|STAMFORD, CT - Nov. 17, 1998-- Priceline.com, the patented
e-commerce system, said today that in response to customer demand for access
to more hotel rooms, particularly in vacation destinations, it plans to
expand its new hotel service to include 35 additional U.S. cities and resorts
and increase its hotel participation to include more than 1,500 hotels
offering 2.5 million empty rooms per month. The new cities, hotels and
rooms will be added starting in January 1999.
Beginning next week, priceline.com will also broaden the types of hotels participating in the program to include 1-star hotels. Previously, the service offered only the more luxurious 2- to 5-star hotel properties. When its January expansion is complete, priceline.com will enable travelers to name their own price for hotel rooms in the country's top 50 destination cities. In its first two weeks of operation, priceline.com's hotel service has sold more than 1,500 room nights to travelers who were able to name their price for empty hotel rooms around the country.
Commented priceline.com hotel customer Chris Mack of Grove City, OH: "I'm ecstatic about the hotel room where I'll be staying in New York for New Year's Eve. My friend and I planned on spending New Year's in Times Square, but we thought we'd have to stay in a hotel further away from the city. We decided to use priceline.com because we're on a tight budget and naming our own price for a room was enticing. When we submitted our request, we expected to get a 2-star hotel in Queens. To our surprise, we got a 4-star hotel not more than one block from Times Square. Now that we're the envy of all our friends, we can't wait to go."
Priceline.com executives said early consumer response to the service prompted them to accelerate expansion plans. "Consumer demand for hotel rooms through priceline.com is growing very quickly," said Jay Walker, priceline.com's founder and vice chairman.
"Now that they've tried the service, customers are asking us to expand it as quickly as possible to encompass all major U.S. cities. They also want us to focus on adding vacation destinations and international cities. We'll complete our service in the top 50 U.S. cities in this next expansion, and we'll add some of the most desirable resorts and vacation destinations. Following this expansion, our focus will then turn to adding international hotels by the end of the year."
The new cities to be added to the hotel service include:
Cities and resorts already in the hotel service include:
Priceline.com's newest service makes it possible for travelers to name their own price for hotel rooms that would otherwise go empty at quality hotels and resorts nationwide. By the end of the year, priceline.com will further expand its service to include rooms in international hotels around the world.
Priceline.com's hotel service is very easy to use. Travelers start by visiting priceline.com's award-winning Web site (www.priceline.com) and selecting the city the want to visit and the dates of their trip. Then they choose the area, or zone of the city they want to stay in, and the quality star level for the hotel or motel they want (one- to five-star). Last, they name the price they want to pay per night for a room.
Priceline.com immediately goes to work to try to find a hotel at that quality level willing to release a room at the traveler's price and gives the traveler a response in one hour. If priceline.com can find a more luxurious hotel willing to release a room at that price, the traveler is automatically upgraded. Hotel room reservations are always guaranteed for late arrival. Non-smoking rooms are reserved automatically. Smoking rooms can be requested directly from the hotel after the reservation is confirmed and are assigned on a space-available basis.
Hotel accommodations is the third name-your-own-price service introduced by priceline.com this year. In April, priceline.com launched its service for leisure airline tickets. The service has sold more than 100,000 tickets. On a typical day, the service sells more than 1,000 tickets and ranks as one of the nation's top 10 sellers of leisure airline tickets along with American Express, Carlson Wagonlit, Maritz Travel and Liberty Travel.
In July, priceline.com launched its second service for new cars in the New York metro area. New car buyers name the exact car of truck they want and the price they're willing to pay. Priceline.com works with all factory-authorized dealers in a customer-specified geographic region to find one who has the car the customer wants and is willing to sell at the customer's price. Upcoming name-your-own-price services from priceline.com include home mortgages, rental cars and a national expansion of priceline.com's new car service.
Priceline.com is a patented e-commerce system (U.S. Patent No. 5,794,207) invented by Walker Digital, an intellectual property laboratory located in Stamford, Conn., where priceline.com's founder, Jay Walker, serves as chairman. The priceline.com Web site has won awards and recognition from a wide variety of national publications. The site received a 4-star rating from Yahoo! Internet Life and was recently recognized by PC Magazine as one of the top 100 Web sites.
||Access Development Corporation Expands Half off Rack Programs / Aug 1998|