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Fond Farewell to a Marriott Friend

Posted:07/25/201110:27 AM

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On July 6, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal published extensive obituaries on my friend, George Lang, one of America’s most successful restaurateurs.

George Lang

George had a truly fascinating and exciting life.  He was born in Hungary in 1924.  He was Jewish and escaped a Nazi forced-labor camp and imminent execution in the Second World War.  He came to New York with no money, but with hopes of becoming a concert violinist.   

When his violin career did not work out, he pursued a career in restaurants.  He worked for Restaurant Associates and was instrumental in establishing the Four Seasons Restaurant in New York City, one of the world’s most famous.  George also established and ran the famous Café des Artistes Restaurant in New York.  He wrote a lot of cookbooks and was one of the most renowned restaurateurs of all time.  

George Lang's Book Cover

When he left Restaurant Associates, we got together.  As we talked we came to the conclusion that it might be a good idea for George to establish a consulting business and I offered us up as the first client.  At that time, we were big-time in the airline catering business.  We just acquired the Qantas Airline account at our London Flight Kitchen at Heathrow.  Qantas flights to Australia were, of course, a long haul and very expensive in first class.  They were charging a lot and expected the highest level of service.

George volunteered to go to London and create a very high-end food service for Qantas in-flight catering.  He not only designed it, he stayed on in the kitchen for many weeks, training the chefs and ensuring that they did an outstanding job. 

When we opened our Marriott hotel in Budapest, Hungary, I was there for the opening and George showed up.  He was there opening a very famous restaurant in Budapest and joined us for dinner.  

He was a great friend and George and I worked together on many projects through the years.  I will miss him.  He made an outstanding contribution to the restaurant industry for over 40 years.  And he certainly helped me out when I really needed it the most with Qantas in London.  

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

George Lang Obituary (The New York Times)

 

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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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John Legend and Courtyard Put on a Show in Grand Central Terminal

Posted:09/07/2010 5:44 PM
John Legend Performing in the Courtyard Refresthing Business Lobby Replica in Grand Central Terminal There's a line in one of my favorite movies, Field of Dreams, "if you build it, they will come."  In our case, instead of a baseball diamond in an Iowa corn field, we’re building replicas of our Courtyard Refreshing Business lobby in Grand Central Terminal in New York City.  We’re also doing it at airports across America because we know that if you see it you definitely will come and stay.

In New York, Grammy Award-winning singer John Legend joined us for a lunch-time concert as we took over Grand Central's Vanderbilt Hall to showcase the new lobby.  The design is modern and stylish and offers amenities like free WiFi, lots of seating and electrical outlets to stay connected, as well as a full service dining outlet called The Bistro.
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Hosting North America's Premiere Polka Weekend

Posted:12/21/200912:51 PM
Polka Band
Just a few weeks ago, over the Thanksgiving holiday, our Cleveland Marriott Downtown hosted the city’s annual Polka Festival for the 18th year in a row.  It’s a huge, lively event held in Cleveland, Ohio, the home of the Polka Hall of Fame.

It takes place every year, beginning on the Thursday of Thanksgiving and lasting through that Sunday.  People from all over the U.S., Canada and Europe come to celebrate what is touted as North America’s Premiere Polka Weekend with 15 leading Polka bands and delicious menu items like Slovenian sausage, German potato salad and strudel.
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I'm Bill Marriott, Chairman & CEO of Marriott International.

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