I have been waiting for Marriott to get a location in the Bahamas. They sure went in with both feet! This is huge news. I can't wait to see what category and to burn some MR points there! Going to be great for family getaways.
Arne Sorenson on CNBC this morning (Monday July 7th) at 10:00 am EST (US), discussing the Atlantis deal.
Marriott is excited to be there, so much so that the current deal which they have been working on for six months, they actually provide $100 million in junior debt financing - a relative rarity for Marriott. Bahamas is expensive (Bobby Flay's restaurant was used as an example) and the Atlantis will provide a range of luxury. Even with competition coming to the island, it will remain a high demand vacation locale and Sorenson twice mentioned Rewards redemptions (ooh, are we talking Cat. 10?) as Marriott focuses on luxury, lifestyle, and leisure. Although he made a point to highlight that corp travel remains strong, Arne spoke of the 20 year trend toward more and more leisure travel at nice properties (as opposed to relatives or camping).
Once again, IMO, to his credit, he's keeping an eye on airbnb (certainly not concerned, but strategically - yeah, baby, buy 'em).
Save your points, it's gonna be a blast, see you there!