The Governor's Office of Energy (GOE) awarded property tax incentives to 11 Caesars Entertainment affiliated casino resorts for introducing significant energy and water savings measures in tens of millions of square feet of commercial space.
The resorts received the GOE incentive after meeting State regulations and receiving a prestigious Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver or Gold equivalency from the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED is a rating system for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of green buildings.
"Working with Caesars Casinos to make such an enormous quantity of square feet in Nevada more energy efficient was historic," said Paul Thomsen, GOE director. "Project successes like this confirm Nevada's status as a national leader in efficient construction and design."
In 2015, GOE awarded tax incentives to the owners of 22 buildings in Nevada that achieved LEED certification or equivalency, for a total of more than 46 million square feet. The largest contributor to this robust figure was the Caesars Entertainment properties at 28.5 million square feet.
Eleven Caesars Entertainment casino-resort and entertainment properties achieved LEED Equivalency (ten Gold and one Silver), resulting in a GOE property tax incentive:
- Caesars Palace, a 6,975,570 square foot property in Las Vegas.
- Flamingo Las Vegas, a 2,939,864 square foot property in Las Vegas.
- Harrah's Las Vegas, a 2,163,018 square foot property in Las Vegas.
- Harrah's Laughlin, a 790,414 square foot property in Laughlin.
- Harrah's Reno, a 1,018,859 square foot property in Reno.
- Harrah's Lake Tahoe, a 1,044,000 square foot property in South Lake Tahoe.
- Harveys Lake Tahoe, a 1,092,500 square foot property in South Lake Tahoe.
- Paris Las Vegas, a 4,086,384 square foot property in Las Vegas.
- The LINQ Hotel & Casino, a 1,722,640 square foot property in Las Vegas.
- Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, a 3,009,075 square foot property in Las Vegas.
- Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, a 3,491,500 square foot property in Las Vegas.
"Caesars Entertainment is committed to creating healthy, vibrant places for our guests to relax and play, and for our employees to work," said Eric Dominguez, Caesars Entertainment's director of facilities, engineering and sustainable operations. "We choose to pursue LEED equivalency because of its rigorous approach to measurable environmentally sound building design, construction, operations and maintenance."
To achieve these levels of LEED equivalency, Caesars is building upon current conservation efforts already in-place by installing energy efficient light emitting diode (LED) lights, introducing day lighting controls, and rewiring lighting systems for better control. Caesars is also educating their team members on new purchasing processes that encourage teams to buy supplies that are made with recycled content, as well as training them on new sustainability procedures that enhance facility operations.
"This initiative took much coordination and collaboration among our engineering, facilities, design and operations teams," said Rob Morris, Caesars Entertainment's director of utilities and engineering. "The support of our senior leaders for sustainability initiatives helped make achieving LEED equivalency across twelve Nevada properties a reality."
"Caesars Entertainment made noteworthy efforts to improve the quality of its accommodations by remodeling and redesigning its resorts, offering customers a more sustainable and comfortable environment," added Deana Cotroneo, GOE management analyst who oversees the Green Building Tax Abatement program. "Our office will monitor Caesars' efforts as they maintain these energy savings measures in the years to come."
USGBC current regulations prohibit properties that allow smoking from achieving LEED certification, even if all other material requirements are met. Without this regulation, Nevada would rank number one in the U.S. in total LEED certified square footage per capita in 2015.
The decision to approve the incentive highlights GOE's ability to facilitate cooperation among stakeholders, lead initiatives to stimulate economic development, and attract energy related business ventures that include site development, energy education, and retrofit.