Delivering VIP Service to Baby Barn Owls
Recently, we had some VIP's stay at one of our hotels for six weeks. Or should I say VIO's – Very Important Owls.
The San Francisco Airport Marriott Waterfront hotel became the nest for a family of baby barn owls – a protected native bird of prey. Imagine opening your curtain, looking out the window and there, staring back at you, are four sets of big eyes nestled in a section of the balcony – a birdwatcher’s delight.
The hotel immediately put up a “Do Not Disturb” sign, called in wildlife experts and treated these feathered guests as Very Important People. When the baby owls’ parents brought food, it was a most unusual form of room service.
The hotel knew that one day the owls would fly the coop. But before they did, their story went viral on Facebook. The posting asked for suggestions on how to upgrade their stay. We had hundreds of comments. I want to share a few: “Hey, how about in-nest breakfast!!” “Flyaway packages!” “TV for them with Animal Planet and the Weather Channel?” How about, “Mice under glass by room service!” Or, “Whooooo would deliver them?”
And my favorite, “I never knew staying at the Marriott could be such a hoot!” That is pretty good.
Marriott takes its responsibility to preserve the environment and its wildlife seriously. I guess the owls are proof that we are succeeding. At dusk, they can be seen flying in nearby trees. I’m told that they return each year to nest in the same spot. So, we’ve reserved their room. Until then, they are watching over the hotel.
Leave a comment and let me know how you’d upgrade their stay.
I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.