Last updated: 02:11 PM ET, Mon July 13 2015

Delaware North Expands Sustainability Efforts for Parks and Resorts Properties

Hotel & Resort | Ryan Rudnansky | July 13, 2015

Delaware North Expands Sustainability Efforts for Parks and Resorts Properties

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

Delaware North, a major hospitality management company serving national and state parks, announced recently that it is implementing several environmentally friendly initiatives across its parks and resorts properties this summer.

That includes expanding its partnership with electric vehicle company Tesla, restoring an attraction at Niagara Falls State Park, growing its own food for a property in West Yellowstone and gearing up for its first-ever conference dedicated to environmental management and asset protection.

"Across our parks and resorts locations, we are committed to the care and protection of natural, cultural and historic resources," said Deb Friedel, director of sustainability for Delaware North's parks and resorts business, via a release. "We are excited to share with our guests, visitors and partners what we are doing to provide a more environmentally-conscious travel experience."

Delaware North at Niagara Falls recently completed the restoration of the Cave of the Winds Pavilion in partnership with the New York State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Delaware North invested $1.3 million into the project, addressing structural issues while ensuring the integrity of the historic pavilion remains intact. The project included repairing deteriorating structural columns at the pavilion, installing floor-to-ceiling glass panels, restoring decorative woodwork and integrating LED lights, low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint and tile flooring.

Delaware North-operated The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake, near Geneva State Park in Ohio, also recently installed electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in partnership with Tesla. The three EV charging stations installed at the property are part of Tesla's Destination Program. The program aims to expand the nationwide EV charging station network and encourage thought leaders in the hospitality industry by providing free charging equipment and installation subsidies.

The lodge offers two types of free EV charging stations to guests: two Tesla stations and one universal Cripple Creek station. Delaware North also partnered with Tesla in January to install more EV charging stations in Yosemite National Park.

Moreover, for the second season, Executive Chef Jacob Tew and Environmental Manager Justin Cook planted the company's greenhouse in West Yellowstone with herbs, tomatoes, radishes, lettuce, carrots and beets. The produce will be directly used by Delaware North-owned-and-operated Holiday Inn West Yellowstone for dishes at its Branch Restaurant

"By growing our own ingredients for signature dishes, the Branch Restaurant now has the opportunity for seasonal creativity that so many guests are looking for these days." Cook said. "You can't get any fresher and more flavorful than items that come straight from the earth to the kitchen."

Delaware North will host its first-ever conference dedicated to environmental management and asset protection on Aug. 4-5 in Minneapolis, in conjunction with the National Association for Environmental Management's (NAEM) Corporate Sustainability Management Conference. Following NAEM's two-day conference, Delaware North's environmental managers will meet to network, share best practices, report progress, review environmental data, establish goals, and plan for 2016.

Delaware North began its environmental stewardship efforts in the early 1990s at Yosemite National Park and was the first hospitality company in the United States to register its environmental management system (EMS) to international ISO 14001 standards. GreenPath, Delaware North's award-winning EMS, continues to grow the focus on sustainability initiatives that reduce the company's environmental footprint and has become an integral part of its business operations.

For more information on Delaware North's environmental management system, GreenPath, visit


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