W New York – Downtown and Aloft Harlem Open Next Month
One in Four New NYC Hotel Rooms in 2010 will Fly Starwood Flag July 26, 2010 // Franchising.com // White Plains, New York – Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) announced that it will grow its New York City portfolio by 50% this year and open more hotels in New York in 2010 than any other city in the world. Today, Starwood operates 12 hotels in the Big Apple across six of its nine distinct and compelling brands. The company's NYC boom will result in 18 high-caliber Starwood hotels including the debut of Starwood's two newest brands in Manhattan – Aloft and Element. The company's bullish focus on NYC is illustrative of its meaningful global growth strategy – Starwood is on track to open more than 80 hotels in key markets around the world this year.
During the remainder of 2010, Starwood will open six new hotels in neighborhoods across Manhattan, as well as in Long Island City and Brooklyn, representing 25% of the new hotel rooms in New York City - one out of four new hotel rooms slated to debut in the city this year will be branded Starwood. In May, the highly anticipated Sheraton Brooklyn opened its doors – bringing the total number of new Starwood hotels to open in the Big Apple in 2010 to seven. The company's aggressive growth will bring 1,712 new hotel rooms and more than 500 new jobs to New York City.
"While nearly 80% of our future hotel pipeline is outside of the United States, we have more hotels in New York City than any city in the world and we will open more hotels right here in our backyard than anywhere else, which speaks to New York's enduring stature as the most global gateway city in the world," said Frits van Paasschen, CEO of Starwood Hotels and Resorts. "New York continues to be a beacon for international business and leisure travelers alike, and as we look to the future, we expect that as masses of travelers from China, India and other emerging markets begin to travel internationally, New York will be at the top of their list. We couldn't be more bullish on New York near or long term."
Over the past several months, NYC occupancy has continued to surpass last year's levels: June occupancy averaged 86.4%, up 5% over last year at the same time. In addition, 45.25 million tourists visited in 2009, exceeding expectations by 7%. By 2012, New York City anticipates attracting 50 million visitors annually and there is a need for new hotels to meet this demand. New York maintained its position as the world's most popular tourist destination for international visitors last year, and emerged as the top choice for domestic travelers for the first time in nearly 30 years. Starwood is well prepared for the influx of travelers with product that is the best it has ever been. In fact, by 2011, 75% of Starwood's portfolio in New York will be brand new or freshly renovated.
"In 2010, we will further diversify our strong portfolio in New York City by adding seven strategically located hotels, all backed by our powerful Starwood Preferred Guest program," said Denise Coll, President of North America Division for Starwood Hotels and Resorts. "We have spent the past three years preparing for New York City's economic recovery by working closely with our proven development partners on the right properties in the right places. As a result, we're ready to meet the resurgence in demand for our high-quality lifestyle brands in neighborhoods across the city."
This year, Starwood will debut its two newest lifestyle brands in New York City with the opening of Aloft hotels in Harlem and Brooklyn and its first Element hotel in Times Square. Aloft and Element have proven to be popular among the hotel development community as consumer demand for stylish, comfortable and affordable accommodations in Manhattan and the outer boroughs continues to rise. The Aloft and Element brands redefined the select service segment when the first hotels opened in 2008, and by the end of the year will have a combined portfolio of nearly 59 properties worldwide. Aloft is the stylish new select service lifestyle brand derived from the DNA of W Hotels, and Element, which is inspired by Westin Hotels & Resorts, and offers an eco-savvy experience for longer-stay guests.
Within the upper-upscale segment, New York is proving to be fertile ground for Sheraton, Starwood's largest and most global brand. Among the new hotels Sheraton is adding worldwide, two are in New York City. The summer opening of the highly anticipated Sheraton Brooklyn New York Hotel will be followed by the opening of Sheraton Tribeca New York Hotel in September. Sheraton and its partners are also continuing to invest in upgrading its existing flagship hotel, the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers, which is slated to begin a $100 million renovation later this year. These enhancements to the Sheraton brand's NYC portfolio stem from its recently completed $6 billion global, multi-year revitalization program, which resulted in $2 billion in new hotels and $1.3 billion in renovations.
New York City remains the epicenter of W Hotels Worldwide, with four currently open in the metro area, and the new W New York - Downtown Hotel & Residences opening this summer. W continues to evolve its existing landmark hotels, recently renovating W New York and W New York - Times Square. Since the very first W opened in New York City in 1998, the hotel category buster and industry innovator has evolved from a New York City phenomenon to a global powerhouse with a portfolio of 35 W Hotels around the world and plans to more than double its portfolio by the end of 2011.
Four Points by Sheraton continues to make inroads in New York City with the upcoming opening of Four Points by Sheraton Long Island City this summer. The fast-growing brand made its debut just six years ago in the Big Apple, where it expects to have a total of seven hotels by 2011.
Earlier this spring, Starwood also relocated its Manhattan-based luxury and design-led brands from Chelsea to new headquarters on Varick Street at the junction of Soho and Tribeca, two of New York City's most creative neighborhoods. The new design offices house the design and brand marketing teams across the company's W, Le Meridien, St. Regis and Luxury Collection brands.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1000 properties in nearly 100 countries and 145,000 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®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft®, 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.
Note: This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities regulations. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated at the time the forward-looking statements are made. Further results, performance and achievements may be affected by general economic conditions, including the duration and severity of any global or regional economic downturns, the availability of financing alternatives at acceptable terms, the impact of war and terrorist activity, business and financing conditions, foreign exchange fluctuations, cyclicality of the real estate (including residential) and the hotel and vacation ownership businesses, operating risks associated with the hotel, vacation ownership and residential businesses. These risks and uncertainties are presented in detail in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Further, there can be no assurance that agreements will be entered into for the hotels in the Company's pipeline and, if entered into, the timing of any agreement and the opening of the related hotel. 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 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.