What are your opinions on the way Marriott brand hotels use/abuse the right to require a two night minimum? A hotel I'd like to stay at has done the following 6 times so far this year, and has 2 more weekends blocked. This will be 8 weekends out of the year (that I know of, possibly more).
1) Required a two night minimum
2) Increase rates significantly
3) Not allowed Platinum Overrides
4) Not allowed points to be used
It doesn't seem very customer-friendly to do this on 8+/52 weekends per year. That's over 15% of the time. I know it's good for business, but I typically end up staying at the Clarion down the road since I can just grab one night. I'd rather stay at the Fairfield Inn.
PS > This isn't some lavish resort city, it's Manhattan, KS. The hotel locks everything down for every home football game, graduation (university events), etc.
This has been an industry norm for years and just something we all have to live with. With the season the Wildcats are having this year, you're lucky to get any type of room (try booking a room in DC during the inauguration or in Omaha during College World Series and you'll see what I mean). If I don't have the luxury of being able to book far enough in advance or needing two nights, I book whatever I can like you did and then call the Marriott properties one or two days prior to the date to see if anyone cancelled (it only works about 1 in 5). I would imagine this industry norm of requiring minimum stays will continue as long as it works.
A sidebar; I once ignorantly booked a room for business (I often book way out in advance) during a college graduation (just blind luck). I could work another weekend and my friend's daughter was graduating that weekend and he missed the window, so I 'saved the day' and got a great thank you meal as a reward.
I experienced this not too long ago, I wanted to stay the 2 nights but the day I checked in it was reported that a storm was approaching so I checked to see if I could leave after 1 night. I was told yes and I did without penalty. Some hotels have an early checkout penalty but mine did not. You should check if you can reserve a single night and checkout early.