That’s where everyone stayed, but by marketing both properties they were able to pick up business at both price points (without lowering prices at the Le Meridien). It was a clever exercise in price discrimination, and guests wound up either with what they booked (Le Meridien) or something better than what they’d booked (Le Meridien > Sheraton). And they were in basically the same location.
If you’re going to do it – and it is deceptive – make sure your customers aren’t being bait-and-switched for something worse. That’s the lesson hotel owners in Michigan are receiving from the law after they did essentially the same thing as these Charlotte Marriotts, only in reverse.
Here the better hotel was closed and customers were being moved to lesser accommodations in the family’s 20+ properties.
The Attorney General’s office cites complaints that typically go like this: customers book rooms at a hotel with vacancy. They get a confirmation saying they’re all set. Then they arrive at the hotel they booked, and it’s closed. There’s a sign on the door redirecting them to another hotel that’s open, typically Hamilton Inn Select. They go there. And then – it’s a bit of an oversimplification – but there’s usually a tussle where the customer says they’re not getting what they paid for and the hotel worker says it’s too late to cancel and refuses a refund.
The owner of the hotels appears to have also set up a website for an ‘Official Mackinaw City Chamber Of Tourism’ (which as far as I can tell isn’t a thing, let alone an official thing) to steer searches to their hotels to the exclusion of other properties. And even though you may never have visited Mackinaw City, Michigan or plan to you probably heard of them…
Video went viral last May when this group kicked a “Dumb Democrat” out of the Crown Choice Inn & Suites in Mackinaw City after she complains about flooding in her room.
You rented the room, it’s your bathroom now. You’re responsible for the room. Stop being an indiot…Stop being a dumb Democrat. Now go to your room, pack your stuff and leave.
The manager, part of the family that owns these hotels, kicked her out of the hotel, saying he’d charge for the room and for damage.
Hotel owner in Michigan calls a mother a "dumb Democrat" and kicks her out because the bathroom was flooding pic.twitter.com/W5xkOO0R0Z
— Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2) May 26, 2021
The convenient thing about the ‘Mackinaw City Chamger Of Tourism’ website is that it conveniently groups the properties I’d recommend against staying at in that town.