How an artist and a casino resort partnered to better the planet.
WRITTEN BY NATASHA BOURLIN
PHOTOS BY SHAUN HUNTER
About six years ago, an unlikely partnership solved two individual dilemmas: In the first, a Truckee-based artistic entrepreneur was in need of glass bottles for his candle-making business, while in the other, a casino resort needed an earth-friendly outlet for the enormous amount of empty wine bottles it produced weekly, with only 20 percent of them recyclable through Waste Management.
Casino leaders met entrepreneur, a successful relationship ensued, and both animals and the earth have benefited.
Since beginning Rescued Wine in 2010, Amy and Craig Davies sought a steady supply of quality wine bottles that they could repurpose into candles — which Craig created by hand and which had long been a passion and skill of his — then donate proceeds from their sales to animal rescue organizations. Helping the earth was an added perk.
It occurred to the benevolent Davieses that casinos produced a plethora of empties. Maybe the couple could take some off their hands? Not all properties approached were receptive to the idea, but the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno was.
Craig Davies gets many of his discarded bottles from Bistro Napa inside the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa
A combined average of 90 wine bottles are emptied daily in just the Atlantis Steakhouse and Bistro Napa alone. With the resort’s 10 bars and multiple restaurants plus banquets, the Davieses pick up about two 96-gallon bins of bottles weekly.
Sergio Guzman, executive steward for the Atlantis, who helps with the property’s multitude of green initiatives, claims it was the first casino property in town to participate in single-stream recycling. He says recycling the allowable amount through Waste Management barely makes a dent in the amount of bottles produced. A second recycling resource was appreciated — not considered an extra effort.
Guzman was overjoyed when he got the request from the Davieses. This was one way he could help positively affect future generations.
“We’re not going to see the impact ourselves, but my grandkids will,” Guzman explains. “We have a wonderful upper management here that said ‘Go for it!’ Now it’s a routine; we don’t even think about it. Hopefully we can work together with other properties to make a difference.”
Imbibing for good
Now a nationwide wholesaler and retailer of repurposed wine bottle candles, the Davieses share 10 percent of Rescued Wine’s proceeds with animal rescue groups locally and across the country. They attribute part of their success to the accommodating partnership with the Atlantis. It helps Amy and Craig Davies support their two small children and two rescue dogs and create the nearly 1,000 candles each week that demand now drives.
Most of all, this partnership allows them to pour not only their 100 percent American soy wax into repurposed bottles, but a bit of their heart and soul as well.
Natasha Bourlin is a freelance writer who was inspired by the Davieses’ creativity and benevolence and the resort’s green efforts.
For details, visit Rescuedwinecandles.com.