Longtime friend explains
‘no frills’ trend in
hotel room pricing
TODAY show host Matt Lauer, left, and Travel & Leisure International Editor Mark Orwoll are seen during Orwoll’s three minute segment on the TODAY show on Wednesday. Image captured from HDTV with ProCamera app on iPhone4s. © SGE, Inc.
YOU MAY INDEED WONDER what is so remarkable about the three-minute interview the TODAY show’s Matt Lauer conducted Wednesday with Travel & Leisure International Editor Mark Orwoll.
They were discussing the new trend of “no frills” pricing in hotel rooms.
“The no-frills approach to life is a runaway train,” Lauer said in the introduction.
Why? he asked Orwoll.
“[Hotels] are trying to save on the bottom line,” said International Editor Orwoll. “This is a cost-conscious decision.”
Until you learn that Mr. Orwoll and I were journalism students together at San Diego State University in 1976.
In an email received from him at 5:21 a.m. today, he gave me permission to call him “my friend.”
T&L International Editor Mark Orwoll, longtime friend, appears on the TODAY show on Wednesday to discuss “no-frills” trends in hotel room pricing. Image captured from HDTV with ProCamera app on iPhone4s. © SGE, Inc.
“SAY ANYTHING you want about me in your blog. I’m sure I’ve been called worse,” Orwoll wrote, his sense of humor still so sharp after almost 40 years.
Check out Orwoll’s T&L November article The Rules to Bringing Carry On Luggage.
Below the image of Orwoll and Lauer on the screen was the title: “Perk-free getaways on the rise this summer.”
Expanding on this, Orwoll explained: “Over the last 10 years, the number of limited service hotel rooms has increased by 16 percent.”
Asked who would benefit – the hotel customers or the companies – Orwoll said hotel guests are unlikely to see any reduction in room rates.
“But they will be getting other amenities for free,” he said. “People really want free Wi-Fi parking and free breakfast…”
It’s as if he saw my post on Facebook on Sunday when I complained about the Holiday Inn in Mayfair, London charging the outrageous price of FIVE pounds per hour for Wi-Fi access.
“I like Matt Lauer. [He’s] a pro,” Orwoll wrote in his email. “I’ve traveled with him and the crew several times over the past 10 or 12 years (Vegas, Cannes, Mykonos) and done studio segments many, many times. So I know him and all the sound and camera guys.”
Always on the go, the T&L senior editor was off to a not-so-exotic destination today.
“I’m on my way to Bismarck, ND, this morning to speak at a writers conference,” he wrote.
I am proud and honored to have a friend like Mark. He is a kind and generous man; he has provided wonderful counsel as I develop my skills as a travel writer.
There are many travel stories coming to this blog shortly from my recent trip to Europe.
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