NEW YORK— In a bid to create a presence in the growing family market, Marriott International recently unveiled plans here to team with the Nickelodeon cable television network and developer Miller Global Holdings, LLC on up to 20 major lodging developments that would be completed by 2020 and be branded Nickelodeon Resorts by Marriott. Along with a deal announced last month to create a new, as-yet-unnamed boutique brand in partnership with hotelier Ian Schrager (see accompanying story), the Nickelodeon roll-out shows that Marriott is far from through with its famous segmentation strategy: creating a brand suited to every type of hotel stay, a model that’s been duplicated by other multi-brand hotel companies. Part of the strategy behind Nickelodeon Resorts is that it includes an extensive water park, giving Marriott access to this increasingly popular segment of the family travel market. In addition, the properties will include a significant amount of meeting space designed to attract corporate groups known for being family friendly. Given how strong a following such Nickelodeon characters as Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob SquarePants have developed, there are also a range of theme park-like features the resorts can benefit from, including character events and theme restaurants. In completing the deal, Marriott, itself one of the world’s best-known brands, said it appreciated the value of the Nickelodeon brand. “When you bring together Marriott with the number-one TV destination for kids and families, it’s a winning combination,” said chairman/ CEO J.W. Marriott, Jr. For the Nickelodeon network, which is part of Viacom International, the deal amounted to a desirable brand extension. “Our goal is to be everywhere kids want to be,” said Nickelodeon president Cyma Zarghami. “Creating a presence in the family vacation market is another way to extend our franchise.” As a developer, Miller Global Properties co-chairman Eyal Ofer understood that having brands of this caliber on board would help ensure the success of the venture. “It just made sense to combine the two,” he said. “It makes for a compelling investment opportunity.” The first resort is scheduled to open in 2010 as part of the Liberty Station development in San Diego. It’ll include 650 guestrooms, a 100,000-square foot water park, and approximately 30,000-square feet of meeting space. Groundbreaking is scheduled for early-2008. Denver-based Miller Global Holdings already owns a Nickelodeon-themed hotel in Orlando in conjunction with the Holiday Inn brand. Miller Global’s franchise agreement with Holiday Inn’s parent, IHG, expires in early-2009. Beyond San Diego, Marriott, Nickelodeon, and Miller Global have ambitious plans geographically. “Potential development sites include family-oriented destinations in the Caribbean and Mexico as well as the U.S.,” said Marriott executive vp for mergers, acquisitions and business development Richard Hoffman. “Beyond North America, we’re looking at the UK and Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Middle East.” Supporting such international development is the fact that Nickelodeon’s appeal has become global. The channel reaches approximately 300 million homes across the world.