New Aloft Hotel Introduces Style at a Steal to the Ballantyne Community.

White Plains, NY – May 19, 2009 – Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) and its stylish new destination sensation brand, Aloft® Hotels, announce the opening of Aloft Charlotte Ballantyne at the heart of one of Charlotte, North Carolina’s leading lifestyle communities and corporate parks. Owned by Bissell Hotels, Aloft Charlotte Ballantyne introduces style at a steal with 136 spacious, loft-like rooms, accessible technology and a vibrant, social atmosphere. The hotel is currently pursuing the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification and is one of only two hotels in the Charlotte area to make this level of commitment to eco-friendly initiatives.

Overlooking the first hole of The Golf Club at Ballantyne, the new Aloft hotel is the latest addition to the fast growing Ballantyne area whose credo is “Better ways to Live, Work, Play & Stay”. Guests are just minutes away from a variety of boutiques, restaurants, as well as golf and spa at The Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge. The Aloft hotel is centered in the Ballantyne Corporate Park, home to the offices of numerous Fortune 500 companies, and is just 17 miles from both uptown Charlotte and Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

“The urban design sensibility and social interplay of Aloft Charlotte Ballantyne make it a perfect match for this dynamic lifestyle area, where guests will enjoy easy access to recreation, shopping and dining,” said Brian McGuinness, Senior Vice President of Specialty Select Brands for Starwood. “From wake-up call to last call, Aloft appeals to savvy travelers and area professionals with its electric and eclectic experience and lively w xyzSM bar.”

“We are delighted to partner with Starwood to introduce this stylish new brand to Ballantyne,” said Joe Hallow, President and COO, Bissell Hotels. "With its bold design and engaging social atmosphere, Aloft appeals to the next generation of travelers who expect their lodging choices to reflect their constantly evolving lifestyles."

Created to shake up the traditional select service segment of the hotel industry, Aloft delivers urban-influenced, 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 Hotels are transforming 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. Aloft hotels are wired for the future and an aggressive growth plan is in place with properties set to open from Atlanta to Abu Dhabi and everywhere in between. For more information, please visit

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
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

About Bissell Hotels
Bissell Hotels is a subsidiary of Bissell Family of Companies, owned by H.C. Bissell. Bissell Hotels owns and operates multiple hotels in the Charlotte area. The Mobil Four-Star, AAA Four-Diamond Ballantyne Hotel and Lodge is the company’s flagship property. For more information, please contact Christina Thigpen with Bissell Hotels at (704) 248-4042 or visit the website at

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