With an aim toward ending the frustrating waits that often meet new guests, Marriott Corp. plans to introduce a service that would cut in half the time it takes to check into one of its hotels.
The service, which has been in development for three years, is called "1st 10."
It is "based on the premise that the first 10 minutes of a guest's hotel experience are the most important in setting the stage for a successful stay," the company said.
"1st 10" is a call-ahead reservation service for Marriott's customers. With the new service, the type of room wanted, the estimated time of arrival and the method of payment are completed in advance when the reservation is made.
"1st 10" customers do not need to present credit cards or even sign registration forms upon arrival. A guest must simply collect a packet containing his key and other information about his stay from a rack in the lobby.
Marriott said the system will reduce by as much as half the time that a customer must stand in the lobby.
One Marriott hotel that used "1st 10" during its testing stage saw waiting times drop from an average of three minutes per check-in to 1 minute 35 seconds, the Bethesda-based company said.
A company survey found that the speed of checking into a hotel was one of the top five keys to consumer satisfaction.
With "1st 10," the only customers who will need to stop at the front desk are those paying in cash.
The new service has been in a test phase at 14 hotels over the past 18 months.
The company expects that 90 percent of its hotels will have the service by the fall of 1993.
The Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor and other area Marriotts are scheduled to begin the service by the end of this year, said June Farrell, a Marriott spokeswomen.