White Plains, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) announced today that the sale of the iconic 219-room Turnberry Resort, Ayrshire, Scotland, to Leisurecorp, the Dubai World company, for GBP 55 million (approximately USD$100 million), has been completed. Starwood has entered a 50-year management agreement to manage the hotel and after an extensive GBP 30 million (approximately USD$49 million) restoration, the property will become a member of its prestigious Luxury Collection portfolio.
"We are pleased to have completed this agreement with such a prominent and respected development and investment group such as Leisurecorp. We look forward to this deal being the first in a long term relationship with our new partners," said Roeland Vos, President Europe, Middle East & Africa, Starwood Hotels & Resorts. "Their vast experience in the sport, leisure and lifestyle investment market assures us that they will embrace the history and legacy of Turnberry and its internationally renowned Championship golf courses. We are also delighted that this iconic resort joins our distinguished Luxury Collection, a glittering ensemble of some of the world's finest hotels and resorts. Turnberry's beautiful setting, impeccable service and renovated style will combine to provide a uniquely enriching experience which fits perfectly with the Luxury Collection brand."
"Turnberry is a significant addition to our property portfolio and we take seriously our responsibility of restoring the hotel and facilities to its former glory," said Alan Rogers, Group-CEO, Leisurecorp. "At every stage, we will work with our own heritage consultant and with officers from South Ayrshire Council and Historic Scotland, to ensure that the work is carried out sensitively and sympathetically. When the eyes of the world fall upon Turnberry next summer at the 138th Open, we are determined that the venue will stand tall with pride, taking its rightful place as one of the top golf courses in the world."
Leisurecorp, which has been operating in Dubai and across the world for several years identifying and acquiring sport, leisure and lifestyle related investments, plans a major renovation and restoration that will keep the history of this award-winning iconic hotel alive. The 101 year old hotel will close for refurbishment on 1 November 2008, to be restored to the vision of original architect James Miller, by renowned British interior designer Mary Fox Linton. The resort, which boasts two 18-hole Championship courses, including the world famous Ailsa Course, is scheduled to reopen in July 2009 as the venue for the 138th British Open Championship, the fourth time the resort will have hosted this world class golf event.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with approximately 900 properties in more than 100 countries and 155,000 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(R), The Luxury Collection(R), W(R), Westin(R), Le Meridien(R), Sheraton(R), Four Points(R) by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft(SM), 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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Leisurecorp was established by Dubai World in July 2006, to identify, acquire and develop sport, leisure- and lifestyle-related investments in Dubai and across the world. Its portfolio includes Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai's premier residential golf community; Pearl Valley Golf Estates, South Africa's leading residential golf community, which will host the South African Open for the next two years; a major shareholding in Island Global Yachting, the premier owner, developer and manager of luxury marinas; a stake in Troon Golf, the world's leading luxury-brand golf management, development and marketing company; a shareholding in GPS Industries, the provider of Wi-Fi enabled global positioning systems (GPS) for golf and residential communities; and a stake in Snowmass Colorado, a 2.8 million square foot re-development of one of North America's premier ski resorts. In November 2007 Leisurecorp announced a wide-ranging partnership with The European Tour which will create The Dubai World Championship, the world's richest golf tournament with a US$10,000,000 prize fund. To be held annually at Jumeirah Golf Estates, the tournament will be open to the players numbered 1- 60 on The Race to Dubai - formerly The European Tour Order of Merit - with players being given the opportunity to compete for an additional US$10,000,000 bonus fund. From 2009, Jumeirah Golf Estates will also become home to The European Tour's International Headquarters. In October 2008, Leisurecorp acquired Turnberry in Scotland, the host venue for the 2009 Open Championship, from Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide.
For more information please visit www.leisurecorp.com
SOURCE: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.