How Culture Lives On

May 3, 2015

Camelback Inn (55)

I spent some time in March at our Camelback Inn in Scottsdale, Arizona. It was a wonderful stay at the historic hotel, which opened in the early 1930’s making it the oldest J.W. Marriott hotel in our system. We bought it in 1967 and our family has been going there every year since to celebrate my birthday. This year we had a lot of children and grandchildren there at a cookout. We ate hamburgers, hotdogs, and beans. We had a magician, a balloon blower, and dancing. This hotel consistently ranks at the top of our JW brand for customer service and employee satisfaction. Jim Rose is our General Manager and is celebrating 47 years with Marriott.

During my stay, I witnessed firsthand why this hotel has been so successful. As Jim and I toured the Camelback Inn 2hotel he knew at least 300 of his 400 associates by name without looking at their nametags. He also introduced me to many who had been promoted from hourly positions to management. We visited with our staff who cared for the grounds and the beautiful flowers. We visited the kitchen, the laundry, the front desk and the telephone operators. We checked out housekeeping and the bell staff. Jim also introduced me to our outstanding sales staff. I was impressed, but not surprised by the results of Jim’s leadership.

A few days earlier, Donna and I had dinner with seven Marriott old timers and their wives. Two had retired; the other five represented our current leadership in the Phoenix and Palm Springs area. The average length of service for our group was 36 years. All had started as hourly workers or very junior level managers.

Camelback InnJack Welch, former CEO of GE was recently interviewed by the WSJ in an article entitled, “Jack Welch talks business.” The first question was, “What do traditional MBA programs miss about management?” Welch replied, “If traditional MBAs are missing anything, they miss a lot of the human equation about building teams, about being generous managers who love to see their people succeed, and who love to get their people raises and promotions.”

Way to go, Jack.  I can say that our seven long-term leaders have embraced our culture for many years and do many of the things that Jack Welch suggested. They take good care of their associates, who take good care of our customers, so they will come back. My top priority and the priority of our senior team is to make sure this culture continues to live on.

Camelback Inn

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

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Mr. Marriott - My first hotel job out of college was working for Jack Stewart as Reservations Manager (1963-64). Following that position, I joined Marriott in a management position at Key Bridge. I stayed with Marriott for 15 years, leaving only to in my brother in business. This year, 53 years later, I intend to visit Camelback once again with my wife and grandson. t will be the first time since my departure in 1964. Needless to say, I was delighted when Marriott acquired Camelback in 1967 and have maintained it as the same luxurious resort Jack Stewart and his wife operated.

Thank you for your interesting article.

culture is tat which indicates our lifestyles. we have different culture and we r not over the culture

My husband and I had the pleasure of staying at the Camelback in March also. We are Iowa farmers and simple people looking to get away from the cold for a few days. We initially thought we might feel out of place at such a lovely resort, but from check-in to our last day, we were treated like family! The staff seemed to recognize us and really cared how our stay was going. At breakfast they would ask us about our plans for the day and then ask us how it went later. They even offered to pack us a snack to take on our day trip to the Grand Canyon! We hope to get back again to visit such a wonderful resort. You definitely have customer service down to a science! Thank you JW Marriott Camelback for a great vacation!

My husband and I love the JW Marriott Camelback Inn property! I arranged a secret surprise stay for a Christmas present for my sweetheart. Our stay was amazing! The sunsets were stunning, the mountain beautiful and our casita was so comfy and spacious! The staff at this property were wonderful. The landscape crew worked so hard to keep the grounds gorgeous. Housekeeping kept our casita tidy and well-stocked. We loved having our tasty evening appetizers outside near the fire pit enjoying the excellent live music! It was so convenient to have a full service Starbucks on the grounds. We both work hard so the best treat was a day at your Spa enjoying massages, a pedicure and a poolside lunch by Sprouts which was fabulous!!! I can see wh your staff say it is one of your favorite properties, as it is so majestic, yet serene and invigorating at the same time. It has been a few years since our visit and I am saving up my points to return as soon as possible!

My husband and I have stayed at Marriott Camelback Inn for the past 25 years. It is our all time favorite place. We now have a home in Scottsdale but I still come to the spa and some mornings just come to have a cup of coffee. It just feels like home to us. In 25 years we have only had great experiences with the staff. Love it!

Great article. I have stayed religiously at Marriotts since 1969. We lived in Scottsdale from 1984-1994 and had a 2nd home there up until a few years ago. Over the years we held many sales meetings at the old Mt. Shadows resort starting in 1976 and at The Camelback. Of the Resorts around the world I still like the Camelback best.
Having spent 6 years in the Marines, I too believe in "Team Work". It is a self motivator.

GOOOOO Marriott,

Hi Mr. Marriott,

I love Santa Fe, New Mexico (used to live there) so the Camelback Inn seems right up my alley. Nice to know you have visited there so many years and always find it wonderful!

Thanks for your blog - I enjoy every week!

Bill, I too have stayed at Camelback and I agree thar it is a wonderful hotel............but the oldest ???

I believe the oldest to be the Marriott at Morley England.
The Marriott Breadsall Priory has been an hotel for about 900 years and a Marriott for about 15



Leslie Bramhill mr 236167821

Never truer words said Mr Marriott, truly a culture to live, lifelong through.

Dear Mr. Marriott,

I enjoy every one of your BLOGS and look forward to the next one, as I read the current one. This is a special one, as I have long desired to go to Camelback Inn, Scottsdale, AZ - and continue to hope and pray Bob and I can get there --- maybe next Winter. It looks beautiful and I know we would enjoy that stay, as much or more as we enjoyed our visits to Bermuda (while I was still working at Marriott Headquarters), and Maui, Hawaii - as well as other delightful Marriott Properties and Vacation Time Shares.

I'm sure you enjoyed a wonderful and special Birthday Celebration with your family - and the delicious Cookout.

With prayers for you to enjoy many more happy family celebrations on your birthday at Camelback Inn,

Trudi Blakeslee
Venice, FL

We have been there; it is a lovely hotel. I really enjoyed the pool.

For Mr Bill Marriott -It would be perfect if the barbeque cooked veggie-burgers and veggie-dogs, which are much better for human health and definitely best for the animals. Plus our culture is changing and meat free meals are blooming everywhere for health and moral reasons. I'll offer some excellent vegan recipes if you want. Kids love vegan food and if offered from birth, would always choose vegan over animal.