In honor of Global Running Day, here is a little plea from a points-obsessed runner who loves SPG for many reasons and would like to see them offer more value to their running customers! 🙂
SPG, Please Do Better With Your Running Packages!
SPG Moments Packages fill a wide range of interests to VIP access to big sporting events, to fantastic culinary experiences, VIP access to presentations of the arts, great hotel deals, and much more! For me, they present some of the greatest value options for your SPG points.
They also have a history of providing some very intriguing packages for runners. They have gone for some decent final prices and allowed their running customers to get access to some famous runners and have one-of-a-kind running experiences.
Great SPG Running Experiences In the Past
SPG has had some fantastic running experiences before that included things like training runs with the excellent US runner Deena Kastor as well as with the famous Dean Karnazes. They have also offered running packages for races in which SPG was the hotel partner – and they offered those with plenty of time to get the training in!
But, they have really dropped the ball (in my opinion) with these running packages over the last year or so. They continue to offer running packages so they have an interest in them and feel there is a market for them but the packages they have offered (and, more importantly, how they have offered them) are not the same as the packages they have offered in the past.
Last month, they had a package for the Rio Marathon events. That one ended 6 weeks before the event (which was otherwise sold out). It went for a relatively low amount – like 10,000 points I think (which is 20,000 points less than what the hotel would have cost by itself!).
While 6 weeks for race prep there was ok (it was for the 6K and 10K events), it would still be nice to have an end time more than 6 weeks out. I would say a minimum of 2 months for anything under a half marathon and 4 months for a marathon. That would make these packages more workable for people that would actually like to take advantage of them for the running events (which is the centerpiece of the package anyway).
Again, Poor Timing
But, when they offer these packages that end just days or a week before the actual event, that is just ridiculous. I understand that SPG is marketing these to more than just Americans but if they are offering hotels as well, they are not targeting locals either. That means that the winners of the auction will likely travel.
In another recent running package, SPG dropped the auction on everyone about 1 week before it was to end and the prize would be redeemed a little over a week after that! That is really kind of ridiculous. If SPG wants the packages to actually bring in higher bidding, that strategy is not going to work. I am not sure why they chose to wait that long but it was a big mistake. And, it seemed like it cost SPG since they had to give out the hotel room and extras to someone who won the bidding with just 4,500 Starpoints!
Why SPG Should Do Better
Ok, some readers might think that I should just be thankful that SPG offers running packages at all, right? Sure, except I know that SPG can do better – and obviously they want to offer running packages.
The reason SPG should do better is because they are the only hotel chain that actually has special marathon packages. It is part of their Westin brand and is called RunWESTIN. Here is the list of marathons and packages they have.
In fact, Westin even has their own run concierge – Chris Heuisler. How many hotel chains offer this? None!
Yes, SPG is very involved in the running scene and they have access to a number of VIP marathon packages. That means they have the ability and desire to put out meaningful SPG Moments packages. So, why aren’t they?
So, I make my plea on Global Running Day – SPG, please give us some serious running SPG Moments packages! 🙂