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A STAR IS BORN AT ALOFT: CALIFORNIA SINGER-SONGWRITER, ADRIAN BOURGEOIS WINS “PROJECT: ALOFT STAR” COMPETITION - September 29, 2010
The votes are in: Sacramento, CA singer-songwriter Adrian Bourgeois has topped the list of acts to win Project: Aloft Star, the musical artist talent search created by Aloft Hotels that has cr

WHITE PLAINS, NY – September 29, 2010 – The votes are in: Sacramento, CA singer-songwriter Adrian Bourgeois has topped the list of acts to win Project: Aloft Star, the musical artist talent search created by Aloft Hotels that has created major buzz among music fans.  New Orleans crooner Jake Smith was named runner-up.

Aloft® is the much-talked about style-at-a-steal brand from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT).

Bourgeois, whose “complex and lovely” songs “bring to mind a time when songwriters flooded the airwaves and all was well” (Pop-Rock Candy Mountain), will make a dream debut at “Live in the Vineyard,” a twice-yearly, three-day music, wine and food showcase in California’s Napa Valley, also presented by Aloft.  With some of the music industry’s top moguls as his audience, Bourgeois will share the stage with stars like KT Tunstall, Zac Brown Band, and James Blunt.

An Aloft-sponsored tour will follow to give Bourgeois, 23, the opportunity to rock Aloft hotels across the United States.

Launched in June 2010, Project: Aloft Star solicited artist music videos on Facebook (Facebook.com/AloftHotels, RockOut&Win tab).  Aspiring “Aloft Stars” submitted a video of an acoustic performance of original material.  The top three finalists were chosen based on a combination of votes from Aloft Facebook fans and judging criteria from Aloft insiders and Live in the Vineyard organizers.

Project: Aloft Star generated nearly 5,000 fan votes and hundreds of comments for submissions from around the world.   “Aloft has been a launchpad for fresh thinking in our industry, so acting as a launchpad for other creative endeavors makes a lot of sense,”  said Brian McGuinness, Senior Vice President of Specialty Select Brands for Starwood.   “The Aloft guest is always on the lookout for what’s new, and I think they appreciate that we’re their partner in the discovery process.”

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 have included 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.

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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