Nickelodeon, Marriott pair on branded family resorts

NEW YORK: Nickelodeon, Marriott International hotels, and real-estate investment and development company Miller Global Properties have partnered to launch a family-oriented vacation chain called "Nickelodeon Resorts by Marriott."

NEW YORK: Nickelodeon, Marriott International hotels, and real-estate investment and development company Miller Global Properties have partnered to launch a family-oriented vacation chain called "Nickelodeon Resorts by Marriott."

Set to break ground with an initial 650-room, 18-acre water park/resort at San Diego's Liberty Station in January of next year (operational by 2010), the partners plan for up to 20 branded properties to be under construction worldwide by 2020.

"It's a way to get our brand everywhere that kids are, to provide a tangible experience for them," said Joanna Roses, senior director of corporate communications for New York-based Nickelodeon and MTV Networks Kids and Family Group.

The company has already launched a Web site, www.nickmarriottpress.com, where reporters can view webcasts, order b-roll, download photos, and read press releases. PR is being handled in-house.

As for elevating interest over the development period, plans are still in early stages. Nickelodeon and Marriott expect to launch a consumer-focused Web site to generate - and sustain - excitement among families and media.

The timing is ideal for the kid-centric network: Both Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. are tops among TV channels for the pre-school and 6- to 11-year-old sets; the appeal of characters, including Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob SquarePants, transcends gender, age, and race; and - perhaps most important - Gen-Xers, the first generation of obsessive Nickelodeon fans, are having families of their own.

Nickelodeon also has found experiential-style programs to be extremely successful for brand building, Roses said.

Nickelodeon's Go, Diego, Go Live! tour is among Ticketmaster's top sellers nationwide, and the network announced its first fully branded theme park at Minnesota's Mall of America in March.

Other Nickelodeon Resorts by Marriott locations have yet to be solidified, but possibilities include several US family destination spots, the Caribbean, Mexico, the UK, Asia, and the Middle East.

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