Aloft Asheville Downtown, 2019 Alice S. Marriott Award for Community Service

Alice S. Marriott Award for Community Service
Aloft Asheville Downtown
Asheville, North Carolina

When they first opened their doors in late 2012, the leadership team at the Aloft Asheville Downtown in North Carolina knew they wanted the hotel to be more than just a city hotel. General Manager David McCartney explains, “We had a vision to bring hospitality to Asheville in the broadest sense because our guests aren’t defined by the four walls of our hotel.”

Using Marriott’s sustainability and social impact platform, Serve 360, as its guide, the hotel is doing good in every direction. Some highlights:

  • Nurture Our World – Aloft Asheville’s longest running partnership is with Homeward Bound, an organization dedicated to helping end homelessness in the city. Associates help provide “housewarming” donations, as well as assistance in setting up the new homes of Homeward Bound’s newest clients.
  • Sustain Responsible Operations – The hotel helps sponsor Food Connection, a local organization that partners with area restaurants to ensure no food goes to waste. They also instituted sustainable practices within the hotel, including using glass carafes in place of plastic water bottles and recycling soap and other amenities through Clean the World.
  • Empower Through Opportunity – For the last six years, the hotel has hosted interns from the Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. Students work 400-hour internships, with dedicated associates helping them learn and grow their hospitality careers. Seven of the students have graduated to full-time positions at the hotel, including three in leadership roles.
  • Welcome All and Advance Human Rights – Associates at Aloft Asheville believe impacting the community starts from within. The staff chooses nonprofit organizations to reflect the diversity of their community. They also emphasize the importance of Marriott’s commitment to human rights, ensuring all associates complete the human trafficking awareness training.

Each summer, the hotel hosts “Life@Aloft” benefit concerts to raise awareness and support for non-profit organizations in Asheville. Each concert averages 200 attendees and raises up to $1,200 in donations. In 2018 alone, the dedicated staff of 55 associates gave nearly 1,200 hours in support of its partner nonprofit organizations, raised more than $8,000 in donations and gave nearly $16,000 of in-kind donations.

True to its vision, Aloft Asheville Downtown has developed a reputation as not just another city hotel. It is known throughout the area as a hotel that is passionate about improving its community—new businesses regularly book business at the hotel because of its positive impact on Asheville.

Associates at the Aloft Asheville Downtown
Associates at the Aloft Asheville Downtown

Associates at the Aloft Asheville Downtown

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