Reno’s Atlantis earns NNBW Readers’ Choice ‘Most Sustainable’ award
RENO, Nev. — The Atlantis Casino Resort Spa is pushing in all its chips on sustainability.
The numbers don’t lie. In 24 months, the Atlantis has reduced its electrical usage 54 percent and reduced its water usage by 8.5 percent, resort officials said. Moreover, the Atlantis compiles 78 tons of food waste compost a year while recycling 216 tons of cardboard and a whopping 3,452 tons of plastic and glass.
These sustainability statistics help illustrate why the Atlantis was chosen as the Northern Nevada Business Weekly’s 2017 Readers’ Choice “Most Sustainable: Green & Earth-Friendly” award winner.
… We want to be a good corporate citizen, and we really want to lead the way in Reno,” said Perry Sanders, director of engineering at the Atlantis.
Highlighting the resort’s sustainability efforts is its newly launched partnership with San Francisco- and Tel Aviv, Israel-based water intelligence company WINT and WaterStart, a water technology incubator based in Las Vegas.
Designed to help cut water costs and prevent water damage, the pilot project uses pattern recognition and algorithms to measure water flow.
“We were the first ones to do this in Reno, first ones in Nevada, first ones in the United States,” Sanders said. “So it’s really great for the whole town.”
In December, crews installed 30 smart meters in the Atlantis. The meters, Sanders said, run algorithms for 90 days to analyze and understand the water usage patterns, down to the minute, throughout the property.
After 90 days, engineers like Sanders are alerted if the meters notice anything outside of the established parameters.
“I know immediately — I literally get an alert to my cellphone,” Sanders said. “The old way was just a plain meter. I go through, say, January and February 15 I get my water bill. Well, then it’s too late; I’ve already had a leak for six weeks. That’s really a reactive, lagging indicator. Where this (with smart meters) is a proactive, leading indicator.”
In addition, the Atlantis has updated all incandescent light bulbs with LEDs property-wide, saving more than 6 million kilowatts per hour since 2005.
Sanders said the Atlantis’ revamped outdoor fountains, which shoot water 40 feet in the air and have center fountains set to music each hour, use 275 37-watt LEDs, as opposed to the 500 500-watt bulbs previously used.
And instead of dumping the old brass lights, crews took them to the recycle plant, Sanders said.
“We probably got $800 for the brass, but it’s not about the $800, it’s about the five pallets worth of stuff that doesn’t go to the landfill,” he continued. “It is things like that — if it’s a broken chair, can we repair or donate it? Anything for it to not go in the garbage, that’s kind of our thumbnail sketch.”
All this advancement comes on the heels of the Atlantis becoming the first casino in Northern Nevada to earn Four Green Globes certification and being named the Nevada Hotel & Lodging Association’s Sustainability Leading Company for 2017.
Sanders said the Atlantis is exploring the implementation of solar, window tinting on the south side of its buildings, and looking into the possibility of converting its passenger vans that shuttle to the airport to run on — get this — recycled cooking oil.
Indeed, the roughly 1 million-square-foot casino, resort and spa hugging South Virginia Street in Reno is looking to continue leading the way on sustainability well into 2018 and beyond.
“It all comes from (CEO) John Farahi, who said he wants us to be the most sustainable place,” Sanders said. “It’s a different attitude now. We want to be the gold standard. Yes, we’re doing the right thing, but we’re also seeing the benefit of it monetarily. So it’s just kind of a win-win.”
Heather Ashbridge, who started with Nevada State Development Corporation in 2008, previously served in several roles with the organization, including assistant vice president and loan officer. She is based in NSDC’s Reno office.