling and paddle boat rentals. Recently opened in March 2009, Marriott's Crystal Shores on Marco Island with 219 two-bedroom villas (upon build-out) is Marriott Vacation Club's newest vacation resort in Florida and represents the latest in architectural design both inside and out while integrating and enhancing the surrounding natural environment.
The voluntary Florida Green Lodging Program is a state initiative which provides the lodging industry with free technical assistance, encouraging hotels and resorts to adopt cost-saving "green" practices that reduce waste and conserve natural resources. To become a designated member of the Florida Green Lodging Program, resorts must implement a variety of green practices. These practices include, but are not limited to, water conservation, energy efficiency, waste reduction and recycling.
"It is wonderful to see businesses implement green practices such as water conservation, recycling and energy reduction because they are not only good for business, they are good for Florida's environment," said Deas Bohn, DEP Sustainable Initiatives director.
As the industry's recognized worldwide leader and standard for quality, Marriott Vacation Club is focused on demonstrating how responsible development and resort management can be a positive force for the environment. Just last year, Marriott Vacation Club International launched the MVCI Green Initiative at its corporate headquarters with continued roll-out to its corporate offices and resorts worldwide, eliminating nearly 254,000 pieces of Styrofoam and plastic waste from landfills annually. As a continuation of these efforts, all 11 Marriott Vacation Club resorts in Florida are currently in process to receive the "One Palm" designation from the Florida Green Lodging Program with expectations to have nearly all resorts designated by the end of the year.*
*Note: Marriott's Lakeshore Reserve at Grande Lakes in Orlando, Fla. and Marriott's Oceana Palms - The Palm Beaches are currently under development (opening early 2010) and are therefore not eligible for Florida Green Lodging Program certification until they are open.
About the Florida Green Lodging Program
Launched in March 2004, the Florida Green Lodging Program establishes environmental guidelines for hotels and motels to conserve natural resources and prevent pollution. In 2007 Governor Crist signed three executive orders initiating state energy-use policies, including one that requires state agencies and departments to hold meetings and conferences only at hotels with the Florida Green Lodging Program designation as of January 1, 2008, whenever possible. For more information about the Florida Green Lodging Program, visit www.dep.state.fl.us/greenlodging.
About The Department of Environmental Protection
DEP's Office of Sustainable Initiatives is comprised of three voluntary, non-regulatory programs that assist Florida industry and citizens in protecting the environment. The Clean Marina Program, the Florida Green Lodging Program and the Florida Pollution Prevention Program offer a variety of services including on-site assessments, consultations, speakers and workshops, all at no cost to citizens or organizations. The goal of the Sustainable Initiatives programs is to meet the needs of the present population without compromising resources for future generations. To learn more about DEP's Sustainable Initiatives, visit www.dep.state.fl.us/green/.
About Marriott Vacation Club
Marriott Vacation Club is the recognized worldwide leader in vacation ownership with a program highly regarded for its quality and unique flexibility. Celebrating 25 years of unforgettable experiences that make vacation dreams come true; Marriott became the first branded hospitality company by nearly a decade to enter the timeshare industry in 1984. Marriott Vacation Club continues to expand with a diverse portfolio of more than 11,000 timeshare resort villas throughout the U.S., Caribbean, Europe and Asia. Today, more than 395,000 Owner families around the globe own their vacations "the Marriott way," offering options to exchange weeks with priority within the Marriott Vacation Club portfolio or within Interval International's global system of more than 2,400 resorts in over 75 countries, trade their week(s) for Marriott Rewards points, or rent their week(s). For more information, please visit www.marriott-vacations.com. For nightly rentals, please visit www.marriott.com.