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Discussion: Orienteering USA and Choice Hotels Part Ways Effective March 31, 2015

in: Orienteering; General

Jan 17, 2015 4:29 PM # 
Glen Schorr:
To the OUSA Membership and Orienteering Community

Effective March 31 ,2015; OUSA and Choice Hotels will part ways. This will conclude an over two-year partnership which generated approximately $6,500 in sponsorship fees and room night commissions for OUSA.

OUSA will immediately begin to seek a new hotel partner that our A-meets and orienteers can benefit from in their orienteering and everyday lives. We seek a partner that has (1) A range of brands across various price points (2) A large number of properties across the USA and (3) Is willing to provide on-line, phone-in and at-the-desk discounts to the orienteering community.

Should you have any thoughts or suggestions on suitable company, I encourage you to post to this site for discussions. Also should you have any questions, I will do my best to answer them on this post.

We thank Choice for their partnership and wish them well.

Have a good weekend.

Jan 18, 2015 9:05 AM # 
My first choice would be the IHG (Holiday Inn) group but the Wyndham group probably has the widest range with 15 brands to choose from covering all price ranges and every location imaginable.
Too bad things are ending with Choice.
Jan 18, 2015 12:32 PM # 
Glen Schorr:
gordhun - thanks for your suggstions. Both groups, among others, are on the list we are contacting.

All - other suggestions/ preferences welcome.

I agree that it is too bad things have to end with Choice. Our members liked them.
Jan 18, 2015 9:37 PM # 
I second Gord's Wyndham suggestion.
Jan 18, 2015 10:29 PM # 
Glen Schorr:
Brooke. (Sp) thanks for weighing in. I will be reaching out to Wyndham and other corporations.
Jan 19, 2015 12:06 AM # 
Concur on Wyndham and IHG. Might also be worth considering Hilton. Amazing breakfast, usually (but not always) complimentary for members. Breakfast would definitely have to be part of the corporate deal, though.
Jan 19, 2015 12:17 AM # 
Glen Schorr:
Have reached out to both.
Jan 19, 2015 2:27 AM # 
Do IHG or Hilton have budget/economy brands?
Jan 19, 2015 3:17 AM # 
Doesn't look like IHG or Hilton have any economy brands. Nor do Marriott or Hyatt. After Choice, the widest selection would be Wyndham. There's also Vantage Group, which has America's Best Value and the somewhat more upscale Lexington.
Jan 19, 2015 4:27 AM # 
It is perhaps significant that the two hotels that DVOA is working with for the March A event and IS/IC champs are part of the Wyndham group, not the Choice group.

IHG may not have budget brands but their business traveler hotels - Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites - often offer great discounts on weekends when the business customers go home. AND you can cook/ microwave your own meals in their suites.
Jan 19, 2015 2:10 PM # 
Glen Schorr:
gorduh - In discussions with DVOA, they picked properties that we close to their site and fit their needs. I would consider that they were part of Wyndham a coincidence.

We have to remember that a company we may be interested in may not have a program or they may not be interested in us. The important thing is to start with the longest list possible and find the right partner.
Jan 19, 2015 3:01 PM # 
Do [they] have budget/economy brands?

[A] company we may be interested in may not [...] be interested in us.

Just sayin'.
Jan 19, 2015 7:59 PM # 
Mariott has Fairfield Inn as one of their brands, which I think can be considered economy.
Jan 19, 2015 11:46 PM # 
Glen Schorr:
Thx. Many options out there. Many people have different price points. The important thing is to find some kind of range. Choice had it. Others do too.
Jan 20, 2015 11:56 PM # 
Mariott has Fairfield Inn as one of their brands, which I think can be considered economy.

I don't think of Fairfield as an economy brand. And, while I like Marriott properties (who wouldn't?), I don't believe the have a large enough footprint (tho any deal is obviously better than no deal).

Accor (Motel 6/Red Roof), and Choice, are, IMHO, the best systems for the problem at hand. It might be constructive to know why these have both failed to be viable.

So, echoing others, Wyndham is next on the list. Large geographic footprint at multiple price points. I also believe you can double dip with both their loyalty program and any sponsorship discounts, should a deal be reached (I know I do).

IMHO, the other chains that have been mentioned, as well as others that I'm aware of, are not viable for the problem at hand (either too high end, not a large enough footprint, or both). Translation: all guns should be focused at getting a deal with Wyndham, IMHO.

Good luck.
Jan 21, 2015 1:34 AM # 
Accor no longer owns Motel 6 or Red Roof; they sold them off to different companies a year or so ago.
Jan 22, 2015 3:20 PM # 
Glen Schorr:
randy: thanks for your input. The goal is to find a corporation with a range of properties. Wyndham does a good job of this and they have been approached.

Motel 6 and Red Roof are no longer together.
Mar 30, 2015 10:18 PM # 
Stayed at a Choice property this past weekend to use up all the points, since we are no longer in the partnership. Shortly after we checked out and left on Sunday, started to get phone calls and voicemails from the hotel. The voicemails were nonspecific and innocuous enough, but lasted all the way through when we landed in SF, about one per hour, seven total. The one call that did get through to the Middle arena was (1) demanding a credit card for payment and (2) threatening with "action" if I didn't pay. I said I couldn't help them. The stay was prepaid for with points, and the person who I checked with specifically declined to take a credit card.

I am wondering if the sheriff has a case on me already. I did get through to Choice customer service, which used to be all but impossible as of last year. They said they'd investigate. No more messages or calls today. Hope for a less dirtballey partnership next time.
Mar 31, 2015 3:09 AM # 
Points earned by individual customers, while OUSA was in the partnership, will not expire tomorrow. AFAIK, the partnership and rewards programs are completely independent of one-another.
Mar 31, 2015 6:57 PM # 
Yes, I get that part but it's hard to keep track of points that are getting stale, they tend to evaporate one way or another.

Customer Service did let the hotel know to stop.
Jan 11, 2016 4:56 PM # 
According to we are still investigating this. Any progress?
Jan 11, 2016 5:01 PM # 
Stay tuned. Board is discussing a proposal at this weekend's board meeting.

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