Thursday, February 10, 2005

Short Marriott?

Good morning from Minneapolis. Apologies for no “Morning Read” of late; I’'ve been working my ass off and not had much time in the morning.

But here’'s something I’'ve noticed: The hotel I'm in, the Marriott in downtown Minneapolis, is a big hotel, and as Marriotts go, quite modern. It also has a big workout room, with lots of space and equipment. But two mornings running, as I’'ve gone down there at 5:45 or 6:00 in the morning, I’'ve not been able to get in my cardio time because the machines were full ... with the exception of several that weren’t being used because they weren’t working.

Several weeks ago I was in a Marriott in San Diego, and faced the same situation: enough machines, but not enough working machines.

So why do I bring it up? Because I think it could be a sign that Marriott is on hard times.

Sure, it could be coincidence. But I’'ve spent my career walking around major corporations and helping those that have problems. And I'’ve learned to tell a lot about a the priorities of a firm by little contextual details: what kind of art is on the walls, how well kept the conference rooms are, the quality of food in the cafeteria. What'’s more, when a company has cash flow problems, non-critical costs are the first to be deferred: training budgets, computer replacements ... exercise equipment repair.

So to me, not having working exercise machines for business travelers ... who pick hotels based on there being two things, high speed Internet access and exercise facilities ... does not speak well of Marriott’'s priorities or their cash flow. Perhaps the chain is facing some constriction? Just wondering ...

PS: Oh, and I could have told you this was going to happen. Whenever a Board “changes executive responsibilities” it translates to “"we'’re about to fire this person."”

PPS: Looking at this chart, yeah, it is time to short MAR.

PPPS: Of course, this is not a recommendation to buy or sell any equity. I'm just talkin', here.


At 3:49 AM, Blogger mediaguru @ said...

You have some strange characters in this post....

At 3:50 AM, Blogger mediaguru @ said...


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