Just noted Mr. Santiago's reply comment in Bill Marriott's blog wondering why Marriott Hotels do not provide free internet access.
Very puzzling comment, inasmuch as I am aware that the coming included internet policy for Golds and Plats at Marrs, Rens and JWs has been widely announced very publicly to the wider lodging industry, not just to Insiders.
I suppose folks do not get the word, no matter how hard people try. It will take effect next month and the way in which you get it (accept the charge, then have it automatically taken off at checkout) may seem a little convoluted, but it's the way it is.
I am not sure how this will effect "wired for business" which is the bundling of phone calls and Internet, but hopefully Marriott has taken that into account.
Great topic CountryJim!
Terry Santiago posted about free WiFi under, "Bringing New Life to Downtown Los Angeles." It's the context that I found surprising at first, but it makes sense. Bill Marriott's comments comparing LA LIVE to Time Square are spot on. From very humble beginnings at the crossroads of the world, the Marriott Marquis has contributed immensely to the transformation of Times Square.
Above: Broadway Pedestrian Zone @ Times Square looking north. The Marriott Marquis is visible in the northwest corner (upper left).
From my own experience as a native New Yorker, I've attended many trade shows, conferences and conventions at the nearby Jacob Javits and other venues near Times Square. I enjoy taking time out to invite a prospect or associate to lunch at the Marquis. It's a great meeting place! Why do I have to be a guest in order to use Marriott WiFi - I live in NYC?
Perhaps, that's where Terry Santiago is coming from?
Marriott regards WiFi as a Profit Center. It's a service for guests, only and will be free to Gold and Platinum Elite as a benefit. How much more profitable could the service be and heighten greater loyalty to the brand by hosting free WiFi for all Times Square visitors? It's a new opportunity that extends the thinking about the importance of location to the virtual online world. In an age where communications and information is the hub of business, what better way to extend an invitation to explore the hospitality of Marriott?
Just a thought, Marriott.