Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson Credit: Marriott

Marriott CEO talks about entering home rental market

Bethesda-based hotel company Marriott International is beginning to compete against home rental platforms such as Airbnb. In April, the company began a partnership with the London-based home rental management company Hostmaker that enables customers to select from about 200 homes in the London area on Marriott’s new vacation rental website Tribute Portfolio Homes.

Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson addressed the company’s move into the vacation rental market on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” on Monday. He said the company waited about 10 years to compete with Airbnb in the home rental market because at first the internet platform was only offering extra bedrooms or sofa rentals in homes and largely operating outside the law in many areas.

Marriott, as an established corporation, could not violate laws like the upstart Airbnb did as it established itself in various locations, Sorenson said. However, now that the market for such short-term rentals has been established, Sorenson said Marriott has seen the need to provide a service that provides access to vacation homes for such groups of guests as bridesmaids, families and those attending college reunions.

“There are whole homes we think we can put up on our site that are quite different than a hotel room,” Sorenson said. “We end up with something that is curated, which has service attributes to it, has design functions to it, has got key delivery.”

He said Marriott’s home rental effort is more like a “hotel platform.”

“We think that’s a space where we can deliver real value to our customer,” Sorenson said.

 

MOM’s Organic Market opens in Gaithersburg

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The produce section at the new MOM’s in Gaithersburg. Credit: MOM’s website

A new organic grocery store is now open on Upper Rock Circle in Gaithersburg. Rockville-based MOM’s Organic Market opened its 19th store Friday just off I-270 in the King Farm area.

In addition to groceries, the store offers a vegetarian eatery, bake shop, backyard beekeeping section, free car charging stations and a tire inflation station, according to its website. The building includes environmentally friendly features such as rain gardens and a green roof to reduce stormwater runoff.

Like other MOM’s locations, it also has an on-site recycling center where people can drop off corks, eyeglasses, cell phones, batteries and other household items.

Chevy Chase resident Scott Nash founded MOM’s 30 years ago. The business plans to celebrate its 31st anniversary this summer.

 

Dan Snyder sells sports radio station WTEM to Urban One

Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder sold off his flagship radio property WTEM-AM, known as The Team 980, to Silver Spring-based media conglomerate Urban One last month.

Urban One’s senior vice president, Jeffrey Wilson, told The Washington Post it plans to maintain sports talk programming at the radio station, which features a popular drive-time program hosted by former Redskins tight end Chris Cooley and broadcaster Kevin Sheehan.

The radio station carries Redskins games and also has the rights to air games played by the Baltimore Orioles and University of Maryland and University of Virginia sports teams.