Princess resort rewards guests who go ‘green’ - East Valley Tribune: Business

Princess resort rewards guests who go ‘green’

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Posted: Thursday, August 30, 2007 1:07 am | Updated: 7:56 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Pull up to the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in a Prius and the resort will park your car for free.

Hoping to encourage environmental stewardship, the upscale north Scottsdale property is waiving its $23 a night valet fee for hybrid car drivers, said Jennifer Franklin, Fairmont spokeswoman.

“We’re getting our guests involved in our green efforts,“ said Franklin, who is part of the Scottsdale hotel’s “green team” of employee volunteers who think up ways to conserve resources.

The free valet service for hybrids is clearly more a reward than a big energy saver.

“It’s just a nice extra level of service,” she said. “People who drive hybrids are tuned in to green options.”

While the luxury chain is committed to environment-friendly initiatives, each property designs its own eco-programs, Franklin said.

The Fairmont Scottsdale has several, from recycling just about everything to an educational ecotrail to replacing plastic bottles of water with pitchers and glasses for meetings, Franklin said.

But she admits the Scottsdale team borrowed the free valet idea from the California Fairmonts. All five of them plus Quebec’s venerable Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac are comping parking fees for hybrid car drivers.

The free valet service at the Fairmont Scottsdale was launched a couple of weeks ago, and so far only about five guests have taken advantage of it, Franklin said. But she expects the perk to be popular with more alternative vehicle drivers when word gets out — including those who fly to the Valley from elsewhere as rental car companies increasingly offer customers the option of renting a hybrid.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car, which claims to be the largest U.S. car-rental company, said it has more than 3,000 gas or electric alternative-fuel vehicles and will take delivery of 1,500 additional hybrids this fall.

The company has 33 Toyota Camry and Prius hybrids in its Valley fleet, said spokeswoman Christy Conrad.

The hybrids rent for about $10 a day more than non-hybrids the same size, but “if you drive any distance you make that up pretty quickly,” she said.

Rachel Sacco, president of the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, said environmental concerns are among the hottest tourism topics nationwide, and she’s excited about the Fairmont Scottsdale’s initiative.

“It’s making a conscious statement that these are things we value,” Sacco said.

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