Black Diamond Lodge Relies on Venstar Thermostats to Remotely Control Temperatures and Manage Energy Costs

Michal Christine Escobar
Senior Editor (Hotels)
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Venstar® announced that its Explorer® and Explorer Mini thermostats and Skyport® Cloud Services are being used by Black Diamond Lodge at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah, to remotely control temperatures and manage energy costs. A significant utility rebate covered 45 percent of the cost of the Explorer thermostats in the common areas. Installation was done by Green Planet Corporation.

“With Venstar’s Explorer thermostats and Skyport, we access and control the settings of every thermostat on the property in minutes rather than a day. It’s priceless for us,” said James O’Reillygeneral managerBlack Diamond Lodge.

Kirk Pettigrew, maintenance manager at the exclusive Black Diamond Lodge was challenged with finding a way to remotely control and manage nearly 100 thermostats in the lodge’s 28 one- to four-bedroom suites. Guests would frequently leave the thermostats set too high or too low when they left, resulting in unnecessarily heating or cooling unoccupied suites.

Checking on the thermostats in all of the suites took the maintenance staff nearly an entire day, so he wanted to save time by having remote access. In addition, because the suites are individually owned condos that are managed by the resort’s homeowner’s association, the general manager James O’Reilly wanted to control energy costs so that the owners would not experience higher energy bills.

To find a solution, Pettigrew and O’Reilly turned to Chris Parker of Green Planet Corporation, which helps businesses implement their green initiatives. Parker recommended Venstar Explorer (Model T3700) and Explorer Mini (Model T2000) thermostats for the lodge’s suites and common areas because they could be remotely accessed and controlled.

The Explorer thermostats can be managed easily using Venstar’s Skyport Cloud Services browser-based app on a computer or by using the free Skyport Mobile App. Pettigrew prefers to use his computer to check on the thermostats while his lead tech uses his mobile phone. O’Reilly appreciates the ability to check on suite temperatures and receive high and low temperature alerts when the weather suddenly changes.

Because the Explorer thermostats replaced very old thermostats, there were some wiring issues in some locations. Parker’s team used Venstar’s Add-a-Wire kit to solve the issue and install the new thermostats.  Add-A-Wire re-wires five-wire thermostats to use only four wires. 

Using Skyport Cloud Services via a Web browser, the front desk staff now checks on the thermostats as guests check out so that the HVAC equipment is not unnecessarily running when the suites are unoccupied. As guests check in, the front desk staff can remotely change the thermostat settings to ensure a comfortable environment.

Pettigrew and the maintenance team are able to remotely check on thermostat settings, which they can do in minutes rather than taking nearly a day to physically visit all the suites. It also helps Pettigrew and the maintenance team deal with any equipment issues. In one case, being able to look at the thermostats helped him identify an HVAC equipment failure in minutes rather than hours.

“Using Skyport, we can easily tell if there are any equipment issues and quickly head them off before they become a real problem,” said Kirk Pettigrew, maintenance manager, Black Diamond Lodge.

Rounding out the benefits was a significant utility rebate that covered 45 percent of the cost of the Explorer thermostats in the common areas, thanks to Chris Parker of Green Planet Corporation.