Marriott Rooms Forecasting

6 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2008 Last revised: 25 May 2018

See all articles by Samuel E. Bodily

Samuel E. Bodily

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Larry Weatherford

University of Wyoming - College of Business

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The manager of a large downtown hotel has to decide whether to accept 60 additional reservations or not. If she accepts, she will be overbooked and face certain costs if all the people holding reservations show up. The manager must forecast, based on historical data, how many of the people holding reservations will show up and then decide, after taking into account the cost involved, whether to take the additional bookings. The case can be used in a class on seasonality and exponential smoothing in time-series forecasting.



Rev. May 16, 2018

Marriott Rooms Forecasting

β€œA hotel room is a perishable good. If it is vacant for one night, the revenue is lost forever.” Linda Snow was commenting on the issue of capacity utilization in the hotel business. β€œOn the other hand, the customer is king with us. We go to great pains to avoid telling a customer with a reservation at the front desk that we don't have a room for him in the hotel.”

As reservation manager of one of Marriott's hotels, Snow faced this tradeoff constantly. To complicate the matter, customers often booked reservations and then failed to show, or cancelled reservations just before their expected arrival. In addition, some guests stayed over in the hotel extra days beyond their original reservation and others checked out early. A key aspect of dealing with the capacity-management problem was having a good forecast of how many rooms would be needed on any future date. It was Snow's responsibility to prepare a forecast on Tuesday afternoon of the number of rooms that would be occupied each day of the next week (Saturday through Friday). This forecast was used by almost every department within the hotel for a variety of purposes; now she needed the forecast for a decision in her own department.

Hamilton Hotel

. . .

Keywords: decision theory, forecasting, female protagonist, diversity case, management of service industries, time series

Suggested Citation

Bodily, Samuel E. and Weatherford, Larry, Marriott Rooms Forecasting. Darden Case No. UVA-QA-0389, Available at SSRN:

Samuel E. Bodily (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States
434-924-4813 (Phone)
434-293-7677 (Fax)


Larry Weatherford

University of Wyoming - College of Business

1000 E. University Avenue
Laramie, WY 82071
United States

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