Industry Update
Press Release 3 March 2003

AAA 2003 TourBook Publications Add Nightlights As A Standard For Properties Expecting 3-Diamond Ratings Or Above

Green Suites' Nightlights Made Easy program helps hotels electronically order energy-efficient solutions that save $60/room per year while boosting guest satisfaction

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Green Suites International

Upland, Calif. — Sometimes we get so caught up in the everyday hustle and bustle of running a hotel in tight economic times that we forget that we're in the Hospitality business — which first and foremost means taking care of guests by anticipating and over-delivering on their expectations, be they big or small.

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A WRA Research study found that 16 percent of travelers bring their own nightlights while traveling — an alarming percentage given that the study found fewer travelers prayed before going to bed. Perhaps guests are praying that they don't stub their toes en route to the bathroom in the wee hours of the morning because many hotels still don't have nightlights.

Perhaps other travelers are praying that nightlights become a standard in-room amenity in all market segments and locations.

If so, their prayers have just been answered by the American Automobile Association, whose 2003 TourBook publications now include nightlights as a standard in-room amenity for properties seeking ratings of 3 Diamonds or above.

"The cost of running a nightlight, which many guests prefer and today expect, is considerably less than the cost that many hotels absorb when travelers who are not so obliged instead leave the bathroom light on all night," said Harry Nobles, former head of the AAA Lodging/Dining Ratings Program who now serves the hospitality industry as an independent consultant.

"Current and future AAA TourBook hotel inspections will reflect the new nightlight standard, which is good for both guests and owner/operators," said Nobles, co-founder of Optimum Rating of Williamsburg, Va. (, 1-800-750-5666). "The new standard alone won't prevent hotels from receiving a rating of 3 Diamonds or above just because they don't have a nightlight. However, it's important to note that now nightlights are recognized as a standard in-room amenity, and will be a contributing factor in overall AAA TourBook ratings, property feature charts and on-site guest surveys."

To help hotels gear up for the new nightlight standard, Green Suites International recently developed a Nightlights Made Easy program for easy, quick and paperless electronic ordering of its LED And Electro-luminescent Nightlights proven to save hotels $60 or more per room per year on average.

"Our nightlights consume less than 15 cents of electricity annually. A recent Lawrence Berkley Laboratory study found that more than 40 percent of today's travelers leave YOUR bathroom lights on all night when no nightlight is provided," said Ray Burger, Green Suites' VP Sales & Marketing. "According to the Berkley Lab study, standard bathroom lights consume more than $60 in energy when left on by guests while they sleep. Our new Nightlights Made Easy program on average will save even a 100-room hotel an estimated $120,000 over the product's two-decade lifecycle.

"The payback on our Nightlights Made Easy program is six to twelve months," Burger said. "With a lifespan of 20 years, our nightlights deliver an ROI of 20 to 40 times hotels' marginal upfront investment. Just as attractive, our nightlights are just as easy to install as they are to afford, because they are hard wired as a light switch or socket outlet."

Nobles said a nightlight retrofit project is a quick, affordable way to upgrade a property's safety and security, as well as related guest satisfaction scores — in addition to helping anchor AAA TourBook ratings of 3 Diamonds or above.

"Nightlights are proven to help prevent nighttime falls — the No. 1 cause of guest injury," Nobles said. "To be honest, I'm getting a little up there in age and over time have come to appreciate nightlights more and more myself. Green Suites' Nightlights Made Easy program is a great way for hotels to save thousands of dollars every year, while better catering to the needs and expectations of today's travelers and helping to preserve our planet's precious limited natural resources."

According to a recent PKF Consulting report, utility expenses for the typical U.S. hotel rose 7 percent in 2001 — despite a 5.2 percent average drop in occupancy, 9.9 percent decline in total revenue and overall 5.2 percent reduction in operating costs. Lighting typically accounts for 40 percent of a property's total electrical bill and this portion of the expense pie can be reduced up to 70 percent with new energy-efficient hospitality lighting solutions. Green Suites International, lodging's leading provider of profitable solutions with environmental benefits, offering hotels complimentary GE Lighting audits and easy electronic specifying and ordering of energy-efficient hospitality lighting solutions.

"About 3 months ago, a number of our hotel clients participated in a customer focus group that helped us develop a user-friendly, environmentally-friendly program to specify and re-order energy-efficient lighting," said Dan Bornholdt, President and Founder of Upland, Calif.-based Green Suites International. "Hotels were looking for a streamlined purchasing process with customizable, simple-to-use, easy to print, fax or e-mail, monthly lighting re-order forms — and that's exactly what we're now delivering."

Advantages of having each property's standard energy-efficient lighting information — from model numbers, specifications and drawings, to pricing and quantities needed — all on one form include:

  • Saving time and money on the process of purchasing lighting;
  • Ensuring ordering errors are virtually eliminated;
  • Further automating and expediting inventory restocking;
  • Displaying all cost information for more-accurate budgeting and forecasting.

"Our Nightlights Made Easy program and its long-awaited electronic order forms cater directly to the needs of the hospitality industry," Burger said. "Once a customized template of lighting requirements is established, hotels need only fill in the quantities they need by each 'speced' energy-efficient lighting solution and then click and e-mail their orders."

Taking a customer-oriented approach, Green Suites International designed the electronic form so that it could be used by the greatest number of customers. Utilizing a simple "click and type" format, it does not require an Internet connection to use, and can be used with virtually any computer system. Once the form is completed electronically, it can be printed for record-keeping purposes, as well as copied, faxed or mailed with other supporting documents — or, ideally, e-mailed, shared and saved without paper consumption.

Based in Upland, Calif., Green Suites International is lodging's leading provider of profitable solutions with environmental benefits. Thousands of hotels in every state and more than one dozen countries use Green Suites International's natural bathroom amenities delivered from elegant dispensers, non-toxic cleaners, air and water filtration systems, and energy and water efficient products and programs. For more information on Nightlights Made Easy, Lighting Made Easy or Green Suites International, contact Ray Burger, VP Sales & Marketing, at 888-590-2285, e-mail [email protected], and visit www.greensuites.com.

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