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Amenities specified by hotel companies’ brand standards can become a point of contention between hotel owners and brand managers. At issue for the owner is whether offering a particular amenity justifies the expense, while brand managers are typically more concerned with maintaining consistent brand standards systemwide. This report provides another perspective, by analyzing the short-term return on investment for six upscale and luxury brands offering three popular complimentary amenities—bottled water, internet access, and fitness center use—both in terms of their effects on first-time visits and on repeat business. While internet access held the greatest attraction for first-time guests, complimentary bottled water offered the highest ROI for returning guests. Analyzed over a twelve-month period, the fitness center had a negative ROI for both groups. Of particular interest, the study also found that guests greatly overestimated the likelihood that they would use the hotels’ amenities.


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