Marriott Deals In: New Strategic Alliance with MGM Resorts

By: Kaydee Ambas · July 18, 2023 · Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Suite Life

An exciting development has hit the hospitality industry: global hotel giant Marriott International (MAR) inked a licensing deal with MGM Resorts (MGM).

Starting this October, members of the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program will be able to accumulate points during their stay at any of the 17 MGM Resorts. By year’s end, customers will even be able to book one of MGM’s 40,000 rooms in Las Vegas directly via Marriott’s website and app.

Members’ Jackpot

MGM’s loyalty program, boasting over 40 million members, will now have the option to merge accounts with Marriott’s Bonvoy program. This collaboration promises yet-to-be-announced exclusive benefits at a staggering 8,500 properties. Similarly, the more than 180 million members of Marriott Bonvoy will be able to collect and spend their points at 17 new locations under the MGM banner.

This partnership opens a two-way street of benefits for loyalty members of both programs. MGM’s members will gain a passport to an expansive network of Marriott properties, enjoying global access to select benefits. Conversely, Marriott Bonvoy’s vast member base is presented with a new opportunity to earn and redeem points, adding a dash of gaming excitement to their rewards.

Game On for REITs

Some industry insiders think this partnership could impact the hospitality sector of the real estate market. Specifically, they are looking at possible mergers or other large-scale collaborations between lodging and gaming real estate investment trusts (REITs). In other words, the Marriott-MGM tie-up could be the catalyst for similar transactions, which could impact publicly traded names and vehicles, like REITS.

Whether you’re a member of a loyalty program or an investor in the lodging or gaming sectors, this will be an interesting strategic partnership to observe. It’s somewhat similar to the Jet Blue (JBLU) and American Airlines (AAL) partnership, which let the airlines sell seats on each other’s flights and split revenue. However, a judge just said the two companies must abandon the alliance for antitrust concerns. It’s an interesting context to keep in mind when watching the MGM & Marriott partnership.

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