Major Gains In Occupancies, Leisure Activities
By James E. Durbin
Marriott Hotels Group
The Marriott Hotels
Group enjoyed a
1973. Although our
food costs were
the Group had a
good earnings gain.
Sales, including the
three new hotels opened late in
fiscal 1972, jumped over 35 percent. Hotel occupancy rates were
strong. And our new diversified
operations such as cruise ships
and resort condominiums made
Sales improved at all 20 Marriott hotels, most notably the Essex
House in New York, Paraiso Marriott in Acapulco and Marriott Inn
at Bloomington, Minnesota.
We are especially pleased that
all three hotels which opened
toward the end of fiscal 1972—
Miami, St. Louis and New Orleans
—contributed to profits in 1973.
LEADERSHIP OF HOTELS
We are also proud to report that
the occupancy rate for all Marriott
Hotels is comfortably in the 80
percent range, and is up about
three percentage points from last
year. Again, Marriott leadership in
lodging is demonstrated by this
impressive statistic. The strongest
gains in occupancy were registered at our Washington hotels, at
Essex House in New York and at
Houston and Bloomington, Minnesota. Occupancy also was strong
at our major resort hotels—Camelback Inn at Scottsdale, Arizona,
Fewer new rooms were opened
this past year. We assumed management of the 277-room Dallas
Marriott Inn, and we acquired Sam
Lord's Castle, a famous resort
property in Barbados. A 300-room
resort hotel is planned there.
We resume our new rooms
growth pattern in fiscal 1974 with
the largest hotel in our system—
and the largest airport hotel anywhere—at Los Angeles International Airport. This is a luxury
facility with 1020 rooms, seven
restaurants, and extensive ballroom and meeting space.
NEW HOTELS COMING
We now have under construction five new hotels with a total of
over 2,000 rooms. All will open in
fiscal 1975: at Denver, Kansas City
and Newport Beach, California; at
Lincolnshire, Illinois, north of Chicago, and in Amsterdam—our first
A number of other hotel projects in the United States are in
preliminary stages of development.
We are shifting strategy somewhat
and will operate many future hotels
under management fee contracts,
rather than own them ourselves.
This will conserve capital invest-
ment and open us up to a number
of fine opportunities. Currently we
are negotiating actively for contracts to manage foreign-owned
hotels in several major markets in
Europe and North Africa.
Marriott franchising operations
exceeded our expectations and
last year's performance by wide
margins. Franchised Inns were
opened during the year at Dallas,
Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Ann Arbor,
Michigan, and Blacksburg, Virginia. There are now 10 Inns with
1,999 rooms run by franchisees.
This past year marked conversion of the Camelback Inn to a
resort-hotel condominium, and
first-year sales were on target. At
fiscal year-end 96 units were sold
and we held purchase contracts
for 22 more.
Marriott World Travel substantially trimmed its losses last year,
but it did not make the profit we
had anticipated. The division is
gearing itself to our growing overseas operations, particularly the
Sun Line cruise ships and the
newly-acquired Barbados resort.
NEW CRUISE SHIP
The new "super ship" Stella
Solaris made its maiden voyage in
the Greek Islands in June, bringing to three the number of ships
in the Sun Line fleet. This winter
the Solaris will debut for two-week
cruises in the Caribbean and sales
already are running high. We also
have developed an exciting new
itinerary this winter for the Stella
Oceanis, which will cruise along
the east coast of South America.
Affiliation with the Sun Line and its
excellent management has been
an important step for Marriott.
Assuming no major downturn in
the economy, fiscal 1974 should
be an excellent year for the Marriott Hotels Group.