Marriott International headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland
Washington, D.C., U.S.
|Founders||J. Willard Marriott|
|Headquarters||Bethesda, Maryland, U.S.|
Number of locations
|6,906 (March 31, 2019)|
(president and CEO)
|Revenue||US$20.75 billion (2018)|
|US$2.36 billion (2018)|
|US$1.90 billion (2018)|
|Total assets||US$23.69 billion (2018)|
|Total equity||US$2.22 billion (2018)|
|Owner||Marriott family (25%)|
Number of employees
|~176,000 (December 2018)|
Marriott International, Inc. is an American multinational diversified hospitality company that manages and franchises a broad portfolio of hotels and related lodging facilities. Founded by J. Willard Marriott, the company is now led by his son, executive chairman Bill Marriott, and president and chief executive officer Arne Sorenson. Marriott International is the largest hotel chain in the world. It has 30 brands with 7,003 properties in 131 countries and territories around the world, over 1,332,826 rooms (as of March 31, 2019), including 2,035 that are managed with 559,569 rooms, 4,905 that are franchised or licensed with 756,156 rooms, and 63 that are owned or leased with 17,101 rooms, plus an additional 475,000 rooms in the development pipeline and an additional 25,000 rooms approved for development but not yet under signed contracts.
It is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. In 2017, Marriott was ranked #33 on Fortune's "100 Best Companies to Work For" list, its twentieth appearance on the list.
Founding and early years
Marriott was founded by John Willard Marriott in 1927 when he and his wife, Alice Sheets Marriott, opened a root beer stand in Washington, D.C. As a Latter-day Saint missionary in the humid summers in Washington, D.C., Marriott was convinced that what residents of the city needed was a place to get a cool drink. The Marriotts later expanded their enterprise into a chain of Hot Shoppes restaurants and the company went public in 1953 as Hot Shoppes, Inc.
The company opened its first hotel, the Twin Bridges Marriott Motor Hotel, in Arlington, Virginia, in 1957. Their second hotel, the Key Bridge Marriott in the Rosslyn neighborhood of the same city, is Marriott International's longest continuously operating hotel and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2009. Their son, J. W. (Bill) Marriott, Jr., led the company to spectacular worldwide growth during his more than 50-year career. In March 2012, at age 80, he turned the CEO responsibilities over to Arne Sorenson, while he assumed the title of executive chairman.
Hot Shoppes, Inc. was renamed the Marriott Corporation in 1967.
The company opened two theme parks in 1976. One Marriott's Great America was located outside Chicago; the other Marriott's Great America was located outside San Francisco. Marriott sold both properties in 1984.
Marriott International was formed in 1993 when the Marriott Corporation split into two companies, Marriott International and Host Marriott Corporation. In 1995, Marriott was the first hotel company worldwide to offer guests the option to book reservations online, via the company's implementation of MARSHA (Marriott's Automatic Reservation System for Hotel Accommodations).
In April 1995, Marriott International acquired a 49% interest in Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company LLC. Marriott International believed that it could increase sales and profit margins for The Ritz-Carlton, a troubled chain with a significant number of properties either losing money or barely breaking even. The cost to Marriott was estimated to have been 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 Ritz-Carlton, Boston in 1983 and expanded his Ritz-Carlton holdings over the next twenty years.
The Ritz-Carlton began expansion into the lucrative timeshare market and undertook 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 acquired majority ownership of The Ritz-Carlton. Today, there are 91 Ritz-Carlton properties around the world.
Marriott International acquired the listed company Renaissance Hotel Group N.V. in 1997 from Chow Tai Fook Group and its associate company New World Development. Marriott International also privatized Renaissance Hotel Group. At that time Renaissance Hotel Group owned the brands Renaissance Hotels and Ramada International, etc. Marriott International and New World Development also signed an agreement to manage New World Development's owned hotel, such as New World Courtyard Hotel, Beijing (later known as The Courtyard by Marriott Beijing), Renaissance Hong Kong Harbour View Hotel in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, etc. Some of the management contracts had expired in the 2010s.
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.
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 it operated in the United States and Canada would become non-smoking beginning in September 2006. "The new policy includes all guest rooms, restaurants, lounges, meeting rooms, public space and employee work areas."
On November 11, 2010, Marriott announced plans to add over 600 hotel properties by 2015. The bulk of the additions would be in emerging markets: India, where it planned to have 100 hotel properties, China, and Southeast Asia.
On December 13, 2011, J.W. Marriott, Jr. announced he would be stepping down as CEO of the company, while assuming the role of executive chairman. It was announced that Arne Sorenson would be taking over as CEO as of March 2012.
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney released his 2011 federal income taxes on September 21, 2012, showing that he declared $260,390 in director's fees from Marriott International, despite the fact that news was released on January 13, 2011, that he had already stepped down from the Marriott International board to run for president. His released 2010 tax returns showed earnings in 2010 of $113,881 in director's fees from Marriott. In February 2012, Bloomberg reported on Romney's years overseeing tax matters for Marriott, which had included several "scams" (quoting Sen. John McCain) and legal actions brought against Marriott, which Marriott lost in court, over its manipulations of the U.S. Tax Code.
Recent developments (2014–present)
Disruption of competing hotspots
On October 3, 2014, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) fined Marriott $600,000 for unlawful use of a "containment" feature of a Wi-Fi monitoring system to deliberately interfere with client-owned networks in the convention space of its Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville. The scheme disrupted operation of clients' mobile telephone hotspots by sending fraudulent Wi-fi de-authentication packets. Marriott International, Inc., the American Hotel and Lodging Association and Ryman Hospitality Properties responded by unsuccessfully petitioning the FCC to change the rules to allow them to continue the willful jamming of client-owned networks, a position which they were forced to abandon in early 2015 in response to backlash from clients, mainstream media, major technology companies and national mobile carriers.
The incident drew unfavorable publicity to Marriott's practice of charging transient lodgers $13–15/day for wi-fi connections, routinely included in the base price at most discount chains, and to exorbitant wi-fi fees (typically $250–1000 per device) charged to convention-goers at a time when the $2.25 billion "incidental fees" annually charged by US-based hotels to their lodgers was already drawing criticism and negative media coverage.
On January 27, 2015, Marriott acquired Canadian hotel chain Delta Hotels. Delta operated 38 hotels in Canada at the time of acquisition; it has since expanded to the United States, Europe, and Asia.
On November 16, 2015, Marriott announced the acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide for $13 billion. A competing offer for Starwood at $14 billion from a consortium led by China's Anbang Insurance Group was announced March 3, 2016, moving Starwood to cease the deal with Marriott and pursue the offer from Anbang Insurance Group. After Marriott raised its bid to $13.6 billion on March 21, Starwood terminated the Anbang agreement and proceeded again with the merger with Marriott. Following all necessary regulatory approvals in the United States and around the world over the course of 2016, Marriott closed the merger with Starwood on September 23, 2016, creating the world's largest hotel company with over 5700 properties, 1.1 million rooms, and a new portfolio of 30 brands.
The Starwood acquisition gave Marriott a larger non-US presence; approximately 75% of Starwood's revenues were from non-US markets. The acquisition was the largest of its sort since 2007, when Blackstone acquired Hilton for $26 billion. Executives noted that total transaction and integration expenditures may exceed $100 million.
On November 30, 2018, Marriott disclosed that its Starwood Hotel brand had been subject to a security breach. After the disclosure, New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood announced an investigation into the data breach.
The 2018 cyberattack on the Marriott hotel chain that collected personal details of roughly 500 million guests is now known to be a part of a Chinese intelligence-gathering effort that also hacked health insurers and the security clearance files of millions more Americans. The hackers are suspected of working on behalf of the Ministry of State Security, the country's Communist-controlled civilian spy agency. Initially, Marriott admitted that 500 million customer's personal information had been exposed. It later amended their admission to "less than 383 million" customers, and claimed many of the customer's payment cards had expired.
For the fiscal year 2017, Marriott International reported earnings of US$1.372 billion, with an annual revenue of US$22.894 billion, an increase of 34.1% over the previous fiscal cycle. Marriott International's shares traded at over $101 per share, and its market capitalization was valued at over US$39.1 billion in October 2018.
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As of 2020, Marriott operates 30 brands internationally.
- Courtyard by Marriott
- Fairfield by Marriott
- Four Points by Sheraton
- Protea Hotels by Marriott
- SpringHill Suites
- Element by Westin
- Homes & Villas by Marriott International
Great America Parks
Marriott developed three theme parks, of which two theme parks were opened. They operated as Marriott's Great America from 1976 until 1984. The parks were located in Gurnee, Illinois; Santa Clara, California; and a proposed but never-built location in the Washington, D.C., 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 the opening, the parks had nearly identical layouts.
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 America. 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 America. In the years after their sale, the layouts of both of the parks have diverged substantially.
Marriott Bonvoy is the loyalty program used by Marriott and was formed in the 2019 merger of its three former rewards programs: Marriott Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest.
Marriott Rewards was founded in 1983. In 1997, Marriott Rewards became the first hotel loyalty program to allow customers to earn points at limited-service hotels (such as Fairfield Inn) and redeem them at full-service hotels (such as JW Marriott).
Starwood Preferred Guest (mononymously known as SPG) was founded in 1999 as the first in the industry to enforce a policy of no blackout dates, no capacity controls, and online redemption. In 2012, Starwood Preferred Guest began offering lifetime status and a dedicated Starwood ambassador for loyal members.
Ritz-Carlton Rewards was founded in 2010. Unlike Marriott Rewards and SPG, members were able to receive air miles instead of reward points and able to earn ten points (or two miles) for every dollar spent on any Ritz-Carlton room rates. Despite the restriction of membership to only one of the two programs, members of Ritz-Carlton Rewards were able earn points in other Marriott hotels, while Marriott Rewards members were able to earn points at a Ritz-Carlton. The Ritz Carlton Club Vail, The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore, The Ritz London, all Ritz-Carlton Reserve hotels and all Bulgari hotels, however, never participated in Ritz-Carlton Rewards program and its replacement, the Marriott Bonvoy program.
- AC Hotels
- Aloft Hotels
- Autograph Collection
- Courtyard by Marriott
- Delta Hotels
- Design Hotels
- Edition Hotels
- Element by Westin
- Fairfield by Marriott
- Four Points by Sheraton
- Gaylord Hotels
- JW Marriott
- Le Méridien
- Marriott Hotels & Resorts
- Renaissance Hotels
- Residence Inn by Marriott
- Sheraton Hotels and Resorts
- SpringHill Suites
- St. Regis Hotels & Resorts
- TownePlace Suites
- W Hotels
- Westin Hotels & Resorts
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