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Peyton Manning Talks Importance of ‘Mega-Brands’ Marriott and Hilton in History Channel Series

Hilton and Marriott are getting their time on the silver screen.

In the latest episode of the History Channel’s The Mega-Brands That Built America, executive produced by former quarterback Peyton Manning, viewers are given a front-row seat to the dynamic changes of how the two hotel brands transformed from bare-bones inns to luxury properties. 

“I don’t think you can mention hotel Mega-Brands without Hilton and Marriott. They’re two of the most iconic hotel brands around the world,” Manning exclusively shared with Travel + Leisure. “The story about how they were founded is amazing — as you will see in the episode — and the paths they took to become the Mega-Brands they are today is inspirational.”

The program brings the ‘Mega-Brands’ to life through detailed historical video reenactments spotlighting the business rivalry between Conrad Hilton and J.W. Marriott, as each hotelier aimed to expand their hospitality empire. 

“Traveling across the country, you see the names Hilton and Marriott everywhere and not just in the big cities,” Manning added. “Part of the origin story of both brands is finding accessible options for travelers and that is true today.”

In addition to the historical reenactment scenes, the episode weaves in cultural commentary from leading voices in business and technology, who share context on how hotels have evolved over time. The experts featured include author and business executive Bill Rancic, former Travel Channel host Adam Richman, historian Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, and more. 

When reflecting on the first wave of new hotels in the 1930s, Bill Rancic remarked how the founding and growth of the hotel mega-brands was “genius”.

“There is a one-stop shop for business travelers, and the whole landscape of hotels changed forever,” Rancic says in the show. 

As both Marriott and Hilton continued to grow, they would span countries and add different brands to their portfolio. Marriott owns 30 different brands including the St. Regis, W Hotels, Ritz Carlton, and Westin. Hilton owns 22 brands including Waldorf Astoria, LXR, Conrad, DoubleTree, and Embassy Suites. 

The episode is now available to stream on The History Channel’s app, and website. Cable subscribers can also access the episode on their video on demand platform or other video sites such as Apple TV or Amazon Prime Video.

The Mega-Brands That Built America is produced by Manning’s production company Omaha Productions, in partnership with Lucky 8 Productions and History Channel.

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