retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

I’m not sure if this falls into the “intelligent loss of business” category, but it certainly came as a surprise the other day when I read that Marriott won’t have adult movie channels in any new hotel rooms it builds during the next few years.

The story in the Chicago Sun Times notes that “the decision to go porn-free comes after years of discussing whether the availability of lucrative adult films in guest rooms is appropriate and whether safeguards exist to prevent children from seeing it. Marriott, though, links the move to a pending shift to new in-room entertainment technology for its new hotels. Traditional video systems - which included access to adult content displayed in the menu selection - will be replaced by Internet-based video-on-demand systems.”

It also reflects the broader technological change that has affected hotels’ revenue streams. It used to be that hotels made a fortune when people made phone calls from their hotel rooms, but the advent of cell phones means that this money generator has pretty much gone away. (Tell the truth. When was the last time you used the hotel room phone to make a call outside the actual hotel?) And now, the fact that most people bring laptops with them into their hotel rooms means that they don’t need to use the in-room TV to be entertained. (Tell the truth. When was the last time you used the hotel room TV to watch.... Never mind.)

Sometimes you have to walk away from a traditionally lucrative part of the business...simply because the world has changed, and every day requires a fresh, unjaundiced look at what works and what doesn’t, what makes money and what doesn’t.

And that’s our Thursday Eye-Opener.
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