HAVS #8: Team CLIF Marooned in the Marriott

HAVS #8: Team CLIF Marooned in the Marriott

Even after the build-your-own-omelette debacle it was still snowing and nobody wanted to go anywhere regionally nuanced & exceptional because it was cold and the roads looked covered in snow and/or ice.

Listen, we had plans, big plans, but it started snowing the night before and it snowed all night long and it was still snowing in the morning when our photoshooting was scheduled. First, I met the team in the breakfast dining area—Troy had vouchers though so that was cool—and we had breakfast. Breakfast was very straightforward except that the build-your-own-omelette stall (#rftd) was left unattended by the hotel staff for several minutes, causing seating-related problems as we were all in a booth together and that’s the thing with buffets and booths, nobody eats at the same speed and there are variety of Buffet Techniques; some people like to “pile it high” to an absurd, nearly mountainous degree (aka “sport piling”), others like to make as many visits as possible back to the buffet as if to openly flaunt and overly assert one’s unchecked, unfettered (unstoppable!) entitlement to as much food as possible—whatever the case, without some intention and thought given to the matter, members of your eating party will, invariably, be getting up and down and in and out at all kinds of different times. Which is why, whether it’s conscious or not, friends will attempt to “sync” their eating intervals which is difficult enough without the added timing-related complication of an unattended build-your-own-omelette stall.


Anyway, even after the build-your-own-omelette debacle it was still snowing and nobody wanted to go anywhere regionally nuanced & exceptional because it was cold and the roads looked covered in snow and/or ice, all of which meant no Amana Colonies. Speaking of which, did you know it’s pronounced with a hard A (a-MAN-a) and not a soft a (a-MON-a)?, well it is, and if you insist on pronouncing with a soft A, you know, to class it up a little bit, the locals will insist on you not insisting on doing that. “It’s called AMANa!!!” Anyhooo, no Amana Colony. No Black Jesus or Black Angel or whatever it is that they have at the cemetery. And worst of all, no Hawkeyeing!!!! Manual for Speed was FULLY and COMPLETELY prepared to purchase a round of Black & Gold sweatpants, sweatshirts, beanies and scarves for Team CLIF, #gohawkeyes. But no nothing, we just did the Marriott. Speaking of the Marriott, did you know that Marriott was invented by Mormons and that World Trade Center, as in the World Trade Center, was a Marriott? Yeah, neither did we.

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 Mormon 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 restaurants and hotels.
In 1995, Marriott was the first hotel company worldwide to offer guests to the option to book reservations online, via the company's implementation of MARSHA (Marriott's Automatic Reservation System for Hotel Accommodations).
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 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 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 Ritz-Carlton, Boston in 1983 and expanded his The Ritz-Carlton holdings over the next twenty years.
The Ritz-Carlton 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 The 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 a majority ownership of The Ritz-Carlton.
Marriott is the first hotel chain to serve food that is completely free of trans fats at all of its North American properties
On January 21, 2011, Marriott said that pornography would not be included in the entertainment offered at new hotels, which will use an internet-based video on demand system.
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 previously 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 tax code.
In December 2012, Guinness World Records officially recognized the 5-Star JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai as the world's tallest hotel
On November 11, 2010, Marriott announced plans to add over 600 hotel properties by 2015, the bulk of the additions will be in the emerging markets of India, where it plans to have 100 hotel properties, China and Southeast Asia.
Bill Marriott’s second book, Without Reservations: How A Family Root Beer Stand Grew Into a Global Hotel Company, began sales in January 2013.
On October 3, 2014 the US Federal Communications Commission 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 also developed three and ultimately opened two theme parks entitled Marriott's Great America from 1976 until 1984.
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 parks were located in Gurnee, Illinois; Santa Clara, California; and a proposed but never-built location in the Washington, DC area, and were themed celebrating American history
Marriott Rewards is the guest loyalty program that offers travelers their choice of points toward free vacations and merchandise or frequent flyer miles, as well as other membership benefits, when staying at Marriott brand hotels worldwide. Frequent travelers also can earn “elite level” benefits with Marriott Rewards, including room upgrades, bonuses, and gifts. There are three “elite” levels—Silver, Gold and Platinum – each based on the number of nights stayed at Marriott hotels each year.
In September 2014 Marriott International and Maria Shriver, founder of the organization called A Woman's Nation, announced a new initiative titled "The Envelope Please." This new campaign makes an attempt to get their customers to tip the housekeeper who cleans their room. Because housekeeping is generally performed by women of color for low wages, tipping these individuals is an alternative way to help rather than giving them a raise.
The average U.S. Marriott housekeeper starts at minimum wage and makes approximately US$8.50 per hour.
Marriott will now place envelopes in 160,000 hotel rooms in the U.S. and Canada, urging its customers to tip the housekeepers.
Roughly 750 to 1,000 hotels will take part in the envelope campaign from Marriott brands like Courtyard, Residence Inn, J.W. Marriott, Ritz-Carlton and Renaissance hotels.
"Hotel is new, clean, staff all very friendly, great service, nice amenities, and tranquil and convenient location. There are nearby new restaurants and shopping (Von Maur). Tendency is to be overpriced during Iowa football weekends. No free parking or wi-fi. They had an excellent Sunday buffet for ($15)"
"They are nice folks but have totally lost focus on the business traveler. On a business trip I reported that both of their customer use printers on the 8th floor and 1st floor business centers were, one without ink and the other with a paper jam. Two hours later neither had been addressed."
"If you want problems to pop out of the woodwork less than a month before your wedding, book here. Not only do I have a conference in my ballroom until 2 the day of my wedding, I have another ceremony that was booked at the Exact same time that my rehearsal is at on the terrace, the night before."
"Parking - $8 daily in the only place within walking distance of the hotel. Wifi - $6.95 - $9.95 daily
"Come on - this is Iowa City we're talking about, Not New York City!!!"
"This new hotel is a few miles from the university but in a new development with microbrew and van maur shopping nearby. Just a few hundred yards off interstate 80. Best bed experience I have enjoyed in quite awhile. The bed was an A+ as with bath and TV. Pool, jacuzzi, fitness room was all top notch."
"My son had too have a deposit on his debit card of 200.00, understandable. now is card is -300.00 what happened know one seems too know. so he called they have done nothing too help and he needs this money has 11 month old. so is he just out 500.00."
"We stayed at the hotel with our Soccer Club."
"The hotel was clean and common areas were quite nice and modern."
HAVS #8: Team CLIF Marooned in the Marriott SHARE Facebook Twitter

A just-often-enough subscription to Digital Correspondence.

We email you all the stuff you need to know, and nothing you don't. Call it insider info, but, really, it's just a newsletter.

Submit your address and your local postperson will deliver something nice to you once in a while.