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Charlotte Marriott Exposes NRA Conventioneers to Criminal Prosecution - action plan!

Discussion in 'Activism Discussion and Planning' started by skipbadger, May 19, 2010.

  1. skipbadger

    skipbadger Active Member

    Thought I would post this as I haven't seen it on the highroad yet. It is making its way through several other gun forums. It was posted by a fellow member of Grass Roots North Carolina (GRNC - www.grnc.org)

    This was taken from www.carolinashootersforum.com. Please call/email per the instructions below.

    As an interesting side note, Kathleen Matthews, the EVP of Global Communications and Public Affairs for Marriott, is a San Fransisco native, spent many years as a newscaster, and is married to MSNBC's own Chris Matthews. Her email address is Kathleen.Matthews@marriott.com. Her assistant is Marilyn Cole who can be reached at marilyn.cole@marriott.com or 301-380-7525. I have copied both on my correspondence to Mr. Diehl.

  2. VPLthrneck

    VPLthrneck Well-Known Member

    The best thing to include when you contact any business about issues is to include a copy of your reciept from their competitor. Make sure you highlight the total amount spent and include a note that simply states: "if not for your policy on guns (or whatever the issue is) this money could have been yours." It lets them know that there are dollars attached to what they do, and not just a bunch of people making noise.
  3. Gouranga

    Gouranga Well-Known Member

    If you are a business traveler, make sure they are aware of this as well. We represent a large source of repeating revenue for hotels. I did email them and thanks to my hotel "frequent shopper" account i know how much I spend a year on hotels. I attached a screenshot of that summary to my email to let them know they would not be receiving any of this money.

    This really was total sleaze on the Marriott's part. To take the money for guests they knew were coming to an NRA event and never bat an eye, then post in the middle of the event, was just total garbage.
  4. MisterMike

    MisterMike Well-Known Member

    Sent a message to their customer service department, noting my Marriott Rewards number and the fact that I'm a frequent guest.

    This really burns me . . . it's so two-faced.
  5. BullMoose

    BullMoose New Member

    I was staying at the Marriott in question, I did not attend the GRNC event. I was in town for the NRA Annual meeting, as well as USA Swimming's Charlotte UltraSwim (http://www.charlotteultraswim.com).

    I have a family member who was swimming at the event who is a 9 time NCAA All-American, and a 12 time Big Ten Champion. I had not seen him for quite some time since he lives in Ann Arbor, MI and has been training at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado. Since both events were on the same time I decided to go to Charlotte for the weekend to visit with family and attend the NRA annual meeting.

    I am a Platinum Elite Lifetime member in the Marriott Rewards program. Which means I have been in the Marriotts Rewards program for over 12 years, over 1000 nights and earned over 3,000,000 Marriott Rewards Points (which are earned at 10 points per dollar spent at Marriott hotels).

    Needless to say am one of Marriott's best customers, having paid to stay at Marriott branded properties for 1,207 nights to date.

    The reason Marriott has earned my business in the past was due to their "Starbucks like" policies towards firearms. I do not open carry but know of people in Pennsylvania who have open carried at Marriortt hotels in Eastern Pennsylvania without incident. There are gun show at Marriotts, just Google "Marriott" and "Gun Show". This seems to be a case were Jim Diehl, has gone rogue and made his own policies.

    I am contacting Hilton to have them status match my Marriott rewards level the Diamond level in the HiltonHonors program. Hilton will get all my hotel business until there is a satifactory resolution to this matter.

    I sent the following email to Kathleen Matthews EVP of Global Communications and Public Affairs at Marriott.

    I am looking forward to Marriott's response to my email.



    I had stayed at that Marriott in Charlotte during the NRA Annual Meeting and I can legally carry a concealed weapon in North Carolina.

    Thursday morning I called Chad Callaghan, Marriott's Corporate VP of Loss Prevention regarding Marriott’s firearms policy, to inquire if it had changed. He confirmed that their policy had not changed, and Marriott's policy was to follow the laws of the jurisdiction in which the hotel is located. It has always been my understanding that Marriott’s firearms policy was similar to Starbucks (http://news.starbucks.com/article_di...article_id=332).

    I also spoke with Chad regarding the lack of safes in every guest room. I find interesting that a corporate owned and operated property, in the nation’s second largest banking center does not provide safes in every room.

    I asked Chad for a copy of the firearms policy to give to the hotel’s general manager when I got there, since I was hearing conflicting information from the hotel’s staff when I called regarding the availability of in-room safes.

    Chad told me he could not provide me the policy in writing but he would be calling the property to remind them of the policy.

    Some of the hotel’s staff was well aware that I was going to have a firearm with me. I was upgraded to one of their 12 suites, when I had called to inquire about the availability of in-room safes, since only the suites have in-room safes at this property.

    I checked in on Friday around noon, and there were no signs posted. When I returned from the NRA event at the Time Warner Cable Arena the signs were posted.

    Here is my dilemma, there is now a sign stating no weapons, and my pistol is up in my room in the safe.

    I went to the front desk and asked for the general manager, and was told he was gone for the weekend. I then asked for the manager on duty.

    I spoke with Taylor, the manager on duty. I informed him that the posting of the sign is in direct violation of Marriott’s corporate policy regarding firearms. I informed him that I had reconfirmed that policy with Chad Callaghan the previous day, before heading down to the NRA annual meeting.

    The manager on duty told me he was going to call the general manager and corporate and look in to it.

    The signs were still posted on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, in direct violation of Marriott’s corporate firearms policy.

    I am a Lifetime Platinum Elite with Marriott. The reason Marriott has earned almost all of my hotel business over the years is because of their firearms policy.

    This hotel is a corporate owned; Host Marriott, corporate run, Marriott International location. What has happened is someone at this hotel, who is a corporate employee of Marriott, took it upon themselves to post signs in direct violation of Marriott’s corporate policies.

    Please help me understand how the general manager, of a corporate owned and operated Marriott is not familiar with corporate policies. Especially since Jim Diehl is also the regional executive that oversees the other Marriott properties in the Charlotte region.

    I am requesting a personal written apology from Jim Diehl, for putting my clean criminal record at risk and jeopardizing my ability to legally carry a concealed weapon in 33 states. A clean criminal record is also required to maintain my government clearance which is required by my employer.

    I am requesting that Marriott to place a full page ad in a nationwide publication with an apology regarding this matter. The same ad will include a public statement of Marriott’s policy regarding the lawful possession of firearms at their properties.

    I am requesting the details of the disciplinary actions taken to assure that this issue does not happen again.

    I am requesting the details of any new or modified employee training programs to assure that all staff at any Marriott business, corporate or franchised, is aware of the corporate polices related to the lawful possession of firearms at Marriott businesses.

    Thanks you for taking the time respond to this email and ensuring the timely resolution of this matter.


  6. skipbadger

    skipbadger Active Member

    Ed, you are the kind of guy

    that can lead change in this struggle with Marriott.

    Because of the corporate travel policies at my current employer, I don't get to accumulate the stays that would get Marriott's attention. My 10 stays in 2009 don't get much notice.

    Thanks for this post, please keep us updated if possible.
  7. yhtomit

    yhtomit Well-Known Member

    That's a great letter, Ed. Hopefully you get your apology, not to mention that a talking-to to management would benefit everyone.

  8. Gouranga

    Gouranga Well-Known Member

    Sweet. Follow up on how this fight goes...

    GRNC Alert 5-24-10:

    GRNC campaign leads Marriott to say signs will be removed

    Grass Roots North Carolina began a “Don’t Buy” campaign against Marriott International after its Charlotte hotel took money from and then made inadvertent criminals of hundreds of gun owners by posting “no firearms” signs *during* the weekend of the NRA convention and GRNC’s “Gala for Gun Rights.” Marriott confessed to a prohibition on firearms in all of its properties, many of which were posted.

    After GRNC began the effort and Gun Rights Examiners Paul Valone, Dave Workman and David Codrea and others ran it, the boycott immediately “went viral,” appearing on forums across the country and generating untold numbers of contacts to Marriott – many of which were from Marriott’s “Rewards” members who supported the boycott. On Sunday, the Marriott boycott made nationally-syndicated radio on Tom Gresham’s “Gun Talk.”

    Today, upper level Marriott executive Keith Thomas told GRNC board member Bill Krupicka that signs from the Charlotte property had already been removed, and that signs across the country will be removed promptly.

    Please bear in mind that this victory is conditional: Marriott has not yet confirmed its policy, and a public apology to the gun owners staying in and traversing the Marriott across the weekend of the NRA convention has not yet been issued. Accordingly, please do not relax pressure against Marriott International yet. More information will be provided as it becomes available.
  9. waterhouse

    waterhouse Well-Known Member

    General Manager bonuses at Marriott are based on many things, one of which is guest scores on the emailed surveys that a certain percentage of guests are sent. You could have the highest revenue hotel around, but if your guest scores are below a certain threshold your bonus will take a huge hit.

    If you were staying at the Charlotte Marriott during the incident please take the time to fill out the survey and let them know how you feel. There are a couple sections at the end of the rating section where you can type a paragraph or 2 about your stay, along with any compliments or concerns.

    In the interest of fairness, don't give the whole survey a zero. If your room was clean, give the housekeeping staff a good score, because they don't deserve to be lumped in with management issues.

    Hotels take those surveys pretty seriously.
  10. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Well-Known Member

    skipbadger, thank you for bringing this to my attention, and BullMoose, I applaud your activism,. I travel quite a bit, and while I most often stay at one of the Hilton family of hotels, I will NOT be staying at any Marriott until the issue outlined above is resolved.

  11. cchris

    cchris Well-Known Member

    Ed, I read your other thread on another forum (the one where you were called a "gun nut") and I have to also commend you on the fact that you handled the uneducated, simplistic-minded remarks from people who dismissed those who were in danger of arrest and prosecution as "gun nuts". Half the responses interpreted a person with a permit to rightfully carry a firearm as a "trigger-happy cowboy" and made it an issue to explain that they were against guns. The topic of conversation was the equivalent of someone being pulled over by an officer that tells them "you were going 10 over the limit", responded with "I didn't think I was", and the officer responding with "okay, 25 over" - but in this case, recklessly driving a 3000-pound vehicle is okay, as long as it's not a gun.

    In all situations, it was good to see that you handled it so professionally, and I wish you gentlemen the best of luck in dealing with this situation. My stepfather, a concealed weapons permit-holder, is the manager of a local hotel (not Marriott), and I will be sure to pass this information on to him, as he may have been staying at the Marriott in Charlotte at the time.
  12. Gouranga

    Gouranga Well-Known Member

    As a follow up, Marriott continues to play games:

    Late Monday afternoon an ostensibly apologetic and congenial Keith Thomas, assistant to CEO J.W. Marriott, Jr., told a Grass Roots North Carolina board member that Marriott had “stepped on a hornet’s nest” and promised to remove signs prohibiting lawful firearms in hotels nationwide. Of the Charlotte Marriott City Center, where signs posted during the NRA convention made inadvertent criminals of conventioneers, Thomas promised signs had already been removed.

    But on Tuesday, signs at Marriott properties – including the Charlotte hotel – remained in place while Marriott executives became “unavailable” for, according to office receptionists, a litany of conflicting reasons. Meanwhile, Charlotte Marriott Director of Loss Prevention Sammy Jones refused to comment on the status of signs.

    Some gun rights supporters are now expressing concerns that the claim by Thomas was merely a dodge to deflect the thousands of e-mails and phone calls pouring in from around the country. In addition to the mounting boycott “going viral” on gun forums, it was featured by nationally syndicated radio host Tom Gresham on “Gun Talk.”

    But evidence suggests a more sophisticated corporate disinformation campaign in operation: By putting out the false message that Marriott is removing signs, the corporation sought to have gun rights activists do its bidding by putting out messages to that effect on Internet forums. Those of us who have spread the “Marriott is pulling signs” message are, in fact, spreading their disinformation. To counter their effort, see “Immediate Action Required” below.


    Outright dishonesty appears to be the way they are doing things.
  13. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Well-Known Member

    Thank you for posting a link to the article, Gouranga. I just sent an e-mail to all executives outlined in the article above...will be calling each at the designated time if time permits. I encourage you all to do likewise if possible.

  14. cmb0yd1

    cmb0yd1 New Member

    Thanks for the heads up. Ive been planning my vacation and this makes choosing accomadations a little easier. If their not comfortable with me legally carrying a firearm then im not comfortable giving them my business

    MICHAEL T Well-Known Member

    I stayed at the Holiday Inn during the convention as I was working at the Bersa Booth during convention .They also had NO FIREARMS ALLOWED ON PROPERTY signs I talked with my boss and he said their hotel had them ALSO . Another person to me every motel in Charlotte was posted. Now I can say every one but Holiday Inn I was at was posted I suggest NRA remove that city for the list of conventions .
  16. rzeisler

    rzeisler New Member

    I received the following response from Hilton Hotels while inquiring about their gun policy:

    Dear Mr. Zeisler,

    Thank you for your message to Hilton Reservations and Customer Care. It is my pleasure to assist you today with with regards to our Hand Gun policy.

    To further clarify your concerns; it is our policy that we do not allow anyone (including off duty law enforcement officers) to possess firearms in any of our hotels. The only exceptions are:

    A. Sworn federal, state or local law enforcement officers while on official business and, when off duty, when required to carry weapons in the jurisdiction by statute, ordinance or rule, or an exception otherwise made by a Regional Senior Vice President.

    B. Insured and/or bonded armored car service employees under contract to the hotel, hotel guests, tenants or concessionaires, when required by law or for insurance.

    C. Airline flight crew members authorized by federal law who have current and valid credentials issued by the Department of Homeland Security/TSA as Federal Flight Deck Officers ("FFDOs").

    I appreciate this opportunity to assist you and thank you for your continued loyalty! If you have any further questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to let us know. For immediate assistance, please click on the link below for the contact number of the HHonors Service Center nearest you:


    Best regards,

    Cameron Smith
    Customer Care Email Department
    Hilton Reservations & Customer Care

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