Marriott banks on modular
The world's biggest hotel company is betting that factory-built guest rooms are a key to juicing revenue - and helping guests get a better night's sleep.
Marriott International is laying plans for what it says will be the tallest modular hotel in the world, in Manhattan's NoMad neighbourhood.
Its 168 guest rooms will be assembled in a factory in Poland, shipped to the US and trucked into New York in the middle of the night, when the city streets can accommodate the oversized loads.
The 26-storey AC Hotel is expected to rise in 90 days and open next year. Marriott wants the tower to serve as a beacon to developers, lenders and factory owners.
"Our goal is to move the industry," said Eric Jacobs, chief development officer for the company's select-service and extended-stay brands in North America.
"Cost and time are really important to owners and developers. It's about speed to market, and any time we can move that needle, it's good for everybody."
Hotel companies such as Marriott would like to ramp up modular construction because it can help them open new properties faster, a key path to increasing revenue.
The method saves time because builders can do site work while rooms are being built in the factory, Jacobs said.