VegasChatter has the news that the Venetian and Palazzo in Las Vegas have entered into a 10-year agreement with Intercontinental Hotels Group.
The property will be bookable on the Intercontinental website and will be eligible for earning and burning Priority Club points.
Otherwise, the hotels will maintain their own identities. Which tells me they won’t become Intercontinental properties (no stellar Royal Ambassador upgrade benefits and free minibar!). More generally, while time will tell whether they honor any Priority Club elite benefits at all, Priority Club’s platinum level isn’t especially rewarding to begin with so this won’t be a major driver for the elite-status crowd.
Still, the opportunity for points earn and burn at better properties in Vegas is certainly welcomed, as the Wynn and Bellagio for instance offer no such conventional chain loyalty opportunities. Traditionally one imagines that hotels haven’t had to look to the bigger programs to drive business since gambling was such a big part of their revenue and elite status or points-collecting didn’t especially signal big gambling business. But Vegas has very much changed, gambling makes up a smaller portion of revenue, and the hard last couple of years and have left them looking for incremental revenue sources in places they haven’t in the past. No doubt that drove the soon-to-open Cosmopolitan to link up with Marriott Rewards, as well.
More points options are certainly better, but what I really want is a program with a top-end elite offering to link up with more high-end luxury properties, to move beyond points earn and burn to the real benefits that used to be open only to high rollers. But that’s just selfish, since I’m not one…