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Marriott International, Inc. ( ) is a worldwide operator and franchisor of a broad portfolio of hotels and related lodging facilities. Founded by J. Willard Marriott, the company is now led by son J.W. (Bill) Marriott, Jr. Today, Marriott International has about 3,150 lodging properties located in the United States and 67 other countries and territories.

Marriott's operations are grouped into the following five business segments:

History



Marriott was founded by J. Willard Marriott 1927 when he and his wife opened a root beer stand in Washington D.C.marker. As a missionary in the sweltering, humid summers in Washington, Marriott was convinced that what the city needed was a such a place to get a cool drink. They later expanded their enterprises into a chain of restaurants and hotels.

The Key Bridge Marriott in Arlington, Virginiamarker is Marriott International’s longest operating hotel, and will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2009. Their son and current Chairman and Chief Executve Officer, J.W. (Bill) Marriott, Jr. has led the company to spectacular worldwide growth. Today, Marriott International has about 3,150 lodging properties located in the United States and 67 other countries and territories.

Marriott International was formed in 1992 when Marriott Corporation split into two companies, Marriott International and Host Marriott Corporation.

In 2002 Marriott International began a major restructuring by spinning off many Senior Living Services Communities (which is now part of Sunrise Senior Living) and Marriott Distribution Services, so that it could focus on hotel ownership and management. The changes were completed in 2003.



Singapore Marriott Hotel


In April 1995, Marriott International acquired a 49% interest in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company LLC. Marriott International believed that it could increase sales and profit margins at the Ritz, a troubled chain with a significant number of properties either losing money or barely breaking even. The cost of Marriott's initial investment was estimated to be about $200 million in cash and assumed debt. The next year, Marriott spent $331 million to take over the Ritz-Carlton Atlanta and buy a majority interest in two properties owned by William Johnson, a real estate developer who had purchased the Boston Ritz Carlton in 1983 and expanded his Ritz holdings over the next twenty years.

The Ritz began expansion into the lucrative timeshare market among other new initiatives made financially possible by the deep pockets of Marriott, which also lent its own in-house expertise in certain areas. There were other benefits for Ritz-Carlton flowing from its relationship with Marriott, such as being able to take advantage of the parent company's reservation system and buying power. The partnership was solidified in 1998 when Marriott boosted its interest in Ritz-Carlton to 99 percent. By 1999 revenues from the 35 hotels it operated around the world totaled about $1.4 billion.

Marriott International owned Ramada International Hotels & Resorts until its sale on September 15, 2004 to Cendant.It is the first hotel chain to serve food that is completely free of trans fats at all of its North American properties.

In 2005, Marriott International and Marriott Vacation Club International comprised two of the 53 entities that contributed the maximum of $250,000 to the second inauguration of President George W. Bush.

On July 19, 2006, Marriott announced that all lodging buildings they operate in the United States and Canada would become non-smoking beginning September 2006. "The new policy includes all guest rooms, restaurants, lounges, meeting rooms, public space and employee work areas."

Terrorist attacks

Several Marriott hotels around the world have been the target of bombings.

Great America Parks

Marriott also developed three and ultimately opened two theme parks entitled Marriott's Great America from 1976 until 1984. The parks were located in Gurnee, Illinoismarker, Santa Clara, Californiamarker and a proposed but never-built location in the Washington, DC area, and were themed celebrating American history. The American-themed areas under Marriott's tenure of ownership included "Carousel Plaza" (the first section beyond the main gates); small-town-themed "Hometown Square"; "The Great Midwest Livestock Exposition At County Fair" with a Turn of the Century rural-fair theme; "Yankee Harbor", inspired by a 19th century New England port; "Yukon Territory," resembling a Canadian/Alaskan logging camp; and the French Quarter-modeled "Orleans Place". At opening, both parks were laid out nearly identically.

In 1984, Marriott disposed of its theme park division; both parks were sold and today are associated with national theme park chains. The Gurnee location was sold to Six Flags Theme Parks where it operates today as Six Flags Great Americamarker. The Santa Clara location was sold to the City of Santa Clara, who retained the underlying property and sold the park to Kings Entertainment Company, renamed Paramount Parks in 1993. From 1993 to 2006, the Santa Clara location was known as Paramount's Great America. In 2006, Paramount Parks was acquired by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company; the Santa Clara park operates today as California's Great Americamarker. In the years after their sale, the layouts of the parks have diverged substantially.

Marriott Brands

Full Service Lodging



Select Service Lodging



Extended Stay Lodging



Timeshare



Marriott Rewards

Marriott International also offers Marriott Rewards, a loyalty (“rewards”) program that allows members to earn points or airline miles for their stays at participating Marriott brand hotels, in addition to other membership benefits.

References

  1. "The Great Energy Scam" from TIME, October 2003
  2. Official World's 100 Tallest High Rise Buildings (Hotel Use). Emporis.com. Retrieved on July 5, 2009.
  3. Remembrances of Mom from Marriott Blogs
  4. J. Willard Marriott from Entrepreneur.com
  5. Root Beer Roots from The Washington Post
  6. Key Bridge Marriott Hotel Prepares for 50th Anniversary With $30 Million Renovation of Event Space
  7. 2003 10-K report
  8. fundinguniverse
  9. "Marriott says trans fats will check out" from USA Today
  10. "Marriott to Cut Trans FatAt U.S., Canada Hotels" from The Wall Street Journal online
  11. Marriott Goes Smoke-Free


External links




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