IHG adds Venetian, Palazzo to brand family
 
IHG adds Venetian, Palazzo to brand family
26 OCTOBER 2010 7:41 AM

InterContinental Hotels Group became the third worldwide company this year to bring a major casino-hotel on the Las Vegas Strip into its brand family.

LAS VEGAS—Two is a coincidence; three is a trend.

InterContinental Hotels Group became the third worldwide brand this year to bring a major casino-hotel on the Las Vegas Strip into its brand family. IHG announced Monday a partnership with Las Vegas Sands to bring The Venetian Resort and Palazzo Resort into its marketing and distribution family.

Earlier this year, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts entered into a franchise agreement with Planet Hollywood and Marriott Hotels and Resorts announced it would handle marketing and distribution for The Cosmopolitan, set to open 15 December.

IHG's head of the Americas Jim Abrahamson signs the partnership with Las Vegas Sands Corporation's Mike Leven.
InterContinental Priority Club members can now earn and redeem points at two of the most prestigious venues on The Strip, and the two Sands properties will benefit from the power of 10 worldwide reservation centers.

“We're proud to announce the beginning of a whole new relationship,” said Jim Abrahamson, president of the Americas for IHG, during the opening session of the 2010 IHG Americas Investors & Leadership Conference, coincidentally held at The Venetian this week. “We have just signed a contract and we are announcing today an agreement to join IHG and this fabulous Las Vegas resort.

“Early next year, The Venetian Resort and Palazzo Resort will be designated as InterContinental Alliance Resorts.”

Initially just the two Las Vegas properties will become part of IHG’s global distribution platform, but CEO Andy Cosslett said the partnership is “a foot in the door” to other areas where Sands properties are located (Singapore, Macau) and IHG already has a large presence.

“This resort has won every award in the book, from AAA 5-diamond to Mobil 4-star to Conde Nast top 20,” Abrahamson said, referring to The Venetian. “As an InterContinental Alliance Resort, Priority Club Rewards members will have access to the glamour of Las Vegas in a world-class resort.”

A win-win

Mike Leven, COO of Las Vegas Sands Corporation, said, “The alliance to the world’s largest hotel loyalty program is truly a win-win.”

Leven is no stranger to IHG’s staple brand, Holiday Inn. He served as the president of Holiday Inn Worldwide from 1990 to 1995. Following that stint, Leven formed U.S. Franchise Systems, which franchised the Microtel Inns & Suites, Hawthorn Suites, and Best Inns and Best Suites hotel brands. During his five-year tenure with Holiday Inn Worldwide, the Holiday Inn Express brand opened 330 hotels.

 The Venetian in Las Vegas.

 

“To all the franchisees and corporate employees who worked with me 15 years ago and spent time with me in our effort to move the needle forward on what was then called Holiday Inn Worldwide, it’s very nice to be amongst friends and to welcome friends back to my hotel,” Leven said during the general session.

During a recent interview with HotelNewsNow.com, Shannon Okada, VP of HVS’ consulting and valuation division in Las Vegas, said big brands partnering with casino-hotels on The Strip is beneficial to the Las Vegas market.

“It allows opportunities to tap into existing databases to expand patron markets,” he said. “Proper cross-marketing benefits potentially benefit both brands.”

However, Okada said casino-hotels are unique entities that provide opportunities and challenges for companies inexperienced with the operation.

“In situations where there may be an underlying conflict of interest, decisions may be made that will benefit one brand over another. If correctly integrated, there is the possibility that the synergistic relationship will be very beneficial to the property,” he said.

3 Comments

  • loyaltytraveler October 27, 2010 2:00 AM

    "A spokeswoman for IHG said it would cost approximately 40,000 Priority Club points for a night at The Venetian. Based on calculations that the average Holiday Inn roomnight costs US$100 and earns 200 Priority Club points, it would take, on average, 200 Holiday Inn roomnights booked to earn a free night at The Venetian."

    The calculations in the article are incorrect.

    A $100 night at Holiday Inn earns 10 points per US$1 or 1,000 base points. It will take 40 Holiday Inn nights at $100 per night to earn 40,000 points.

  • jfreed October 27, 2010 4:44 AM

    loyaltytraveler, Thank you for bringing this to my attention. In fact, the redemption values and calculations were based on speculation, and i regret the error. I've removed it from the story.

  • gboro February 11, 2011 7:32 AM

    Where is the information that Mr. Leven serves as a director emeritus of Hersha Hospitality Trust. This is a company that owns and is partnered with IHG properties. This seems like a conflict of interest and illegal if you ask me. He is padding his wallet making these deals. Where is this information disclosed?

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