Montgomery County Mayor Carolyn Bowers and Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan, were there to congratulate the owner and employees of Riverview Inn for earning the certification.
Prior to the ribbon cutting, Mayor Bowers jokingly told them they had a test and proceeded to ask them what type of changes they had made.
Rebecca Donnerstag, sales and event coordinator, who was the overall leader in the effort began by telling the mayors that even though everyone in the hotel had individual jobs, they truly pulled together as a team to work on the certification.
Charlsie Hand, owner operator, named some of the changes that had been made, “Jason, changed every light in our hotel to LED, we converted to a saltwater pool, we have thermostats that go back to a more moderate temperature when people leave and lights that go out automatically in unused rooms, we have bathrooms with low flush toilettes, and we are completely free of paper towels because we have converted over to effective Dyson hand dryers. We recycle all of our old sheets and ink cartridges to the Humane Society and we give all of our unused toiletries to the Salvation Army. We try to reuse and recycle everything or pay it forward to benefit the community as well as us.”
Bowers asked, “Have you seen a decrease in the cost of your utilities at all?
Hand responded, “Yes, we have. We have a six month comparison report where we have it broken down into itemized savings and we have seen a decrease in expenses.
Lauren Zern, assistant front desk manager, added, “We have reduced the amount of paper we use but what we must print eventually gets shredded and is reused for packing. Employee manuals are now done electronically.
Donnerstag commented, “Even our pest control company uses all organic pesticides. We were creative with some things like reusing the towels the baseball players used for their cleats. We shred and clean them so they can be used as rags for their cleats instead of using the new towels on their next visit.
McMillan asked, “Have the changes you’ve made spread to the people who work here.”
Yes, they have. We’ve worked hard to create awareness among employees about conservation initiatives. It’s not just a one-time thing where we no longer think about it. We do it consistently. We can see the difference,” said Zern.
“The workshops really helped because those that teach the classes shared practical things we can do at work and at home. I made many of those changes at home and shared them with the team,” said Donnerstag.
“Our certification took some work but I feel it has been worth it for our business and look forward to promoting what we’ve done. We are thrilled to be the first Clarksville-Montgomery County Green Certified hotel,” said Hand.
Riverview Inn is one of Clarksville’s only locally owned and operated hotels. Newly remodeled, Riverview Inn is in the heart of downtown and overlooks the beautiful Cumberland River.
To find out more about the hotel, visit http://theriverviewinn.com/