Starwood Preferred Guest has put fast-track elite into play for the next three to four months with two promotions targeting SPG stays at Aloft, Element, and Four Points brands.
Nights/Stays Count Double Oct 1- Dec 31. Registration required.
Gold elite after four stays October 1-January 31. Registration required.
Last year I suggested hotel loyalty programs should focus on targeted Stays Count Double for their luxury hotel brands, but that idea wasn’t picked up. I am happy to see this promotion from SPG target the least expensive Starwood Hotels brands, at least for my wallet.
Promotion 1: Nights Count Double at Aloft, Element and Four Points Hotels (about 200 hotels).
- Every eligible night or stay counts double October 1 – December 31, 2010.
- All global properties in Aloft, Element and Four Points participate.
- An eligible night is a paid night that qualifies for earning points (Cash & Points or Standard Award Nights do not count. Must book through an SPG channel, so no Expedia or Travelocity booked stays.)
- Any SPG member may sign up for the promotion. (FAQ states SPG® members who receive the promotional email may register for the promotion, but Starwood Lurker II, an official SPG social media representative to the FlyerTalk community, posted on FlyerTalk today that any SPG member is eligible.)
- Register by December 31, 2010. Stays completed prior to promotion registration will receive double credit.
- Stays with arrival before October 1 or departure after December 31 will count as long as one night falls in the October 1-December 31 period. (SPG FAQ: If I check in before October 1 or check out after December 31, do my stays and nights count double? Any stays with an arrival date occurring during the promotion registration will count double. Any nights during the promotion period will count double.)
- Multiple rooms for same hotel stay will only count for one double credit.
Loyalty Traveler 5-Key promotion opportunity for Stays Count Double elite.
Promotion 2: SPG Gold Elite after four stays in Aloft, Element or Four Points hotel brands.
- October 1, 2010 – January 31, 2011
- Register by January 31, 2011. Stays completed prior to registration, but during the promotion period will be counted.
- Gold elite membership earned after four qualifying hotel stays from October 1 through January 31, 2011 will be valid for all of 2011 and through February 2012. [There is no point in waiting for January 2011 since the Gold elite offer is only for the 2011 membership year.]
- The four hotel stays can be at any hotels in the three brands of Aloft, Element, and Four Points. You can stay four times in the same hotel or complete four stays in four different hotels.
- Gold elite membership earns 50% more Starpoints as elite bonus (3 points/$1).
- Gold elite members receive complimentary internet at Starwood Hotels.
Loyalty Traveler 5-Key promotion opportunity for fast-track Gold elite after four stays.
Loyalty Traveler Theorizes Why Stays Count Double is Limited to 3 Starwood Hotel Brands
The FlyerTalk thread on this SPG Stays Count Double promotion questions Starwood’s motivation for offering elite fast-track opportunities at the lower level hotel brands of Starwood Hotels. Here is some data which may shed light on why there is an effort to stimulate business in this hotel market segment.
There are currently about 45 Aloft Hotels (40 USA/Canada; 5 international), 7 Element Hotels (all USA) and around 153 Four Points Hotels (104 North America and 49 international).
Four Points Hotels are a Midscale with Food & Beverage hotel brand. This market segment is not seeing the occupancy recovery being led by the upscale and luxury hotel market segments in 2010. STR Global reported the 2010 outlook broken down by hotel market segments. The Midscale with F&B hotel market segment has less than 1% occupancy increase for 2010 when the luxury segment is looking at 8% and Upper Upscale 6% and Upscale near 5% occupancy increase for this year. Room rates are still in decline in the Midscale F&B hotel market segment. The RevPAR hotel profits indicator reveals the Midscale F&B hotel market segment is on pace for the worse statistics of 2010 in all hotel market segments.
Starwood Hotels numbers through June 30, 2010 show Four Points room rates in North America barely moved during the first six months of 2010 from $99.14 Average Daily Rate (ADR) in June 2009 to $99.36 in June 2010. At least the rates did not decline year over year. The room rate data is not broken down for Aloft Hotels or Element brands.
Four Points occupancy actually increased on average by 2.7% from 60.8% in June 2009 to 63.5% in June 2010. While Four Points is faring better than the average North American Midscale with F&B hotel chain, Four Points shows an occupancy gain that is less than half the average gain (5.5%) for Starwood Hotels as a whole in 2010.
Aloft and element are the newest Starwood brands still trying to make an impact in the midscale to upscale business traveler market. That is tough with other new hotel brands like Hyatt Place, Marriott’s Edition, Hilton’s Home2Suites, IHG Hotel Indigo and other relatively new brands trying to grab the traveling public’s attention.
Aloft Hotels – Loyalty traveler review of Aloft Cascade Station Portland Airport (PDX) Oregon (November 2008). These are colorful hotels and my review includes many photos. But once you have seen one Aloft Hotel, you basically have seen them all. Looking out the window is the best way to tell where you are in the country.
Element Las Vegas (Summerlin) – Loyalty Traveler review with lots of pictures (August 2009).