Monumental Hotel in the City of Monuments

June 10, 2014

Do you know why I love the hotel business?  It’s all here in our 4,000 hotel, the Marriott Marquis Washington, DC.  There are more twists to this hotel story than the traffic circles from L'Enfant’s original city plan.  It took 20 years to get it done, but it’s the end result that matters.  In this city of monuments, we’ve built a monumental hotel.  It’s the largest in town, connected underground to the convention center, and it should help make DC a big meeting destination. (Below are my grand opening remarks.)

 

This has been an incredible journey and a homecoming for our business.  Just blocks from here, 86 years ago a newlywed couple named J. Willard and Alice Marriott opened a small root beer stand employing six people.  They worked hard, pulling apart sticky nickels to deposit in the bank. From my parents’ humble beginnings, hundreds of people will be employed in this one hotel, over half district residents.  

 

Ribbon Cutting at Marriott Marquis Washington DC
Celebrating the grand opening with CEO Arne Sorenson, along with DC and hotel officials.

The 9th street corridor where the hotel is located has certainly come a long way.  The front of the building pays homage to the past by using the façade of the old plumbers building.  In the 1940’s and 50’s, just a block or so away from today’s Marriott Marquis Washington DC, was the Gayety Theater.  My dad wrote this about the neighborhood, “There were ‘tenderloin’ overtones to the streets. Second-rate movie houses and burlesque theaters.” Somehow I don’t think the word tenderloin referred to steaks.

 

Cutting the ribbon at the Marriott Marquis Washington DC
Cutting the ribbon with my wife, Donna, daughter Debbie and son David.

My dad always believed Washington was a wonderful place to open a business and he sure was right about that.  Our Hot Shoppes restaurant success allowed us to enter the hotel business.  Even Dad would never have imagined having 4,000 hotels in 78 countries.  He’d certainly be pleasantly surprised how the neighborhood has changed – for the better.  And how the Anthem restaurant will serve Hot Shoppes’ famous Might Mo hamburger. 

Giving my hometown a spectacular hotel is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.  Leave a comment and let me know how you like the Marriott Marquis Washington, DC. 

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

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Mr. Marriott. Congratulations on the 4000th hotel. I can't wait to come to DC and see if for myself.

Blessings,
Becky

Love it! Working at this hotel now, after 27+ years working with Marriott sales. Thank you.

That is inspiring...I am glad to be a part of this.

-Bartell

Dear Mr. Marriott,

It truly is an honor to be a part of such a great organization.

The 4000th Marriott Marquis in Washington,DC; is a representation of the growth and prosperity Marriott has accomplished.
Marriott is #1 in Hospitality.

Congratulations!

Sincerely,

Lilian Lopez
Florida Group Sales

#MarriottontheMove

Dear Mr. Marriott,

Many congratulations with this fantastic achievement, the opening of the Marriott Marquis Washington D.C., at just a stone's away from where it al began! I believe you truly represent The American Dream and have shown the world that the sky is the limit for those who work very hard.
Many heartfelt congratulations!
Petra Kalkman

Dear Mr. Marriott,
I am so proud to be a member of the Marriott team since March 2003. Congratulations on 4K - it's simply amazing! I love the vision and passion and strive to embody that daily.
Kindly,
Jules Shores

I am so very proud to be apart of the Marriott family here at the Delray Beach Marriott.
Your family's visions and accomplishments have given me inspiration a greater part of my life.
Thank you.

Patricia Ozburn
Chef Concierge
Delray Beach Marriott

Dear Mr. Marriott,
I am so proud to be a member of the Marriott team since March 2003. Congratulations on 4K - it's simply amazing! I love the vision and passion and strive to embody that daily.
Kindly,
Jules Shores

Dear Mr. Marriott,
I am so proud to be a member of the Marriott team since March 2003. Congratulations on 4K - it's simply amazing! I love the vision and passion and strive to embody that daily.
Kindly,
Jules Shores

Congratulations on the completion of Marriott's 4,000th hotel! I am incredibly proud to work for the greatest company in the world. I love how everything comes full circle, back to the hometown where the root beer stand was! Marriott truly has those family values instilled in its properties, and I will be here for a long long time.

Mr. Marriott I'm Omar Negron Assoc. Director of Catering for the San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris in San Juan, Puerto Rico, every time that I read your blogs or one of your successful stories motivate me to keep working for this wonderful company and someday I wish that my two children feel proud as I do of working for the best and successful hospitality company in the world! Thank you for all your effort and for inspires us! Blessings!

This is certainly a monumental moment for Marriott! Marquis will be part of the DC attractions that I will proudly take my friends and family who are visiting DC!

I am so proud to be part of the Marriott family and the culture for the past 9 years. Twenty years ago we migrated from Sri Lanka and never in the world thought that I would be working for Marriott! We're so grateful for the endless opportunities and hopes that Marriott has provided globally, thank you. Congratulations for persevering and ongoing success!

As a Marriott GM that grew up in a suburb of DC (Bowie) in the 60s and 70s makes me proud to be part of a great company. As I grew up my parents would not allow us to go to DC, as they felt it was unsafe. But I grew older, over the years, I would go to lighting of the Christmas Tree, Cherry Blossums, and National Arboretum. I am so glad that Marriott is such a leader of goodness and transforming major cities into great places to work and live.

As a Marriott GM that grew up in a suburb of DC (Bowie) in the 60s and 70s makes me proud to be part of a great company. As I grew up my parents would not allow us to go to DC, as they felt it was unsafe. But I grew older, over the years, I would go to lighting of the Christmas Tree, Cherry Blossums, and National Arboretum. I am so glad that Marriott is such a leader of goodness and transforming major cities into great places to work and live.

Well one sir!

Congratulations on your 4,000th hotel!!! I am so proud working with this company....
God Bless.... hope to see you here in Dubai UAE

Oyie Mampusti
Sales Department
JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai
United Arab Emirates

Congrats to all within the Marriott Family on this great achievement and may there be 4000 more.

Congrats to all within the Marriott Family on this great achievement and may there be 4000 more.

This is an amazing milestone for any company, but would not be possible if Mr Marriott Snr and Mr Marriott did not believe in "put people first". I look forward to experiencing the Marriott Marquis Washington, DC when I am next on vacation and am so proud to say that I work for Marriott.

dear bill,
congratulations on this achievment, you dad would be mighty proud of how you have handled his legacy. its a lovely picture of you with you wife and children on this special occasion; sends out a great message of the importance of family in every venture of life.
best wishes.
asma

Dear Mr Bill Marriott,

It gives me immense pleasure to be associated with the Marriott as both my children are with the Marriott and doing well for themselves.

Regards

Ms Sarah Menon

Amazing ... Congratualtions on the opening of the 4000th Hotel..an inspiring journey, an inspiring company and great leadership..All the very best on Keeping Marriot on the move :)

Uday Nayak

Staying at the new Marriott Marquis for my first visit to DC made me love DC immediately. Everything is in such good taste. Like a good work of art, it transported me to the heart of DC without having to leave the corridors of the hotel, where I enjoyed running my fingers along the wallpaper, taking in the perfectly placed pictures of political places and events in the soft light. What a lucky coincidence to arrive for the grand opening. I heard the speech echoing throughout the hotel as I headed to the gym this morning. Best machines I've ever tried. I wish I had woken up earlier to have caught more of the ceremony. Thank you for building the stuff of dreams. Looking forward to reading the J.W.Marriott and learning all I can to continue my own journey into business entrepreneurship.

Congratulations of the opening of your 4,000 hotel!! What an incredible journey your company has taken over the past 86 years. I was proud to be part of your organization for a little over 10 years. Marriott was and still is an incredible company to work for.

Congrats! A great hotel, great city and great company!