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Kimpton is for sale [sold to IHG]

Kimpton is for sale [sold to IHG]

Old Jun 10, 15, 7:52 pm
  #76  
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
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http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/other...g-forward.html offers some clues.
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Old Jun 19, 15, 5:22 pm
  #77  
 
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Originally Posted by ldsant
Originally Posted by gmax58
First reaction (as a former IC and former RA): Argh. Of all of the major chains I've dealt with, the IHG group is the most challenging to deal with when things go awry (in my experience).
Exactly the same - still waiting for a 20K points return since March of this year. Kimpton responds and takes care of everything within 24 hours and personally responds. I am so disappointed with this news. The staff at properties at the Alexis, Palomar Phoenix, Hotel Monaco in Seattle, and Chicago are just so above and beyond.

IHG doesn't "deserve" Kimpton imo.
Customer service at a property I couldn't care less about. Customer service from the rewards program I do care about. Maybe the Karma team could slowly and eventually take over IHG Club program customer service?
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Old Jun 19, 15, 5:27 pm
  #78  
 
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Originally Posted by rgdave
From reading the posts, I'll clearly be in the minority. But I think this is a really interesting move on IHG's part. I don't think it was done purely for the investment potential, but rather for IHG to acquire some of the expertise that makes Kimpton so special. All the major players, with the possible exception of Starwood with W (which is getting tired) are struggling in the boutique/lifestyle space. But IHG has some really intersting Indigos - like Tianjin and Shanghai on the Bund in China - that aren't corporate cookie cutters. And in Asia, at least, my IC and Crowne Plaza experiences have been universally great.

I think IHG will be studying Kimpton very closely to pick up the DNA that makes Kimpton tick. It will be very interesting to see how they brand these hotels in the IHG portfolio, and expand the brand. This could form the nexus within IHG for a boutique brand of 'independent' hotels, which could be a really interesting development. My hope is that IHG doesn't screw it up. The biggest problem with IHG IMHO is brand consistency over its sprawling portfolio. But their 'new' brands, HI Express, Indigo, Staybridge and Candlewood, are much more consistent than their legacy brands, IC, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn. Hopefully they'll be able to nurture the Kimpton buy into a boutique portfolio of maybe a hundred hotels. With a new brand and new franchise agreements, they might be able to actually require and enforce brand standards.

I agree that IHG is piss poor at consistent frequent traveler recognition. I'm IHG Platinum and IC Ambassador (not Royal). At some properties I'm treated like royalty, at others barely above a Priceline deals guest. I think they need to make Platinum more difficult to achieve, but at the same time make it actually worth something.

For Kimpton, a niche player in the U.S., this expands their global reach and recognition. IHG brands are well regarded in Asia, and this will greatly increase visibility for the brand in Asia.

Hopefully some of the key features of Kimpton hotels, like being pet friendly, will be part of the brand standard, and could be expanded to other IHG hotels/brands.

Overall, I think IHG is a very interesting company to watch. Because of the size of the company, the muddled brands and legacy franchise agreements, it can seem like change their is pushing a battleship with a row boat. But they seem willing to try things. True, Into the Nights was a bizarre promotion, but the Big Win promotion was interesting and generally well liked. Both, though, were different than anything any other hotel company has tried, and I give them points for that.

If IHG could get its act together with its legacy brands outside of Asia and leverage the Kimpton buy into something really special, it could give Starwood a run for its money, something Hilton and Marriott have been unable to do. And maybe, just maybe, some of that Kimpton stardust will make its way into the IHG DNA.
WOW! Excellent post rgdave. You really know what you are talking about.
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Old Sep 9, 15, 10:14 am
  #79  
dw
 
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When the acquisition closed, I suspected that it would be quite some time before we heard anything on the fate of Karma Rewards... but I have to say I'm a little surprised that we are now past Labor Day and haven't heard anything aside from the CEO's e-mail a few months ago (that hinted that Karma Rewards would likely co-exist alongside IHG Rewards, but also be somewhat integrated into it).

With many of us already thinking of 2016 and where we are going to put our stays, I'm hoping we hear something before the end of the year.
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Old Sep 16, 15, 12:54 pm
  #80  
 
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I gave up asking about the program since no one from Kimpton seems to care enough to provide an update. Maggie's last response was in February -- albeit the Kimpton folks are allegedly "definitely not trying to sidestep or conceal anything." (emphasis in original) Maybe the Kimpton folks simply don't have any news for us but that would be something to report (wouldn't it?).

Cheers -

Originally Posted by dw
When the acquisition closed, I suspected that it would be quite some time before we heard anything on the fate of Karma Rewards... but I have to say I'm a little surprised that we are now past Labor Day and haven't heard anything aside from the CEO's e-mail a few months ago (that hinted that Karma Rewards would likely co-exist alongside IHG Rewards, but also be somewhat integrated into it).

With many of us already thinking of 2016 and where we are going to put our stays, I'm hoping we hear something before the end of the year.
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Old Nov 6, 15, 3:48 pm
  #81  
 
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Well, well ..

Is IHG on the market. Can Kimpton come home and become what it was before this push for $s http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/...8usUPr3kQHv.97

Also see the IHG forum
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Old Nov 13, 15, 11:20 pm
  #82  
 
Join Date: May 2003
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I would have preferred if Starwood had acquired Kimpton. Maybe now that will happen.
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Old Nov 24, 15, 9:55 am
  #83  
 
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Last post for me on this topic (I can't stay away). A little more than 1 month until 2016 and no word on next year's plan. Can we assume that it will not change? Did I miss an announcement? Does IC transfer to Aspire or RA? Vice versa? Any tie in with IHG?
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Old Nov 24, 15, 11:57 am
  #84  
dw
 
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Originally Posted by thegrailer
Last post for me on this topic (I can't stay away). A little more than 1 month until 2016 and no word on next year's plan. Can we assume that it will not change? Did I miss an announcement? Does IC transfer to Aspire or RA? Vice versa? Any tie in with IHG?
At this point no news is good news to me, and I'm happy they are taking their time. But we know from the CEO's e-mail from the summer that the future of Kimpton Karma is being somehow integrated with IHG Rewards.

Based on all the potential outcomes, I'm hoping that the best case scenario will be:

1) Kimpton properties move to IHG's reservations system, so that room rates will be displayed when reservations are made on any of the IHG sites. I mostly see an upside to this because the greater distribution reach can be sold to property owners. Also, more people making Kimpton reservations through IHG branded sites keeps property owners happy, since they don't have to pay the commissions they would have to for Expedia, Orbitz, etc. reservations.

One of the issues we've seen over the past few years was property owners leaving Kimpton and joining the bigger chains (San Francisco aside, as that was a completely different issue). IHG's distribution system will help keep properties in the fold.

2) Kimpton Karma ditches the current award system of 1 free night for every 7 stays/20 nights and instead everyone earns IHG points based on spend. I also think I'd be okay with this, because the upside is that the points could be used at a far greater number of properties, and would not expire after just one year like the current awards. Also, this would mean that award availability could be checked online. The flipside is that all IHG members would be able to redeem at Kimpton properties, so the capacity controlled awards might be harder to get.

3) Like Intercontinental Ambassador/Royal Ambassador, Inner Circle is kept as a separate recognition program with its own qualification criteria separate from IHG, where regular IHG elites don't receive any recognition at Kimpton properties. However, IC members might get IHG Gold status (like Intercontinental Ambassadors).

As for things like the IC new property free night and the Journey Rewards... who knows?

Last edited by dw; Nov 24, 15 at 12:03 pm
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Old Nov 25, 15, 4:15 pm
  #85  
 
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Originally Posted by dw
At this point no news is good news to me, and I'm happy they are taking their time. But we know from the CEO's e-mail from the summer that the future of Kimpton Karma is being somehow integrated with IHG Rewards.

Based on all the potential outcomes, I'm hoping that the best case scenario will be:

1) Kimpton properties move to IHG's reservations system, so that room rates will be displayed when reservations are made on any of the IHG sites. I mostly see an upside to this because the greater distribution reach can be sold to property owners. Also, more people making Kimpton reservations through IHG branded sites keeps property owners happy, since they don't have to pay the commissions they would have to for Expedia, Orbitz, etc. reservations.

One of the issues we've seen over the past few years was property owners leaving Kimpton and joining the bigger chains (San Francisco aside, as that was a completely different issue). IHG's distribution system will help keep properties in the fold.

2) Kimpton Karma ditches the current award system of 1 free night for every 7 stays/20 nights and instead everyone earns IHG points based on spend. I also think I'd be okay with this, because the upside is that the points could be used at a far greater number of properties, and would not expire after just one year like the current awards. Also, this would mean that award availability could be checked online. The flipside is that all IHG members would be able to redeem at Kimpton properties, so the capacity controlled awards might be harder to get.

3) Like Intercontinental Ambassador/Royal Ambassador, Inner Circle is kept as a separate recognition program with its own qualification criteria separate from IHG, where regular IHG elites don't receive any recognition at Kimpton properties. However, IC members might get IHG Gold status (like Intercontinental Ambassadors).

As for things like the IC new property free night and the Journey Rewards... who knows?
As far as I know -

2016 - Program will stay the same as it has done in 2015. Same status requirements and same Free night awards.

2017 - Kimpton will change over to the IHG points system. IHG members will be able to book award nights at Kimpton properties, lessening the availability further. Gaining status for 2017 still hasn't been disclosed in terms of requirements. There may be an introduction of a level higher than inner circle in 2017. Both programs will stay separate, where Kimpton will not become IHG. This last part, I believe, is the most crucial. The customer service experience and culture of Kimpton will continue without IHG influence. You can definitely rely on having your inner circle amenity protected.

Speculated openings - Europe ( Belgium, Paris, London, and Amsterdam) with hopes of an opening in Q4 2016 or Q1 2017. Openings in Asia, but nothing concrete in timeline. Singapore was one of the cities that appeared to be concrete.

This information was disclosed this year within some of the loyalty events. Nothing is in writing, but things can change of course.
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Old Dec 7, 15, 10:14 am
  #86  
 
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Thanks for the info but too little too late. . In '16 there will be one less IC to compete for upgrades and/or awards. Cheers.
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Old Jan 19, 16, 10:28 am
  #87  
dw
 
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An article about the pace of integration in today's WSJ (subscription may be required, or alternately, if you google the headline of "InterContinental, Kimpton Face Growing Pains" you should be able to access the article):

http://www.wsj.com/articles/intercon...ins-1453223748

The article doesn't really say much, but some key takeaways:

"While the two companies have begun combining back-office systems, most other integration has been moving more slowly. That is in part because both sides want to ensure that Kimptons freewheeling ways arent subsumed by InterContinentals multilayered corporate structure."

"InterContinental hasnt decided whether to merge its traditional guest loyalty program with the Kimpton Karma rewards program."
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Old Jan 19, 16, 4:57 pm
  #88  
 
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Originally Posted by dw
An article about the pace of integration in today's WSJ (subscription may be required, or alternately, if you google the headline of "InterContinental, Kimpton Face Growing Pains" you should be able to access the article):

http://www.wsj.com/articles/intercon...ins-1453223748

The article doesn't really say much, but some key takeaways:

"While the two companies have begun combining back-office systems, most other integration has been moving more slowly. That is in part because both sides want to ensure that Kimptons freewheeling ways arent subsumed by InterContinentals multilayered corporate structure."

"InterContinental hasnt decided whether to merge its traditional guest loyalty program with the Kimpton Karma rewards program."
Thanks for sharing. Quick and interesting read that gives me hope that the program may remain untouched for another year.
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Old Feb 4, 16, 9:37 am
  #89  
dw
 
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Whereas before, IHG.com had a somewhat inconspicuous link to kimptonhotels.com, as of today the Kimpton logo now appears alongside all of the other IHG flags... but with the following footnote:

"*IHG Rewards Club not applicable to Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants; to be included at a future date."
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Old Feb 5, 16, 12:33 am
  #90  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
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For what its worth the following also starting appearing in the past few weeks when booking directly off of Kimpton's site:

Please note that the IHG Best Price Guarantee does not apply to Kimpton Hotels bookings. Kimpton Hotels offers its own Best Rate Guarantee with distinct terms when you book on KimptonHotels.com.
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