May 09 2008
The Washington Post recently wrote that the Marriott is mulling the idea of putting a new hotel in the Baghdad, Iraq ‘Green Zone’.
The development team would have to overcome some serious obstacles. Besides security issues, the Baghdad infrastructure has been seriously ravaged by the war.
The Marriott wants to expand its Middle Eastern presence, and the United States government is eager to have investment and development take place in the war torn Iraq.
“As with any opportunity, we carefully consider all the factors involved,” said Marriott spokesman John Wolf. “We’re evaluating this, just as we are considering opportunities elsewhere.”
Times Square was not the commercial mecca it is today, where prostitutes and drug dealers are now difficult to find. Back then it was still, as Bill Marriott once wrote, a “run-down, seedy area that might or might not come back to life.” Building hotel there was “a huge risk.”
But Marriott went ahead, installing one of the most elaborate hotel security systems of its time. Entrance to the hotel was limited. The lobby was located on the eighth floor. Times Square turned around, and today the Marquis is among the company’s most profitable hotels.