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Harrah's Ak-Chin Resort

Resorts Look To Join The Green Travel Revolution

Being eco-conscious for your next getaway? The green travel trend is gaining momentum. Today’s travelers looking for guilt-free getaways are finding more options as resorts and other tourist-related businesses go green.

Think incentives for employees who carpool, eco-friendly kitchens and recycling programs for guests and employees. Many resorts have already begun to join the “go green” revolution. As more resorts embrace these new initiatives, it will increasingly play a role in hotel business from a consumer as well as management standpoint.

At Harrah’s Ak-Chin, in Maricopa, Ariz., green practices have been adopted through multiple programs and incentives over the years. Harrah’s HERO’s, the resort’s employee volunteer group, and CodeGreen, Caesar’s international environmental sustainability initiative that focuses on renewable energy, reduction of carbon emissions and water consumption, have allowed the Harrah’s Ak-Chin resort to make a commitment to the environment and sustainability and create a green image.

With the green travel trend popping up in resorts everywhere, here are some green initiatives guaranteed to deliver eco-conscious travelers a guilt-free stay:

 

Sustainable Cuisine

Resort guests want and need to eat. With more resorts jumping on the green bandwagon, in-house restaurants are switching up their menus. No more flown-in ingredients. Today’s chefs are getting creative using fresh ingredients grown by local food farmers. Taking it one step further, some resort restaurants are growing and using their own fruits and vegetables in resort gardens.

Green Team

Resorts aren’t the only ones going green; its staff and guests are, too. Incorporating the benefits of green efforts into the hotel operations helps foster a green image. Staff can continue to train on benefits and reasons for eco-friendly operations and help reduce consumption and waste. Through Harrah’s HERO’s program, resort staff can volunteer and work to improve the community through initiatives and eco-awareness. But they aren’t the only ones — guests can engage in green activities by assisting in demonstrations on how to use new technology and will receive awards when participating.

It’s Electric

Out-of-town, eco-friendly visitors and local travelers now have more fueling options for their electric vehicles. Charging stations provide the option for guests to plug in and plug out when they need to. Not only does this new addition support sustainability practices, but it also helps resorts in their conservation efforts.

Eco-Friendly Features

Renew, reuse, and recycle. That’s the motto of many resorts that are transforming their amenities by using recycled, renewable materials. From carpet and bathroom tiles, utilizing solar power to help conserve energy and having large windows to let natural light come in to the rooms, resorts are being both environmental-friendly and cost-effective. In Harrah’s new resort tower, the new thermostat technology automatically resets the thermostat to a set temperature to conserve energy once guests leave the room. The resort also emphasizes recycling, offering front-of-house recycling for guests with four bins on the casino floor and two large wall displays to show various Harrah’s Ak-Chin recycle facts and energy tips.

Conservation in its many forms is here to stay. The green revolution has resorts everywhere adopting changes to align with the eco-conscious traveler. As the trend continues to invade the industry and travelers become more increasingly aware of environmental concerns, more resorts will create programs and initiatives to help their staff and employees adapt and cater to the environment needs.

Staycation

This Summer, Relax And Spend Less With A Staycation

Spend less and relax more with a summer staycation


stay·ca·tion: nounˈstā-ˈkā-shən
Definition: a vacation spent at home or nearby

Yes, the word “staycation” was added to the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary in 2009, after it gained immense popularity amidst the U.S. financial crisis, which began in 2007. Thankfully the crisis has come and gone, but the staycation remains.

For those of us that live, work and play in the state of Arizona, the opportunities for staycations abound. Be it lounging by the pool in the backyard or staying at a nearby resort for that true vacation feel, time and money are spent on rest and relaxation rather than seeing the sights of a new state. And while going to new places outside of the state are always fun, going to a place you’ve never been IN Arizona can be just as exciting. Who knew there were so many amazing places to go and things to see right in our own backyard?

A one-stop staycation that travelers often opt for is the resort. While it may be a resort that’s only minutes or an hour’s drive away from your house, packing a bag with resort wear and being “unplugged” from the stresses of daily life can make all the difference in the world.

Some of the benefits/activities of opting for a resort stay on your next staycation include:

Lounging poolside

While many Arizona residents have pools in their backyard, there’s nothing like a resort pool with a swim-up bar, similar to that at the Harrah’s Ak-Chin newly remodeled pool area, wait staff preparing your drinks so you don’t have to, or amenities for the kids, such as lazy rivers and slides.

Gaming action

For local resorts with casinos, it brings the look and feel of the Las Vegas strip directly to the guest. Harrah’s Ak-Chin and many other casino resorts in Arizona, offer everything from bingo, to slots and blackjack. Boasting the largest selection of reel and video slots (such as Clue, which allows guests to earn points by playing on the computer at home; and Hangover, an homage to the Vegas-based movie), video poker and table games from blackjack to World Series of Poker®, Harrah’s Ak-Chin is also home to the only bingo hall in the entire Caesars organization.

Spa days

A perk of some local resorts are the spas. What better way to relax than getting a massage or hot stone treatment before going out to the pool and relaxing the day away? Many resorts often offer package deals with their spas as well, so guests can receive a two-night stay, spa treatment and any other range of amenities for one bulk price rather than having to pay it separately.

For your entertainment

As I mentioned in my last column, resorts are stepping up their entertainment game. Whether it’s bringing back the oldies but goodies, highlighting local acts or bringing in the rock star line-ups, guests can amp up the fun on their next staycation by attending a variety of performances. Resorts, like Harrah’s Ak-Chin, also sweeten the staycation deal by offering these performances free of charge.

One thing to remember in the midst of staycation rest and relaxation is that too much downtime can also be draining, which is why it’s important to make the most of it by taking advantage of the amenities offered at the local resorts. And most importantly, unplug. Just because you’re still in the same state, doesn’t mean you have to check that smartphone for work-related emails. Remember that the word staycation was derived from vacation — milk it for all it’s worth.

Valentine's Day

Resorts Spice Things Up For Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and if you’re like most men you’re currently thinking, “What am I going to do this year?”

While the normal ideas — eat at the same restaurant where you had your first date/proposed/etc., cook her a special meal at home, rose petals on the bed — are always a good way to go, it says a lot when you go out of your way to impress your Valentine.

Whether you’re going somewhere neither of you have ever been before or doing an activity neither of you have ever done before, that extra effort oftentimes means the world. For those who are still at a loss, here are some ideas for Valentine’s Day:

STAYCATION

With Valentine’s Day falling on a Tuesday this year, it’s a bit hard to get time off work and head out of town; so in this case, a staycation is your best bet. Whether it’s Harrah’s Ak-Chin or one of the many other resorts throughout the Valley, there are plenty of options and packages that resorts are offering, specifically for Valentine’s Day.

For guests who are romantic at heart, Harrah’s Ak-Chin will be offering a Valentine’s Day package, including a guest’s choice of room accommodations and breakfast in bed for two ($50 in-room service food/beverage credit) per stay — with package rates starting at $129 per night and available with the offer code PLOVE.

In addition to packages such as this, many times guests can go the extra mile by asking for champagne and strawberries to be sent up to the room, have rose petals on the bed upon arrival, or any other surprises you have up your sleeve for that special someone.

WINE & DINE

When you’re eating in every night, there’s no better time than Valentine’s Day for a romantic dinner for two. Restaurants Valley-wide are offering special prix fixe menus for the evening, in addition to a set menu of dinner for two, such as the menu available at Harrah’s Range Steakhouse. The restaurant’s Surf & Turf for Two is $100 per couple and includes the following:

Course One:
Potato Encrusted Kumamoto Oysters and Classic Mignonette
Course Two:
Baby Roasted Beet and Field Green Salad with Horseradish Citrus Vinaigrette
Course Three:
Grilled Frenched Bone-in Rib eye with Garlic Butter Sautéed Shrimp
Course Four:
Raspberry Mousse

Two things to remember: 1) Dinner always goes better with drinks (be it your favorite wine or popping some bubbly in celebration of the occasion), and 2) always make a reservation, as this is one of the busiest nights of the year. To make a reservation at Harrah’s Range Steakhouse call (480) 802-5000.

DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY

When all else fails, head to the dance floor. While many men may see this as a last resort, your Valentine would be extremely impressed when asked to have the next dance. Maybe a lesson or two would be in order beforehand, but well worth it when it becomes the highlight of your Valentine’s night.

Be it jazz trio, a pianist or the Righteous Brothers’ Bill Medley who will be holding a free performance at Harrah’s at 8 p.m., these smooth sounds will ultimately lead to even smoother night out.

For more information on Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino Resort call (480) 802-5000 or visit harrahsakchin.com.