Front Desk

Bill the blogger

I must admit I thought it was the sign of the apocalypse when I read yesterday that Bill Marriott had launched a blog. Bill is the consummate old-school hotel executive and one of the last people I thought would step into the world of web communications. And, in fact, he used part of his initial message to retell the oft-told tale of how his parents opened a root beer stand in the 1920s as the launch of the Marriott empire.

But, perhaps unexpectedly, his entry had a few surprises in it, both personal and professional. Mr. Marriott says he wants to use the blog as a way to talk to customers directly and to listen to what they have to say. For Bill, it's really an extension of what he does best, but now he can augment it electronically. He says he visits more than 250 properties a year to talk with both employees and guests. He's now able to extend his reach.

Bill says that he'll periodically use the blog to vent his opinions on current events, including some of his pet issues, such as immigration reform. He promises to be controversial from time to time.

An admitted techno-phobe, Bill says in recent years he's become more comfortable with technology and now even has an iPod. I'd love to get a glimpse at his music list.

I applaud Mr. Marriott for taking this step, even tentatively, into the blogosphere. It's where his guests are and where he should be, too. Check it out at

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