The Hilton Garden Inn located in Downtown Gatlinburg, is five-story, 75,000 sq. ft. hotel designed in a Craftsman style theme, to blend in with the mountain surroundings. In building this hotel, Hospitality Solutions not only brought the award winning mid-priced Hilton Garden Inn brand to Gatlinburg but also showcases a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified hotel, the first in the state of Tennessee, and at the time of the hotel’s opening, one of only seven in the United States. In an effort to support and build upon Gatlinburg Goes Green initiative, Hospitality Solutions along with the Hilton Garden Inn development team and contractor, Alex Davis, earned the coveted U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED Silver Level certification in 2010. According to Alex Davis, owner of D&S Builders and partner in the Hilton Garden Inn Gatlinburg project, “Going green is investing in our county and our future. We must strive to focus on sustainable growth if we want to protect our environment.”
It is amazing what you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit. –Harry S. Truman
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System is a voluntary, consensus-based national rating system that encourages and accelerates global adoption of sustainable green building and high-performance development practices through the design and implementation of universally understood and accepted tools and performance criteria. LEED addresses all building types, promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability and emphasizes state-of-the-art strategies in five areas: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials and resources selection, and indoor environmental quality. LEED is a third-party certification program and is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings’ performance.
Hospitality Solutions and D&S Builders are excited that Gatlinburg, the Gateway to the Smokies, was the first city in Sevier County to have a LEED certified hotel. In order to achieve LEED certification, the hotel incorporated key energy-savings and waste-reducing strategies into the design and construction. Davis estimates that the LEED certification cost an estimated 5 – 7% over traditional construction costs. “LEED Certification is a tough hurdle to overcome when trying to deliver a return on investment for the ownership but we felt it is extremely important to make a positive environmental impact in Gatlinburg” stated Davis. The development team hired Andy Powers with Ross Fowler out of Knoxville to be the LEED Accredited Professional to help achieve their goals and direct them through the LEED Certification process.
The Hilton Garden Inn, Downtown Gatlinburg offers 118 guest rooms and luxurious suites. The property is yards from the Smoky Mountain National Park and access to the main Parkway downtown walking district. The property is 100% non-smoking and features the Serta Perfect Sleeper bed; ergonomic Mirr® chair by Herman Miller; complimentary wired and WiFi Internet access in guestrooms and public space; mobile printing to the hotel’s complimentary 24-hour business center; full service restaurant serving freshly cooked-to-order breakfast and evening room service; the 24-hour Pavilion Pantry® convenience market featuring a variety of snack options; workout facility; flexible meeting space; indoor pool, and on-site guest laundry facility.