Charles "Chuck" Marshall, the founder and chairman emeritus of Marshall Hotels & Resorts, died on December 27 at the age of 74 following complications related to a stroke.
Marshall founded the company in 1980 at a time when third-party hotel management was still in its infancy. Beginning initially as a developer/syndicator with three hotels, he expanded the company to more than 60 hotels and resorts ranging from upper upscale to limited-service. Following a shift in tax laws in the late 1980s, Marshall turned his company’s attention to full-time third-party management, which "may have been the best business decision I ever made," he said.
Marshall worked his way through Oklahoma State University as a cook in area restaurants and hotels. Upon earning a degree in hotel and restaurant management, he began his 50- year-plus hospitality management career as an assistant general manager of the Golden Ox restaurant in Kansas City.
He entered the hotel industry at age 24 as a general manager of a Ramada Inn in Wichita Falls, Texas. Over his career, he received numerous awards for operating excellence, including Sheraton’s "Manager of the Year" and the "Distinguished Achievement Award" from the International Franchise Association. Hotels managed by the company continue to consistently win awards from brands for operating excellence.
Marshall reportedly loved turning around a troubled hotel. "The cornerstone of our success is developing a tailored strategy and plan with aggressive, but realistic, budgets, and then sticking to them," he said. "The budget is our bible, and we adhere to it religiously. We don’t start with the top or bottom line; we begin with what is honest and achievable. We then monitor our budgets daily and adapt to changing market conditions, which allows us to focus clearly on maximizing profits and controlling costs."
Marshall is survived by his wife, Dee, who led the company’s marketing efforts for more than three decades; son Mike, who is president of Marshall Hotels & Resorts, daughter Joanne, son Kenny, as well as seven grandchildren.
The viewing will be held this evening, December 29, from 6 p.m.to 8 p.m. at Holloway Funeral Home in Salisbury, Md., and the funeral at St. Francis De Sales Catholic Church in Salisbury at 11 a.m. December 30. A celebration of Chuck Marshall’s life will be held following the internment at Green Hill Country Club in Whitehaven, Md.
In lieu of flowers, the family requested that friends donate to the Village of Hope or Oklahoma State University School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration.