From the 15th Annual Lodging Conference, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) announces it has executed 25 new deals and opened more than 40 hotels in its North America Division in 2009, with an additional 20 anticipated to open by year's end. These developments are illustrative of Starwood's overall global growth that includes nearly 60 hotel openings and 50 deal signings over the past ten months.
"By working with the right partners on the right properties in the right places, we have been able to open best-in-class hotels throughout North America," said Paul Sacco, Senior Vice President of Development for Starwood's North America Division. "These 40 plus hotel openings and 25 new signings further extend our leadership as the world's largest upper-upscale and luxury hotel company, while also strengthening our place as the industry innovator in the select service segment."
Market conditions have impacted the industry across all segments. Starwood, however, remains poised for long-term, strategic growth with recent deal signings that include an Aloft property in Atlanta, an Element property in Ontario, a St. Regis property in Bermuda, and a Westin property in New Jersey.
"We continue to focus on smart growth, which is key in today's challenging environment. And while the pace of new deal executions has slowed, our recent deal signings reinforce that there are still growth opportunities in the right markets with the right brands," said Sacco. "In fact, this year we have signed more than our fair share of new deals in the luxury, upper-upscale and select service segments."
2009 Marks a Year of Meaningful Milestones in North America
Globally, Starwood is on a journey to open its 1000th hotel and resort, and the North America Division is reaching many of its own milestones along the way. Among the milestone openings achieved over the past 10 months are:
500th Hotel in North America: The St. Regis Atlanta
30th W Hotel Worldwide: W Fort Lauderdale
5th Element Hotel in North America: Element Denver Park Meadows
30th Aloft Hotel Worldwide: Aloft Tallahassee Downtown
100th Four Points by Sheraton in North America: Four Points by Sheraton Cambridge, Ontario
The remainder of 2009 will prove to be equally meaningful with hotel openings to include the highly anticipated Sheraton Puerto Rico Convention Center & Casino, Le Meridien Philadelphia, The St. Regis Resort & Residences, Deer Crest and W hotels in Boston, Hollywood and Vieques, Puerto Rico.
"Each of our new openings -from select service, to upper upscale, to luxury - are brand enhancing properties that will continue to provide owners and guests with the world class Starwood experiences they have come to expect," said Denise Coll, President of the North America Division for Starwood. "These new properties, combined with our more than 500 existing hotels in North America, help ensure that Starwood is everywhere our guests want to be."
Starwood's Conversion Focus Helps Drive Sustained Long-Term Growth in North America Contributing to the strong hotel openings and new deal signings this year is Starwood's developer-centric conversion focus. In 2009, Starwood's quality conversions in North America have included the Four Points by Sheraton San Antonio-Downtown, the Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel and Conference Center and W Washington DC.
"Conversions offer the chance to enhance an existing product by changing brands, which can ultimately provide a better value proposition to guests and greater market share to owners," said Sacco. "Conversions have continued to be a strong focus for Starwood as our nine powerful brands and systems offer developers added strength in this challenging environment. And regardless of project type, size and scope, our goal is to be responsive and flexible, while maintaining pertinent brand standards, to ensure owners can succeed."
About Starwood Hotels
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 960 properties in 97 countries and 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft®, and Element SM. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.