CLAUSE: Group will receive one (1) complimentary room night for every 50 paid room nights.

EFFECT: To be fair, the above is actually just a sentence rather than a full legal clause.

One of the challenges with the complimentary room allocation is that the language is sometimes buried in another clause titled something like Room Commitment or Guest Room Allocation. If the planner doesn't look for the language, it can easily be missed. Ideally, such language should be in a separate clause titled “Complimentary Room Nights.” Further, the above language does not address these issues:

  • Will complimentary rooms earned be calculated on a cumulative or per-night basis? That is, if a group has 49 rooms on the first night and 51 on the second night, a cumulative calculation would yield two complimentary room nights, whereas a “per-night” calculation would say that no comps were earned on the first night and one was earned the second night.

  • Does a suite count as one or more room nights for purposes of both calculating and using comp room nights?

  • Are comps earned on rooms paid for at a rate other than the negotiated group rate and for all nights of a group attendee's stay, including early arrivals and late departures?

  • Will unused comp room nights be credited to the master account, or are they are lost if they are not used?

  • Can anticipated earned comp rooms be used before the meeting dates for site inspection visits?

The Complimentary Room Nights clause should include language that addresses all of the above issues.

Tyra W. Hilliard, Esq., CMP ( is an associate professor of event and meeting management at The University of Nevada — Las Vegas.

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