White Plains, N.Y. / Minneapolis, MN – April 16, 2007 - aloha! Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) and its much-anticipated new lifestyle brand, aloft hotels, announced today it has signed a deal with 900 Washington Hotel, LLC – an affiliate of Sherman Associates, Inc. – to develop an aloft hotel in Minneapolis, MN.
The 155-room aloft Minneapolis, located along Washington Avenue South in the trendy Mill District of downtown, will be aloft hotel’s first property in Minnesota. The property is situated along the city’s beautiful river bluffs, just steps away some of the city’s main attractions, including the Guthrie Theater, Gold Medal Park, the Metrodome and the Mill City Museum. As a main component of Sherman Associates, Inc. redevelopment of the entire block, the hotel will share an avant-garde interior landscape plaza with the stylish new Zenith condominiums project currently under development.
“In a typical year, over 12 million visitors come to the great metropolis of Minneapolis to enjoy its landmarks, history and culture,” said Ross Klein, President of Starwood Luxury Brand Group and aloft hotels. “With aloft, now they can visit in style. We are excited to bring a fun new way to play and stay to the City of Lakes!”
“We are thrilled to bring the aloft brand to Minneapolis,” stated George Sherman, President of Sherman Associates, Inc. “aloft is a forward-thinking concept; this state-of-the-art facility with a contemporary feel is a great fit for the city. The design vision of Starwood’s W brand holds great prestige, and we are delighted to have it as an integral part of this development.” Sherman added, “I’m confident that aloft Minneapolis will quickly become a landmark destination for area visitors and residents alike.”
As a Vision of W Hotels, aloft is shaking up the lodging industry with urban-influenced design, accessible technology, style and a social atmosphere. aloft offers a total sensory experience, with guest lofts featuring loft-like nine-foot ceilings and oversized windows to create a bright, airy environment. The centerpiece of the loft room is the ultra-comfortable signature bed, and large stylish bathrooms complement the guest experience with oversized walk-in showers and amenities created by Bliss® spa.Each guest loft is also a combination high-tech office and entertainment center, featuring wireless internet access and plug & play, a one-stop connectivity solution for multiple electronic gadgetry such as PDAs, cell phones, mp3 players and laptops - all linked to a large flat panel HDTV ready television for optimal sound and viewing.
Designed in conjunction with world renowned David Rockwell and the Rockwell group, aloft stays true to W’s heritage, offering atmospheric public spaces designed to draw guests from their rooms to socialize and make friends. Guests can read the paper, work on their laptops via hotel-wide wireless internet access, play a game of pool or grab a drink with friends at the re:mix communal lobby area and bar w xyz. The re:charge fitness center and splash, the indoor or outdoor pool, give travelers options to de-stress and re-energize; while re:fuel by aloft, a one-stop food and beverage area, offers sweet, savory and healthy food, snacks and beverages to grab & go, 24-hours a day.
The first aloft hotels are targeted to open in first quarter, 2008, with locations expected to be anytown/anywhere… For more information on aloft, please visit www.alofthotels.com.
Infused with the DNA of W Hotels, aloft is a new destination sensation featuring loft-inspired design, accessible technology and a stylish urban attitude. Starwood anticipates the first aloft hotels to open in early 2008, with 500 properties worldwide expected by 2012.
About Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Worldwide
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with approximately 850 properties in more than 95 countries and 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood® Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels and resorts with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, Sheraton®, Westin®, Four Points® by Sheraton, W®, Le Méridien and the recently announced AloftSM and ElementSM Hotels. Starwood Hotels also own 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.
ABOUT SHERMAN ASSOCIATES
Founded in 1979, Sherman Associates, Inc. is an award-winning real estate development firm specializing in the design, construction and financing of quality housing and commercial properties in Minnesota, the upper Midwest and other regions nationwide. aloft Minneapolis is Sherman Associates second of three Starwood branded hotels currently under development. For more information please visit www.sherman-associates.com.
(Note: This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities regulations. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or events and involve risks and uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated at the time the forward-looking statements are made. These risks and uncertainties are presented in detail in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Although we believe the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions, we can give no assurance that our expectations will be attained or that results and events will not materially differ. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.)