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Marriott Cutting Back on Free Issues of USA Today

Pacific Business News:

If you want a free newspaper at a Marriott hotel, you’ll have to ask for it from now on.

Bethesda-based Marriott International Inc. says it is reducing distribution of free guest newspapers, citing a 25 percent decline in demand by customers at its 2,600 U.S. hotels.“I visit more than 250 hotels a year, and more often than not I am stepping over unclaimed newspapers as I walk down the hallway,” said CEO J.W. Marriott, Jr. in a statement. “This new program is more guest-focused.”

Starting June 1, Marriott’s full-service hotels will ask guests at check-in if they would like a complimentary morning paper. Members of its rewards program can automatically get their preferred paper by changing their online profile.

Starting next week, free newspapers will only be available in the lobby at non full-service hotels like Courtyard and Residence Inn.

Marriott guests will be able to choose USA Today, The Wall Street Journal or the local paper.

Marriott, which started offering guests free copies of USA Today 25 years ago, says it expects to reduce newspaper distribution by 50,000 papers a day, or 18 million papers a year.

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