White Plains, NY - April 15, 2008:
aloha! Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.®
(NYSE:HOT) and its much-anticipated new lifestyle brand,
smhotels, today celebrates the groundbreaking on a new
aloft hotel in the rapidly growing north side of Jacksonville, Florida.
Developed by The Summit Group, Inc., aloft Jacksonville Airport is
scheduled to open in January of 2009. Designed to appeal to today’s
youthful-minded travelers, the new-build hotel will offer 136 rooms, a variety
of intuitive technologies and atmospheric public spaces.
aloft Jacksonville Airport will be conveniently located just minutes from Jacksonville International Airport and 25 minutes from downtown Jacksonville. The new-build hotel will be part of the RiverCity Marketplace, an upscale lifestyle center at the intersection of I-95 and Airport Road, which is scheduled for completion at the same time the aloft hotel opens. The 465-acre mixed-use development will include a 1.3 million square-foot shopping district, 900 non-branded residential units, 133,000 square feet of light industrial office space, restaurants and a movie theater. Hotel guests will also be just one mile from the Anheuser Busch Brewery, with proximity to leading attractions including the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens and the shops, live music and restaurants at Jacksonville Landing.
“aloft Jacksonville Airport will bring its definitive sense of style and urban sensibility to the dynamic, north side of Jacksonville,” said Brian McGuinness, Vice President of aloft and element hotels worldwide. “Custom-designed for forward-thinking travelers, aloft provides a fresh, new lodging alternative that will match the energy and excitement of Jacksonville, the ‘Gateway to Florida.’”
“We are thrilled to partner with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. on this exciting new project,” said Craig Aniszewski, COO and Executive Vice President of The Summit Group, Inc. “aloft Jacksonville Airport will only increase the appeal of the RiverCity Marketplace, a project that is truly energizing the city.”
As a Vision of W Hotels, the aloft brand is shaking up the lodging industry with urban-influenced design, accessible technology, style and a social atmosphere. aloft hotels offer 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 aloft 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 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 the W brand’s heritage, offering atmosphericpublicspaces 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 Summer of 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 2008, with 500 properties worldwide expected by 2012.
About Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Worldwide Inc.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with approximately 900 properties in more than 100 countries and 155,000 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®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft(SM), 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.
About The Summit Group
The Summit Group, Inc.’s management team brings together 40 years of lodging industry expertise and performance. Their management team has extensive knowledge in marketing, finance, operations and property development.
Summit is an established firm with a proven track record of success, with its home office located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Their commitment to strategic growth has resulted in the development, construction and acquisition of over 60 premier hotels, with plans for continued nationwide expansion.
From construction through property management, operations at The Summit Group, Inc. are efficient and effective. As they continue to add properties, they achieve additional economies of scale in property management, marketing and construction. Experience, smart management and efficient operations give them the strength for the future