Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE:MAR) announced today that the company has opened its 2,500th hotel worldwide, with the completion of the 950-room JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, in Phoenix, Ariz. The milestone marks a year that has seen Marriott open 128 hotels and more than 20,000 rooms through the third quarter of 2002. This is in line with previously announced plans to add 25,000 to 30,000 rooms per year in 2002, 2003 and 2004.
“We’ve experienced tremendous growth since opening our first hotel in 1957, and I’m very proud to officially recognize this spectacular resort as our 2,500th hotel,” said J.W. Marriott, Jr., chairman and CEO, Marriott International. “Reaching such an important milestone would not have been possible without the dedication and support of our associates, investors, owners and franchisees. Most importantly, we thank the millions of guests who choose Marriott every day.”
Over the past decade, Marriott’s total share of the overall U.S. lodging market has doubled from approximately 4 percent to 8 percent. With a worldwide development pipeline that exceeded 50,000 rooms at the end of the third quarter (nearly 25 percent are outside the U.S.), Marriott is well-positioned to maintain its leadership role as the world’s largest hospitality company.
The JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, owned by CNL Hospitality Properties, Inc. of Orlando, Fla., and managed by Marriott, is the largest luxury resort in Arizona. The property is CNL’s 45th Marriott hotel and has exceeded expectations, with pre-opening sales of more than 450,000 room nights and approximately $150 million in projected revenue.
“On behalf of everyone at CNL, I would like to congratulate the Marriott team for reaching this important milestone. As a co-developer of this project, we enjoyed creating this magnificent resort, and it is a wonderful addition to our portfolio,” said James M. Seneff, Jr., chairman and CEO, CNL. “We value our relationship with Marriott and look forward to working with them on many projects in the future.”
CNL is among the many owners and franchisees that have invested billions of dollars in Marriott brand hotels worldwide. Marriott continues to be a favorite among hotel developers because the company’s lodging brands enjoy strong customer preference, RevPAR premiums and solid profitability. Major properties scheduled to open in 2003 include the 916-room Renaissance Grand Hotel in St. Louis; the 237-room St. Kitts Marriott Royal Beach Resort; the 342-room JW Marriott Shanghai; and Grande Lakes Resort in Orlando, which consists of a 584-room Ritz-Carlton and a 1,000-room JW Marriott Hotel.
In addition to being Marriott’s 2,500th hotel, the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa is also the 25th property to fly the JW Marriott flag. The most elegant and luxurious hotels carrying the Marriott name, JW Marriott Hotels and Resorts cater to discerning upscale travelers who seek a lodging experience of high comfort and prestige.
Set on 316 acres in the Sonoran Desert, where Phoenix meets Scottsdale, the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa boasts the two largest ballrooms of any resort in the Southwest. Roy’s by Roy Yamaguchi and Blue Sage, inspired by Mark Miller, top the list of nine unique dining experiences, and leisure amenities include elaborately landscaped pools, eight tennis courts and the Wildfire Golf Club, with two 18-hole championship golf courses - the Arnold Palmer Signature Course and the Nick Faldo Championship Course. The hotel is also home to Marriott’s first “Revive Spa,” a two-story, 28,000-square-foot facility that offers 41 elegantly appointed treatment rooms.
Note: This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of federal securities laws, including statements concerning expected future room additions and hotel openings and projected revenue at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, that are not historical facts. We caution you that these statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including the duration and severity of the current economic slowdown and the pace of the lodging industry`s recovery from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001; competitive conditions in the lodging industry; and relationships with clients and property owners, any of which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by the statements herein. These statements are made as of the date of this press release, and we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.