Hilton Garden Inn; Registered for LEED Certification

Hilton Garden Inn; Registered for LEED Certification

Hospitality Management Solutions, Inc. (HMS), a locally owned management company, will raise the stakes in the Sevier County lodging industry with the construction of the Hilton Garden Inn® Downtown Gatlinburg in
Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The 15 million dollar project is being built by Sevierville-based D&S Builders which specializes in commercial properties and also has built numerous hotels, commercial properties and financial institutions throughout Tennessee.

Hilton Garden Inn is the upscale midpriced brand that is part of the Hilton Family of Hotels. It was recently named the Top Midprice Hotel Brand in the 2008 Business Travel News U.S. Hotel Chain Survey.

“HMS will not only will bring in the award winning mid-priced Hilton Garden Inn brand to Gatlinburg but we also hope to showcase a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified hotel.” said Logan Coykendall, president of Hospitality Management Solutions. “There are currently only seven LEED certified hotels in the nation with none in Tennessee.”

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System is a voluntary, consensus-based national rating system that encourages and accelerates global adoption of sustainable green building and high-performance development practices through the design and implementation of universally understood and accepted tools and performance criteria. LEED addresses all building types, promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability and emphasizes state-of-the-art strategies in five areas: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials and resources selection, and indoor environmental quality. LEED is a third-party certification program and is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings’ performance.

In an effort to support and build upon Gatlinburg Goes Green initiative, HMS along with development team from Hilton Garden Inn are working to earn the coveted U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED Silver Level certification. When accepted, the certification will confirm that third-party experts verify that the hotel satisfies criteria for sustainable site development, water conservation, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environment quality. According to Alex Davis, owner of D&S Builders and partner in the Hilton Garden Inn Gatlinburg project, “Going green is investing in our county and our
future. We must strive to focus on sustainable growth if we want to protect our environment.”

HMS and D&S Builders are excited that Gatlinburg, the Gateway to the Smokies, will be the first city in Sevier County to have a LEED certified hotel. In order to achieve LEED certification, the hotel will have to incorporate key energy-savings and waste-reducing strategies into the design and construction. Davis estimates that the LEED certification will cost an estimated 5 – 7% over traditional construction costs. “LEED Certification is a tough hurdle to overcome when trying to deliver a return on investment for the ownership but we feel it is extremely important to make a positive environmental impact in Gatlinburg and look forward to working with the city’s Gatlinburg Goes Green initiative,” states Davis. The development team hired Andy Powers with Ross Fowler out of Knoxville to be the LEED Accredited Professional to help achieve their goals and direct them through the LEED Certification process. “To develop an upper end, award winning property like the Hilton Garden Inn® and then take it to another level with LEED Certification is very exciting” says Davis.

In addition, the ownership has assembled an expert team to ensure every detail is developed with the focus on the entire green concept and upscale design. From construction with D&S Builders, management with HMS, architectural design with Trotter and Associates, Ross Fowler for LEED Certification and local financing arranged by SmartBank as the lead bank and Sevier County Bank participating; the entire make up of the professional team will ensure the property to be a first-rate accommodations and a truly environmentally conscious project.

“With the Smoky Mountain National Park in our backyard, it is a natural fit for Gatlinburg to be an innovator in promoting efficient and sustainable green development and we encourage others to follow our lead,” said Coykendall. “We have formed a partnership with a high level of success and experience in the hotel industry in management, development and ownership. We have chosen the Hilton Garden Inn brand, assembled a team of design professionals to ensure the property not only fits the mountain motif of the area but also meets the high quality standards for our guests, and fittingly for the area, we hope to pioneer in establishing the property as a LEED certified hotel.”

The Hilton Garden Inn, Downtown Gatlinburg is slated to open Summer 2009 and will offer 118 guest rooms and luxurious suites. The property will be located on River Road in Downtown Gatlinburg, yards from the Smoky Mountain National Park and access to the main A Management and Consulting Firm Parkway downtown walking district. The property will be 100% non-smoking and will feature the Garden Sleep System® bed, which enables guest to adjust the firmness or softness of the bed; ergonomic Mirr® chair by Herman Miller; complimentary wired and WiFi Internet access in guestrooms and public space; mobile printing to the hotel’s complimentary 24-hour business center; full service restaurant serving freshly cooked-to-order breakfast and evening room service; the 24-hour Pavilion Pantry® convenience market featuring a variety
of snack options; workout facility; flexible meeting space; indoor pool, and on-site guest laundry facility.