Hotels Are Testing a la Carte Pricing for Amenities, Like Pool Access

But don't expect widespread changes to hotel pricing any time soon.

Why pay for a hotel pool when you’re just on a quick business trip? Why spend money toward treadmills if you don’t plan on using them during your hotel stay? Now, the fourth-largest hotel operator in the United States, MCR Hotels, is tackling these questions by testing a la carte pricing for hotel amenities.

The model is similar to how airlines choose to offer add-on options for extra fees. If you want Wi-Fi, premium meals, or a window seat toward the front of the plane, you can pay up. If you don’t want those things, there’s a chance you end up spending a bit less. MCR Hotels is testing this pricing model at about 12 of its independent hotels, including the High Line Hotel in New York City.

“Not every guest wants every product, and they don’t want to pay for something they were never going to use anyway,” MCR Hotels CEO Tyler Morse told the Wall Street Journal. “Other owners are fully behind me, but there’s always a fear of change.”

The new system includes charges like early check in or late check out for $20, use of the gym or pool for $25 each per day, or breakfast for anywhere from $10 to $25. One bonus is that for guests staying at these hotels during the week, when fewer people are booked, access to some amenities, like the pool, will be free. On the weekends, when the hotels are at higher capacity, amenities will cost you.

Daily housekeeping could also become an additional charge, as more and more hotels offer it only by request. According to Kerry Ranson, chief executive of HP Hotels, hotel companies need to find ways to cover the costs of increased sanitizing and fewer customers amidst the pandemic, per the WSJ report.

At the same time, it’s not certain if, or by how much, nightly rates for just the hotel rooms at the MCR Hotels properties will be reduced. Frequent customers might soon start paying more to access everything that used to be included in the nightly rate, while other guests could save by skipping all the extras when they just need a place to crash.

It’s uncertain whether this will become the norm or not. MCR Hotels is just testing the waters, and according to Fortune, other hotels are unsure about following suit for fear of customer pushback in a time when hotels are already struggling due to the pandemic.

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