Holiday Inn asks guests to weigh in for rates

Hotels create catchy promotions as a way to entice guests and generate publicity, but sometimes the creativity goes a little too far. Case in point: The Holiday Inn Olathe, Kansas and The Great Weight Rate.

The latest promotion crosses the line of “cute and kitshy” and, in my opinion, enters into hostile territory. The hotel challenges guests to pay their own weight — step on the scale at check-in and the nightly rate will be calculated at .35 cents per pound.

According to the Holiday Inn’s website, the promotion is meant to motivate people to get in shape for summer. As far as I’m concerned, the promotion borders on rude and inhospitable, two characteristics a hotel should not have on their record.

Travel expert Pauline Frommer, who is also a blog contributor for Weight Watchers, said the campaign “steps over the line of good taste and into outright bigotry” in her latest blog post. Bigotry is a strong word, but then again, weight issues are no laughing matter. It’s one thing to be asked how much you weigh before boarding a 9-seater Cessna so the pilot can adjust the weight levels and ensure a steady flight. It’s another thing to be asked to weigh-in for a room at the Holiday Inn.

It’s only fair to point out that this “package” includes dinner and breakfast, plus access to workout facilities at the YMCA (which will come in handy if you went over your allotted calorie count for the day). And, if you don’t want to step on the scale, you can just pay $150 for the night as part of the promotion. But, really, Holiday Inn? You couldn’t just offer a promotion with access to the YMCA and call it a night?

If you are so inclined to weigh in for a room, the promotion runs through May 31, 2010.%Gallery-67351%

Watch the video below to hear Pauline and Arthur Frommer weigh in on the biggest bargains in travel right now.