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ALOFT ROCKS THE MUSIC SCENE WITH “PROJECT ALOFT STAR” COMPETITION TO FIND NEXT GREAT ARTIST - giugno 28, 2010
Aloft Becomes World’s First Hotel Brand to Break New Musical Artist.

WHITE PLAINS, NY – June 28, 2010 – When they hear where their next big break is coming from, aspiring rock stars might give up those fantasies of trashing hotel rooms.

In the first-ever musical artist discovery program created by a hotel brand, Aloft® Hotels, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.’s (NYSE: HOT) new destination sensation, is launching “Project Aloft Star” – a competition whose champion will get to kick off the main stage at “Live In The Vineyard” in November alongside stars like LITV “Alumni” artists such as VV Brown, Lily Allen, Jason Mraz or Collective Soul.   “Live in the Vineyard” is a twice-yearly, three-day music, wine and food festival in California’s Napa Valley presented by Aloft Hotels.  The winning artist or band from Project Aloft Star will also have the opportunity to rock Aloft hotels throughout the United States as part of an Aloft-sponsored tour.  Aloft is the much-talked-about “style at a steal” hotel brand that’s rocked the lodging landscape since its 2008 debut.

“Aloft guests are tastemakers who thrive on creative energy, so we think they’ll get very engaged in this competition.  I’d bet some of them will even enter their own bands,” said Brian McGuinness, Starwood’s Senior Vice President of Specialty Select Brands for Starwood. “They’re also zealous about scoping out what’s next, so this is a perfect way for us to deliver that to them.”

Launching June 25, Project Aloft Star will solicit artist music videos via a contest conducted on Facebook (Facebook.com/AloftHotels, RockOut&Win tab).  Here’s how it works:  Aspiring “Aloft Stars” will submit a video of an acoustic performance of original material. The top 3 bands will be chosen based on a combination of votes from Facebook fans, Aloft guests, and Live In the Vineyard artists.  The first round of voting will take place during the submission period, from June 25 to August 13.  After the top three vote-getters are determined, a second round of votes will happen from August 25 to September 15.

The final winning act will then be announced on September 20, and will go on to play at the “Live in the Vineyard” concert the weekend of November 13 alongside other up-and-coming acts and before some of the music industry’s top moguls.  The musical victors will also have the chance to hit the road on an Aloft tour to five Aloft properties across the U.S.

Project Aloft Star is just the latest musical riff from Aloft.  Aloft properties also serve as concert venues for Live in the Vineyard artists who rock it up close and personal with hotel guests and locals alike through a series of “Live at Aloft Hotels” (www.liveatalofthotels.com) events, throughout the year.  Previous Live in the Vineyard artists include Macy Gray, Colbie Caillat, Train and Melissa Etheridge.

Aloft is the 2010 presenting sponsor for Live in the Vineyard (www.liveinthevineyard.com), currently in its third year and held every April and November.  Live in the Vineyard is the brainchild of music industry veterans Bobbii Hach-Jacobs and Claire Parr.

About Aloft Hotels

Created to shake up the staid, traditional select service segment of the hotel industry, Aloft Hotels delivers style at a steal with urban-influenced, modern, open and vibrant design - and a social guest experience - at an affordable price point.  In the same way that W® Hotels broke through the clutter of conformity in the upscale hotel arena a decade ago, Aloft is shaking up the industry for the next generation of traveler. Aloft hotels are geared toward savvy, design-conscious consumers who grew up with the democratization of design. With 40 hotels open in the 18 months since Aloft first arrived on the scene and 10 more opening in 2010, Aloft can be found everywhere from Abu Dhabi and Baltimore to Dallas and Beijing and everywhere in between.  For more information, please visit www.alofthotels.com.

Guests at Aloft can earn free nights at any Starwood Hotels & Resorts property – the world’s most sought-after collection of hotels – through the Preferred Guest program.  To learn more, visit www.spg.com.

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1000 properties in nearly 100 countries and territories with 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.

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