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Thanks for posting the article. My read is that--due to the very poor business outlook for 2009--Marriott plans to reduce capital spending in its timeshare division and target that division for positive cash flow to help its overall business.
Bottom line: they'll be milking the timeshare division to offset much lower room occupancy rates in their hotels, at least through 2009.
IMHO, this is a smart business decision. I don't in any way read CFO Sorensen's comments as indicating some kind of retreat from the timeshare business, but it certainly does reflect the severity of the economic meltdown on Marriott's overall business.
Exactly! Marriott's original plan for 2009 was to commence sales at three or four new resorts. The latest info I have (see the first post in the Cancun thread) is that Cancun will be the only new Marriott resort to commence sales in 2009.
As another example, the poor economy and its effect on MVCI are the reasons why Marriott has discontinued the incentive program for borrowing from Marriott when making a purchase. The cash flow needs until Marriott can repackage loans and sell them are astoundingly high.
This could be what they were talking about. They laid off 173 workers from thier call center. They were mostly reservation and sales. They walked into work last night and were told they had no job. I think there is going to be more to come from what the local news said.