Venetian, Palazzo Vegas affiliate with InterContinental

LAS VEGAS The Venetian and The Palazzo, two of the most luxurious properties on the Las Vegas Strip, will be affiliated with InterContinental Hotels & Resorts under a 10-year licensing agreement between Las Vegas Sands Corp. and IHG.

The resorts, which comprise more than 7,000 guestrooms, will continue to be owned and operated by Las Vegas Sands and will retain their names and unique branding. They will tap into IHG’s sales and marketing system, including its 52 million-member Priority Club Rewards loyalty program, under a new program dubbed InterContinental Alliance Resorts.

The affiliation makes sense for both sides. It gives IHG a long-sought-after leisure presence in one of the world’s premier leisure tourism markets—on the Strip, no less—and it allows IHG to keep pace with rival Marriott International, which will make its Strip debut in December with the launch of Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, a member of Marriott’s Autograph Collection.

For Las Vegas Sands, it boosts the profile of its properties in a Vegas hotel market that is flagging and is not expected to significantly recover for several years. Additionally, the highly regarded luxury properties will benefit from a broader market base, but by aligning with IHG’s top-line InterContinental brand specifically, the risk of damaging The Venetian’s and The Palazzo’s luxury reputation is diminished. Furthermore, the properties—which are located adjacent to the Sands Convention Center—are poised to win additional business from corporate Priority Club points-conscious travelers.

“This alliance with Las Vegas Sands Corp. and IHG’s InterContinental brand creates a shared opportunity to give our guests access to leading luxury resorts in Las Vegas,” says Jim Abrahamson, Americas president for IHG. “Las Vegas is the most requested destination for our Priority Club Rewards and Ambassador members, and these resorts epitomize the glamour of Las Vegas and provide world-class experiences that perfectly fit with what our guests want from InterContinental Hotels & Resorts.”

IHG may add more members to its new InterContinental Alliance Resorts program—Abrahamson emphasizes that it is not a brand—but additional affiliations will come from “signature” properties that already have well-established global identities. Abrahamson says the program does not aspire to be a large-scale collection of hotels, as Marriott’s Autograph Collection does.