Local News

Hospitality Businesses Cutting Back on Water

Posted February 10, 2008 10:36 p.m. EST
Updated February 11, 2008 10:14 a.m. EST

— Due to the record drought, Raleigh hospitality businesses are making every effort to save water.

At Raleigh's Marriott Crabtree Valley, housekeepers are no longer changing the sheets and towels everyday. It takes a lot of water to wash all that cloth, so guests were put on notice that water conservation is everyone's responsibility.

“For the most part, they're all very willing to help out where they can,” Dennis Edwards, with the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau, said of inn-keepers.

The bureau is hosting its first hospitality water summit for hotels and restaurants this Wednesday at the Sheraton Raleigh Hotel.

"What we're trying to do is get some sort of a standardization throughout the hospitality community in terms of what the hotels and restaurant communities should be doing to help conserve water,” Edwards said.

The Raleigh City Council voted unanimously last week to move to Stage 2 water restrictions this Friday.

The Stage 2 restrictions would have automatically come into effect if Raleigh's water supply dipped to 90 days. Even though the city system is not at that point, however, the supply in Falls Lake is projected to last only until the summer, and Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker pushed for tighter restrictions sooner.

Edwards estimates the average hotel in 2006 used more than 21,000 gallons of water a day. That translates to about 218 gallons of water for every occupied room, but that was before hotels stopped watering landscapes and began conserving water.

Restaurants are also cutting back. If you want a glass of water with your meal these days, you have to ask for it.

“Water is a limited resource. We're all worried about what could happen if we don't all conserve and we don't learn how to deal with this before we actually run out,” said area General Manager Edward R. Book Jr., with the Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley.

The tourism industry brings in more than $3 billion a year to the Raleigh area.