Starwood Hotels’ Fast-Growing Aloft Brand Unveils New Adaptive Re-Use in Vibrant Downtown Orlando

Aloft Orlando Downtown's Developer GDC Properties Transforms the Former Orlando Utilities Commission's Building in the Heart of the Downtown Business District

STAMFORD, Conn. & ORLANDO, Fla. - Octobber 31, 2013 - (BUSINESS WIRE) - Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.(NYSE:HOT) today announced its sizzling Aloft brand has made its debut in Orlando, Florida. Aloft Orlando Downtown is located in the former OUC building and sits adjacent to Orlando City Hall. Owned by GDC Properties and operated by Yedla Management Company, this new hotel offers a prime location in the revitalized downtown business district. Featuring Aloft's signature W XYZ bar, with a buzzing, social atmosphere, significant outdoor dining space and urban-influenced, modern design, Aloft Downtown Orlando is a welcome addition for guests and locals alike. The W XYZ bar will also feature live music with emerging local artists as part of its signature Live at Aloft Hotels program.

"We are thrilled that Aloft Hotels is now part of Orlando's bustling downtown area. Aloft delivers its pioneering initiatives in music, design, and technology that have made it a must-have brand for the next generation of travelers," said Brian McGuinness, Senior Vice President of Specialty Select Brands for Starwood. "The Aloft guest is always connected and on-trend. A downtown Orlando location is an ideal home base for guests exploring the city and visiting the major attractions this area boasts, as well as the local community looking for a new after work venue."

Design innovation is key to Aloft Orlando Downtown's architecture, as some of the original building's features have been preserved in the lobby such as the terrazzo flooring, marble walls and teak wood paneling. An L.E.D. backlit staircase leads from the lobby to the lower level where the meeting space is located and there are seven boardrooms located on floors 2 to 8. The spacious loft-like meeting rooms feature 10 ft. ceilings with floor to ceiling windows that offer fabulous views of downtown Orlando. The building's exterior illuminates at night with its vibrant L.E.D. lighting.

"The Aloft Orlando Downtown not only preserves the historic fabric of Orlando, but also adds an exciting destination for visitors and residents alike," said William Ingraham, President of GDC Properties.

The opening of Aloft Orlando Downtown marks the sixth Aloft hotel in Florida. The brand's momentum continues unabated with recent Aloft openings in Miami, as well as Chicago, Cleveland, Tulsa, Cancun, Bursa, Kuala Lumpur and Ahmedabad. In North America, the Aloft brand has reached a total of 55 hotels with nearly 20 more in the pipeline. Aloft continues its explosive growth with expected openings to total 17 hotels by year's end, more than tripling the number of rooms opened in 2012, with another 19 hotels to come by the end of 2014.

"I am absolutely thrilled to return to downtown Orlando and introduce a new standard of hospitality to the downtown market. The sophisticated Aloft brand is a perfect fit for the excitement and energy surrounding downtown Orlando,'' said Stuart Newmark, Executive Vice President for Yedla Management Company.

The Aloft Orlando Downtown follows the opening of three other adaptive re-use projects including Aloft Miami Brickell, Aloft Tulsa Downtown and the award-winning Aloft Dallas Downtown, which transformed a historic railroad depot into an Aloft hotel. Aloft will complete two more adaptive re-use projects in 2014 – Aloft Detroit Downtown and Aloft Tampa Downtown. Looking toward 2015, Aloft New Orleans Downtown and Aloft Amsterdam Airport will also open as adaptive re-use hotels.

Aloft Orlando Downtown is located at 500 South Orange Avenue, across the street from the new Dr. Philips Center for the Performing Arts, within walking distance to restaurants, a movie theater, shopping, jogging trails and minutes from the Amway Center, home of the Orlando Magic. The hotel is 13 miles from Orlando International Airport (MCO), 12 miles from the Orange County Convention Center and convenient to Orlando's top attractions including Walt Disney World Orlando, Universal Studios Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando, and Kennedy Space Center.

About Aloft Hotels

With more than 75 hotels in 14 countries around the world, Starwood's Aloft brand delivers a fresh approach to the traditional staid hotel landscape. For the 'always on' next generation of traveler, the Aloft brand offers a tech-forward, vibrant experience and a modern style that is different by design. For more information, please visit www.alofthotels.com. Aloft, like all brands within Starwood's portfolio is proud to offer the Starwood Preferred Guest® program, the industry's richest loyalty program. To learn more, please visit www.spg.com.

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1,169 properties in nearly 100 countries and 171,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood 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, Aloft®, and Element®. 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 also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., a premier provider of world-class vacation experiences through villa-style resorts and privileged access to Starwood brands. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.

About GDC Properties

GDC Properties, LLC is an award-winning real estate investment and development company based in Hawthorne, New York. Founded in 1964 by Samuel Ginsburg, the company has a diverse property portfolio in New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Colorado, Georgia and Florida. GDC takes a design-oriented approach to its development projects and is experienced with adaptive re-use projects in urban locations. www.gdcproperties.com.

About Yedla Management Company

Yedla Management Company is an established leader in the hospitality industry spanning three decades in both the full service and select service sectors. Yedla developed and operates the 252 room award-winning Westin Lake Mary, Orlando North in Lake Mary, Florida as well as numerous branded properties in the Northern, Alabama market.

Source: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

Contacts:

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Amy Rosen
203-964-4661
Director
Global Communications
amy.rosen@starwoodhotels.com

Yedla Management Company
Mary C. Kenny & Associates
Mary C. Kenny
321-230-1707
mary@Maryckenny.com

GDC Properties
Rubenstein Associates
Leslie LeCount
212-843-8494
SVP
Llecount@rubenstein.com

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