Room Poachers” Warning to ISPA Members

May 6, 2014

With the 2014 International SPA Association (ISPA) Conference & Expo approaching, ISPA staff would like to reiterate to all members the importance of registering for Conference through the ISPA block with Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino.

“Room poachers,” also known as “room-block pirates” are third party companies who deceive attendees of association conferences and trade shows into purchasing room blocks at smaller, often non-existent hotels for a cheaper rate than the official venue of the event. While the lower rate may sound enticing at first, these companies more often than not offer low quality accommodations, if accommodations even exist, long commutes to the event location, as well as complicated and expensive cancelation fees.

In March the Convention Industry Council (CIC)’s Accepted Practices Exchange (APEX) formed a new task force of hospitality industry leaders to combat the issue of room poachers. Michael Dominguez of MGM Resorts International, a co-chair of the APEX Room Block Poaching Workgroup, stated in a previous interview that the APEX Room Block Poaching Workgroup is committed to conducting research and producing educational materials to work towards minimizing and eventually eliminating the “poaching” issue.

While the tactics of these third party companies are not illegal, they are highly unethical and detract from the quality of the community atmosphere of industry events. Their methods also cause additional strain on the relationship between the association and their official, often sponsored, venue.

“By making accommodations for the 2014 ISPA Conference & Expo through the ISPA block at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, our members continue to support ISPA and the spa industry as a whole. ISPA staff and Mandalay Bay have worked together extensively to provide our members with the best rate possible while maintaining the integrity of our event and the venue,” said ISPA President, Lynne McNees.

When ISPA members book within the ISPA block, they will receive the following benefits: proximity to all educational sessions, the exhibit hall, networking events, and 30 restaurant options including ten with celebrity chefs, all located within Mandalay Bay; nightly gift bags full of great products and Daily Pulse, both delivered directly to their room; a 20 percent off discount at the Spa at Mandalay Bay; and friendly booking terms including no change fees and no full pre-payment.

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