RED LION UPDATES LOYALTY SCHEME

Welcome to the Red Lion R&R Club, the West Coast chain's new loyalty program. Designed to reflect and facilitate Red Lion's “stay comfortable” brand promise, the R&R Club, launched Feb. 29 in conjunction with Red Lion's National Stay Comfortable Day, features a lower point threshold and more redemption options than its predecessor, Guest Awards.

According to John Taffin, executive vice president of hotel operations for Red Lion, the R&R Club abandons the concept of tiers, making hotel stays and other redemption options more attainable and easy to use.

Members can redeem rewards for as little as 5,000 points; they earn 10 points for each dollar charged to their room, with 10,000 earning a free night's stay at any Red Lion. Other choices span a massage, a skydiving trip and a Stay Comfortable Bed by Sealy.

The R&R Club aims to reflect a shift from a transactions-based program to one based on experience, suggests Namrata A. Patel, Red Lion's director of marketing.

“It was the next step in fully repositioning our brand, so when we changed our corporate name from West Coast Hospitality to Red Lion Hotels in 2005, we wanted to commit to the Red Lion brand,” Patel says. On the customer side, “our brand promise is to stay comfortable,” she adds. “Part of that promise was to deliver a program that was comfortable to our guests.”

Every customer who was part of Guest Awards will automatically be enrolled in the R&R Club.

“They understand the benefits right away, how to get stuff,” Patel says. “At the end of the day, that's what it's about for loyalty programs. Our associates, who have to sell the program, find it very clear and much simpler to talk about with the guests.”

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