This would seem like pretty big news.
The last thing I thought i'd be seeing this morning pop up on my phone (in a notification from CNBC) was that Marriott would buy Starwood. It is going to be quite interesting and overall should be a generally positive move I think. Plus as a bonus it will make Marriott the biggest hotel chain in the world Marriott will soon be dominating the world in the form of the hotel industry Great Success!
I agree that this could be a boost overall. I've had terrific experiences with Starwood Properties but having no status and being Marriott Platinum has caused me to drive further to stay at a Marriott. Now I wouldn't have to make that choice which could be a bonus. An interesting note those is that someone else purchased Starwood's Vacation Club a couple of weeks ago... Either way I just called and reactivated my Starwood Points on the hopes that they will at least merge in with my Marriott.
I am quite surprised of the lack of response from our community managers on the merger. The only postings I can find were on non-controversial subjects. (what is your favorite place in Europe etc) Another possibility is their postings will take our mind off yesterday's events.
You would think Marriott would, at the least, instruct them to talk about the positive aspects of the merger..
Although my original reaction as a Lifetime Platinum MR member was positive, recent experiences have shown that reducing competition in any industry is not good for the consumer. The airline mergers have demonstrated that only the investment bankers, lawyers, and executives win in large mergers. Shareholders, employees, and customers lose in the long run.
I think brand standards have suffered in recent years due to Marriott's rapid expansion, and expect this will only get worse as more hotel brands are added. Although the merger offers more opportunities for award redemption, it also adds a lot of new members fighting for the few award rooms and upgrades. Having gone through 8 mergers in my career, I am concerned about the long-term impact of this merger.