Here's an upbeat article from Ric Garrido of Loyalty Traveler about Marriott's March 24th Press Release announcing a new 3 for 2 promotion*: Hooray for Marriott Rewards
The 3 for 2 schedule discounts the points needed to redeem nights at a Marriott resort to 2008 levels. It's not exactly "grandfathering" but a temporary roll-back:
The upside for Elites is that Marriott Marketing appears to be listening. Comments posted on Flyertalk.com to Marriott Concierge suggest a warm reception to this special promotion and a 'start' to restoring Elite confidence recognizing that the premature rollout of the 2009 Program, increased rates and point redemption levels resulted in sticker shock, unprecedented customer dissatisfaction to the devaluation of points and Elite exodus to competitors. The downside is the dearth of hotels that are actually participating - 55 in all selected from Category 4 to 7 hotels**. Only 18 resorts are in the US located in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky and Nevada ranging from Category 5 to 7. The only Category 4 resorts listed are in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Interestingly, several Marriott associates called yesterday and today at Elite reservations are not aware of the promotion and do not have a Corporate Promotion Code. Postscript (3/26): Candidly, the reservation agents were all 'stumped' and had to place me on an extended hold. Overall, it was not a smooth reservations experience suggesting that this might be a teaser promotion.
Loyalty Traveler's Ric Garrido suggests that the 3 for 2 promotion is an "olive branch after the outcry over the 2009 changes to the Rewards free night redemption table changes making almost all hotel awards more costly in points in 2009." What do you think? Does the special promotion work for you? Is Marriott listening?
One doesn't have to be a genius to figure out that resort properties have a much greater potential for generating revenue even if they make no money from the room itself as opposed to a regular hotel.
The amount of money that resort hotels reap from bars, activities and onsite restaurants sometimes (but not always) allows them to give the rooms away for nothing. Can't do that at city hotels where guest just use the place to sleep and shower.
Exactly (in reply to 3/26). In a new development, Marriott Vacation Club International celebrates 25 years next month and there's a push to contact owners about discount offers. An MVCI sales rep called last week providing the opportunity to ask about owner response to the 2009 changes in Marriott Rewards. There were interesting take-aways: