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Starwood + Marriott: How Will Hilton Respond? Elite Status Matches?

Starwood + Marriott: How Will Hilton Respond? Elite Status Matches?

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Old Dec 18, 15, 5:45 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Posted by HHonorsRepresentative:


We're winding down for the Thanksgiving holiday and, as a heads up, I will be out of the office until Monday, but I wanted to let you know about our status match program...

We've been receiving a number of requests and yes, we do match status from other programs and we'd love to be your travel home.
We are matching status for 2016. To make sure you're all set for the year, please submit your request by January 11, 2016. You'll enjoy that status through March 2017.

All you need is something that shows your elite tier in another program and an HHonors number.

Email us at [email protected] and we'll help get you started.
Please note it may take a couple of days to process given the Thanksgiving holiday. We promise to process requests as quickly as possible and any request submitted prior to January 11, 2016, will be processed in time to enjoy your new status for the entire year.


Updated 12/18/15:

For anyone who is still interested in status matching to HHonors, we have created a site for registration:

HHonor My Status


Feel free to use this site in lieu of submitting an email.

Remember you have until January 11, 2016 - so act now!
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Old Nov 17, 15, 7:45 am
  #16  
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Originally Posted by Miesque View Post
By the way, I don't think its just Hilton/Blackstone that has figured this out. Much as I really don't like Hyatt Place, I would bet that is also is a reason why Hyatt is pumping those out for new properties relative to the full service Hyatts.
Marriott's most profitable chain is Courtyard by Marriott, not any of their luxury or FS brands. As mentioned the limited service chains tend to bring in more money on the whole.
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Old Nov 17, 15, 8:31 am
  #17  
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Originally Posted by NYC2TheWorld View Post
Honestly this might put pressure on Hyatt and Hilton to merge. Hyatt is staring to grow its select-service chain with Hyatt Place but are they growing in that area fast enough? Hilton has the low-mid end covered very well, some high end brands but really not enough now to compete against a Marriott/SPG combination. I could see this leading to talks between Hyatt and Hilton resulting in the following brand mapping.

Park Hyatt - Waldorf-Astoria
Andaz - Canopy
Grand Hyatt - Mixture of Hilton and Conrad
Hyatt Regency - Hilton
Hyatt - Hilton
Hyatt Centric - Mix of Hilton and Doubletree
Hyatt Place - Hilton Garden Inn
Hyatt House - Either Home2Suites or Homewood Suites
Hyatt Zilara and Hyatt Ziva - Hilton All Inclusive Resorts (or Curio Collection)
Hyatt Residence Club - Hilton Grand Vacations
Bolded the ones I hope survive as brand identities... I don't really know or care what they do with the timeshare or all-inclusive brands...

I'd be happy to see Doubletree and the baseline Hyatt brands disappear, and those properties brought up to at least the basic Hilton level. Hyatt aficionados insist that Hyatt is a premium brand, so perhaps it lives on with the Parks and Grands. Park Hyatt has a very different vibe than Waldorf so those seem like they can co-exist fine.
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Old Nov 17, 15, 7:21 pm
  #18  
 
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Bad response

The Hilton response (and Mariott) will be that with less competition in the market service and benefits will decline
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Old Nov 17, 15, 8:15 pm
  #19  
 
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Originally Posted by NYC2TheWorld View Post
Honestly this might put pressure on Hyatt and Hilton to merge.
That's not going to happen. The Pritzkers own 75% of the voting stock in Hyatt and Tom and Gigi look like they're willing to acquire but not be acquired. That being the case, Hilton would be too expensive for them to finance.

Tom and Gigi are both multi billionaires so I don't think that Hilton could write a check big enough to interest them in selling but I've been wrong before.
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Old Nov 18, 15, 8:26 am
  #20  
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Originally Posted by iflyjetz View Post
That's not going to happen. The Pritzkers own 75% of the voting stock in Hyatt and Tom and Gigi look like they're willing to acquire but not be acquired. That being the case, Hilton would be too expensive for them to finance.
It really depends on where the hotel market goes. Right now, my understanding is Hyatt is doing fairly well and the Pritzkers are more than satisfied with a more "organic" growth model.

But if the Marriott/Starwood merger actually gives the new Marriott a strategic advantage that affects Hyatt's profits/growth strategies, then their minds might change.
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Old Nov 18, 15, 8:39 am
  #21  
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Originally Posted by trk1 View Post
The Hilton response (and Mariott) will be that with less competition in the market service and benefits will decline
I think you're right on benefits, although not necessarily because of this merger. I think we're seeing it across the travel industry: airlines and hotels are gradually winding down their emphasis on loyalty programs and moving more to a model where paid premium customers get the benefits. They've figured out that yield is more important than frequency, and they've also figured out that loyalty programs aren't the differentiator that they once were.

We all have our different ideas on what the loyalty program "golden era" was - for hotels, I think of the 2000-2001 range when several big programs were up and running and they were all very lucrative for frequent travelers - but I think we can all agree that it's in the past.

Service, OTOH, might actually get better in some areas. Hilton is now looking at a huge competitor with a ton of advantages that it doesn't have. I'm not sure what they'll try, but they have to try something.

Originally Posted by iflyjetz View Post
That's not going to happen. The Pritzkers own 75% of the voting stock in Hyatt and Tom and Gigi look like they're willing to acquire but not be acquired. That being the case, Hilton would be too expensive for them to finance.

Tom and Gigi are both multi billionaires so I don't think that Hilton could write a check big enough to interest them in selling but I've been wrong before.
Isn't "willingness to be acquired" simply a function of the offer price, the current stock price, and the projected earnings and capital growth of the company going forward? The problem with 1 voter (or is it 2 voters?) controlling 75% of the votes is that your price has to fit *their* forecast model as opposed the forecast model of a bunch of institutional investors, which would likely normalize around a common and reasonably agreeable price.
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Old Nov 18, 15, 9:32 am
  #22  
 
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
Isn't "willingness to be acquired" simply a function of the offer price, the current stock price, and the projected earnings and capital growth of the company going forward? The problem with 1 voter (or is it 2 voters?) controlling 75% of the votes is that your price has to fit *their* forecast model as opposed the forecast model of a bunch of institutional investors, which would likely normalize around a common and reasonably agreeable price.
There isn't much room to offer above current stock price for a buyout of Hyatt. The current PE is ~28. How much of a premium can be added to the current stock price?

Tom Pritzker is a multibillionaire who, by all external appearances, wants to run a hotel chain. Many of his siblings and cousins are selling their Hyatt holdings (the last of family sales will be done by the end of this year) and he and his sister Gigi have been buying family Hyatt stock over the years. If Tom and Gigi were interested in selling their Hyatt holdings, one would think that they would have done so by now. But it's hard to point to money being a motivating factor for them - how many billions does one need in life?

If Hilton's looking at acquiring additional properties, there are other hotel chains that could be bought for much more reasonable prices.
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Old Nov 18, 15, 9:44 am
  #23  
 
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Okay, I'm just gonna put it out there....

Hilton should buy ACCOR hotels. It would finally give them a respectable presence in Europe (France particularly), overseas tax shelter if they move the headquarters, and most importantly, anyone that's ever been part of the horrible ACCOR loyalty program (Le Club), would welcome the program change.
Vive la Hilton!
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Old Nov 18, 15, 6:07 pm
  #24  
 
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Hilton will probably respond by reducing their Internet speeds, so that they can further differentiate themselves with that service
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Old Nov 18, 15, 8:46 pm
  #25  
 
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Originally Posted by alchemista
Hilton will probably respond by reducing their Internet speeds, so that they can further differentiate themselves with that service
Good one alchemista. I am hoping Blackstone sells Hilton to Hyatt so then HHonors can be merged into Gold Passport and gone forever or at least my lifetime.
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Old Nov 18, 15, 11:51 pm
  #26  
 
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
I think you're right on benefits, although not necessarily because of this merger. I think we're seeing it across the travel industry: airlines and hotels are gradually winding down their emphasis on loyalty programs and moving more to a model where paid premium customers get the benefits. They've figured out that yield is more important than frequency, and they've also figured out that loyalty programs aren't the differentiator that they once were.
I agree that airlines are having it good. But only partly because economy is up. The reason is also partly due to reduced options, reduced flights, limited competition (US domestic) and lower fuel costs. As for hotels, they do not have the same full advantages. Yes, there may be more stays (room occupancy) but there are certainly way more competition as compared to the airlines. Barrier to entry is also significantly way lower. Lastly, shared residences e.g. AirBnB is taking away some stays from the traditional hotels. Are the hotels making better profits? Yes they are. Are the chain dominating the market so much that they do not have to worry about competition like the airlines... not exactly true.
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Old Nov 19, 15, 9:24 am
  #27  
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I think those forces could lead to innovations at the hotels - things we'd consider new or better services - but I still think the major brands are all slowly stepping away from the emphasis on loyalty programs and - more importantly - the emphasis on elite status.

You're seeing it across EVERY hotel program. Everyone is gradually drawing down the benefits they provide to their Gold/Plat type guests. They were doing it in the softer global economy of 2008-2010. They're still doing it during today's era of growth. It used to feel cyclical...they'd add and entice during softer periods. Now it seems like a straight line towards an end-goal of much less emphasis on elite status. Or, perhaps following the airlines' lead, revenue-based statuses.
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Old Nov 19, 15, 11:03 am
  #28  
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Originally Posted by iflyjetz View Post
That's not going to happen. The Pritzkers own 75% of the voting stock in Hyatt and Tom and Gigi look like they're willing to acquire but not be acquired. That being the case, Hilton would be too expensive for them to finance.

Tom and Gigi are both multi billionaires so I don't think that Hilton could write a check big enough to interest them in selling but I've been wrong before.
Originally Posted by hhoope01 View Post
It really depends on where the hotel market goes. Right now, my understanding is Hyatt is doing fairly well and the Pritzkers are more than satisfied with a more "organic" growth model.

But if the Marriott/Starwood merger actually gives the new Marriott a strategic advantage that affects Hyatt's profits/growth strategies, then their minds might change.
Agree w/ both.

Cheers. Sharon
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Old Nov 19, 15, 11:09 am
  #29  
 
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Originally Posted by fozziedoggie View Post
Okay, I'm just gonna put it out there....

Hilton should buy ACCOR hotels. It would finally give them a respectable presence in Europe (France particularly), overseas tax shelter if they move the headquarters, and most importantly, anyone that's ever been part of the horrible ACCOR loyalty program (Le Club), would welcome the program change.
Vive la Hilton!
I love this idea, but without knowing anything about Accor's corporate structure, I doubt that it would ever happen. It would indeed make Hilton a huge player in France and Switzerland, where its footprint is small, and in many other regions where it currently has a small presence (e.g., Australia/New Zealand). And, the Pullman Paris Eiffel Tower (formerly a Hilton) would return to the fold!
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Old Nov 19, 15, 11:23 am
  #30  
 
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Here's an idea: how about instead of going on an M&A binge and haphazardly gobbling up even more properties, Hilton steps back, sorts out its current portfolio, develops some actual brand identities aside from Hampton and HGI, and forces properties to conform with them? Ha ha ha. Ok, now that we've all had a good laugh, carry on...
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