Guaranteed Occupancy

Guaranteed occupancy is a hotelier's dream. Essentially, that's what Sleepwell Laboratories offers to hotels that participate in its sleep labs program. Under the plan, the California-based company contracts with hotels on a long-term basis to convert a pre-determined number of guest-rooms into testing facilities to diagnose and treat sleep disorders. In a typical arrangement, Sleepwell will lease 10 rooms from a hotel for a five-year term. The company then retrofits six rooms for testing and four for administration.

La Quinta Corp. recently signed a deal with Sleepwell to incorporate the sleep labs into company-owned La Quinta and Baymont properties in select markets. So far, two Phoenix-area La Quintas, one in Mesa and one in Surprise, have gone under contract to Sleepwell. Sleepwell also operates sleep lab facilities in hotels in Portland, OR; Houston; and Salt Lake City.

Other healthcare companies have adopted the hotels-as-sleep-labs concept. For example, the Cleveland Clinic Sleep Disorders Center recently opened a four-bed lab in a Courtyard by Marriott in suburban Cleveland.

According to Wayne Goldberg, La Quinta's executive VP or operations, the agreement with Sleepwell “represents a new and innovative way of thinking about inventory management and revenue generation in local hotel markets.

“The excitement generated by the opening of the Phoenix sleep facilities indicates that the marriage between hotels and sleep centers is an idea whose time has come.”

In addition to guaranteed revenues, other benefits to hotels from the arrangement include reduced housekeeping costs and increased foot traffic in the properties.

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