When planning our recent MotorWeek Ultimate Automotive Experience in Las Vegas, we came across an interesting environmental story playing out behind the scenes. Almost lost in the shuffle of all the VIP perks and conspicuous consumption is one company’s bid to win respect, by betting on green.
We were thrilled to host MotorWeek viewers Mike and Tammy Binder for a few days of automotive overload back in December. We kicked off their trip of course with a VIP greeting at McCarran Airport, but not of the usual variety.
We whisked them away in green luxury, a first of its kind CNG-powered limousine from the clean fleet of MGM Resort’s City Center. MGM Resorts shares our belief that America’s energy resources need not be compromised in the name of luxury.
CINDY ORTEGA: Well from our perspective at MGM Resorts, what we’re trying to accomplish is that the customer’s overall experience has a backdrop of sustainability. You’ll notice that it’s not something we wear on our sleeve and put out for everyone to read and say “oh gee, aren’t we environmentally great.” But what we do is we try to show subtle areas that show what our commitment is to the environment. Our most important customers are generally picked up in a limousine at the airport and we think that this is a good first representation of the company and its commitment to the environment.
JOHN DAVIS: But you can’t just stop by the local Lincoln dealer and pick up a stretched town car. Each one is hand-crafted, and converting to CNG adds about 30% to the cost. MGM Resort’s initial order was for 26 CNG limos, and they have since added 16 more at other Las Vegas properties.
CINDY ORTEGA: If you look at a limousine the way it is built, we buy a Lincoln town car or that type of a car and then we do a process with what’s called a fabricator or a fitter and what that person does or what that company does is they cut the car in half, stretch it way out, and they build the interior and make a car. And so what we had to do for the CNG limousines is we had to bring in another company that was able to fit it with compressed natural gas fixtures.
JOHN DAVIS: Fueling up on CNG takes no longer than a conventional gasoline stop, and there is a public-access Clean Energy CNG station located just a few blocks from the hotel, so convenience is not compromised. Aria Resort guests can also recharge their electric vehicles – and get a primo parking spot at this on-site charging station in the hotel garage.
We applaud MGM Resort’s decision to make smart energy choices, and we bet other companies will soon follow in their winning ways.