Marriott brands mark recent milestone events

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WASHINGTON -- Two of Marriott International's lesser-known brands recently passed milestones: SpringHill Suites by Marriott, a moderately priced all-suites product, just celebrated its first birthday, and TownePlace Suites by Marriott, a midprice, extended-stay brand, just opened its 50th property.

SpringHill Suites was formerly known as Fairfield Suites, but Marriott decided on a name change to distinguish the product from Fairfield Inn, another Marriott brand.

The brand, headed by brand vice president Kathryn Townshend, currently has 32 properties open but, more significantly, approximately 60 more in the development pipeline.

Townshend said Marriott projects to have about 75 locations open by the end of next year.

That growth rate is being exceeded by TownePlace Suites, the firm's moderately priced extended-stay product. (Residence Inn claims the higher-end extended stay territory.)

TownePlace Suites, which was launched in February 1997, will add 46 hotels to its portfolio in 1999, or about one every eight days, according to brand vice president Erika Alexander, bringing the total close to 100 by the end of 2000.

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