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MGM and Marriott Enter New Joint Venture

Marriott International, MGM Resorts International announce new license agreement

By Kathy Gibbons

 

New York-New York Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. || Photo by James Bardwell

Marriott International, Inc. and MGM Resorts International are joining forces to create the MGM Collection with Marriott Bonvoy.

The two companies have entered into a 20-year strategic licensing agreement creating the MGM Collection with Marriott Bonvoy. Starting in October, several MGM Collection with Marriott Bonvoy resorts will be available to book on Marriott’s digital platforms including Marriott.com; all properties should be included by the end of the year.

The organizations previously operated on a similar model at MGM’s The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, where leaders say demand was strong from Marriott customers. Expanding into the licensing agreement involves 17 MGM resorts representing more than 40,000 rooms in Las Vegas and other U.S. locations. What it means for customers is access to loyalty programs and benefits from both Marriott and MGM.

“This represents a significant moment for Las Vegas and for both of our companies,” MGM Resorts International President and CEO Bill Hornbuckle says in a recent press conference. “It expands our reach, our customer base, and offerings, and allows us to build on the transformational growth the city has undertaken in recent years.

“With the launch of this collection later this fall, Marriott Bonvoy—more than 180 million members—will enjoy the benefits of MGM’s Las Vegas Strip resorts along with several of our properties across the country. This agreement will also unleash opportunities and benefits for MGM customers, opening Marriott’s global portfolio of more than 8,500 properties (to) more than 40 million MGM Reward members.”

Of the 17 MGM resorts joining MGM Collection with Marriott Bonvoy, four will be affiliated with Marriott Collection brands. Bellagio Resort & Casino joins The Luxury Collection, ARIA Resort & Casino becomes part of the Autograph Collection, Park MGM is affiliated with the Tribute Portfolio, and The Cosmopolitan will continue to be part of the Autograph Collection.

Remaining MGM Las Vegas properties that are joining MGM Collection with Marriott Bonvoy include Vdara Hotel & Spa, MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, NoMad, The Signature at MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, New York-New York Hotel & Casino, Luxor Hotel and Casino, and Excalibur Hotel & Casino.

MGM Grand Detroit is one of five MGM resorts outside of Las Vegas included in the MGM Collection with Marriott Bonvoy. || Photo by James Bardwell

The other MGM resorts becoming part of the MGM Collection with Marriott Bonvoy include Borgata in Atlantic City, New Jersey; Beau Rivage in Biloxi, Mississippi; MGM Grand Detroit; MGM National Harbor in Maryland; and MGM Springfield in Massachusetts.

MGM National Harbor in Maryland is among five MGM Resorts outside of Las Vegas to be included in the new MGM Collection with Marriott Bonvoy. || Photo by James Bardwell

Anthony Capuano, president and chief executive officer for Marriott International, says the fact that the two organizations are culturally aligned makes the move a good choice.

“Many of MGM Resorts’ key values—creating extraordinary experiences, providing consistent and outstanding guest service, sustaining their communities, and being respectful, inclusive and responsible—squarely align with Marriott’s values of putting people first and serving our world,” he says. “This agreement marks an exciting moment for the future of both of our companies.”

Capuano added that the loyalty components of the new arrangement “are compelling.”

“For Marriott Bonvoy, this agreement will give members the opportunity to earn and redeem Marriott Bonvoy points and enjoy certain Bonvoy benefits when they stay at MGM Collection with Marriott Bonvoy properties … in addition, members of MGM Rewards will be able to link accounts with Marriott Bonvoy and receive select member benefits, which is expected to enable Marriott properties to capture a larger share of their travel spend outside of Las Vegas,” he notes.

The MGM Springfield in Massachusetts. || Photo by James Bardwell

The agreement also includes a loyalty marketing agreement with BETMGM, the international gaming platform. “Marriott Bonvoy will become BETMGM’s exclusive hospitality loyalty program partner in the U.S. and Canada,” Capuano explains. “Marriott and BETMGM will collaborate to provide Marriott Bonvoy members opportunities to earn Marriott Bonvoy points on certain BETMGM transactions and participate in exclusive games, experiences, and offers on the BETMGM platform.”

Capuano also noted that the new arrangement will enhance Marriott’s resources when dealing with M.I.C.E. (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions) planners looking to Las Vegas to stage events.

“While we’ve been proud to offer The Cosmopolitan as a meeting venue, in effect it’s been a singular offering on the Las Vegas strip,” he says. “So now to offer our valued meeting clients a much broader portfolio that includes over 4 million square feet of state-of-the-art meeting space, we think we have the potential to offer a much more robust set of venues.”

Hornbuckle says the meetings market represents about 20 percent of MGM’s business in Las Vegas, adding, “Our teams will stay assembled as is, MGM will continue to represent itself … but the opportunity to come together both in terms of client services, programming, things for the future and the ability to one-stop shop, we think, is going to be pretty compelling for the meetings market.”

Details of how the loyalty programs will work for customers under MGM Collection with Marriott Bonvoy are expected to be rolled out in the fall.

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