Grande Lakes

The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Orlando honored with 2013 Sustainability Award for Environmental and Social Excellence


Contact:  Michaelann Millrood/Paige Scala 
Laura Davidson Public Relations                            
Tel: 1-212-696-0660                      
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ORLANDO, Fla., November 14, 2013--The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Orlando, Grande Lakes has been named overall winner of the 2013 IAGTO (International Association of Golf Tour Operators) Sustainability Awards, being labeled GEO Certified for its comprehensive high performance across all aspects of maintaining its 18-hole Greg Norman-designed golf course.  This includes nature, water, energy, supply chain, pollution control and community.

“We have a sustainability philosophy across many areas of our 500-acre resort,” said Nathan Stith, Director of Golf.  “We are pleased to now add this recognition for our golf course that will benefit our local community and the environment.”

This most recent award further solidifies the resort’s commitment to environmentally positive actions and follows a certification given to The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Orlando, Grande Lakes as a “Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.” Endorsed by the United States Golf Association, the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses provides information and excellence to help golf courses preserve and enhance wildlife habitat, and protect national resources.

The 18-hole course borders the Shingle Creek Basin, an Environmental Preserve that will never be subject to further development.

Two types of sand are featured on the course:  A light, tangerine colored crushed Coquina rock sand in waste bunkers and sugar-white sand in greenside and fairway bunkers.  Water is either a strategic or aesthetic element on 11 holes.  The course offers spacious green complexes with closely mown chipping areas around greens.  Limited rough on the course improves playability for the novice and rewards distance control for advanced players.  The course has a wide open feel because there will be no housing developments of any kind near the golf course within this federally protected preserve area.  Trees on the course include Longleaf, Pond and Slash pine, Live Oak, Water Oak, Scrub Oak, Wax Myrtles, Cypress Dome and Palmetto.  Wildlife includes Florida Deer, red tail hawks, Osprey, Raccoon, Possum, gopher tortoise, and River Otter.

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About the IAGTO Sustainability Awards
A result of the partnership between global golf tourism industry organization IAGTO and the Golf Environment Organization (GEO), the inaugural IAGTO Sustainability Awards were presented as part of the 2013 IAGTO Awards – the prestigious annual honors widely recognized as the “Oscars” of the golf tourism industry – on the final night of the 2013 International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) in Tarragona, Costa Daurada, Spain. The gala night, attended by more than 1,000 golf tourism professionals from over 60 countries, saw the presentation of three Sustainability Awards for Nature Conservation, Efficient Use of Resources and Community Engagement – with the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Orlando named overall winner for demonstrating excellence in sustainability across the board.

About Grande Lakes Orlando
Grande Lakes Orlando is a unique 500-acre resort with a luxury 582-room Ritz-Carlton and deluxe 1,000-room JW Marriott Hotels. In particular, the Grande Lakes Adventure Experiences program, which includes kayak and canoe eco-tours and a fishing school, reflects the resort’s natural surroundings. Grande Lakes also offers the culinary mastery of award-winning Chefs Norman Van Aken and Melissa Kelly, new total-wellness inspired treatment programs at The Ritz-Carlton Spa and Golf Digest Schools’ golf instruction. The estate is located 15 minutes from the Orlando International Airport, five minutes from the Orange County Convention Center and minutes from the major theme parks.

Guests at both hotels can enjoy all the facilities and services at Grande Lakes Orlando, including the 18-hole championship golf course, designed by Greg Norman, the 40,000-square-foot Ritz-Carlton Spa offering a new rooftop eco-space, a wide selection of natural treatments, baths and hydrotherapies, and advice from the world’s first Citrus Consultant. Membership offerings are also available through The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes Members Club. For more information about Grande Lakes Orlando, visit

About The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C., of Chevy Chase, Md., currently operates 83 hotels in the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean. More than 30 hotel and residential projects are under development around the globe. The Ritz-Carlton is the only service company to have twice earned the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, an award that originated in 1987. Its purpose is to promote the awareness of quality excellence, recognize quality achievements of companies and publicize successful quality strategies. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company won the award in 1992 and 1999. For more information, or reservations, contact a travel professional, call toll free in the U.S. 1-800-241-3333, or visit the company web site at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAR). 

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