Yesterday’s news that Hyatt and MGM Resorts were teaming up was stunning. Hyatt went from having one property (Hyatt Place) to a collective presence of thirteen in Las Vegas including prime locations along the Las Vegas Strip. An infrequent visitor — but frequent Hyatt hotel guest — like me can now look forward to better treatment at the mega resorts instead of being reduced to a small fish in a big pond. And M life, a reasonably good casino rewards program, now enables its members to grow their status when staying at Hyatt hotels across the globe.
But the two hotels also created the biggest mattress run destination in the world. This was probably the my favorite language in the FAQs provided with yesterday’s press release:
All M life-Eligible Stays by Hyatt Gold Passport members at any of the participating M life resorts will count toward Hyatt Gold Passport tier status.
What exactly is an M life-eligible stay? I’m not sure, because it’s not described anywhere I could find on Mlife.com, but I would guess that it is any rate you can book directly with a participating resort or on Mlife.com, excluding comps and special convention rates, etc. This is not really a hindrance and remains consistent with many other hotel programs. I have a discounted rate at the hotel where my wedding guests are staying, and it’s ineligible for Kimpton’s InTouch program. I don’t mind because they gave me a confirmed free suite upgrade, and that seems fair.
There are still plenty of cheap, eligible rates you can find at hotels participating in this new arrangement. It used to be I thought the Hyatt Place Las Vegas was cheap, given it’s $80 AAA rates with a free bottle of wine. Now you can stay at Excalibur for $40 or Luxor for $50. Even with taxes and a $15 resort fee, you could be paying just $60 a night. And discounts do go lower. My search was random, but Loyalty Traveler found a night at Excalibur for only $28 before taxes and fees.
All of these hotels are lined up in a row on the same street!!! With lobbies that serve free drinks!!!
I’m about to faint here. 😀 You could fly to Las Vegas on a cheap, off-season fare and hotel hop every night to rack up the stay credits you need to requalify for Gold Passport Diamond status. For $60 a night, it would cost $1,500 to get 25 stays.
I know that $60 a night isn’t the cheapest mattress run in the world, but it’s a heck of a lot better than I get here in Seattle, where I rarely see anything under $100 (and they’re at boring office parks, not Vegas.) You don’t need to do all 25 stays here, nor should you. If you have status but don’t use it for meaningful trips, then why bother? I’m suggesting this only for people who might be 5 stays under and need a boost.
There are still some good reasons not to mattress run in Las Vegas. There’s no 1,000-point check-in bonus for Gold Passport Diamond members at MGM hotels. Worth $16-18 depending on how you value points, that’s a definite loss. There’s no free breakfast. You’re also likely to pay for other things while there and can’t eat dinner at home before you check-in as with a traditional mattress run.
I can’t think of many cities that have 13 hotels (including a several under $100) that all credit to the same loyalty program. But I’m not sure I’m worried about it devaluing Gold Passport. Like I said, the lack of a check-in bonus and the hidden cost of incidentals and resort fees still make the economics tricky. It will be exploited by a small number of individuals.
I’m more concerned about potential devaluation of M life. I don’t know much about casino loyalty programs, but M life Platinum status was not easy to get, relying very much on how much you spent at the resort on rooms, dining, and gambling. Only very high spenders, or people who spent a lot over repeat visits, could hope to achieve such status. How many Diamond members are there? Still not tons, but probably more. And those with a Hyatt Visa can match to Gold status with M life. Any one of these people now can walk into a Las Vegas hotel and get the star treatment on their first stay while paying no more than the basic room charges.
It’s an interesting development, to say the least. I’m looking forward to seeing how the partnership works in practice. My bachelor party is coming up before the status match portion begins in August, so I may have to make a second trip after the wedding just to test it out. Such a hard life. 😉