NEW YORK -- Where are clients spending New Year's Eve 1999?
If they are members of the Soho Grand Hotel's Grand Guest
affinity program, they can stay at the trendy lower Manhattan hotel
for $284 per night, which is less than the hotel's rack rates,
which start at $334 a night. Indeed, the 339-room hotel, at 310
West Broadway between Canal and Grand streets, will be reserved
solely for repeat guests during the millennium weekend.
Emanuel Stern, president of
Hartz Mountain Industries, which owns the hotel, said he created
the promotion to reward repeat guests, who make up 40% of business.
"We think the greed exhibited by the vast majority of the travel
industry -- hotels, airlines, cruise ships, which are literally
gouging customers for the millennium -- is offensive," Stern said.
"We decided that we would do something different and reward the
loyalty of our frequent guests," he said.
Clients can join the Grand Guest program after their initial
stay by filling out a guest profile card and indicating their room
and service preferences. In addition to paying the special rate,
returning guests are rewarded with the room category of their
choice and the amenities they requested.
For 1999, the program was upgraded to include "surprise" gifts
such as free breakfast and dinner at the hotel's Canal House
restaurant, a complimentary night's stay, theater tickets and a day
at a spa, depending on how often the client frequents the hotel.
"We prefer not to use a point system," said a hotel
The Soho Grand Hotel, Phone: (800) 965-3000 or (212) 965-3000.