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Thematic analysis of sustainable practices at four Native American resorts

Steinmeyer, Marcella Rose
Native American resorts represent a unique segment within the hospitality industry. Since Native American resorts technically are owned by sovereign nations, regulations differ from non-native owned resorts. This provides a fertile opportunity for the implementation of comprehensive sustainable practices. Unfortunately, many individuals view sustainable practices as singular practices, at the same time, acknowledging that a continuous, practical approach to fix and transform the natural environment, human perception and behavior toward sustainable practices is necessary. In comparison, when viewing sustainable practices through the Sustainable Development Institute model of sustainability (SDI) the sustainable practices interconnect and effect multiple spheres simultaneously. To identify the sustainable practices preformed within Native American resorts, four resorts, Foxwoods Resort Casino of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, Hard Rock Hotel and Resorts of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Pechanga Resort and Casino of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, and Spirit Ridge (NK'MIP) Resort of the Osoyoos Indian Band were chosen based on multiple criteria, including geographic location. The identified practices were categorized and compared within the SDI model. The ability to examine sustainable practices and programs utilized within the four resorts yields a broad, more accurate knowledge of the effects of the sustainable practices. Thematic Analysis of publicly accessible online documents provides the data for analysis. Most of the sustainable practices at Foxwoods Resort Casino, Hard Rock Hotel and Resorts, Pechanga Resort and Casino, and Spirit Ridge (NK'MIP) Resort intersect multiple SDI model spheres. This research shows that similar sustainable practices can have unique, local flare that allows the resorts to have symbiotic relationships with local regions.