Private Preservation Category:
Hampton Hotel “Explore the Highway with Hampton, Save-A-Landmark™” Program: Nationwide
Hampton Hotels has come up with a rather peculiar, but perfectly appropriate, suggestion to their customers: Hit the road. Further, the company is suggesting exactly where they can go.
The World''s Largest Santa Claus in Alaska, Jesse Owens Memorial Park in Alabama, the Blue Whale in Oklahoma, the Gingerbread Castle in New Jersey, the Rain of Arrows in Colorado, historic Route 66, and La Plaza Park in California are just a few of the places receiving volunteer refurbishment assistance through Hampton Hotels' laudable program. The initiative identifies and assists in rehabilitation of significant, iconic, or just plain quirky roadside attractions across the nation. Employees give their efforts, the company provides funding — $2 million to work on 25 landmarks to date — and communities, heritage resources and happy road tripping tourists across the nation benefit.
The program, wholly funded by the company, originated in Hampton Hotels' search for an appropriate way to create recognition for its more than 1,350 Hampton hotels along U.S. Highways, build customer loyalty, and encourage more automobile trips to experience authentic heritage resources. Conducting a survey among guests, in 2000 Hampton learned that fully 92 percent believed it was important to preserve roadside landmarks, and 65 percent said they would be more likely to frequent businesses that were involved in preserving America's landmarks. "Explore the Highway with Hampton, Save-A-Landmark™" resulted.
The program is designed to involve communities, employees, and guests. Communities play an essential role in support for the program from local officials and landmark submissions from local people. Employees are enlisted to participate and support the program, building better links with local communities, guests, and pride in being part of the Hampton enterprise. Customers are literally given the suggestion that it is to their benefit to hit the road, and assistance in such forms as Hidden Landmarks are provided on the hamptonlandmarks.com Web site. These offerings include more than 1,000 lesser-known pop culture and hidden landmarks across the nation. Here is where to find where Elvis Presley first plucked a guitar string and where Babe Ruth first slugged a home run.
This program represents corporate America stepping up to the plate with an innovate, replicable model to use private funding for public benefit. In the process, Hampton Hotels helps maintain and share our heritage.
Other partners: Cohn & Wolfe
Ms. Judy Christa-Cathey, Vice President Brand Management; and Mr. Scott Douglas Schrank, Vice President Brand Management and Support, Hampton Hotels.