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Marriott breaks ground on first Hispanic-owned hotel in Washington, D.C.
WASHINGTON, July 18, 2007/ -- DiversityBusiness.com--Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE:MAR) joins Washington, D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and the Hispanic Hotel Owners Association (HHOA) to break ground on the first Hispanic-owned Marriott hotel in the District of Columbia. The soon-to-be 218-room Courtyard by Marriott, set to open in 2009, will be located in the new NoMA (North of Massachusetts Avenue) Business Improvement District and majority-owned by Robert Finvarb, Esq., of the Finvarb Group. Local business owners Craig Welburn of Welburn Hospitality, Dave Wilmot, Esq. of Harmon, Wilmot, Brown & Bagwell, LLP and local businessmen Thomas Hopkins and Dr. Barron Harvey; will also have partial ownership in the hotel.

"This ground breaking is symbolic of many things," said Washington, D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. "It means increased jobs for area residents, growth opportunities for local business owners and forward movement on the up-and- coming NoMA area of the District. It's great for our city."

Launched in 2005, the Diversity Ownership Initiative was established to introduce savvy business owners to the hospitality industry and to diversify the company's ownership base. The goal is to have 500 hotels owned or managed by minorities and/or women by 2010.

"The new Courtyard partnership with Finvarb, Welburn and Wilmot is a great example of Marriott's Diversity Ownership Initiative," said Norman K. Jenkins, senior vice president, North American Lodging Development, Marriott International, and champion of the Diversity Ownership Initiative. "We currently have more than 400 hotels that are owned, managed or in the pipeline by diverse owners. We're well on track to exceed our five-year goal."

"Marriott's Diversity Ownership Initiative has opened the door to hotel ownership within the Hispanic community," said Angela Gonzales-Rowe, president and founder of the Hispanic Hotel Owners Association. "With 25 Hispanic- American owned hotels, opened or in development since its inception, the program is clearly leading the industry."

Marriott has a long-standing commitment to diversity. This year, the company was named "Top 50 Companies for Diversity" by DiversityInc, "Top 50 Companies for Supplier Diversity" by Hispanic Trends magazine, and has been recognized by Fortune magazine as one of "America's Most Admired Companies" for the eighth consecutive year. In 2003, Marriott established the Committee for Excellence to monitor ongoing progress in the areas of hotel ownership, human resources and supplier diversity. It is chaired by BET Networks President Debra Lee and has reported recent successes which include a record spend of $400 million with diverse suppliers and an all-time high in diverse appointments to management positions.

The soon-to-be Courtyard by Marriott will feature a green roof and showcase elements of the brand's "reinvented" strategy, which applies creative guest room and lobby elements to newly opened hotels. One of the new design features is the console desk design, which offers movable casters, an increased workspace, additional power outlets, and improved lighting to increase productivity.

For more information on Marriott's Diversity Ownership Initiative, diversity programs or the Courtyard by Marriott brand, visit www.marriott.com.

About HHOA
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., HHOA is a non-profit organization whose mission is to increase the number of Hispanic-owned, -developed and -operated hotels, further the participation of Hispanic-owned suppliers serving the hotel industry and increase executive level employment opportunities for Hispanics within the lodging industry. Marriott International, Inc. is a corporate sponsor. Additional information about HHOA is available at the association's Web site, www.hhoa.org.

About NoMA
Approved by the District of Columbia Council in March 2007, the BID supports the emergence of NoMa as one of the District's most exciting mixed-use neighborhoods. Through a special assessment collected from NoMA's commercial property owners, the BID will help make NoMA safe, clean, and attractive for businesses, residents, and visitors. Private developers are investing more than $1 billion over the next year with plans to develop over 20 million square feet of office, residential, hotel, and retail space in the 35-block area covered by the NoMA BID over the next 20 years. The NoMA BID, served by the New York Avenue Metro station, is bounded generally by Massachusetts Avenue on the south, North Capitol Street on the west, and Q and R Streets on the north; it extends eastward just beyond the CSX/Metrorail tracks. For more information about the BID, including a map, see the BID Website at .

MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL, INC. (NYSE:MAR) is a leading lodging company with nearly 2,900 lodging properties in the United States and 67 other countries and territories. Marriott International operates and franchises hotels under the Marriott, JW Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance, Residence Inn, Courtyard, TownePlace Suites, Fairfield Inn, SpringHill Suites and Bulgari brand names; develops and operates vacation ownership resorts under the Marriott Vacation Club International, Horizons, The Ritz-Carlton Club and Grand Residences by Marriott brands; operates Marriott Executive Apartments; provides furnished corporate housing through its Marriott ExecuStay division; and operates conference centers. The company is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has approximately 151,000 employees at 2006 year-end. In fiscal year 2006, Marriott International reported sales from continuing operations of $12.2 billion. For more information or reservations, please visit our web site at www.marriott.com.

CONTACT: Dasha Ross of Marriott International, Inc., 301-380-8521, Dasha.ross@marriott.com

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