It was like every Friday, perusing my standard Reddit threads (r/churning), where I found this gem (since removed) by u/Nonchurnerburner. The Marriott site further detailed the Global Travel Tracker, celebrating Global Travel Day in Rockefeller Center with a large, 4,000+ sq. ft. map of their properties denoted by 30 huge push pins. additionally, every Marriott and Starwood property in the city had a huge life-size push-pin. You could win a free trip, gift cards, or a variety of other prizes! Marriott wanted to raise awareness of their Starwood acquisition and expansion of their global empire to 30 brands and 5,700 properties (per the Marriott Website).This promotion was held on October 14th for one day only, and because I was coming into the city anyway, I decided to go early to check it out.
Promotion Preparation and Due Diligence
As I left in the afternoon, I was concerned about the promotion closing before I arrived. Calling Platinum Concierges on both SPG and Marriott sides was useless, as no one could tell me any details of the event, or even what I was referring to. No hotel in the city could tell me about it either. Thus, I planned a route to hit several hotels on my way to Rockefeller Center, to snap pictures of the push pins outside each hotel (including the Lexington Autograph Collection I reviewed previously.)
At my first stop, the Westin Grand Central, a helpful concierge and director was able to call and find out that the promotion would close late enough for me to make it! Thus I hightailed it, stopping along the way to take pictures of the gigantic push pins at every property.
I accidentally walked into the Waldorf Astoria asking for their push-pin before gently being told that it was a Hilton property, and not Marriott or Starwood. I really should know better by now, but I do not typically stay in Hiltons. Regardless, it was a tad embarrassing so I returned to my route.
When I arrived, I assumed it would be in the ice rink area, but there actually was a huge tent set up behind the ice rink.
As it was nearing the end of the day, the line was short, the associates were helpful, and I was speedily given a card and signed up through their terminal. Instructions were simple. Go to any pushpin, swipe the card, and look for a light underneath the pin to see if you’ve won.
I made my way onto the gigantic map, engaging the associates and learning more about the event. Various celebrities made an appearance in the morning, and they were also featured on the Today Show. I remained for roughly 30-40 minutes, just watching the people go by, as I wanted to be the last or one of the last to swipe my card. During that time I saw exactly one winner, at which point all the associates clapped and several converged on the ecstatic gentleman, quickly ushering him away to a tent most likely to get his information. There were reports of people winning various prizes, such as trips (all expenses paid) and gift cards.
It was a very fun experience for me. I did not expect to win (and I never do), so when I lost it did not sting too severely. One note – I assumed this was a joint Starwood and Marriott promotional event, but I discovered it was in fact Marriott only at Rockefeller Center, to draw attention and inform the public of their massive global hospitality empire.
Ultimately, you can also enter online in the promotion, per the terms listed (below) on the Marriott website.
For the week beginning on October 14, loyalty members will be able to enter by sharing their dream destination with @MarriottRewards and @SPG on Twitter or Instagram, along with the push pin emoji and #YouAreHere #Sweepstakes
It was a fun excursion, allowing me to explore the city (a bit) and learn more about Marriott and reach. Also, I booked my first Marriott stays in the near future, and I am looking forward to trying them out. By taking advantage of all the ways to earn Starpoints, I am earning 3x the Marriott points, making all of their category 1’s a mere 2,500 Starpoints. It’s a great deal.
Lastly, I highly recommend keeping a tab on r/churning. I check it several times a day, and have gotten many, many benefits and promotions out of it.
What do you think of my post? Have any questions? Let me know in the comments, or reach me directly at TheHotelion@gmail.com! Like my posts? See more here, on TravelUpdate! Follow me on Facebook (The Hotelion, if searching, use a space!!) or on Twitter and Instagram: @TheHotelion