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WITH AMPED-UP LIVE-MUSIC PROGRAMMING FOR 2012, ALOFT HOTELS GIVES EMERGING TALENT A WORLD STAGE – July 17, 2012 - julio 17, 2012
With an amped-up calendar of live-music moments unveiled today, Aloft is giving emerging talent a world stage to connect with new audiences.

STAMFORD, CT, July 17, 2012 – With an amped-up calendar of live-music moments unveiled today, Aloft is giving emerging talent a world stage to connect with new audiences.

Responding to fan demand, Aloft’s smash-hit “Live at Aloft Hotels” performance series will showcase a wider range of artists at more hotels than ever. Aloft hotels across the globe will host these must-see live-music events, where guests and music fans can experience up-and-coming artists and white-hot buzz bands.

Aloft’s rocking live-music roster for 2012 also includes a fresh partnership with Nylon magazine and the debut of a live music showdown.

Aloft is the sizzling “style at a steal” brand from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:  HOT) that has rocked the world since its 2008 debut.  By fusing music, pop culture, and hospitality, Aloft continues to top the industry charts.  Aloft will open hotels in nearly every corner of the globe in 2012, including China, India, and parts of South America and Europe.

“Live at Aloft Hotels” Dates to Showcase Buzz Bands Across The Globe
For “Live at Aloft Hotels 2012,” Aloft is curating a buzz-worthy roster of up-and-coming artists to perform at Aloft properties everywhere:

  • In North America, artists  include hot emerging talent like Dar Williams, Sleeper Agent, Susan Justice, Green River Ordinance, Ryan Star and Jon McLaughlin. 
  • In the Asia-Pacific region, Thai crooner Aof Pongsak wowed fans at Aloft Bangkok, and “Queen of Beijing Rock” Nova Heart – aka Helen Feng –  graced the stage of Aloft hotels across China.  More live performances by emerging talent will be announced.
  • In India Aloft Hotels in Chennai and Bangalore set the stage for   live wire performances by  upcoming local bands every Saturday through July and August in association with Chennai Live Radio’s Purple Fest.

Stateside, the bigger-than-ever “Live at Aloft Hotels 2012” continues with dates at Aloft Charleston (July 14); Aloft Chicago ORD (July 16); Aloft Milwaukee (July 17); Aloft Houston (July 18); Aloft Austin & Aloft Nashville (July 19); Aloft Dallas (July 20), with more hot dates to come.  The series kicked off May 17 at Aloft Tallahassee with Canadian indie-pop sextet Hey Rosetta!

Aloft live-music moments are open to guests and local fans alike.  Music lovers everywhere can check out the schedule of events, performance footage, and photos at facebook.com/alofthotels.

“Project Aloft Star”: Are you the next big deal in music?
For an even bigger world stage, Aloft will expand its groundbreaking “Project Aloft Star” talent discovery to find the next big deal in music across the globe.  In this worldwide “Project Aloft Star” search, Aloft will name three winners to represent the Americas, Europe & Asia Pacific.   All three winners will have the chance to get showcased around the globe -- with Aloft Hotels as their stage.

In India, for example, Aloft hotels  has partnered with Chennai Live Radio and presents the  Band Hunt Contest Season 3 as part of the  “Project Aloft Star” initiative and  will host live auditions  at  Aloft hotels in Bangalore and Chennai, with more than 150 bands expected to compete. Winning bands, as chosen by fans, will get a high-profile showcase at Aloft hotels across India.  Editions of “Project Aloft Star” will also roll out around the world.

In Europe and Middle East, Aloft is teaming up with hot indie rockers We Are Scientists to scout up-and-coming talent. Based on demos submitted through “Project Aloft Star” and live performances at Aloft hotels in London, Abu Dhabi and Brussels in September and October, We Are Scientists will choose a winning band. The grand prize:  A chance to co-write and record a song with the band – and perform it together at Aloft London Excel.

In both North and South America, pop-culture media icon NYLON Magazine is on board as a new presenting partner for the “Project Aloft Star” talent discovery.  Both NYLON Magazine editor-in-chief Marvin Scott Jarrett and music editor Ellen Carpenter will join Aloft music insiders to select “Project Aloft Star” finalists. “Project Aloft Star” will then invite Facebook users to vote on their favorite finalist and help select the winner.  When “Project Aloft Star” launched in 2010, Aloft made history as the first hotel to “break” a new musical artist.

In another musical milestone, “Project Aloft Star” will launch its first live showcase, where on-the-verge artists will strut their stuff for a panel of high-profile music insiders .Live “Project Aloft Star” showcases will take place at Aloft Austin at the Domain and Aloft Portland Airport at Cascade Station.   Bands can also get heard by submitting demos via Facebook.  One lucky artist in “Project Aloft Star powered by NYLON” will get a coveted headlining slot during the “Live at Aloft Hotels” fall tour and a chance to be signed by NYLON Records.

“Aloft is all about what’s next in design, tech, and pop culture, and our music programming is a great way for us to share that,” said Brian McGuinness, Starwood’s Senior Vice President of Specialty Select Brands for Starwood.  “Our guests consider Aloft part of their pop-culture experience, whether it’s a breakout band, an exclusive peek at a television series, or a fun way to use social media.  And we’re having a great time as their partner in discovery.”

Pioneering initiatives in music, design, and technology have positioned Aloft as a must-have living-social brand for the next generation of travelers. Aloft has reported consistently high guest satisfaction scores since launch, reflecting the success of its modern and vibrant design at an affordable price point. Aloft's social guest experience, with the buzzing re:mix lounge and w xyz bar, has also earned select hotels within the portfolio designations in TripAdvisor's 2012 "Top 25 Trendiest Hotels in the US" rankings.

About Aloft Hotels
With more than 60 hotels in 10 countries, Aloft has changed the hotel landscape by offering “style at a steal” everywhere from Baltimore to Beijing to Bogota to Brussels – and everywhere in between. For more information, please visit www.alofthotels.com.

Aloft, like all brands within Starwood's portfolio, is proud to offer the Starwood Preferred Guest(R) program, which offers a breakthrough policy of no blackout dates on Free Night Awards. To learn more, please visit www.spg.com.

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1,103 properties in nearly 100 countries and 154,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood 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, Aloft®, and ElementSM. The Company boasts one of the industry’s leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., a premier provider of world-class vacation experiences through villa-style resorts and privileged access to Starwood brands. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.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.)

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