Friends of White Flint’s #PickthePike Campaign Highlighted in Washington Post Article

Capital Business in The Washington Post wrote an article yesterday, Bill Marriott on Starwood merger: ‘We’re working on a total organization plan

The article focused mostly on Marriott’s merger with Starwood, creating the largest hotel company in the world. Shareholders of the two companies are scheduled to vote this month on the $12.2 billion deal, which is awaiting approval from regulators.

However, toward the end of the article, Friends of White Flint’s #PickthePike campaign was highlighted

Marriott has hired real estate consultant JLL to locate and review the company’s options. Meanwhile, officials in the District, Maryland and Virginia have begun considering which properties near Metro stations might best interest the company. And it is not just state, city and suburban officials who are competing for the new headquarters.

In Montgomery County, a group of business leaders and residents, the Friends of White Flint, has begun publicly jockeying for the company to relocate to a redeveloping section of Rockville Pike, being branded as the Pike District.

The group purchased a bus advertisement in front of the company’s headquarters, saying “If Marriott picks the PIKE DISTRICT, you’d be eating dinner by now.”

On Thursday, Bill Marriott said the company is considering a number of locations but has not decided whether to remain in Maryland.


© 2015 Kaz Sasahara. All rights reserved. More at

Share why you #PickthePike

Why did you choose the Pike District/White Flint area? The many restaurants? The gyms to burn off the calories from all those delicious meals? The diverse stores full of unique and useful goods? The ability to walk to metro? The gorgeous apartments, townhouses, and houses? The fun parks and excellent schools? The different entertainment options — movies, live music, bars?

Share why you #PickthePike. Take a pic — of you, of your martini glass, your friends, your kids, or whatever — enjoying life in the Pike District. Post it on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and include the tag #PickthePike.


Join the Fun with Why I #PickthePike

Today we launch a fun social media campaign designed to showcase all the things we love about the Pike District/White Flint area. Help us show the world why we #PickthePike because without you, this campaign just won’t work.

It’s easy and fun to participate — and we’ll even randomly choose one Tweet, Facebook Post or Instagram each week through Thanksgiving to receive a gift card or other goodie from a Pike District merchant.

Can we count on you? Will you post photos of you, your friends, and family enjoying all the Pike District has to offer on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? The more you post, the better our campaign. Let’s attract Marriott and other businesses to the Pike District for their headquarters. Let’s show current and future residents all the many reasons we #PickthePike. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #PickthePike in all your posts. 

Here’s what to do.

How to #PickthePike

More on Marriott


Did you catch this interview with Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson?  It’s an interesting, and quick, read, but below is the part that most concerns the Pike District and our #PickthePike campaign.

BTW, rumor has it that Marriott is considering Friendship Heights, Bethesda, and the Pike District. In a week or so, we’ll be a launching a new #PickthePike social media campaign to showcase all the Pike District has to offer Marriott and its employees.

Bethesda Magazine: Tell me about the possibility of Marriott leaving Bethesda? How much of this is about attracting millennials, who might not want to come out to a suburban office building and prefer to use public transportation to get around?

Arne Sorenson:  There are a few things going on here. First, this building is leased, not owned. The lease expires in 2022. The second factor is that to renovate this building, which was opened in the ’70s, would cost almost as much as to build a building from scratch. And a brand-new building is almost always going to be better than a renovated building, no matter how much money you want to put into it. It’s not going to be state of the art.

The third driver, we talk about millennials and millennial mindset, but I actually have many of the same views. I’d like to be someplace that is accessible by public transportation. I’d like to be someplace where I can walk to restaurants or be part of a community that seems more vibrant, that doesn’t require me to have a car. Obviously, that is a more pronounced bias from our younger workers.

The overwhelming likelihood is we will not be in this building after the lease expires. And so that means we need someplace else. And we have 900,000 square feet in this building.

Even if we are more efficient about our use of space in the future, we’re not talking about a small office space. It takes a number of years to go through the process, to find locations. I think there are places in Montgomery County that can be accessed by public transportation, have an urban feel, and where we could build a new building that would meet our needs. But there are obviously places in Virginia or D.C. that could be considered, as well.

We’ve made no decision to move from Maryland. And I’ve assured the governor of Maryland, for example, we’re not starting any negotiating process. You’re not going to wake up one morning and read in the paper that we’ve decided to move. We’re going to spend the next year or so figuring out: How much space do we need? Are we going to put everyone in the same building, or are we going to put some disciplines in different buildings? Only when we’ve really completed that process will we start to focus on possible locations.

I have talked to Gov. Hogan, Gov. McAuliffe and Mayor Bowser. I’ve had calls from other states. The likelihood of our moving out of the Washington area, where we’ve been for our entire 88 years, is very slim. The overwhelming likelihood is that we will be in the Washington area for many, many decades to come. I suspect sometime in 2016, or more likely in 2017, we’ll start to zero in on a location or two.

#PickthePike at the Pike Central Farmer’s Market

As people stuffed their bags full of sweet corn and bright red tomatoes, they stopped to talk to Friends of White Flint board member Eric Grosse to learn more about our #PickthePike campaign (and other issues affecting the White Flint area.)

If you’re interested in volunteering to staff our table at the Pike Central Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings, please email us at We’ll give you talking points and lots of information so you’re fully prepared. If you can volunteer for an hour or a two, or even a whole morning, we’d be grateful.

Thanks for helping to spread the word about our #PickthePike campaign to entice Marriott to choose the Pike District for their new headquarters.

Wow — what a week!

ICYMI, here’s some of the coverage from our very successful launch of #PickthePike:

Washington Business Journal

The Washington Post

Bethesda Magazine

Greater Greater Washington

My MC Media

We’ll be promoting #PickthePike at Saturday’s Pike Central Farmers Maket on the corner of Executive Blvd and Old Georgetown Road. Stop by our table.

And don’t forget to post about our ad and campaign on Facebook and Twitter using #PickthePike hashtag.

Look for our next #PickthePike promotion soon!



#PickthePike is launched!!


This morning, Friends of White Flint launched its #PickthePike campaign to persuade Marriott to pick the Pike District for its new headquarters.  We also unveiled our new #PickthePike ad located at the bus shelter right in front of Marriott headquarters.

Thank you to Councilmember Roger Berliner, State Delegate Marc Korman, State Senator Rich Madaleno, State Farm Agent Howard Feldman, and Pike District resident Heather Dlhopolsky for being critical parts of this campaign kickoff.  All agreed that the Pike District is the perfect spot for Marriott’s new headquarters, citing the area’s many amenities, including easy access to metro, diverse restaurants, many opportunities for entertainment and recreation, and many housing options for Marriott employees just a short stroll or metro stop away from the office.

Check out tomorrow’s weekly eblast for more details, including press coverage and photos. (And if you don’t get our weekly newsletter, you should!  Sign up here.)