New York, NY/Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. – January 22, 2007:aloha! Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.® (NYSE:HOT) and its much-anticipated new lifestyle brand, aloft smhotels, announced today the groundbreaking of the world’s first franchised aloft hotel, aloft Rancho Cucamonga.
The hotel is owned by a joint venture between The John Buck Company (TJBC), a Chicago-based real estate firm, and Interstate Hotels & Resorts (NYSE: IHR), one of the nation’s largest independent hotel management companies. The joint venture recently announced plans to build five to ten aloft hotels over the next several years, which will be managed byInterstate under long-term management agreements. The aloft property is expected to open in the first quarter of 2008.
The 136-room aloft Rancho Cucamonga will belocated at the northwest corner of 4th Avenue and Haven. aloft is the hotel component of a $60 million master-planned, mixed-use development called HavenPark, which is owned by L.A-based Hileman Co.
“Our mission with aloft is to bring style, convenience and a social environment to an otherwise tired, lonely experience,” said Ross Klein, President, W Hotels Worldwide and the aloft brand. “We look forward to bringing an affordable, fun, new way to play and stay to Rancho Cucamonga when we open our doors in 2008.”
“We are honored to make hotel history with this groundbreaking of the inaugural franchise property,” said John A. Buck, TJBC chairman and chief executive officer. “Starwood’s W Hotels has reinvented the upscale hotel category, and we believe aloft will have the same effect on the premium select-service segment.”
“Our long-standing relationship with Starwood includes operating many properties across several brands,” said Thomas F. Hewitt, Interstate’s chief executive officer. “We look forward to expanding our relationship with Starwood with the first franchised aloft and as we continue to develop additional aloft hotels.”
“We are aggressively seeking other sites for aloft hotels and are in active negotiations in prime locations across the country,” said Paul Novak, TJBC’s managing director, hospitality division, who oversees the joint-venture’s development activities.
“Development in joint ventures is another avenue for our growth strategy,” said Leslie Ng, Interstate’s chief investment officer. “We like the upside potential of the aloft brand and the excitement it will bring to the markets we enter.”
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 offers 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 loft room is an 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 plug & play , 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.
aloft stays true to W’s heritage, offering atmospheric public spaces 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 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 in the first quarter 2008, with locations expected to be anytown/anywhere. For more information on aloft, please visit www.alofthotels.com.
Carrying the DNA of W Hotels, aloft is a new destination sensation featuring loft-inspired design, accessible technology and a stylish urban attitude at an affordable price. Starwood anticipates the first aloft hotels to open in early 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 850 properties in more than 95 countries and 145,000 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®, Sheraton®, Westin®, Four Points® by Sheraton, W®, Le Méridien and the recently announced aloft SM. Starwood Hotels also own 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 John Buck Company
Founded in 1981, The John Buck Company offers comprehensive real estate services in the areas of development, finance, investment brokerage, project leasing, tenant representation, marketing and management, as well as construction for commercial, mixed-use and residential properties. The employee-owned firm is headquartered in Chicago. For additional information on The John Buck Company, please visit the company’s website at www.TJBC.com.
About Interstate Hotels & Resorts
As of December 31, Interstate Hotels & Resorts operated 223 hospitality properties with more than 50,000 rooms in 39 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, and Russia. BridgeStreet Worldwide, an Interstate Hotels & Resorts subsidiary, is one of the world’s largest corporate housing providers. BridgeStreet and its network of Global Partners offer approximately 10,000 corporate apartments located in more than 100 MSAs throughout the United States and internationally. For more information about Interstate Hotels & Resorts, visit the company’s Web site: www.ihrco.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.)