ST. LOUIS, MO -- Adam’s Mark Hotels & Resorts is making its mark when it comes to guest loyalty programs in the hotel industry.
While other hotel chains award points redeemable for goods or free room nights and/or miles for free airline flights, the small family-run chain will pay guests cold hard cash to reward them for staying at its hotels and using its restaurants, lounges and other facilities.
Fred Kummer, III, Vice President of Adam’s Mark, said the Gold Mark Rewards program is aimed at being as simple possible, while giving guests maximum ease in redemption. Kummer said his father, who is President and CEO of the chain, came up with the idea about six months ago, following the example of the Discover card.
“He wanted the ability to make it simple and viable, and it’s rather revolutionary,” Kummer said. “I think we’ve kept it as simple as it can be.”
The first day of the program, which was rolled out chainwide on June 26, enrolled numerous new applicants, according to Kummer, who happened to be in the Adam’s Mark Hotel in Memphis, TN. He said at that hotel alone, of 40 check-outs that morning, 15 guests signed up. New members get a $250 credit toward a reward.
The Gold Mark Rewards program doesn’t require guests to track points, instead basing rewards on how much they have spent within Adam’s Mark facilities -- and rewarding them automatically.
Rewards are paid quarterly, building from 3% of the amount spent when participants reach the $1,000 level, to 4% at the $5,000 level and 5% for $10,000 or higher in total spending. The expenditures accumulate on an annual basis. When guests reach a new tier, the higher award percentage is automatically applied in the form of a bonus reward to all previous expenditures. For example, a guest who spends $5,000 would be eligible for a 4% award, or $200. But once that guest reaches the $10,000 expenditure level within a single year, the guest would receive a 5% reward on the entire $10,000 in patronage, or $500.
Adam’s Mark will promote the new rewards program through advertising in USA Today and in-flight magazines, Kummer said.
“The tagline will be ‘Points, the root of all evil,’” Kummer said. “We’re having fun with it.”
To motivate guests to join, Adam’s Mark will double participants’ account values through the end of this year to help them earn rewards even faster. Within the next two months, the Adam’s Mark Website will enable rewards club members to check their points or ask questions about the program. An 800 number will also be set up to answer questions about points.
Kummer said the program replaces one that was about eight years old and served only about 7,500 members. Not only does he expect the Rewards program to attract more members, he also said it will allow Adam’s Mark to better gauge who their most loyal customers actually are. While the program is currently open only to business and leisure travelers, an additional program for group business will be established by the end of the year.
“If you look at how these rewards programs have just exploded, it’s ironic that people are usually only able to redeem about 50% of them, because what is open to them is usually so restrictive,” Kummer said, adding that the company intends to personalize its straight-forward program.
The 23-property chain, comprised largely of convention hotels in 12 states, owns and operates a total of 11,000 rooms with more than a million square feet of meeting space.