Points, miles, and snide remarks.


Marriott Property near EWR has Legionella Problem, Still Accepting New Bookings?!

Travel can be yucky, no doubt. But I can’t help but be a little taken aback at the callous and utter disregard for public health & safety displayed by an Elizabeth, NJ Marriott property. The Renaissance Newark Airport hotel, typically regarded as one of the few properties at EWR that don’t completely suck, recently discovered their water system was infested with legionella bacteria, which can cause Legionnaires’ disease, a pneumonia-like illness with a death rate around 10% according to the CDC.

So Marriott did the responsible thing and immediately shuttered the hotel until this could be safely remediated by professionals… right?

Well, not exactly. It appears things are largely business as usual at the New Jersey property. In fact, they are still taking new bookings for as soon as tonight! The Marriott website doesn’t even appear to offer any warning to unsuspecting guests who might want to book a stay there tonight. Talk about getting Bonvoyed!

The hotel is still taking new reservations for as soon as tonight!

The letter being distributed to guests (which I had archived here for posterity) lets us know that the risk of contracting this deadly disease from a building’s water system is “low.” How reassuring! However, it tells us that anyone with any risk factors should avoid showering at all (even a cold shower) and use caution when brushing teeth. Those risk factors include smokers, those with chronic lung disease, weakened immune systems, and anybody age 50 or older. Basically, more or less copy-and-paste the risk factors for COVID here… but with much higher mortality rate if infected!

This is a really big deal. Gary Leff over at View From the Wing called the hotel, and apparently they expect to need 6-8 weeks to resolve this issue. Common sense would dictate you just close the freaking hotel until then… but I guess the potential legal liability doesn’t scare them? Or maybe they’re still recouping their losses from 2020 and shutting down for two months would spell the end of the property.

The letter states that they are working with both the New Jersey state health department, as well as the City of Elizabeth’s health departments. You’d think if Marriott corporate didn’t shutter the hotel, one of these two entities would?

You go into Newark with a certain expectation of cleanliness (after all, you can’t spell “sewer” without “EWR”), but this may just be a new low. We’ll see if Marriott corporate does the right thing and shuts this operation down.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.