Porn Shy Marriott Hotel Hosting 2013 Leather Fetish Show

Jun 1, 2012 8:00 AM PST

CHICAGO — Marriott Hotels may not allow porn piped into their rooms, but Chicago’s Michigan Avenue Marriott will be hosting the International Mr. Leather fetish show next year.

Although former Marriott chief Bill Marriott said last year that his Mormon faith was the impetus behind his decision to ban porn rentals from his guest rooms, the Chicago hotel is opening its arms to the event that hosts a marketplace of sexual goods and a Mr. Leather competition.

“All politics is local, and that hotel wants more business,” International Mr. Leather coordinator John Krongaard told the Chicago Sun-Times. “They [the hotel] know exactly who we are, and I think that’s kind of neat.”

The primarily gay event was held on Memorial Day weekend this year at the Hyatt Regency hotel just down the street from the Marriott. This year’s conference drew more than 17,000 attendees and crowned Woody Woodruff International Mr. Leather 2012.

Krongaard said he doesn’t expect there to be any flack about the move despite the chain’s hard line anti-porn stance.  But just last March, the retired Marriott boss told the Associated Press that the Church of Latter-day Saints [Mormons] has a “real problem” with porn and planned to remove it completely from the hotels.

A spokesman for the Michigan Avenue hotel, Dan Preston, told the Sun-Times that securing the convention was a “lucrative” deal for the hotel and it was happy to have the group.

“Personally, I don’t see a connection between the IMLC and taking porn videos out of the rooms,” Preston said.

Bill Marriott wasn’t available to comment on the International Mr. Leather situation according to corporate spokeswoman Stephanie Hampton.

“We accept all business unless it could put other guests in danger,” Hampton said. “We’re a public company and provide public accommodations, and we embrace everyone as customers regardless of their sexual orientation, race or ethnicity.”

She added, “But just because we [rent space to an event] does not mean that we support it or don’t support it.”

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