Jerry W. Jackson
Sentinel Staff Writer
August 15, 2005
Marriott Golf, the Orlando-based resort-golf management organization owned by Marriott International Inc., has launched a new online reservation system that allows golf junkies to book a tee time and a hotel room at the same time.
The new reservation system, called Rounds & Rooms, is being offered initially at 19 golf properties featuring 29 golf courses worldwide.
Marriott Golf representatives said it's the first time a collection of leading golf resorts has jointly offered a "one-stop booking solution" for both tee times and lodging. The technology side of the reservation system, which can be accessed at marriottgolf.com, is being handled by GolfHero, a golf-travel technology leader, and EZLinks, operator of the world's largest network for golf reservations.
Participating resorts in the Orlando area include Hawk's Landing Golf Club, Grande Pines Golf Club, and The Faldo Golf Institute.
"We will be adding more over time as this expands," said Marriott Golf spokesman Tom Enders, including the Grande Lakes Resort Orlando.
Marriott Golf manages 45 properties, including 60 golf courses with more than 1,000 holes of championship golf, in 13 countries. Marriott has been managing golf operations since 1970, but the hotel brand-owner and operator created Marriott Golf in 1990. At first, it was a division of the company at Marriott headquarters in the Washington, D.C., area, but the operation's offices were moved to Orlando in 1994.
Located just off Interstate 4 on Westwood Boulevard, near Central Florida Parkway, Marriott Golf has 14 employees at headquarters and about 200 employees who report to on-site resort management at the various properties.
Orlando has many strong ties to the Marriott hotel business. Orlando World Center Marriott Resort & Convention Center, owned by the Host Marriott real estate investment trust, has more than 2,000 rooms on 200 acres and is the largest in the global Marriott chain.
Orlando also is home to the only side-by-side JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels, located on a single site at the Grande Lakes Resort. Marriott, with its related hotel brands, also is the largest hotel system in Central Florida after Walt Disney World. And Marriott Vacation Club, the company's worldwide time-share business, also is based in Orlando.
Firm opens office in Ocoee
North America's largest software firm for the time-share and condo-hotel industry has opened a regional sales and service office in Ocoee to better serve the burgeoning customer base in the Eastern United States.
It will act as a satellite office to the headquarters of TimeShareWare and CondotelWare, located near Salt Lake City. The new office will improve training and implementation of software systems on the East Coast and provide a competitive edge in the region's time-share and condo-hotel markets, company representatives said.
Both the time-share and condo-hotel markets are booming, especially in Florida, said Timo Jones, chief executive and founder of TimeShareWare. He said the Orlando area "was a natural choice," and Ocoee, just west of Orlando, is one of the fastest-growing communities in the county.
The Ocoee office is expected to staff up to 30 people during the next two years.
Calling all 'jetrosexuals'
Virgin Atlantic Airways, never a sluggard when it comes to promotion, has a new gimmick: a contest to choose the most influential "jetrosexuals," defined by the airline as globe-flying leaders among "a new emerging business culture" who are "rock stars of their industries." Nominations, through a 200-word essay, can be made at www.virginatlantic.com/flights. Among the "11 Commandments of a Jetrosexual" posted on the site: "Thou shalt have at least one passport stamp from a country that now goes by a different name" and "Thou shalt not be a Chatty Cathy with thine seatmate." The "jetrosexual" winner, to be announced in October, gets a trip to London in Virgin's Upper Class Suites cabin.
Jerry W. Jackson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 407-420-5721. Information from The New York Times was used in this report.
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