WASHINGTON, Feb. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Marriott Hotels & Resorts, JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts, and Renaissance Hotels & Resorts will become the first lodging brands to offer high-definition, LCD televisions with a digital connectivity panel in all its guest rooms in the U.S. and Canada. Using the new plug-in panel, guests can connect a host of digital devices to view on the flat panel, high-definition screen, including laptops, camcorders, digital cameras, video games and more. The standard 32 inch televisions are also equipped with a 25-watt stereo speaker system so guests can listen to the tunes on their MP3 players and iPods; no headphones required. "Today's hotel guests typically travel with many digital devices, not just a laptop, so providing more than high-speed Internet access and WiFi is a must," said Bob McCarthy, president, North American lodging operations and global brand management, Marriott International. "When we test marketed the HDTV and connectivity panel among guests, the response was overwhelming. This type of in-room technology was critical to them." The new HDTV and connectivity panel can multi-task so business travelers can be more productive on the road. For example, the screen can be split so guests can watch TV while checking e-mail or researching on the Internet. Or, they can relieve stress playing a video game while listening to an iPod at the same time. With the new HDTV, the number of television channels is also increasing from the current base of 28 to as many as 64 stations in the U.S. and Canada. These include the popular NFL Network and the Science Channel, as well as great family choices, such as Disney, HBO Kids and the Cartoon Network. By the end of 2007, Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) expects to have the new technology installed in 25 percent of its JW Marriott, Marriott and Renaissance guest rooms in the U.S. and Canada, totaling nearly 40,000 rooms. The rollout should be completed by the end of 2009. This week, the San Francisco Moscone Center became the latest to offer the new technology in all its guest rooms. Installation should be completed this year at high- profile hotels, including the New York Marriott Marquis; the Renaissance New York Hotel Times Square; the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C.; the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center; the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa, Phoenix; the Camelback Inn, a JW Marriott Resort & Spa, Scottsdale; the Renaissance Pere Marquette Hotel in New Orleans; and the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter. MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL, INC. (NYSE: MAR) is a leading lodging company with more than 2,800 lodging properties in the United States and 67 other countries and territories. Marriott International operates and franchises hotels under the Marriott, JW Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance, Residence Inn, Courtyard, TownePlace Suites, Fairfield Inn, SpringHill Suites and Bulgari brand names; develops and operates vacation ownership resorts under the Marriott Vacation Club, Horizons, The Ritz-Carlton Club and Grand Residences by Marriott brands; operates Marriott Executive Apartments; provides furnished corporate housing through its Marriott ExecuStay division; and operates conference centers. Marriott is also in the synthetic fuel business. The company is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and had approximately 151,000 employees at 2006 year-end. It is ranked as the lodging industry's most admired company and one of the best places to work for by FORTUNE(R). The company is also a 2006 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR(R) Partner. In fiscal year 2006, Marriott International reported sales from continuing operations of $12.2 billion. For more information or reservations, please visit our web site at http://www.marriott.com.
SOURCE Marriott International, Inc.