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An Expansion Good for the Soul

SCP Ramps Up Hotels, Nonprofit Partnerships

Hotel owner and operator Soul Community Planet (SCP) is taking its sustainable hospitality practices overseas.

The hospitality company, launched in 2018 by former Sunstone Hotel Investors (NYSE: SHO) CEO Ken Cruse, last week said it purchased a hotel in Costa Rica, marking its first acquisition outside of the U.S.

Financial details for the buy of the 189-acre Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge were undisclosed.

SCP purchased the four-star, beachfront property in partnership with Madison, Wis.-based Hovde Properties.

The lodge, which counts 14 garden villas and a three-bedroom beach house, will undergo a multi-phase renovation and will be renamed SCP Corcovado Wilderness Lodge.

This milestone comes at the end of a strong year for SCP; the Laguna Beach-based firm expects revenue of $40 million this year, up 45% over 2021.

The company touts itself as a “holistic hospitality” brand that focuses on eco-friendly amenities and wellness components at hospitality venues like hotels, coworking spaces, fitness facilities and restaurants.

It aims to set itself apart from capital-intensive hotel chains through its environmental, social, and governance (ESG) model, which includes sustainable initiatives like creating energy-efficient accommodations and local partnerships with like-minded organizations, such as Miracles for Kids or the Boardriders Foundation.

“We see the product of our business in terms of making the world around us a better place,” Cruse, CEO and co-founder, told the Business Journal.

The company’s efforts earned SCP a spot on this week’s Business Journal listing of Companies That Care.

Eco, Ergo

SCP opened its first location in 2018 with SCP Colorado Springs; it now counts eight properties in total including two local assets—the oceanfront Laguna Riviera Beach Resort and the neighboring Seven4One hotel along South Coast Highway—which it acquired last year for about $24.3 million.

Other hotels are in the Pacific Northwest; Hilo, Hawaii; and Northern California.

“Each hotel has its own character,” said SCP co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer Pam Cruse, who is married to Ken.

SCP repurposes vintage buildings by refurbishing them into unique venues with a few similarities—all use ECOS cleaning products from Cypress-based Earth Friendly Products, showcase menus sourced from the local community, and encourage wellness through fitness centers and ergonomically designed rooms.

Each location is also undergoing an EarthCheck certification, ensuring SCP minimizes its ecological footprint while creating such travel experiences. SCP Hilo has achieved Bronze Benchmarked recognition with SCP Redmond soon to follow.

Caring Customers

Hotel guests play a role in SCP’s goal through its Every Stay Does Good program.

By using the hotel’s eco-friendly amenities and energy-efficient systems, guests have reduced 556,000 pounds of CO2 emissions, eliminated 185,000 plastic water bottles, and saved 9,300 pounds of food waste from landfills, according to SCP. Guests can opt in further and provide donations to SCP’s partners, such as by lighting the home of one family caring for a critically ill child for 24-hours through Miracles for Kids.

“We are in the business of producing advocates,” Ken Cruse said.

SCP also partners with local governments and organizations to address specific needs of each community where it has a presence.

“At every hotel, we like to come up with at least one local cause,” Cruse said.

In 2021, SCP met with the mayor of the Island of Hawaii and the Hawaii Wildlife Fund to create the Pristine Makai program to mitigate marine debris from the mainland on Hawaii’s southern shores.

With every stay at SCP Hilo, approximately 2.2 pounds of trash is recovered from local beaches in Hawaii, contributing to the removal of more than 31,000 pounds of waste to date.

Boardriders

SCP last month announced a partnership with Boardriders Foundation and Seatrees to improve the well-being of the marine ecosystem on the Southern California Coast and combat climate change. Each time a guest stays at SCP’s Laguna Beach property, SCP plants one SeaTree—or kelp—which, per acre, retains around 20 times more carbon dioxide than terrestrial forests.

Since its launch in November, 328 SeaTrees have been planted.

“We are thrilled to support the ambition of SeaTrees to rapidly scale up the restoration of coastal ecosystems around the world,” said Bob McKnight, founder of Quiksilver and director of the Boardriders Foundation. “Surfers depend on these ecosystems being healthy, and every Boardriders surfing brand will support at least one SeaTrees project.”

In the new year, SCP aims to continue its sustainable efforts as it expands to new markets, including the East Coast and internationally.

“We want to build positive momentum around awareness, who we are, and what we stand for,” Cruse said.

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