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December 21, 2023

Sweepstakes Spotlight: how HotelPlanner transformed the hospitality industry with sport in mind

HotelPlanner, a leading travel technology platform and hotel booking engine, has been USA Archery’s Official Hotel Provider for all member travel since July 2022. USA Archery partners with HotelPlanner to provide all members a discounted platform for all your accommodation needs globally.

They are also one of many generous partners who have kindly contributed to the 2024 USA Archery Sweepstakes, which launched last month offering hundreds of prizes valued at more than $100,000 in total. The first 300 unique entrants to the sweepstakes will each receive a $50 HotelPlanner gift card.


Launched in 2003 during the dotcom era, HotelPlanner is one of the world’s premiere facilitators of individual, group, and corporate hotel bookings. They have an inventory of more than one million hotels and alternative accommodations (including some AirBnB and VRBO), and about 40,000 direct hotel partners.

Back in 2003 when co-founders Tim Hentschel and John Prince launched the company, only Priceline was available to bid on hotels, but there was no site where hotels bid on the traveler’s business. In other words, while websites back then could process single hotel bookings with relative proficiency, multiple bookings were a black hole. Tim and John worked day and night from San Diego to launch HotelPlanner to transform the way the hospitality industry did group bookings, especially for sports teams and leagues who travel constantly.

“You want to look for something that already has a need in the marketplace, and you want to find a way to do it better,” said Tim Hentschel, HotelPlanner CEO.

Now celebrating its 20th year in the business, HotelPlanner continues to innovate and grow, and has shown incredible resilience through ‘black swan’ events such as the 2008 financial crisis and the pandemic.

During the pandemic, the company realized that customers wanted to speak with a real live human more than anything. They were receiving more calls than ever before. This spawned the launch of a Gig Economy-based reservations network with a few thousand remote agents taking inbound sales calls to finalize bookings. The results speak for themselves.  In the past three years, HotelPlanner has tripled its revenues while growing the Online Travel Agency industry’s first Gig-based reservations network.

Headquartered in West Palm Beach, Fla., HotelPlanner has enduring partnerships with the world’s largest online travel agencies, well-known hotel chains, individual hotels, online wedding providers, ancillary lodging providers, corporations, professional and youth sports teams and franchises, universities, government agencies, and non-profits.

“Prior to our 2003 founding, group bookings were labor-intensive, inefficient, and still done over the phone or by fax,” outlined HotelPlanner’s Chief Communications Officer & Head of Investor Relations, Philip Ballard.

“HotelPlanner was the first hotel booking engine to focus on group booking solutions where the hotels bid on the group’s business. To date, HotelPlanner has a competitive moat around group booking technology.”

USA Archery is not alone among HotelPlanner’s portfolio. They have partnerships with the likes of Washington Commanders (NFL), Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers (both NBA), NBA G-League, Professional Fighters League, US Figure Skating, USA Bobsled/Skeleton, USA Boxing, USA Lacrosse, United Soccer League, American Youth Soccer League, Ladies European Tour (golf) and Lifetime Gym events, plus a number of clubs and leagues in the U.K. and Singapore.

“Our co-founders are big sports enthusiasts,” explained Ballard. “Tim Hentschel is an avid tennis player. Plus, we’re naturally drawn to sports partnerships because ‘we’re in the business of bringing people together’ and few activities do that better than live sporting events.

“Importantly, sports teams and leagues have always been challenged with lodging needs, so we are proud to be the preferred or official travel provider for dozens of sports teams and leagues, including USA Archery.”

HotelPlanner is ready and waiting to engage with USA Archery members to provide world-class service and support for all hotel and accommodation needs, which can be done so via the dedicated white label booking engine.

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