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Opening America's Arms to Global Travelers

Posted:05/24/2011 5:01 PM

Opening Americas Arms to Global Travelers It’s been a busy few months in the realm of travel and tourism policy, so I wanted the chance to bring you up to speed on what’s going on, and I hope it will lead to measurable change in the way the United States welcomes overseas visitors.  I’ve blogged about this before, and by now, you’re all probably aware of the problems. But, I’m glad to report, some solutions are in the works.

First off, Senators Amy Klobuchar and Roy Blunt held a hearing on visa and entry issues in April entitled, “Tourism in America: Removing Barriers and Promoting Growth.”  They deserve major kudos for heightening Congressional awareness and demanding greater accountability from the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security.  The hearing looked at travel issues from a new angle and it focused on the tremendous economic opportunities the travel and tourism industry holds.

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Two New Hotels Deepen Marriott's Roots in Arlington, Virginia

Posted:05/20/2011 4:12 PM

Renaissance Arlington Capital View Marriott has deep roots in northern Virginia, particularly around the area of the 14th Street Bridge, close to Arlington and National Airport, which is now Reagan National Airport.  Our first Marriott hotel, Twin Bridges, was located there, near the Pentagon, and opened in 1957.

Back in those days, you checked in from your car and the room rate was about $8.  Of course, we looked in the car to see how many people were there, and we charged an extra dollar for each person.  Those were the good old days.

Not too long after we opened the hotel, Pearly Rice, who was vice president for the Richmond Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad came to see my dad.  We bought our original Twin Bridges land from RF&P Railroad and Pearly Rice said, “Come on, Mr. Marriott, I want to show you some land around here.”  So, we drove over and saw this beautiful, large tract of land, and it was offered to us at a very good price.  But, my dad said, “I don’t know what I would do with it,” so we passed.

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Discover an Icon - The St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London

Posted:05/17/2011 4:56 PM

St Pancras Renaissance Hotel London When I picked up my copy of Architectural Digest, a magazine that I read every month, I was really thrilled to see our new St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel in London featured. It is one of the most spectacular hotels in our Renaissance Hotels portfolio.

The newly renovated icon, which sits atop the historic St. Pancras train station,  first opened as the Midland Grand Hotel 135 years to the day of our grand opening celebration on May 5th.

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Honoring Marriott's Elite

Posted:05/12/2011 6:56 PM

2011 Awards of Excellence Honorees Tonight, I have the privilege of being joined by our most elite associates from all around the world at our annual Awards of Excellence gala.  It is an event we hold every year at our Marriott Bethesda North Hotel in Bethesda, Maryland, to honor the best of the best within our company.  These associates not only provide our guests with great service, they also make it a point to take wonderful care of their fellow associates and the communities where they work and live.

This year’s honorees come from throughout the United States, as well as around the globe, from countries like China, Egypt, India, Brazil and Scotland.  And, as usual, many of our honorees have some amazing stories that I would like to share with you.

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Helping Those Who Help Others

Posted:05/05/2011 2:42 PM

Peter OBrien Group meetings, conferences and conventions are a very important part of our business and account for over 35 percent of our total sales.  One group that often holds their annual conference in one of our hotels is the National Association of School Nurses (NASN).  They are terrific people who take care of our kids at school and it’s a great piece of business for Marriott generating more than 3,500 room nights.

Last summer, the Director of Meetings for NASN had to unexpectedly resign a month before their event was being held at the Chicago Marriott, leaving the group in desperate need of a new meeting planner.  One of the account executives from our national sales team, who has worked with this group for many years, Peter O’Brien, suggested a few reputable meeting planners that might be able to help.  But, the group trusted and respected Peter so much, they asked if he could help them plan and organize their meeting.

Although it is rather unusual for an outside group to use an “inside” meeting planner, Peter gladly took on this role while still maintaining his “day job” in our sales outfit.  During the week the meeting took place, Peter worked 15-18 hour days to ensure everything ran smoothly and the event ended up being a big success.  In fact, the event was so successful and the group was so appreciative of Peter’s and the hotel’s hard work and stellar service, that they recently signed an agreement to host 5 more of these meetings in 5 different Marriott hotels around the country.

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I'm Bill Marriott, Chairman & CEO of Marriott International.

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