I, for one, would like to extend my thanks to the Marriott team. In trying times, they are not making many cuts. The cutbacks that they are making are quite reasonable and understandable.
I think people need to realize that with the economy the way it is, they need to check their feelings of entitlement at the door.
People are losing their jobs -- their livlihoods! Quit whining about losing a concierge lounge!
I did not see a comment specific to the concierge lounge. Having said that, I am confused by your choice of the word "entitlement." Unlike many entitlements, the reward points are earned. Many earn them by spending a tremendous amount of time away from their families. The economy is not in great shape and hotel business is down. Perhaps another angle that Marriott could have considered would be letting people spend their points to stay in these many empty rooms without raising the requirements and by easing blackouts. It's highly unlikely people would stay with points and not spend any money. Restaurant charges, the rather high parking charges, phone calls (some of these revenue streams have no overhead as those costs are fixed) would provide some income around rooms that otherwise will stay vacant.
Also, just a reminder, many points are given away every year by members to good people and good causes. Again, don't really understand the "entitlement" comment.
Let me defend what you said. It is not all about me, it's about me and Marriott these days. The corporation, like any business, has to balance the needs of its employees and shareholders with the need to have exemplary customer service. I am old enough to remember when a hotel stay was nothing special--Holiday Inns predominated. I recall the first color TV, then the first in room phones with actual direct dial capabilities (yes I am old!), the first cable TV, the first HBO, etc.
What a lot of us take for granted in Marriotts are the recent extras--the well-stocked concierge lounge, the turn-down service, the valet and the housekeeper remembering your name and needs.
By the way I've had housekeeping folks overstock my room with toiletries when I mentioned that I collected them the for Yellow Ribbon program, which sends boxes to troops overseas. I've donated several thousand Marriott items to the program and wish everyone else would consider doing the same.
So, bottom line: the really good stuff is going away at most Marriott hotels. Times are tough. Notice your cable bill, your utility bill--all higher and less included? FLown lately? Not much in the way of service and jammed planes.
At hotels we used to get along with less, and now we may have to do the same when we stay at a Marriott hotel. It's back to the future in reverse. So, for those contemplating leaving Marriott Rewards, go if you must. I am staying and hope you'll reconsider your decision to leave.
If they keep this up, those of us who stay there night after night after night may also disappear. I am in hotels for over 200 nights a year (thankfully not all Marriott) and am a customer. Remember when that was important? If the customer is no longer happy with a product, we have the freedom to choose. I choose with my purchase choice. Most Marriotts are great, there are a few that I will never step foot in again after my last visit. More often, I am finding better value and a better experience elsewhere. Corporate needs to keep in mind that those like me who are a steady revenue stream, do need, and dare I say deserve something for their loyalty. Otherwise they are likely to go where they are more appreciated, and then let them see how they survive. Their buisness is probably not anchored by tourism everywhere, every day. Don't forget the buisness traveler.
I still think having to pay for internet or parking in a $300 a night room is wrong.
No....just a realist. I don't usually stay in Marriott's as they are too expensive. I choose the lower end hotels such as Courtyard, Spring Hill Suites, etc. I travel very frequently, and see other business travelers abusing their situations....running up major expenses, belittling hotel staff, etc. when I do stay at the Marriott (for trade shows, etc.)
I simply believe it's wrong to run up expenses, and complain about losing concierge lounges when there are people being let go from the very companies that these complainers work for.
It is not OK to spend $300 per night on a hotel, plus parking, internet, etc. when Joe the Janitor is laid off due to expenses.
It's just perspective.