Monday, February 23, 2009

“We'll leave the light on for you.”® - Maybe not !

Remember the moniker Tom Bodette made famous for Motel 6 -“We'll leave the light on for you.”® ? We wonder if this would be the case in this economy.

Revenue at luxury hotels is down about 20% as affluent guests are selecting lower room categories or cutting a stay short by a day or so. To compensate, luxury hotels are not necessarily discounting room rates but cutting costs in areas guests might not notice.
According to a "Marketplace Report" report by American Public Media, luxury hotels could fill their rooms if they slashed rates. But that could hurt their luxury cachet. So they're cutting costs in subtler ways.

Michelle Payer with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company says "the Ritz has trimmed its water usage and electric bills". "Any measures that we're taking are so far in the background that the guests don't see them.The guests will still see the flowers in the hotel, and they'll still see the bottled water when they walk in, they'll still have the complimentary little cookies or bites to eat in the afternoon".

Luxury chains like Four Seasons Hotels and other independent Luxury hotels entice customers nowdays with freebies like a a free night during the course of a stay. Check out this page of online Specials to see many of the properties that are offering a free night with a certain amount of paid nights during a stay. These are terrific offers and really do amount to a discounted rate (or value-add as hotels like to call it) as the free night is amortized over the entire stay to lower the average nightly rate. So it really is a buyer's market out there.

Oh and if you wondered about Tom Bodett. According to Motel 6's website, after thirteen years of award winning advertising, Tom is still speaking out of America's dashboards and television screens about life as a road warrior, and the merits of Motel 6 from a small studio in his house where the homely voiced monologues of Motel 6 are still recorded.

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