Doral Resort courts retailers

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MIAMI -- The Doral Golf Resort and Spa here is reaching out to the trade.

The upscale property is paying 15% commission on two leisure packages and offering an agent rate of $89. The effort appears to be working, according to Jodi Cross, director of marketing for the Doral.

The resort blasted to agencies a fax touting the offers, which prompted a spur in bookings, especially for the remainder of 2001, she said. Cross said October was a difficult month for the 653-room resort but that the "rest of the year looks good."

The Doral Golf Resort and Spa in Miami is paying 15% on its Championship Golf package. She said the hotel expects to finish 2001 with 70% occupancy for the year. The resort also is in the final stages of a $75 million face-lift, with $30 million earmarked for room renovations. Cross said 150 units are sporting a new look and that the remaining rooms will be finished by the end of 2002.

In terms of the group market, which accounts for 60% of the Doral's business, Cross said groups have rebooked for 2001 and 2002. The resort has seen a rise in last-minute leisure bookings and has been targeting the drive market.

To entice leisure travelers, the Doral created a Championship Golf package. The nightly rate is $169 per person, double, and valid through Nov. 20 and from Dec. 9 to 31. Components include one round of golf with cart for each night of the stay, unlimited use of the driving range, bag storage and a full breakfast.

The hotel's other deal is on room rates.

Agents earn 15% when they book one room for $129 and two rooms for $169.The offer applies through Dec. 31, except Nov. 20 to Dec. 6.

Neither program is valid for groups. The discount rate for agents is available through Nov. 20 and from Dec. 9 to 31.

For more information, call (800) 71-DORAL or visit www.doralresort.com.

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