Boston Strong

April 22, 2013

REFLECTIONS, RELIEF, RESPECT Boston Marathon Bombing Response

Boston’s most horrible and difficult week is finally over.  Like most of you, I was following the events closely.  I am deeply grateful to law enforcement and our Marriott security teams for keeping thousands of guests safe.  Hotels become safe havens in times of crisis.  Marathon runnners were searching for their families.  Guests were asked to stay in their rooms.  Room service did its best, but there were far too many hungry runners to feed.  A second floor free buffet was set up with the ‘OK’ from police.  Nothing was normal. 

This incident hit very close to my home.  My grandson, Christopher, works at one of the hotels and I have another grandson, Blake, who works at another.  Christopher’s pregnant wife was planning to visit the finish line with some friends, but she wasn’t feeling well and stayed home. 

My prayers go out to those families who have been changed forever.  We are deeply grateful to the government leaders and law enforcement agencies who worked tirelessly to secure the great City of Boston.  I was personally relieved that law enforcement officers and the National Guard were stationed near many high profile locations throughout Boston, including most of the hotels.

And I am so proud of our more than 4,000 Boston Marriott associates, who took care of our guests under very stressful circumstances.  It is no surprise to me that I am hearing some very touching stories.  All the letters have meant a lot to our associates, and to me, as we try to make sense of what was truly unthinkable.  A few of the notes are copied below, including one about a Copley Marriott bellman, Juan, who has been on the job for 39 years.

Boston Strong!  

I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the Move. 

Blog audio

Letters:

“I run with CharityTeams.org. We meet each Saturday at the Marriott Copley for our runs and we have formed friendships with your staff.  You should be so proud of them, especially your BELL STAFF.  Juan, Leo, Jack and the rest of the boys are our friends, and with the recent bombings their concern for us was profound.  I am so heart-warmed to know them and so grateful to the Marriott for sharing the lobby so that my runners could be warm and dry while training to run the Boston Marathon for charity.  We love the Marriott.”

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“While it seems like a small thing in a big day of drama, I know my wife certainly appreciated what the (Copley Marriott) staff did for us, including the incredible free buffet dinner they provided us and a safe place to stay.”

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“I wanted to tell you once again how nice it was to be able to go to the  Long Wharf Marriott, and feel as though we were safe and at home.  Jamie, Martha, Daisey and the entire concierge crew made us feel secure.  Your front-end people and security stood vigilant.  I didn't want to be anywhere but home that night, but Long Wharf sheltered us when we were very scared and vulnerable.  Thank you again.”

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“Seventeen members of my family were guests in your hotel for the Marathon weekend (ages 3-70).  We were treated with kindness, courtesy and respect by each and every member of your staff.  I have used your hotels for over 57 years, and have NEVER been disappointed.  Thank you from the bottom of our collective hearts.”

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"Under the terrible circumstances during the marathon, Marriott did an extraordinary job of stepping up and making our stay very comfortable.” 

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Bill
I was staying at the Renaissance Seaport the day the bombers stuck in Boston. I just hope that you heard nothing but positive reports about the compassion, concern and support your team offered guests over that difficult time. many of the runners were a bit shocked and i watched and listened as so many of your employees really listened to them and shared emotional support with them. In all your food outlets your employees kept up positive morale and showed real sensitive concern, I am a regular at the Renaissance and I love staying there from Jei Ling who welcomes me every time i arrive to Eric who has had to track down lost laundry but this trip was special. Your team showed that in real crisis-the care and concern for your customers isn't some put on act but real and genuine. I'm in the process of relocating to Boston and my only concern is that I wont be able to stay at the Seaport Renaissance anymore once i move...but you can be sure all my staff and customers will definitely be sent there. I am by nature a huge Marriott fan but the actions of your team on that day reinforced what i already know about the exceptional people that work in your organization

i think marriatt was great way of getting pleasure and Enjoyable time spending vacational and holiday spending Place

I was staying at the Marriott Marquis in New York City on 9/11/01. I will be forever grateful for the care and kindness the staff showed guests on that fateful day. Staff went door to door to each room to make sure people were OK and whether there was anything they needed. Marriott continues their high quality service and true caring for their guests!

Marriott has such a great record of this sort of thing and my hat is certainly off to the company -- not only for keeping its customers safe, but for its high level of civic responsibility for the communities they serve. It reminds me of the amazing job the associates and staff of the World Trade Center did on September 11th. This is one more reason this is such a great company -- "Spirit to Serve!"

The Newton Marriott received a letter from a guest who stayed during the Marathon. She stated "When terror struck, my daughter and I were about 100 yards away watching my grandson and his two friends from BC run the Marathon. We frantically looked for our runners and finding them, we were fleeing the area as instructed. The question was what to do! I called the Newton Marriott, explained my plight and a lovely young woman replied that she would do everything possible to get us a ride back to the hotel. She did, and in 45 minutes a driver appeared to pick us up. We were welcomed back by all who saw us in our state of grief, from the doorman, desk clerk and Sue in the dining room. You should be so proud of all your employees. They were so kind and compassionate. There are no words to express our sincere gratitude."

I have been a Marriott associate for 19 years and I am always proud of the company I work for. We stand up to diversity and take care of each other and our guests. Boston, thank you for your kindness to all. Truly extraordinary.

My thoughts and prayers to Boston and all those who were effected by this tragedy.

The real story is how hotel security, staff and law enforcement all came together. I heard that the hotels handed out blankets to the runners. Imagine running almost 26 miles and not knowing where to turn when the race is halted. Marriott hotels were there to clothe, feed and shelter people.

Sounds like another story of people of good will doing the right thing, another example of "if you take care of your people, they will take care of the customers."