Eating Good: Penn Stock Hits New Highs as Gaming Company Allies with Choice Hotels

Posted By Kevin Shelly on January 13, 2021

On the day after Penn National Gaming‘s stock hit a record $105.95 per share at closing, the Pennsylvania-based gaming company announced a planned alliance with Choice Hotel International.

The companies plan to offer reciprocal earning and redemption benefits across each company’s loyalty program.

Robert McDowell, the chief commercial officer of Choice Hotels, explained:

“Teaming up with Penn positions our more than 47 million Choice Privileges members to easily book a casino resort directly with Choice while continuing to earn points. Plus, there are more than 1,500 Choice-branded hotels within an hour’s drive of one of Penn’s casinos, racetracks or sports betting locations, so Penn loyalty members will similarly have the chance to use their mycash on stays at Choice-branded hotels across the country. Penn will also benefit from our award-winning global reservation system, which drives more than $9 billion in revenue to the 7,100 hotels in our system annually.”

More Choice and also Ascend Hotels for Penn Players

The agreement adds nearly 7,000 upscale rooms to Choice Hotels’ network as part of its related Ascend Hotel Collection. Members of both programs will enjoy the following features as the alliance is implemented in multiple phases this year:

  • Earning and redeeming at Penn locations: Earn and redeem Choice Privileges points and elite night credits for stays at 22 Penn locations when booked through Choice.
  • Earning and redeeming at Choice Hotels locations: Earn mychoice tier points and earn and redeem mycash for stays at select Choice Hotels brands.
  • Tier level reciprocity: Members of either loyalty program will have reciprocal status in both programs.
  • Top gaming brands: Choice Privileges members gain access to top gaming brands, including Hollywood, Ameristar, and L’Auberge, which offer approximately 50,000 gaming machines, 1,300 table games, live racing, and sports betting.

Choice members can book casino resorts

Penn offers a variety of stay and play casino resorts for Choice Privileges members at the following properties:

  • Ameristar Black Hawk – Black Hawk, Colorado
  • Hollywood Casino Joliet – Joliet, Illinois
  • Ameristar East Chicago – East Chicago, Indiana
  • Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg – Lawrenceburg, Indiana
  • Ameristar Council Bluffs – Council Bluffs, Iowa
  • L’Auberge Baton Rouge – Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Boomtown Bossier City – Bossier City, Louisiana
  • Margaritaville Resort Casino – Bossier City, Louisiana
  • L’Auberge Lake Charles – Lake Charles, Louisiana
  • Boomtown New Orleans – New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Hollywood Casino Bangor – Bangor, Maine
  • Greektown Casino-Hotel – Detroit, Michigan
  • Hollywood Casino Gulf Coast – Bay St. Louis, Mississippi
  • Hollywood Casino Tunica – Tunica, Mississippi
  • Ameristar Vicksburg – Vicksburg, Mississippi
  • Hollywood Casino St. Louis – Maryland Heights, Missouri
  • Argosy Casino Riverside – Riverside, Missouri
  • River City Casino – St. Louis, Missouri
  • M Resort – Henderson, Nevada
  • Cactus Petes and Horseshu – Jackpot, Nevada
  • Zia Park Casino – Hobbs, New Mexico
  • Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races – Charles Town, West Virginia

Penn and Choice customers have cross-over

Jamie Russo, vice president for loyalty programs and customer engagement at Choice Hotels, said:

“Our new collaboration offers a great opportunity for Choice Privileges members to enjoy thrilling experiences at Penn’s properties around the country. Our research shows that not only do many of our Choice Privileges members already enjoy gaming, but a significant number live within driving distance from a Penn property — so we know they will be excited to visit these top casino brands and be part of the action.”

Jennifer Weissman, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Penn National, added: “Our guests will find a great deal of value in being able to visit destination hotels and resorts in the Choice Hotels portfolio.”

Choice Privileges membership is free. The program is named a top hotel loyalty program by USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards and U.S. News & World Report.

For more information or to enroll, see Choice Privileges.

Penn stock continues bull run into 2021

$PENN stock crossed the $100 a share threshold earlier this month and continues rolling. That’s an amazing turn-around for a stock that had dropped below $4 a share last March in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company’s embrace of online betting during the pandemic, coupled with their 36% share of the Barstool Sports brand, which is rolling out across jurisdictions, appears responsible for the turnaround.

After launching the Barstool Sportsbook first in PA, the Barstool brand is now in Penn retail properties in Colorado, Michigan, and Indiana. The company wants it in every jurisdiction where they operate and where sports wagering is legal.

Penn National also has a Hollywood online casino in PA and recently, BetMGM launched an online casino and sportsbook under Penn’s PA gaming licenses.

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Kevin Shelly

Kevin C. Shelly is an award-winning career journalist who has spent most of his career in South Jersey. He's the former assistant city editor of The Press of Atlantic City, where he covered the casino industry and Atlantic City government as a reporter. He was also an investigative, narrative enterprise, and features reporter for Gannett’s Courier-Post.

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