Geolocation is now rewarding

Family photo at Camden Yards, Oriole Wall of FameThis past weekend, I travelled with my family down to Baltimore for a reunion, including catching a ballgame at Camden Yards. While we were there, we stayed at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Timonium, MD. I’ve been using geolocation service Gowalla since Baer Tierkel turned me on to it in November of last year (2009). So upon arrival at the hotel, I opened the Gowalla app on my iPhone to check in. I immediately noticed that instead of a generic hotel icon, the Crowne Plaza had its own snazzy custom icon.

Crowne Plaza Gowalla iconSince the icon was so cool, I decided to send my Crowne Plaza check-in to Facebook and twitter. Within a short time, I noticed that a company I had never heard of sent me this tweet in response to my check-in:

Hi @mmpartee, join Topguest to get 50 Priority Club points for your next Crowne Plaza @gowalla check-in

Since I was busy with a family reunion, I didn’t have time to investigate this meaning behind this tweet until I returned home. So this morning, I visited the Topguest site, and noticed they had a Facebook page, which is good since there is very little about them on their own site. Via their Facebook page, I discovered this is a very new (4 month old) start-up based out of NYC.

They have 4 hotel reward programs under their belt, and they accept check-ins from all the major geolocation services: Brightkite, Foursquare, Gowalla, Facebook Places, and Twitter location. Topguest ties your geolocation check-in method(s) of choice to your hotel reward program(s) of choice. Since I love Gowalla and am already a Priority Club member, it was a snap for me to link the two. Priority Club encompasses the InterContinental Hotels Group (ICHG) which includes: Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Crowne Plaza, Staybridge Suites, and another recent discovery I love: Hotel Indigo.

Geolocation: it’s not just for mayorships and games anymore…

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2 Responses to “Geolocation is now rewarding”

  1. George Pasley Says:

    Morriss,

    I got the same message from them in July when I checked in to a hotel using Foursquare. Gotta be a way to incorporate this into financial services…

  2. Morriss Partee Says:

    Well, the first geolocation application for financial services (though text messaging would work just as well) is to verify debit and credit card purchases.

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