Get on your bike for free food at Crowne Plaza

14 Apr 2010 by BusinessTraveller

Crowne Plaza has installed electricity-producing bicycles at its recently-opened Copenhagen Towers property, and is offering guests a free meal if they produce 10 watt hours of power.
The hotel bills itself as one of the world’s greenest hotels, with initiatives including the first groundwater-based cooling and heating system in Denmark, and the largest solar panel park in Northern Europe to be integrated into a building.
The idea behind this latest initiative is to give guests “the chance to help power the hotel whilst getting fit at the same time”. Any guest producing 10 watt hours of electricity will receive a locally-produced free meal.
The bikes will be installed on April 19, and will have iPhones mounted on the handle bars showing how much electricity has been produced. The hotel says that a guest cycling at 30 kilometres per hour (average speed) for 60 minutes will produce approximately 100 watt hours of electricity, so theoretically they will be able to earn a free meal for just six minutes of cycling.
The initiative would seem to be more about promoting the hotel and encouraging guests to get fit, than it is about saving energy, as the target of ten watt hours is a relatively small one. It takes 60 watt hours to power a 60-watt light bulb for one hour, so ten watt hours will power the bulb for around ten minutes. When you take into consideration the energy needed to produce the free meal being offered, the net gain in electricity for the property will be smaller still.
A spokesperson for the hotel said that the free meal will include salad and raw vegetables, so “the energy used should come in at less than what’s being produced by guests”. 
The bikes are set to be in place at the hotel for one year, and Crowne Plaza says that if the initiative is successful it will be offered to all properties in the UK.
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Report by Mark Caswell

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