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by Michael C. Lowe | August 31, 2011

Marriott International Inc. lost control of a Honolulu hotel early Sunday morning, according to the Wall Street Journal. Owners of the Waikiki Edition in Hawaii changed the signs and locks on the hotel under cover of night and named Modern Management Services LLC as the new management company, turning the 353-room property into the Modern Honolulu, despite a 30-year contract allowing Marriott to run the hotel as Edition. The move is related to an ongoing legal battle between Marriott and the owners. “The owner believes that Marriott has failed in its management of this resort as well as the delivery of the Edition brand concept,” said William A. Brewer III, partner at Bickel & Brewer and lead counsel for the owner, in a statement. “As a result, our clients brought in new management in the belief that doing so would better protect their investment.” In an e-mail to Hotel News Now, Marriott said, “This is a deeply unfortunate, regrettable and illegal event. The owner and its partners raided the hotel literally under cover of night, forcibly taking over the property and threatening our employees with dismissal unless they immediately agreed to a change of management. We will aggressively and vigorously pursue all remedies against the owner and its partners in this illegal act, which was completely and blatantly in violation of Marriott's contractual agreement with the owner.”