As most veteran travelers know there are places in the US where Marriotts are few and far between. Cape Cod MA is one of those, with a solitary Courtyard in Hyannis being the only property.
As someone who has been "down Cape" for four decades plus, I've done an informal survey of the lodiging economy (so you won't have to) here:
Perhaps this seasonal place is not representative of other areas, but given the relatively limited number of rooms overall in high quality properties here, and the relictance of hoteliers to see the demand downturn as a price changer, the rooms may continue to be vacant--not a good sign for them.
TJC, alas Cape Cod is not a good place to be in the hotel business: many years ago there were plenty of mom and pop cottage type motels and a very few chains. Now there are a few chain hotels, and many less little places. The Cape has been deluged with "McMansions" and "Starter Castles," especially in the higher end towns, such as Chatham, where we are.
Plenty of H2B workers around here, some have lost jobs due to the downturn. Lots of overqualified folks still looking and willing to work at what were formerly considered "menial" work.
07/22/09 · 12:53 am :: posted by CCToday Link to Post/Share
1873: The train comes to Provincetown
On this day in 1873, the first train arrived at the tip of Cape Cod. The streets were bedecked with flags and streamers as 13 bright yellow coach cars, filled to capacity, pulled into Provincetown. The Cape's traditional economy was in decline. Residents were counting on the railroad to bring better times. Summer visitors from Boston could now spend five hours on a comfortable train, instead of risking a choppy ride by steamer or enduring a two-day stagecoach trip. And they could stay in the large hotels that were built in towns all over the Cape. The heyday of the Cape as a railroad resort came to an end when cars became the preferred mode of transportation. In 1959 regular passenger service to Cape Cod ended.
1911: Cottagers Now Settled for the Summer at Coast Resorts.
CAPE COD, Mass., July 22, 1911. -- Numerous automobile parties have come from the many fashionable resorts along the shores of Massachusetts to view the manoeuvres of the fleet at Provincetown, causing unusual activity for Cape Cod...
Like Cape Cod, Marriott lacks properties on Cape Ann. There are so many wonderful towns including Marblehead, Gloucester and Rockport among others which typify what people associate with New England charm. Marriott has about 20 properties along the I-95 corridor which are about a half hour from Rockport located on the northeastern tip of Cape Ann. Even the Long Wharf in Boston is only 30 miles away.
Unlike Cape Cod, Cape Ann is part of what is known as North of Boston and a year-round destination. We're looking forward to visiting post-Thanksgiving and Christmas when Cape Ann decks out for the holidays. One of Rockport's annual events is Santa's Arrival by Lobster Boat.
I really like the historical piece about Provincetown. The photo has a wonderful quality and feel. It shows how vibrant and thriving the town once was. Perhaps, as the centennial of Provincetown approaches, Cape Cod will regain popularity as a resort destination.
Just-in-time for the Labor Day holiday weekend, Marriott will open the Courtyard Ocean City, MD. Let's hope this is a harbinger of Marriott's successful expansion into beach destinations like Cape Cod that are traditionally regarded as seasonal.
Historically there has been a ten week season for the Cape, no more, no less. Weather wise and crowd wise, the time after Labor Day is actually more appealing but not within that ten week window.
Hotel planners look at occupancy estimates and see "booked" for ten weeks and "who knows?" for 42 weeks. Also, the Cape has become a day-tripper for lots of New Englanders, not a two weeker.
All that contributes to a small Marriott and other chain presence.