Bill Marriott's million-room prediction fulfilled

BETHESDA, Md. and STAMFORD, Conn. — Bill Marriott has fulfilled the prediction he made last Jan. 20, when he said

BETHESDA, Md.
and STAMFORD, Conn. — Bill Marriott has fulfilled the prediction he made in a news release last Jan. 20, when he said “Marriott expects to reach 1 million rooms open or in development in 2015.”

The merger of Marriott
International, Inc. and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.,
announced on Nov. 16, will create the world’s largest hotel company, and exceed his prediction by 100,000 rooms.

With
30 brands and a presence in more than 100 countries, the combined company will
have 30 brands and own or franchise about 1.1 million rooms in more than 5,500
hotels. (Wyndham has more hotels, with 7,400, but they are much smaller properties.)

Here in Canada, Marriott has approximately 140 properties, while Starwood has about 70, bringing the total to more than 200. Wyndham Hotels has more than 500 properties, Choice has 314 and Best Western more than 200, but again, the hotels are on average smaller than Marriott or Starwood locations.

We have competed with Starwood for
decades and we have also admired them. I'm excited we will add great new hotels
to our system and for the incredible opportunities for Starwood and Marriott
associates,” J.W. (Bill) Marriott, Jr., executive chairman and chair of the board of
Marriott International, said in a news release.

The
$12.2 billion deal combines Starwood's
lifestyle brands and international footprint with Marriott's strong presence in
the luxury and select-service tiers, as well as the convention and resort
segment, creating a more comprehensive portfolio.

“The driving
force behind this transaction is growth. This is an opportunity to create value
by combining the distribution and strengths of Marriott and Starwood, enhancing
our competitiveness in a quickly evolving marketplace,” said Arne Sorenson,
president and chief executive officer of Marriott International.

The planned acquisition of Starwood would also join together 54 Marriott Rewards members with 21 million Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) members.

Marriott's board
of directors following the closing, which is expected in mid-2016, will
increase from 11 to 14 members with the addition of three members from Starwood.