Starwood Says Hotel Conversion Opportunities in North America Expected to Rise in 2012 with Uptick in Portfolio Transactions

In 2011, Starwood Increased Deal Signings in North America and Opened 27 Hotels in its Largest Division, American Lodging Investment Summit.

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--From the American Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS) in Los Angeles, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) announced today that it opened 27 hotels in North America in 2011, more than it had predicted this time last year with the addition of several high quality conversions that were signed and opened during the course of the year. In addition, in 2011 Starwood signed more new deals than in the previous two years. In fact, Starwood’s North American division – the company’s largest with 550+ hotels – led all of its global divisions in new deal signings last year. Looking ahead to 2012, Starwood is slated to open 20 new properties in North America, not including late breaking in-the-year conversions which are expected to result in additional new hotels this year.

“Our nine unique and differentiated lifestyle brands are all conversion friendly and Starwood has an unsurpassed ability to match the right brand with the right development opportunity in the right market to drive results for our owners and shareholders”

“We ended 2011 with a renewed sense of momentum in the North American deal environment and, as we enter 2012, we’ve got a close eye on several transactions which may lead to an increase in conversion opportunities,” said Allison Reid, Senior Vice President of Managed Development for North America for Starwood.

Conversions continue be the primary driver of new hotel growth in developed markets. In 2011, 75% of Starwood’s openings and 63% of its new deal signings in North America were conversions.

“Our nine unique and differentiated lifestyle brands are all conversion friendly and Starwood has an unsurpassed ability to match the right brand with the right development opportunity in the right market to drive results for our owners and shareholders,” said Simon Turner, President of Global Development for Starwood. “We continue to be pragmatic in our approach to conversions, ensuring we maintain our brands’ standards while at the same time balancing the needs of our owners.”

According to Denise Coll, Starwood’s President of North America, owners are attracted to Starwood’s best-in-class brands, its powerful distribution systems and experienced management teams. Starwood’s loyalty program, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), also continues to be a key advantage, and today drives nearly 50% share of occupancy to Starwood’s hotels in North America.

“Creating value for our owners is the lynchpin of Starwood’s strategy,” said Coll. “Whether its investing in systems to make hotels more profitable, continuing to make our nine brands ever more distinct and compelling or relentlessly driving the world’s most high value customers and guests to our hotels, our interests and those of our owners are aligned, and its all about mutual success.”

(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.)

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1,071 properties in 100 countries and territories with 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. The company boasts one of the industry’s leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. 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


Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
K.C. Kavanagh, 203-964-4170




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