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THE FANS HAVE SPOKEN: “PROJECT: ALOFT STAR” REVEALS THREE FINALISTS IN ALOFT HOTELS’ ONLINE TALENT COMPETITION - 9月 01, 2010
Fans will now choose one winner to share stage with music Stars at November Fest

WHITE PLAINS, NY – September 1, 2010 – Remember the names Adrian Bourgeois, The Jen Lowe Band and Jake Smith.

The three have become finalists in Project: Aloft Star, the online talent search launched by Aloft Hotels and the first-ever musical artist discovery program created by a hotel brand.  Aloft® is the much-talked about style-at-a-steal brand from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT).

Fans still have the chance to choose the ultimate Project: Aloft Star winner from the three finalists.  Voting will take place on Facebook until September 15 and Aloft will announce the winning act on September 20.  The contest victor will get to kick off the main stage November 13 at “Live In The Vineyard,” a twice-yearly, private three-day music, wine and food festival in California’s Napa Valley, also presented by Aloft.

The winning artist will perform alongside stars like Natasha Bedingfield, KT Tunstall and Zac Brown Band and before some of the music industry’s top moguls.  The winners will also get the chance to hit the road to play Aloft hotels throughout the United States as part of an Aloft-sponsored tour.

“Aloft guests are tastemakers who thrive on creative energy.  They’re also zealous about scoping out what’s next and this is a perfect way for us to deliver that to them,” said Brian McGuinness, Starwood’s Senior Vice President of Specialty Select Brands for Starwood.

About the finalists:  Adrian Bourgeois is a Sacramento-based singer/songwriter who “performs soft pop in a way that will conjure a warm-hearted mix of Abbey Road, Elliott Smith, and the Left Banke (The Providence Phoenix).  Crooner Jake Smith, based in Atlanta, has sold out gigs at the local House of Blues and earned raves at Atlanta’s JazzFest.  And indie/folk artist Jen Lowe Band is “as good as it gets,” according to internet music-radio host Ron Wiles.

Launched in June 2010, Project: Aloft Star solicited artist music videos on Facebook (Facebook.com/AloftHotels, RockOut&Win tab).  Aloft plans to make the competition an annual event.  Here’s how it works:  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 Facebook fans, Aloft guests, and Live In the Vineyard organizers.  Facebook rocked with activity from aspiring musicians and eager fans.  Project: Aloft Star generated nearly 5,000 fan votes and hundreds of comments for submissions from around the world.

Project: Aloft Star is just the latest musical riff from Aloft.  Aloft properties also serve as intimate concert venues for on-the-verge 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.

Aloft is the 2010 presenting sponsor for Live in the Vineyard (www.liveinthevineyard.com), a private, winner-only music event 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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