Inn of the Anasazi

Project Profiles

Inn of the Anasazi

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Located in downtown Santa Fe, the Inn of the Anasazi is a synthesis of social, cultural, and environmental sustainability. From the building’s construction to its operating policies, the development team wanted to show that a premier hotel could embrace social and environmental ideals without sacrificing profitability. In the early 1990s, the Inn’s owners and management undertook an initiative to improve the energy and water efficiency of this 54,000 square foot, four-star property. Bill Browning provided assistance in improving the Inn’s energy and resource efficiency to complement its substantial social initiatives.

From its central location to the Anasazi-inspired interior design, the Inn was built to offer an elegant, culturally-grounded experience to its guests and a symbiotic relationship with the local community. One of the most substantial, and most often neglected, resources that a resort offers is the surrounding community. An established relationship with local organic farmers provides 70% of the Inn and restaurant food while returning financial and social capital to the surrounding community. Leftovers are donated to food shelters and kitchen waste is directed to a local pig farm. An Inn program pays employees for weekly community work, and employees are also trained in conflict resolution to moderate community disputes. This attitude has also contributed to unusually high employee retention rates and financial returns.

The Inn is constructed from locally sourced materials, acknowledging indigenous cultural and vernacular architecture while reducing the environmental impact of construction. Harnessing readily abundant daylight, the design minimizes energy costs while creating a high quality environment for guests of the desert inn. Improvements to mechanical and water systems yielded tangible financial results, helping the Inn increase its value by over $2 million in the first three years alone. The Inn boasts an 83% average occupancy and 35% repeat guests. By addressing both environmental and social sustainability, hospitality operations, such as Inn of the Anasazi, can ensure a net-positive impact, continued appeal, and financial success for all involved.

*This work was performed while Bill Browning was with the Rocky Mountain Institute.

*Header and feature image copyright mimerkel/Flickr