In a nostalgic throwback to the days of old, your humble reporter made a trip to Marriott's Headquarters to see some friends; one who bought me lunch, probably thinking, "well that should make him behave" and drat, it worked.
Whereas I drilled everyone I came into contact with about the "Integration" the best I could get out of anyone was - sure enough there is a meeting next Monday in NY and news will be shared - so let's all stay tuned (I'm sure the audience will be full of bloggers - so keep an eye out).
Yes, yes, we'll all be very happy I was told, (except maybe Starguy - that's just kidding Starguy, keep your AmEx card, and remember, there's no crying in loyalty programs ). The one takeaway I did squeeze out of everyone was there will be ample opportunity to contrast and compare for values and deals (what that means, I don't know - but it was music to my ears - just give me a shot, Marriott).
There did certainly seem, even beyond, professional P.R. 'speak' a true concerted effort to blend together an attractive program - so who knows, we may come out overall happy. I'm sure we won't go undefeated, getting everything we want - that's what sent Starwood to the chopping block, but I was encouraged from the 'vibe' that I received through folks that I know to be straight shooters. PS - I'm talking about the Rewards Program, I'm making no representations about the I.T. issues .
Speaking of Revenue Maximization, we walked right by Dave Roberts - remember him - he's the Revenue guru, famous for his Star Wars skills (S.D.I.) of optimizing revenue (i.e. my well respected, arch rival).
I also kept my streak of meeting a Marriott family member as I saw and spoke to Richard Marriott in the cafeteria, who actually remembered playing racquetball with the Mrs. at his home court (me, - just a glaze in his eye and a courteous, yeah right).
The Headquarters was quite impressive to this Amish farmer - it had touches of Silicon Valley all throughout; a superb gym (vendors test equipment there), a Napping pod (sure, like I'm going to snooze in front of my boss - only if it's 2 am), all types of treats and gadgets, terrific food choices, coffee stations everywhere, digital rooms, even an Apple like comp repair/genius section, and more. I enjoyed all the various room mock ups; It certainly was representative of the world leader in hospitality and pretty cool I must say.
And then to top off my wonderful visit, guess who I got to see to wrap up the day - that's right, herself (who since we last saw her got married - congratulations).
Here I am with my host (a corporate big wheel) and our most recent (and probably last) CMgr Chief (who will be attending DT, so everyone - best behavior).