Properties are owned and operated by franchise companies under agreement with Marriott. The Whistler is owned and operated by O’Neill Hotels & Resorts Ltd. The Whistler will be rebranded as the Coast Blackcomb Suites at Whistler effective December 15th, 2009 and will be operated as a Coast Hotels & Resorts franchise.*
Every year there are several properties that exit the Marriott system. The selling and rebranding of the hotel is a business decision by the franchise company. Regards the comment, why is it "cruel" on Marriott's part? The decision has everything to do with the investors who are stakeholders in the real estate. With Vancouver staged for the Olympics, this means the investors expect the property to deliver a very high yield.
Marriott will have one less property in the Vancouver area to offer to guests planning to attend the Olympics.
Above: Coast Blackcomb Suites at Whistler formerly the Whistler Residence Inn.
Like many comparable destinations in North America, Whistler British Columbia is a four-season resort area. With skiing and snowboarding in the winter and golf in the summer, Whistler compares with Lake Tahoe, Park City and Vail. Given last years Olympics, it is amazing that Marriott did not undertake more development here. Whistler Marriott - Residence Inn was opened in 1996 as Marriott's "flagship for the Residence Inn brand in Canada". The lodge was thoughtfully designed as a home away from home with studio, 1 and 2 bedroom suites all equipped with full kitchens. Rebranded in December 2009 just before the Winter Games as the Coast Blackcomb Suites at Whistler, packages start at a very affordable $149/night w/a 2 night minimum. Under the new brand, the property still has it's roots as Marriott and might be ideally suited for the Autograph Collection?