Excerpt from Adweek
Marriott is offering a handful of lucky loyal consumers a chance to stay in these decked out yurts at Coachella.
Marriott International had an idea for Coachella in 2017 that no hotel brand had ever attempted before. The brand provided festival attendees and Marriott Rewards members with a chance to stay in one of eight safari-inspired tents. Each tent was created to look and feel like rooms from some of the company's portfolio of lifestyle brands, including Moxy Hotels and Aloft Hotels.
The activation was a major hit. So much so that Marriott decided to return to Coachella in 2018 for an equally exciting opportunity. Instead of tents, Marriott is offering guests a chance to stay in yurts, a circular tent, decked out with all the essential music festival necessities including Wi-Fi, a private restroom and shower, a stocked minifridge and 24-hour security. Marriott is modeling this year's yurts on W Hotels & Resorts locations in Dubai, Barcelona, Bali and Hollywood.
Instead of paying with real money for the yurts, Marriott opened a bidding platform on SPG Moments on Starwood’s website—Marriott acquired Starwood Hotels & Resorts in September 2016—and let members bid for the rooms using their accumulated loyalty points. The yurts went for as many as 822,500 points.
So why does Coachella make so much sense for a brand like Marriott?
“It really is the right audience for a hospitality company in the sense that these are people with disposable income that will travel for music festivals, they are traveling for their passion points,” said Jennifer Utz Ilecki, vp, buzz marketing and partnerships for Marriott International, adding, “What we have found over the last few years is that by tapping into those passion points, whether it’s music or spots or some other form of entertainment, there’s an awesome opportunity for us to infuse our brand into the overall experience to just enhance what guests are experiencing when they show up at a music festival or an event.”
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