(some minor) news of the new program

Old Dec 31, 1998, 7:53 am
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(some minor) news of the new program


All the Best Elements of the Sheraton & Westin Frequency Programs, Plus More, Set the Tone for this Innovative Plan"

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 28, 1998-- Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., announced today that in February of 1999 the hotel giant will launch a new and innovative frequent guest program, Starwood Preferred Guest(SM). All active members of Sheraton Club International and Westin Premier will be automatically enrolled in Starwood Preferred Guest, one of the largest programs of its kind in the world.

Starwood Preferred Guest will mark the hotelier/real estate magnate's first cross-branded consumer program. Featuring a vast global portfolio of properties, Starwood Preferred Guest will allow guests to accumulate points and redeem awards at Westin Hotels & Resorts, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, The Luxury Collection, Four Points, Caesars and Starwood's new W brand hotels -- representing more than 550 participating properties worldwide.

''New participants, as well as current members of Sheraton Club International and Westin Premier, will now have access to a bigger and better frequency program that we believe will be far superior to those of our competitors,'' said Juergen Bartels, Chief Executive Officer, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.-Hotel Group.

Starwood Preferred Guest offers an unrivaled portfolio of hotels, featuring more properties in popular destinations than any other competitor. Examples include:

More Hawaii--15 hotels and resorts on five islands;
More Mexico--16 properties from Cancun and Acapulco to Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos;
More Europe--104 properties in 60 cities in 21 countries; and
More Asia Pacific--65 upscale and luxury hotels from Beijing to Sydney.

Other features Starwood Preferred Guest can boast over competitors include:

More Golf--56 golf properties worldwide;
More Luxury Properties--57 hotels and resorts in 22 countries; and
More Gaming--A spectacular world of fun and entertainment with the Caesars portfolio.

Starwood will soon unveil the myriad of details that will distinguish Starwood Preferred Guest. Bartels promises lots of innovations, ''This is not simply a merger of Westin and Sheraton's frequency programs. We have taken the best elements of both programs and added more compelling features. In the months to come, we look forward to announcing the many new benefits and highlights that will make Starwood Preferred Guest a revolutionary program -- easier, faster and more rewarding than any other frequency program the travel industry has ever seen.''

The transition for members of Westin Premier and Sheraton Club International will be seamless and all can use their current membership cards and portfolios to earn and redeem awards until they receive new Starwood Preferred Guest cards. Full details on Starwood Preferred Guest and its exciting kick-off event to follow shortly.

McKay Public Relations
Colleen Turner
(617) 338-8844 (days); (617) 429-2217 (eves)
[email protected]
Starwood Hotels & Resorts
K.C. Kavanagh
(914) 640-8339
Rudi is offline  
Old Dec 31, 1998, 9:14 am
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An abbreviated version of this marketing hype was also posted on the Westin Premier web site about two months ago (I am not impressed with this "unrivaled portfolio" whatever that means). But this gives no details about the new program - what are the award levels, what happens to existing points in the respective programs, are future earnings/redemptions diluted or are they at the same level, what about the Sheraton Optima card etc. If there are any surprises they would be in the details which Westin has refused to release, even though the letter I received from them said that they would be releasing the details in November 98.

Look in the posting under Sheraton "My Gold membership ended ......." for some buzz about upcoming changes.
Old Jan 3, 1999, 5:16 pm
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This "soap opera" of Starwood unveiling details of its new program is going on longer than most storylines on "The Young and the Restless."

I'm turning blue holding my breath waiting for details! Talk STARWOOD!!! CATMAN
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Old Jan 6, 1999, 12:19 am
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just checked my Sheraton web statement...now it says "SPG elite 50% bonus" (SPG stands for Starwood Preferred Guest, I guess) instead of the old "Gold 50% bonus"...
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