MILWAUKEE, WIS.— The benefits of membership in Baymont Inns & Suites’ Guest Ovations® program just became greater as the leading midmarket brand seeks even more ways to reward its most loyal customers.
Membership in Guest Ovations, one of the most popular customer-loyalty programs in the U.S. lodging industry`s middle market, has been steadily growing. Today, Baymont Inns & Suites also is enjoying growth in the number of partners taking part in the program.
New Guest Ovations partners include: The Marcus Corporation—including Marcus Theatres with nearly 500 screens throughout the Midwest, The Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, the Miramonte Resort in Indian Wells, Calif., the Hotel Phillips in Kansas City, Mo., and the Grand Geneva Resort and Spa in Lake Geneva, Wis. Other new partners include the TimberRidge Lodge & Water Park in Lake Geneva, Wisc. (managed by Marcus Hotels and Resorts), Outrigger Resorts in Hawaii, and national participation from Speedway Gas Cards and Applebee`s Restaurants.
“We are always trying to increase the diversity of the partners we have,” said Pam Schlenvogt, director of loyalty marketing. “We want to increase the number of ways our Guest Ovations members can use their points. We want them to be able to use these rewards as part of their daily schedules and routines.”
She said adding several new partners to the program will make it even easier for program participants to cash in on for rewards earned through stays at Baymont Inns & Suites’ hotels.
“We now are able to offer stand-alone spa packages, ski packages, golf packages and annual fitness packages at Grand Geneva. We also offer golf packages through other partners,” Schlenvogt said. “We are trying to tailor these redemption possibilities to fit the various needs of our guests.”
Schlenvogt said whether it is a luxury vacation or a stop at the gas station on the way to a dinner out with the family, the partners of Guest Ovations bring a diverse range of possibilities to members. For example, members can redeem points earned from stays at Baymont Inns & Suites for gift certificates from restaurant partners long established in the Guest Ovations program, including Bahama Breeze, Chili`s, Cosymel`s, Macaroni Grill, Olive Garden and Red Lobster. Points also can be exchanged for gift certificates from Home Depot, Office Depot, Barnes & Noble, Bath & Body Works and Sam`s Club, among others.
“Our members know their points have value thousands of miles away or just down the street,” Schlenvogt said.
Craig Farrell, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Baymont Inns & Suites, said the Guest Ovations’ program is growing because of the brand’s belief that a successful hotel chain must give its guests the best possible value.
Guest Ovations members earn points or miles quickly. They receive 10 Guest Ovations points for every dollar spent in room charges or one mile in a participating airline program for every qualifying dollar spent in room charges. Airline partners include American Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Delta and Midwest Airlines. Guest Ovations members also can receive one point in the American Express Membership Rewards® program with every qualifying dollar spent in room charges.
Guest Ovations members also receive an upgrade to one of the Baymont Inns & Suites Ovations Rooms when available. The rooms feature plush pillow-top mattresses, Down Lite? pillows, complimentary bottled water, and an over-sized desk with ergonomic chair.
Schlenvogt said the recent switch by Baymont Inns & Suites to The Lacek Group, a division of OgilvyOne Worldwide, for management of its Guest Ovations` database helps make it easier for Baymont Inns & Suites to add partners to the program.
“The Lacek Group is a full-service loyalty marketing company that provides all of the data management and partner tracking for Guest Ovations,” Schlenvogt said. “We are utilizing The Lacek Groups Reward? technology to manage the Guest Ovations program and it has proven to be very cost effective, flexible and reliable. Lacek`s experience in the area of managing frequent-customer programs really shows.”
The Lacek Group and Baymont Inns & Suites have entered into a multi-year agreement in which The Lacek Group will maintain the Reward software through its facilities. This relationship was beneficial for both parties by enabling them to focus on their core business.
Schlenvogt stressed that no customer loyalty program has value unless the product is something to which the customers want to be loyal. “You must have a strong product before you can have a strong loyalty program,” she said. “By far the most popular redemption for Guest Ovations’ members is free room nights. The product make Guest Ovations stronger and Guest Ovations makes Baymont Inns & Suites stronger.”