You can normally catch this CNBC Marriott special over the weekends when they are running more lifestyle programming. I have already seen it twice and, if you are interested in about how the hotels operate, it is definitely worth spending an hour.
CNBC has quite a few tidbits and videos about this show available on their website and you can access them here.
This is not the usual CNBC puff piece about a business, but deals with issues like the Mormon faith & Marriott, how the hotel chain lost its mojo (and IMHO still haven’t found it), about the baby boomers that are Marriott’s largest group of guests, Mr. Marriott’s three heart attacks, hotels often lose money on room service (difficult to believe considering the prices and extra delivery charges), mark up on booze in excess of 500% & law suits they have gad with some of the owners.
Then, there was quite interesting piece about the pricing of the hotel rooms. Marriott would prefer that they would be the last hotel in any market to sold out, so that they could maximize the revenue. Marriott monitors the pricing of their competitors in any given market and adjusts the prices accordingly.
Also, they had the Marriott New Orleans as an example; the night in question they had guests paying from $109 to $319 for the same room. While I was watching this, I though that they likely had some Priceline/Hotwire guests paying $50 as well.
If you have time over the weekend, when CNBC has this feature on, it could be worth spending some time. The good thing about this is that it is NOT a puff piece (I hate those), but covers some negative aspects of the business as well.