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USA: Are electric car-charging stations the new must-have hotel amenity?

It’s been a rough half–decade for the travel industry, and to compete for ever–scarcer tourism dollars, service providers have been forced to come up with new ways to attract customers—or in some cases (we’re looking at you, airlines), to make more money off the ones they have through added fees and higher prices.

Customers have fared somewhat better in the hotel realm, as reduced rates, buy–two–nights–get–one–free promos, and added amenities have been hallmarks of the race to put heads in beds.

One of the newest perks to be rolled out far and wide is the addition of electric vehicle charging stations to hotels, which are typically free for guests (and sometimes even the public) to use.

Unlike tanning concierges or pillow butlers, we think this is one amenity that has real staying power.

And it’s not just an urban thing, or exclusive to one price point—hotels and resort all over the country (and all over the rate sheet) are hopping on the bandwagon (see list below).

A partial list of places to recharge today:

*In April 2011, the Sheraton Waikiki debuted five charging stations—some of the first in Hawaii—with the capacity to charge 10 cars total.

*Residence Inn Chattanooga added two stations in October 2011.

*In January 2012, The Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa installed its first charger, as part of a larger spring 2012 expansion.


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