NEW YORK, Jun 07, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Harvesting crops in Manhattan is tough. So Element New York Times Square West is doing the next best thing.
Giving guests and neighbors easy access to fresh, seasonal produce and artisanal farm products, the earth-friendly hotel will launch a pioneering partnership with Holton Farms, an eighth-generation Vermont-based farm and Community Sponsored Agriculture (CSA) program.
The partnership makes Element Times Square West the nation's first hotel to participate in a Community Sponsored Agriculture program.
Element will join Holton Farms' CSA as an active member, supporting the program by purchasing a "share" in this season's harvest. Memberships are usually available only to individual CSA members. The hotel will also become the designated weekly drop-off location for other Holton Farms CSA members in the neighborhood.
The "green trailblazer" from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT), Element hotels are green by design and inspiring by nature. Element's energizing, eco-chic environment offers bright public spaces, smart design, and modern touches. Every Element property is also a high-performance building where sustainable practices reduce waste and conserve resources. When it launched in 2008, Element made history by becoming the first major hotel brand to mandate that all its properties pursue LEED certification. There are now nine Element hotels across North America.
With beautiful seasonal fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, and other Holton Farms products at their doorstep, guests at Element Times Square will be able to place their own orders to prepare a delicious meal in their in-room kitchenettes or prepare a gourmet picnic in Central Park. Element's signature Rise breakfast and Relax evening receptions - both complimentary for guests - will also feature the freshest ingredients from Holton Farms.
Using sustainable farming methods, Holton Farms produces a diverse selection of food, including organic and conventional vegetables, herbs and fruits, grass fed beef, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey, eggs, maple syrup and honey. Holton Farms also offer high-quality products from other local farms and artisans to give customers even better selection.
"We like to say that Element draws on nature for inspiration, so it's exciting for us to inspire our guests the same way by connecting them to fresh, organic, locally-sourced produce. Even our associates are eager to place their own orders," said Brian McGuinness, Senior Vice President, Specialty Select Brands for Starwood. "It's also a privilege for us to be able to participate in a CSA with our neighbors, reduce our own food miles, and support a valuable family-owned business like Holton Farms."
Jurrien Swarts, co-owner and chief operating officer for Holton Farms, agreed. "When businesses like Element Times Square West step up to the plate, CSAs become a lot more viable in a city like New York. We're looking forward to partnering with the hotel to bring its guests and neighbors a little closer to the land."
According to food web site Local Harvest, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Here are the basics: a farmer offers a certain number of "shares" to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share (also known as a "membership" or a "subscription") and in return receive a box, bag, or basket of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season. Local Harvest says more than 4,000 farms now operate CSA programs nationwide, with tens of thousands of members.
Element Times Square West, opened in November 2010, features 411 guest rooms and seven suites, two meeting rooms, a lobby atrium and rooftop terrace with stunning views of The Empire State Building, Hudson River and Midtown Manhattan. The property has a wealth of amenities to keep guests active, healthy and balanced when on the road, including complimentary wellness programs and healthy food options.
Element hotels not only comply with the mandates of high-performance buildings, but ensure that even the smallest details are earth-friendly. Guest rooms and public spaces feature carpets, furniture and floors made from recycled content. Wall art is mounted on bases made from recycled tires. Low-VOC paints improve indoor air quality. Energy Star-rated appliances, and recycling bins in each room, make it easy for guests to incorporate green living into their daily routines. Even the ubiquitous "Do Not Disturb" sign has been replaced with Element's now-famous environmentally-friendly magnet.
Element's energizing, eco-chic environment offers bright public spaces, smart design, and modern touches. Every Element property is also a high-performance building where sustainable practices reduce waste and conserve resources. Since the first Element hotel opened in 2008 in Lexington, Massachusetts, the brand has continued to sprout across the country. Additional properties have opened in Las Vegas, Baltimore, Denver, Dallas, Houston, Omaha and Ewing, NJ.
Element, like all brands within Starwood's portfolio, is proud to offer the Starwood Preferred Guest(R) program, which offers a breakthrough policy of no blackout dates on Free Night Awards. To learn more, please visit www.spg.com.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1051 properties in 100 countries and territories with 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis(R), The Luxury Collection(R), W(R), Westin(R), Le Méridien(R), Sheraton(R), Four Points(R) by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft(R), and Element SM. The company boasts one of the industry's leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.
SOURCE: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.