J.W. Marriott, Jr. Outlines Company Growth Plans, Celebrates U.K. Openings, Announces Seventh Lodging Brand For Europe
LONDON, On a whirlwind three-day visit to several new hotels in the United Kingdom, J.W. Marriott, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE:MAR) announced global expansion plans for the company including:
- Marriott's global pipeline exceeding 770 hotels totaling more than 115,000 rooms.
- The designation of Grosvenor House, a JW Marriott Hotel as the company's flagship for the JW Marriott Hotel brand in Europe
- The European launch of the Residence Inn by Marriott brand, with a new Munich property scheduled to open in 2011 – the brand targets extended stay guests
- The U.K. grand openings of Marriott's "new look" Courtyard by Marriott at Gatwick Airport and the Twickenham Marriott, home of English rugby
- A tour of the construction site for the 116-room Lingfield Park Marriott & Country Club, scheduled to open in 2010
- A tour of the 245-room London St. Pancras, a Renaissance Hotel scheduled for completion in late 2010.
"Despite these troubled times, our worldwide development pipeline remains strong, positioning us well for the eventual economic upturn," Mr. Marriott said. "With 60 percent of our pipeline already under construction or conversion, we remain optimistic about our long-term future."
He added that Marriott expects to open over 30,000 rooms this year alone and to generate about 30,000 new jobs across the world over the next four years. "That's a lot of global opportunity for customer-focused associates who want to build their careers in the hospitality industry."
Mr. Marriott, who visits more than 200 hotels per year, said it is exciting to visit places like the United Kingdom and kick the dirt where a new hotel will soon be built. "But what I enjoy most is meeting and spending time with our fantastic associates," he said. "I'm very proud of them and all our U.K. associates who have catapulted Marriott into the recent Sunday Times' '20 best big companies to work for' rankings."
Mr. Marriott participated in two Grand Openings which occurred yesterday:
- The 218-room Courtyard by Marriott Gatwick Airport – the first example of Marriott's contemporary "new look" for Courtyard in the United Kingdom. "With its distinctive European flair, value and consistency of product and service, we are confident our UK Courtyard hotels will be a big hit with travelers," Mr. Marriott said. Additional "new look" Courtyard properties are under construction in the U.K. and Northern Ireland at Aberdeen Airport and Belfast; both are scheduled to open in 2011.
- The 156-room Twickenham Marriott at Twickenham Stadium, home of English rugby. "We hope this hotel will help further the United Kingdom as the premier destination for business and sport and look forward to welcoming rugby fans from around the world," Mr. Marriott explained.
Speaking about the iconic 484-room Grosvenor House, a JW Marriott Hotel, Mr. Marriott said, "I'm looking forward to joining in the festivities this evening to celebrate this grand lady's 80th anniversary. Years ago, when I first walked through her impressive entrance, I immediately sensed the history, luxury, service and scandal that accompanied her from her glory days in the 1930's. I recognized then and there a desire to revive Grosvenor House, returning her to her rightful place at the heart of Park Lane ... and to reopen her doors to an international audience that shares my passion for the finest hotel experience. "We're very pleased with the massive renovation of the hotel, and are proud to hold the hotel up as the flagship for our award-winning JW Marriott brand in Europe."
Looking across the Channel to Continental Europe, Mr. Marriott announced that Marriott would introduce is widely-acclaimed Residence Inn by Marriott hotel brand for extended stay travelers in urban locations in Europe beginning in 2011.
"Over the past two years, we conducted a lot of consumer and market research that points to tremendous potential in Europe for this dynamic brand. Residence Inn offers stylishly appointed apartments with full kitchens and the comforts of a modern home coupled with an intuitive staff that assists their guests who are away from home for long periods of time." The first Residence Inn will open in Munich in 2011.
As for the future, Mr. Marriott noted that with the upcoming openings of the Lingfield Park Marriott, London St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel and the expansion of the Courtyard brand in United Kingdom, Marriott will continue to have a strong presence in the region. "Our existing 61 hotels in the country have all been upgraded, we're adding to the portfolio and everyone is focused on providing excellent service," he said. "The long-term future is bright."
Marriott statements on the anticipated completion and openings of hotels are "forward looking statements" within the meaning of federal securities laws, and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including those described in Marriott International, Inc.'s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which could cause actual completion and opening dates to be different than expected.
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