Hampton Inn & Suites Launches Uber Partnership



As ride-sharing continues to redefine transportation, a Sarasota hotel has launched a new partnership with Uber to replace its shuttle service with private rides. Guests at the Hampton Inn & Suites Sarasota/Bradenton Airport will have free rides scheduled to and from the airport.

“Guest needs are evolving in terms of people being more plugged in and, in general, having less time,” says Rob Sadoff, co-founder of the Scarlett Hotel Group. “With lifestyles changing, it feels cumbersome if you land and are stuck at the airport.”

The Scarlett group first decided to try replacing shuttle service with Uber rides at a property in Omaha. Now, the group is ready to expand and try the program at its Hampton. The company forged a formal partnership with Uber, which hints the practice could become commonplace in the industry.

"Uber Central gives the hospitality industry a great way to provide guests with an enhanced experience during their stay," says Mary Fairchild, Head of West Coast, Uber for Business. "We're excited to see leading companies like Scarlett Hotel Group partner with Uber for Business for seamless, reliable guest transportation.”

Sadoff says an increasing number of customers feel comfortable dealing with drivers through the Uber app, but for those who don’t regularly rely on the service, receptions at the Hampton Inn & Suites will coordinate trips for guests. As long as guests have cell phones, staff will communicate pickup and drop-off times with drivers.

And Sadoff stressed the switch to private riders as opposed to group shuttles would also enhance the guest experience by alerting hotel staff to the precise time when guests can be expected to arrive in the lobby. That streamlines check-in and lets arriving guests get to their room will less time at the counter pulling up reservations.

From a business point of view, eliminating shuttle service in favor of an Uber partnership also brings with it cost savings. In Omaha, Sadoff says transportation costs dropped by some 40 to 60 percent for the hotel. “Our performance cost is less and we deliver a better experience,” he says.

The switch at the Sarasota hotel comes months after a new law went into effect on July 1 allowing Uber and similar ride-sharing services to operate in every jurisdiction in the state of Florida following uniform regulations.

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