Hotel Phillips leverages district energy to optimize guests’ experiences and lower its carbon footprint





Kansas City, MO

Square footage


The customer

Opening its doors to guests in 1931, Hotel Phillips is an iconic Art Deco building located in the heart of downtown Kansas City. With 217 rooms, the 20-story landmark was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Many of the original details remain today, including the walnut paneling, intricate metalwork, a 20-story mail chute, Art Deco lighting fixtures, a speakeasy, and a gilded statue of the goddess Dawn. The hotel’s historic character, state-of-the-art amenities, and superior guest services provide a unique experience for all visitors.  

The challenge

Due to the building’s aging infrastructure and need for upgrades—mainly replacing the cooling tower—Hotel Phillips needed a cost-effective solution to provide efficient cooling to keep guests comfortable. The owners considered the complexity of chillers, the associated annual maintenance costs, and the staffing required for safe and efficient operation. Given these concerns, Hotel Phillips wanted to explore cooling options to reduce operational complexity and disruptive downtime. 

The solution

Since Vicinity already supplied Hotel Phillips with green steam for over two decades, switching to district chilled water rather than purchasing onsite chillers was a seamless and easy decision. To support the hotel in connecting to the chilled water system, Vicinity invested capital in the expansion project, including street repairs, landscaping, and beautification to benefit the surrounding Kansas City community. With Vicinity’s operations and maintenance (O&M) support and dedicated customer service, the hotel now benefits from improved operational efficiency, increased reliability, and expert help on demand. 

We’ve been very happy with our longstanding steam service from Vicinity, and look forward to the additional efficiency, reliability and peace of mind we can expect from their chilled water service. Keeping our guests comfortable is our number one priority and we’re also so proud to be reducing our carbon footprint in the process,” states Hotel Phillips General Manager John Glenn of Arbor Lodging Partners LLC. 

Reducing upfront capital investments 

The switch to Vicinity’s chilled water substantially reduced the hotel’s upfront capital expenses, associated operations, and maintenance costs. With a lower total cost of ownership than onsite chillers, Hotel Phillips can now repurpose funds and staff hours to core business operations, optimizing guests’ experiences.  

Achieving a lower carbon footprint beyond the building 

Swapping the hotel’s cooling tower with chilled water yields a sizeable reduction in the hotel’s water and energy consumption, resulting in a net environmental benefit to the city. As Vicinity advances its net zero carbon plan across all its operations, Kansas City customers, like Hotel Phillips, will continue to receive greener energy solutions and reduce their carbon footprint. Vicinity’s district energy system in Kansas City plays a pivotal role in creating a sustainable, cleaner future.


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Upfront capital savings

99.99% reliability 

Less maintenance