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2013-01-17

Starwood Hotels Announces Exclusive Partnership to Become “Official Hotel of The Chicago Cubs”

CHICAGO, IL – January 17, 2013 – Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announced it will become the exclusive hotel and resort partner of the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field, Chicago Cubs Spring Training, Cubs Destinations and Chicago Cubs Charities.  As part of the new long-term partnership, Starwood’s award-winning loyalty program, Starwood Preferred Guest(R), will give members exclusive access to a variety of once-in-a-lifetime experiences with the Chicago Cubs through SPG Moments(SM), beginning with the 2013 season.

“Establishing a strategic partnership with the Chicago Cubs allows Starwood to tap into our members’ passion for sports and create unique and memorable experiences,” said Mark Vondrasek, Senior Vice President, Distribution, Loyalty & Partnership Marketing. “An enhanced presence at Wrigley Field is an important platform for Starwood to continue delivering unforgettable moments for our members at one of the top tourist attractions in Chicago.”

Some of the planned experiences include: ‘Surprise and Delight’ seat upgrades during every home game at Wrigley Field, VIP experiences with players and team management such as serving as ‘Honorary Team Manager for a Day,’ access to the SPG luxury suite behind home plate, and opportunities to bid for VIP access to Cubs Spring Training and Cubs Destinations trips.  To explore Cubs Spring Training packages, please visit spg.com/moments.

“We are excited to partner with Starwood and their SPG loyalty program to provide our fans with nine lifestyle hotel brands and over 1,100 distinctive properties to choose from around the world,” said Wally Hayward, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Chicago Cubs. “Starwood’s innovative properties will also make players and fans feel at home when we’re on the road this season.”

Cubs fans can book Starwood hotels for Cubs home and road games thru cubs.com or spg.com.  The Starpoints® earned for their stays can then be transformed into unique Cubs experiences through SPG Moments.

New Hotel to be Developed Across from Wrigley Field

Starwood also announced today the Ricketts family has signed an agreement to develop a boutique hotel affiliated with the Sheraton brand across the street from Wrigley Field.

“We look forward to collaborating with the Ricketts family to bring a global hotel icon to one of North America’s most beloved baseball teams and the vibrant Lakeview community,” said Simon Turner, President of Global Development for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. “We share the Ricketts family’s vision to bring new jobs and help to create a diverse, center of economic activity.”

The exterior design and décor of the hotel will be a one-of-a-kind collaboration, which will be uniquely designed to fit within the current neighborhood landscape and community.

"Once we know how we can save Wrigley Field, the Ricketts Family is looking forward to the opportunity to build a hotel across the street.  It could complement the neighborhood and its establishments while also serving fans and tourists," said Ricketts Family spokesman Dennis Culloton. "Most importantly, building this hotel is a critical part of a more than $500 million plan to reinvest in Wrigley Field and the neighborhood.  The family wants to create 800 construction jobs and 1,300 full-time jobs, preserve Wrigley Field as one of the top three tourist destinations in the state and grow the ballpark’s $650 million in annual economic impact to Chicago and the region."

Culloton also said the family would work with the community to seek City approval on a boutique hotel development and added it would drive tourism for local businesses 365 days a year.

The hotel will offer a prime location at the northwest corner of Clark and Addison and be a key anchor component of a large scale entertainment and retail development across from Wrigley Field.  Walking distance to the numerous theaters, shops, restaurants, and bars in the Lakeview community, the hotel will be just 15 minutes from the Magnificent Mile and the Chicago Loop providing fans and visitors with additional and desired lodging on the North side outside of Cubs baseball games.

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About Starwood Preferred Guest
Starwood Preferred Guest® (SPG®) is an innovative, award-winning frequent traveler program that unites each of Starwood’s 9 distinctive hotel brands and includes more luxury hotels in more destinations around the world.  SPG reinvented the hospitality loyalty landscape when it launched in 1999 with its breakthrough policy of no blackout dates, and over the years has continued its tradition of innovation with enhancements such as Cash + Points, and most recently Your24TM and SPG LifetimeTM.  In addition to Free Night Awards at over 1,100 hotels and resorts and Award Flights on over 350 major airlines without blackout dates, the Starpoints® that members earn through SPG can be redeemed for access like to no other to experiences in music, sports and the arts through SPG Moments.  SPG also has an ongoing commitment to digital innovation to meet the needs of today’s connected global traveler – from  the SPG app for iPhone that utilizes state-aware technology to create a more personalized hotel stay to Starwood’s Best Rate Guarantee on SPG.com, to SPG’s integration within various social media platforms.  Offerings such as these have helped SPG build a passionate member base among the world’s most frequent travelers.  Learn more at spg.com and spg.com/moments and connect with us on facebook.com/spg, twitter.com/spg, foursquare.com/spg, pinterest.com/spglife, and youtube.com/spg.

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1,134 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.)