One of the largest U.S. hotel owners is experimenting this year with a new business strategy: Charge guests for most services and amenities, just like in the airline industry.
At roughly a dozen of his company’s independent hotels, Tyler Morse said, any guest can get an early check-in, but it costs about $20. A similar fee applies to a late checkout. Use of the pool might be free on a Tuesday morning, but cost guests $25 on a scorching Saturday afternoon. Gym use and breakfast also come with an additional charge.
In exchange, these properties are lowering their nightly room rates by varying degrees.
Brands are reluctant to put themselves at a disadvantage against their peers by charging for a popular service that a competitor provides free of charge, hotel owners say. Marriott CEO Tony Capuano said guests would push back against an a la carte pricing model, and he is skeptical that most owners affiliated with his hotels would support it.
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