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Hotel Chain Embraces Valuable Barter Offer

Patrons staying at many hotels earn points or frequent flyer miles for their business loyalty. But given the fact that more than 80% of frequency miles are never used, many times such rewards are rather dubious.

However a 123 location hotel chain - Jameson Inns, or Signature Inns in the Midwest and South—have come up with a better offer. When a patron stays more than three nights a year they're rewarded with shares of stock worth 10% of their nightly room rate.

The Atlanta hotelier thinks the program, launched with SEC approval on July 1, can generate more traffic. The program may have helped boost Jameson’s stock price. The shares, trading at around $2.40, are up more than 22% from January 1, 2005. (The hotel has also started a separate plan to sell commission-free stock to customers.)

As a traveler accumulates stock in the hotel chain their propensity to continue to revisit is reinforced. Other small-cap public companies might well consider such a strategy for three reasons: building additional revenues (greater earnings), growing their list of committed customers, and expanding their shareholder base.