Monday, Feb. 4, 2013 | 6:30 p.m.
The LVH hopes that teaming with a hotel chain will help fill its rooms.
The Las Vegas Hotel, which has struggled since losing its Hilton name in 2011, signed a licensing agreement this week with Red Lion Hotels Corp. It will give the LVH access to the Red Lion reservations database and to the chain's customer loyalty program reaching 48 hotels in nine states and Canada.
The resort casino on Paradise Road is the first to sign with Red Lion's new Leo Hotel Collection, a licensed brand being offered to independent properties. By the end of the first quarter, the LVH will be part of Red Lion's reservations database, its R&R Club for repeat customers, along with national sales and marketing.
"Red Lion and the Leo Hotel Collection license agreement is part of a new business channel strategy to increase occupancy," LVH spokesman Kurt Ouchida said this afternoon.
After falling into foreclosure and losing the Hilton name, the LVH was sold at auction in October to investors and lenders affiliated with Goldman Sachs. The Navegante Group in Las Vegas took over operations.
By joining with Red Lion's new Leo brand, the LVH will have help from a hotel company with an established pipeline of customers via databases, call centers and online travel sites. There are no plans to change the name, officials with both companies said.
"Red Lion will do its part selling and advertising to the customers it knows, and the LVH will continue selling and advertising to its customers," Harry Sladich, Red Lion’s executive vice president of sales, marketing and distribution, said in a phone interview from the company's headquarters in Spokane, Wash. "It's really all about them. We're just helping them behind the scenes."
Red Lion will get a third more rooms to offer its customers and a way to market Las Vegas as a destination. The LVH has 2,959 rooms. Red Lion has 9,015 rooms across its properties, including hotels in Denver, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Anaheim, Calif., and Portland, Ore.
"The Red Lion name and customers have been predominantly on the West Coast, and now we can say it's time to come to Las Vegas," Sladich said.
The LVH was the world's largest hotel when it opened as the International Hotel in 1969. Its 1,650-seat showroom has featured headliners including Elvis Presley, Barbra Streisand and Liberace. Rich Little currently performs in the 350-seat cabaret.