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.
“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.”
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.
The Venetian in Las Vegas.
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.