Just imagine having a family of 18 kids. Well, at Marriott International, that’s the number of brands we have. Each has its own personality, its own voice, its own friends that we call customers. As we celebrate the 25th birthday of Fairfield Inn & Suites, let me tell you how it was born.
I wasn’t kidding about how our brands are like family members. Fairfield was the name of our family farm in Virginia. My father loved the Blue Ridge foothills that reminded him of his boyhood days on the family farm in Utah. He got a lot of inspiration in the calm, pristine environment. When he bought the farm, it was called “Fairfield,” and that became one of his favorite places to visit and entertain guests.
In 1987, our company expanded into the value segment of the hospitality business with a brand new hotel and named it after Fairfield Farm to pay homage to my dad’s uncompromising commitment to quality, service and value. The first Fairfield Inn was in Atlanta, Georgia, and to this day, the brand is known for its warm welcome.
Now we are exporting the Fairfield warm welcome to many countries around the world – Mexico, India, Brazil. A few years ago, we introduced Fairfield to U.S. cities like Washington, D.C., and New York. On 40th Street in New York, you can have a great evening on its roof top bar.
The brand has evolved to keep up with the demands of today’s traveler. I never could have imagined that a moderate-tier hotel opened on interstate highways would someday have a big international pipeline. Today, we’re at nearly 700 Fairfield Inn & Suites. In 2016, we expect to have 1,000.
Marriott has market analysts and consumer trackers that forecast trends. What we see is an emerging international middle class that wants to travel and stay in moderate-priced hotels. We have also identified new business travel within these fast-growing countries. These two groups account for millions and millions of new travelers around the world.
I’m so proud of the Fairfield Inn & Suites brand. Its rise has not come without growing pains, somewhat like a teenager’s. Now, it’s hitting its stride, brimming with confidence. So, as I said, brands are like members of our family. In Fairfield’s case, even more so, and on its 25th birthday, my dad would be very proud.
Leave a comment about a memorable Fairfield experience.
I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.