Destination Spotlight: Get to Know Wynn Encore
While Wynn Resorts receives numerous accolades every year for the exceptional service provided to hotel guests, an equally impressive but lesser told story is taking place behind the scenes. From day one, Wynn Resorts has been an enthusiastic steward of the environment and has proven that a Five-Star resort can function at the highest level of service while still being environmentally responsible. Wynn Las Vegas and Encore are Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) equivalent resorts – a designation given by the U.S. Green Building Council. From single-stream recycling property-wide to water conservation efforts, the company’s commitment to the environment provides guest with an unforgettable experience each day on property. System-wide efforts to conserve utilities have yielded extraordinary results. For example, the installation of energy-efficient products and other load-reducing measures resulted in reducing electrical consumption by more than 18 million kilowatt hours – the equivalent of what is needed to power approximately 1,623 homes per year. In 2015, Newsweek ranked Wynn Resorts 100 out of 500 "Top Green Companies in the U.S."
There are two fascinating stories regarding how Wynn Resorts continues to be an innovative leader in the experience it provides while being environmentally responsible at the same time. One great example of their commitment can be found on the 18-hole Wynn Golf Course, located directly behind Wynn Las Vegas and Encore. The course is designated as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary – an award-winning education and certificate program that helps golf courses protect the environment by enhancing the valuable natural areas and wildlife habitats that golf courses provide. The esteemed certification takes into account the resort’s environmentally sustainable actions, including water conservation, water quality management, chemical reduction and safety, as well as wildlife and habitat management. Non-potable water is used for landscaping, and the drip irrigation system is computerized to forecast temperature, wind and humidity levels to deliver the minimum amount of water needed. The resort minimizes its chemical impact through organic landscape products and biological pest control methods. The resort also implemented a composting solution to recycle all greenery, flower and landscaping waste. Lastly, there are more than 5 acres of artificial turf across the resort, saving 30 million gallons of water in 2015.
Wynn Resorts is applying this same dedication to the environment by investing $30 million to clean up and restore a "brownfield" site on the Mystic River in Everett, MA, which formerly housed a chemical company and will transform the site into a luxury hotel. Located approximately 2 miles from downtown Boston and about 5 miles from Boston Logan International Airport, construction on the new Wynn Boston Harbor officially began on August 4, 2016 with an expected opening in the summer of 2019. At $2 billion, Wynn Boston Harbor will be the largest single-phase private project in Massachusetts history. It will create 4,000 construction jobs and another 4,000 permanent positions after the hotel opens, which will immediately make Wynn one of the largest employers in the state. The casino revenue tax is projected to provide approximately $240 million per year in tax revenue and fees going to local communities and a wide range of state programs. The Wynn Boston Harbor hotel is targeting LEED gold certification with features such as 114 kW of installed rooftop solar capacity, vegetated rooftops, high efficiency water systems designed for 35 percent reduction in water use, and a 50,000 gallon storm-water harvesting system for irrigation use. In addition, 10 percent of the hotel’s energy will be generated from green sources. Lastly, there will be more than 200 parking spots for electric and high efficiency vehicles, a compost program for food waste, and local food sourcing for all restaurants.
Over the next 15 years, the hotel will be making nearly $60 million in road infrastructure improvements, as well as spending more than $200 million to enhance transportation demand management programs such as a water shuttle, shuttle for employees and customers, and a subsidy for a nearby MBTA Subway line. Wynn Boston Harbor will be committed to supporting the local community and economy by making efforts to purchase nearly $100 million annually from local business and giving preference to residents for construction and hotel jobs.
The hotel will feature a number of alternative ways to get to and from the hotel, including additional walkways and bike paths around the hotel property, ride sharing programs, public transportation tickets sold on site for employees and guests, Zipcar on-site, Hubway bike share on-site, covered and secured bicycle parking and shuttles to nearby MBTA subway and bus stations.
In the past, the largest similar financial contribution in the Boston area has only been $30 million – over $200 million less than Wynn is projected to contribute – and other past projects have required public money. As Wynn Resorts reshapes the Las Vegas and Boston skylines, they will continue to make the community it operates in as well as environmental responsibility a top priority.