Select Guest hasn’t offered frequent flyer miles as a reward to guests since 1989. Why the change back to offering frequent flyer miles now?
It comes down to the fundamental of what people expect from luxury hotels today. Airline miles have essentially become something that is expected foundational part of the equation. It was a part that we felt like was one small piece of a puzzle that we were missing and wanted to fulfill on that because it’s all about exceeding guest expectations. But you have to bring them in the door first by having all the things they look for and then let them have a great experience at Omni Hotels. Given all the assessments that the company has made over the last couple of years in terms of renovating and really bringing the standards of the properties up to a higher level it made sense to also make sure we were bringing more people in the door. And this is one way of doing that and to make them happy.
So you have two airlines (American and Delta). Is two enough or are you looking to add a few others?
We can add a few others. Obviously Delta and American made the most sense when you match up where they are and where we are and the size and scope. It’s not going to be a situation where we really look to have every single potential player in there. Not everybody is going to be a good fit. We’d rather have really good, strong, valuable partnerships with a few key players.
Anything else new planned for Select Guest?
Not specifically with Select Guest but with the airline miles. Besides the partnerships we just launched last weekend; we’re also launching an ‘Ideal World Sweepstakes.’ It starts September 23. It will be an email marketing campaign that is meant to help future the launch of the airline mile initiative and partnership. Just like Select Guest allows people to personalize their experience, the Ideal World Sweepstakes allows people to pick which prize they want. There are five different potential packages that they can pick from and then if they refer friends and lets say their referring friends or family members and whoever is chosen as the winner they also win too. So there is potential for two to be able to win the grand prize.
How long does this promotion run?
It is an eight-week campaign. It will run until right before Thanksgiving. Choices will include two tickets to the NBA all-star game in Atlanta next year. We have a spa package to where you get treated to a spa on a monthly basis as well as a trip to our spa in Tucson. We have the ability to have all your household chores done for you for one year. You can have your house cleaned, having your lawns mowed, having your pool cleaned, having your car washed. Also, have a dinner party for eight at one of our hotels.
And the last one is an upgraded travel year. We will upgrade your hotel and your business travel to first class on flights with our American and Delta partners.