W Hotels Send a Surge Through the Twin Cities With the Grand Opening of W Minneapolis-the Foshay

Owned by Foshay Hotel LLC, W Minneapolis-The Foshay Features Manny's Steakhouse, Prohibition Bar, Nearly 7,000 Square Feet of Ultra Stylish Function Space, a State-of-the-Art Gym, Wired Business Center And the Only Observation Deck in Minneapolis

September 18, 2008 // Franchising.com // Minneapolis, MN - W Hotels Worldwide, the fastest growing luxury hotel brand in the world, unveils its latest insider escape with the grand opening of W Minneapolis-The Foshay. Built within one of the country's most inspiring and iconic art deco buildings, W Minneapolis-The Foshay is situated at the point where pop culture meets classic architecture, indie music meets high fashion, and world-class theater meets urban art. This sleek, film noir-inspired hotel, designed by Munge Leung: Design Associates in collaboration with W Hotels' award-winning design team, features 229 guest rooms, including 18 luxurious suites, a state-of-the-art gym, a full-service WIRED business center, 6,700 square feet of meeting and event space and the only observation deck in the city. Owned by Foshay Hotel LLC, W Minneapolis-Foshay also features Prohibition, a speakeasy-inspired bar perched on the hotel's 27th floor and Manny's, a word-class steakhouse.

"Today, we proudly unveil the new W Minneapolis-The Foshay, combining iconic architecture, urban sophistication and innovative design to create the ultimate insider escape," said Phil McAveety, Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer, Starwood Hotels & Resorts. "With the opening of W Minneapolis-The Foshay, W Hotels brings a vibrant new destination to this dynamic cultural capital, offering extraordinary experiences and signature lifestyle elements to sophisticated travelers and local Twin Cities loyalists."

For decades, the Foshay Tower was an unmistakable landmark on the Minneapolis skyline. Modeled after the Washington Monument, the Foshay Tower was built by multi-millionaire real estate developer Wilbur B. Foshay in 1929 and was instantly heralded as a modern, art deco masterpiece. Truly unique in form and design, the Foshay Tower was named to the National Historic Register of Historic Places in 1978. The soaring 447 foot tower tapers up from a 7,000 square foot base to a 3,800 square foot pinnacle. W Minneapolis-The Foshay preserves many of the building's original art deco design elements including Italian marble, terrazzo floors, ornamental brass, bronze and nickel accents, and its meticulously restored ornate plaster-molded arcade ceiling.

"The public's response to the transformation has been amazing," said Ralph Burnet, general partner, Foshay Hotel LLC. "The Foshay has been a Twin Cities landmark for almost 80 years, but it needed some TLC. By transforming it into a W Hotel, we've preserved its best features and given it a new purpose and a new energy."

All guest rooms and suites at W Minneapolis-The Foshay feature 36-inch flat screen televisions, high-speed internet access, MP3 clock radio/docking station and the W brand's signature bed with feather-top mattress, including 350 thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets and a goose down comforter. In addition to W Hotels' signature services, such as inspiring wake-up calls and the pet-friendly P.A.W. (Pets Are Welcome) program, W Minneapolis-The Foshay offers the W brand's exclusive Whatever/Whenever® concierge service, offering guests whatever they want, whenever they want it. Whether guests want access to front-row seats at the hottest show in town or private jet service, W Hotels' Whatever/Whenever agents are dedicated to fulfilling the desires of every guest, no matter how big or small.

Prohibition

W Minneapolis-The Foshay's destination bar on the 27th floor offering a full bar and elegant gnoshing is set within the historic walls of Wilbur Foshay's former office and boardroom. A stylish escape at the top of the world, Prohibition offers guests a speakeasy-inspired experience from another era, with breathtaking panoramic views of the vibrant city below and preserved design elements including the building's original windows, stairs and African mahogany woodwork. Mr. Foshay's personal boardroom is available to guests looking for a dramatic and unique private event space.

Manny's Steakhouse

Perennially ranked as one of the top steakhouses in the country, Manny's, W Minneapolis-The Foshay's signature restaurant, has been a Twin Cities' culinary institution for 20 years. In a modern and stylish setting designed by New York-based Roberts Moschella, guests and local insiders are invited to indulge in premium dry-aged steaks, day-boat fresh seafood and locally-sourced regional specialties. Manny's features an award-winning wine and cocktail menu and an exclusive reserve wine list, featuring rare vintages.

The Foshay Museum & Observation Deck

The Foshay Museum invites visitors and hotel guests to explore the historic building's rich and colorful history through photographs, newspaper articles, letters, blueprints, film and audio recordings as well as artifacts from the tower's early years. Guests can soak in the sites from the hotel's exclusive open-air Observation Deck; the only observation site in the city, offering panoramic views of Minneapolis/St. Paul and the surrounding suburbs. While free to W guests, visitors to the Twin Cities are also welcome to tour the museum and enjoy the views for a modest fee.

W Living Room

Sophistication meets sublime in W Minneapolis-The Foshay's glamorous new Living Room experience. Inspired by the roaring twenties, the art deco-infused space is soon to be the ultimate insider's destination, welcoming a variety of leisure guests, celebrities, artists and business executives to mix, mingle and relax. The W Living Room offers a sensory multiplex of contemporary design and comfort, while embracing the historic elements the iconic building offers. Guests are invited to relax in plush, oversized chairs, sip signature vintage cocktails, snack on small plate specialties and play retro board games while listening to live DJs spin as day transitions into night.

Meetings Wow at W Minneapolis-The Foshay

Featuring 6,700 square feet of meeting and event space equipped with the latest wired and wireless technology, W Minneapolis-The Foshay is redefining the city's meetings experience, W Hotels style. The Great Room, a glamorous 3,080 square foot space, offers guests sweeping city views of downtown Minneapolis, and is an ideal setting for a corporate or private event. Add to the mix countless creative on-site W Hotels meeting specialists who will eagerly turn ideas into reality - from a creative executive meeting to a stylish cocktail party, a large-scale incentive trip to an intimate gala dinner - W Minneapolis-The Foshay is the ultimate meetings experience retailer.

About W Hotels Worldwide

W Hotels is a global luxury lifestyle brand with 24 properties in the most vibrant destinations around the world. Inspiring, iconic, innovative and influential, W Hotels provides the ultimate in insider access. Each hotel offers a unique mix of sophisticated design, chic comfort, and cultural influences from fashion to music, pop culture to art, and everything in between. W Hotels are unique and individual expressions of modern travel and stylish living, featuring world-class cuisine, destination bars and signature spas. In North America and Latin America, W Hotels have been announced in Austin, Buckhead Atlanta, Downtown Atlanta, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Hoboken, Hollywood, Huntington Beach, Downtown New York, Santiago, Scottsdale, South Beach, and Washington, D.C. In Europe, W Hotels have been announced in Athens, Barcelona, London, Manchester, Milan and St. Petersburg. In Asia, W has announced properties in Bangkok, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Macao-Studio City, Shanghai and Yokohama. In Africa and the Middle East, W has announced properties in Amman, Doha, Dubai-Festival City, Dubai-The Palm and Marrakech. W has plans to open W Retreat & Spa properties in Bali, Koh Samui, Vieques Island and Verbier, the latter of which will serve as W Hotels' first ski retreat. For more information, visit www.whotels.com.

About Foshay Hotel LLC

Foshay Hotel, LLC, is a group of private Twin Cities-based investors led by real estate entrepreneur Ralph Burnet. Burnet's other hospitality interests include Chambers, an award-winning art hotel located in downtown Minneapolis, and NBA City, a sports-themed restaurant with locations in Orlando and Minneapolis.

About Munge Leung: Design Associates

Established in 1997, Munge Leung: Design Associates is among Canada's leading interior design firms. Munge Leung's designs define lifestyle and personality giving every project a distinctive timeless appeal. This international award-wining firm has been recognized for its cutting edge solutions to a diverse palette of projects ranging form high-end condominiums to luxury hotels and resorts to trendy specialty restaurants establishments and nightclubs. Munge Leung has been recognized by the Best of Canada Design competition, IIDA Annual Interior Design Competition, Hospitality Design Magazine, Design Exchange Awards and The Nationals - Sales & Marketing Awards.

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