Sheraton to give thousands of customers a free room for the night


With jobs, paychecks, and disposable income evaporating across the country, business is tough all over. However, the last year has been devastating for the hospitality industry, as consumers cutting back on luxuries have been quick to reduce or eliminate their vacation budgets. According to a recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, lodging revenue is on track to drop by 16.1 percent in 2009 and will flatline in 2010. Meanwhile, the consulting company predicts that 2009 residency rates are hovering around 55.5 percent, and will edge slightly upward to 56.1 percent in 2010.

Sheraton thinks that it might have found the secret to filling rooms. From October 6 through 9, the company will conduct the "Check-In On Us" giveaway, offering entrants a chance to spend a night for free at one of its 86 new or newly-renovated hotels. The 2,100 winners will get to spend October 23 sleeping in what Sheraton hopes will be immeasurable comfort with no strings attached: the hotel chain will cover all taxes and fees, although patrons who use extra services or stay for more than one night will have to pay for their expenses.

Originally published