Marriott was founded by J. Willard Marriott in 1927 with his wife in Washington D.C. when they opened a root beer stand. Marriott was convinced that in the sweltering D.C. summers what most people needed was a quick opportunity to get a cool drink. This was to be the first of many enterprises by Marriott, which would soon lead to a chain of hotels and restaurants. Marriott saw a steady increase in revenue and sales, and soon built itself into a veritable hotel empire. With its expansion, the company split into two more manageable pieces- Marriott International and the Host Marriott Corporation.
With this split came Host’s focus on a new type of vacation ownership- timeshares. Marriott Ownership Resorts Inc. had already been formed in 1984 which focused on making timeshares a viable investment, but Host was able to commercialize and popularize the market. There were many obstacles that Marriott had to face, which they still face today, but their unique way of addressing these concerns have made it a leader in timeshare sale.
Marriott’s first problem they faced was that timeshares at the time were not really considered credible. Timesharing generally had negative feedback due to a lack of customer care and innovation, which was primarily because no seriously successful company with resources had ever attempted to sell timeshares. Enter Marriott- a successful, reputable vacation ownership company that had a strong foundation. Marriott was able to transform the timeshare business into a lucrative one where customers could trust that their property was in the right hands, and that they would get their money’s worth.
Their second hurdle was the lack of flexibility in a timeshare. Previously, once a owner had a timeshare they were severely limited in options, and they could only stay in the timeshare that they bought or rented. To solve this, Marriott started providing different options for buyers, introducing the floating timeshare concept. This allowed customers to turn in their weeks for points that could be redeemed at other timeshares worldwide owned by Marriott.
So, Marriott’s new system of timeshare rental and sale helped build them into one of the biggest and best, even up until today. Stay tuned for more in-depth looks at the history of specific timeshare locations worldwide.
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