Staypineapple provides guests EV ticket to ride

Guests of three properties from boutique hotel brand Staypineapple have a new sustainable way to get around town as the company has entered into a partnership with car-sharing network Zipcar to offer electric vehicles.

“We are always looking for ways to improve the guest experience, and my absolute favorite thing to do is improve the guest experience through sustainability strategies,” said Dina Belon, president, Staypineapple. “Our vision has always been increasing, improving and elevating the guest experience through sustainability.”

Staypineapple’s Hotel Rose in Portland, OR, and the Watertown Hotel and University Inn in Seattle, offer guests access to a Zipcar Chevy Bolt parked and charging at the hotels’ on-site EV charging stations. Guests receive a complimentary membership, meaning their only expense will be the hourly or daily rental rates and fees associated with booking and driving the Zipcar EVs.

Guests have access on-site to a Chevy Bolt electric vehicle provided by Zipcar.

The membership includes 24/7 on-demand, self-service access to electric charging (or gas) vehicles by the hour, day or week, insurance options, maintenance and dedicated parking.

Guests do need to reserve the cars in advance to make sure there is availability, but it is a simple process. “With the cars onsite, they don’t have to get to the rental car place and waste time and then have to take it back,” said Belon. “It is right there at the property sitting in a garage. You unplug, you go, you come back, plug it back in and you are done.”

Belon, who has been an EV driver for 10 years, believes that the partnership is not only a benefit for the brand’s guests, but it will also teach them about EVs. “It is a wonderful way for people to get over their fear of an electric vehicle and uncomfortableness with how different they are,” she said.

With guests expected to only rent the vehicles for a shorter length of time, it also avoids any concerns about charging. “In most cases, people aren’t going to have to charge because they are not using the car to go far because the car can go 250-300 miles on the charge that it has,” she said.

While Zipcar works with other hotels to offer car-sharing, this is the first time a hotel has chosen to offer only EVs, according to Belon.

“As Zipcar expands our fleet of electric vehicles nationwide, we aim to make the EV driving experience accessible for all who need affordable, convenient transportation,” said Kate Smith, head of business to business and partnerships, Zipcar. “We value innovative partners like Staypineapple who are committed to creating a positive, environmentally friendly guest experience and for collaborating with us to drive the path forward for sustainable, electric transportation.”

Belon called the program a win-win for both Staypineapple and Zipcar. “For us, it is an opportunity for our guests to have an elevated experience, like they would get at a 5-star hotel with a hotel car, but it is a more modern way to provide that kind of elevated service at a more approachable 4 -or 4.5-star hotel that you are not paying $1,200 a night for,” she said. “We feel like everything the guests touch should really have the highest quality possible. That is why we wanted to partner with someone like Zipcar because we really knew they had a program like this dialed in, and we wouldn’t have any hiccups in the service.”

While the program is currently only available at three of its properties, the Staypineapple president said she wants to expand the program to its entire portfolio, even those properties that don’t have parking on site. “We started with the easier entry, which was where we had parking and electric charging infrastructure already,” she said. “Ultimately, I think it would be even more valuable in the markets where we don’t have parking. People are going to be even less likely to be driving a rental car and more likely to need something like this.”

Belon said that the company loves using its hotels as a way to show guests what things are out there to try. “For example, we just switched over from plastic bottles to all aluminum bottles,” she said. “It is an opportunity for people to see an example of a way to do something in a more sustainable way that they might choose to adopt when they get home.”

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