White Plains, N.Y. – March 8, 2007 – aloha! Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) and its much-anticipated new lifestyle brand, aloft hotels, announced today it has signed a deal with Hillwood, a diversified real estate development company based in Dallas, to develop the first aloft hotel in Texas, in the Dallas suburb of Las Colinas. In addition to Las Colinas, the partnership is also looking to develop aloft properties in several other locations throughout the country, including the suburban Dallas area.
Other partners in the venture include Aimbridge Hospitality, Champ Development and JF Capital Advisors. Hillwood will serve as the primary equity contributor, Champ is developing the hotel and JF Capital has provided the underwriting and is managing the debt placement. In addition to having an investment interest, Aimbridge will manage the aloft property once completed.
The 136-room aloft Las Colinas is scheduled to break ground March 20th, 2007 and will be the first aloft hotel to be built in Texas. Located on Texas Highway 114, the property is a mere 20 minutes from Dallas/Ft. Worth, offering business and leisure travelers easy access to nearby business centers and local attractions.
“aloft is infused with the DNA of W to create a new destination sensation, conceived in response to a mega-mundane marketplace,” said Ross Klein, President, Starwood Luxury Brand Group and aloft hotels. “aloft brings style and atmosphere to a segment of the industry that has been anything but fashionable, offering guests a fun way to play and stay.”
“We’ve put together a first class partnership to develop Starwood’s exciting new aloft hotel in our home market and in other locations nationwide,” said Hillwood Chairman Ross Perot Jr. “From a strategic perspective, each company brings unique core competencies to the partnership. This team’s combined experience and expertise in real estate development and hotel operations are unmatched.”
“This new brand is going to breathe some much needed life into a fairly stagnant segment,” said Aimbridge President and CEO Dave Johnson. “We think it’s a unique concept and, like Starwood’s W Hotels, will prove to be very successful. The aloft hotel product design and product offering is a winning combination and has market sustainability, and we believe the traveling public will be as excited as our team is about this new product. Our growth plans for the partnership involve additional aloft projects, and we are currently studying other sites across the United States. ”
As a Vision of W Hotels, aloft 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 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 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.
Designed in conjunction with world renowned David Rockwell and the Rockwell Group, aloft stays true to the W Hotel brand’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 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 in first quarter, 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 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 and ElementSM Hotels. 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.
Hillwood, (www.hillwood.com) a Perot company, is ranked as one of the top commercial real estate developers in the country and the top residential developer in Dallas-Fort Worth. The company has developed properties for 85 companies listed on either the Fortune 500, Global 500 or Forbes List of Top Private firms. Hillwood is best known for its development of the 17,000-acre AllianceTexas project, located 15 miles northwest of DFW Airport, AllianceCalifornia in San Bernardino and the $420-million American Airlines Center and Victory district near downtown Dallas.
About Aimbridge Hospitality
Aimbridge Hospitality is a hotel real estate and management company created to identify investment opportunities throughout the United States. Aimbridge provides management, asset management, capital renovation, supervision, accounting and consulting services for its strategic partners. Aimbridge currently operates hotel properties in the Embassy Suites, Doubletree, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites, Sheraton, Hyatt and Wyndham brands. Aimbridge also manages a number of independent hotels, including the Phoenix Inn & Suites brand of hotels and has several projects under development in the Starwood, Marriott and Hilton enterprises. For more information on Aimbridge Hospitality, please visit the company’s Web site at www.aimbridgehospitality.com.
About JF Capital
JF Capital Advisors, headquartered in New York City, is a hospitality investment and advisory firm. Prior to founding JF Capital Advisors, Jonathan Falik was a Vice President in the Real Estate Investment Banking division of Bear Stearns & Co. Inc. Together with Joe Weinberger, the principals of JF Capital Advisors have completed over $10 billion of mergers and acquisitions and capital markets transactions in the hospitality sector. For more information on JF Capital Advisors, please visit the company’s Web site at www.jfcap.com.
About Champ Hospitality
Champ Hospitality LP is a full service hospitality development company. Champ develops hotels domestically and internationally for its own portfolio as well as provides a broad range of consulting services for third parties, including: Feasibility analysis, site acquisition, project management, brand selection, management and franchise contracts, asset management and disposition strategies. For information call (214) 432-9559 or visit www.champhospitality.com.