NAPA Valley Resort Gets Free Charge from NECA-IBEW Team

The luxious Meritage Resort and Spa, located in California’s Napa Valley, has a new amenity to offer its pampered guests — free electrical vehicle recharging onsite. And, it was made possible through the generosity of the local NECA chapter and electrical industry partners. Installing electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) at upscale hotels, shopping malls, or any place where EV owners are likely to congregate and stay awhile appears to be part of a growing trend that makes sense.

Resort guests, conference attendees and those dining at Siena (the Meritage Resort and Spa’s signature restaurant) now have free access to a Leviton Evr-Green™ Level 2 charging station. This dual unit charger is compatible with all types of electric vehicles and will fully re-charge vehicle batteries within six to seven hours. It was donated by Graybar, one of NECA’s Premier Partners. The installation was performed for free by volunteers from the Northern California Chapter, NECA and IBEW Local Union 180.

The addition of the charging station is part of an ongoing expansion effort at Meritage Resort and Spa which is scheduled to be completed by April 2012, thus positioning the hotel to capitalize on the rebounding hospitality and tourism industry. By when the $40 million renovation is finished this spring, the hotel will just about double in size, going from 158 rooms to 323 rooms.
All told, an additional 131,300 square feet will be added. Its meeting space will increase by 12,500 square feet, with about 22,000 square feet indoors and another 28,000 square feet outdoors — making it the largest meeting venue north of San Francisco and west of Sacramento.

Part of a Growing Trend

Are electric car-charging stations the new must-have hotel amenity? Budget Travel, which “provides smart consumers with practical and timely tips and tools,” has compiled a partial list of upscale hotels that have recently added EVSE, and thinks it’s a trend that’s here to stay.

According to Budget Travel:

“It’s been a rough half–decade for the travel industry, and to compete for ever–scarcer tourism dollars, service providers have been forced to come up with new ways to attract customers … [I]n the hotel realm .. reduced rates, buy–two–nights–get–one–free promos, and added amenities have been hallmarks of the race to put heads in beds. One of the newest perks to be rolled out far and wide is the addition of electric vehicle charging stations to hotels, which are typically free for guests (and sometimes even the public) to use. Unlike tanning concierges or pillow butlers, we think this is one amenity that has real staying power. And it’s not just an urban thing, or exclusive to one price point—hotels and resort all over the country (and all over the rate sheet) are hopping on the bandwagon.”

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