Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department

News Release

Oct. 6, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:  Lindsay Vidrine

Phone:   405-230-8414

Email:   Lindsay@TravelOK.com

 

 First Downtown OKC Hotel Completes ECO Certification

The Colcord brings another shade of green to the tourism industry

 

The green movement in Oklahoma City continues to grow as the Colcord Hotel receives its gold ECO certification rating from Encouraging Conservation in Oklahoma (ECO), a state-run sustainable travel program.

The Colcord Hotel, a pilot ECO program, focuses on water and energy conservation in their commitment to sustainability. In September 2009, the property became the first hotel in the state to partner with Clean the World (CTW), a non-profit recycling organization that distributes gently-used soaps to impoverished areas.

“The Colcord Hotel offers visitors an environmentally friendly experience without sacrificing quality, which is a huge trend in the tourism industry,” Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department Executive Director Hardy Watkins said. “The Colcord is a perfect example of how luxury and sustainability can complement each other.”

The Colcord Hotel, built in 1910 as the city’s first skyscraper, housed businesses for over 90 years. In 2005, the building underwent a $16 million renovation focused on conservation of its historical integrity. The Colcord building was listed as a member of the National Register of Historic Places in 1976, and the hotel serves approximately 30,000 guests annually.

The renovation allowed management to install water-saving fixtures, compact fluorescent light bulbs and double-paned windows for money- and energy-saving benefits.

For Jeff Erwin, general manager of the Colcord, the commitment to sustainability underscores Colcord’s history of innovation and luxury.

“The Colcord is a great example of the creative reuse of an historic structure, which is conservation and recycling on a grand scale,” Erwin said. “As a progressive city, we recognize that conservation of our resources and sustainable business practices will be a positive influence to our continued growth.”

Since 2009, the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department and Department of Environmental Quality’s ECO Certification program has promoted, developed and encouraged sustainable tourism throughout the state. ECO Certification requires applicants to meet set criteria and be reviewed by a national certification board. A certification level of silver, gold or platinum can be awarded, based on the level of sustainable practices the applicant chooses to implement.  

The Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department (OTRD) is working to advance the exceptional quality of life in Oklahoma by preserving, maintaining, and promoting our natural assets and cultural richness. The department is the steward of the state park system and also promotes Oklahoma as a travel destination through many award-winning programs. To learn more about Oklahoma Tourism visit www.TravelOK.com or follow us at www.Facebook.com/TravelOK or www.Twitter.com/OklahomaTourism.

 

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