Travel Webcast

Starwood continues to shine in North America

From the 2013 American Lodging Investment Summit in Los Angeles, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide reports that it opened 23 hotels in North America in 2012 and signed more new deals than in the previous two years, including 21 conversions. Looking ahead to 2013, Starwood anticipates its strongest year of openings in North America since before the global economic crisis with 28 scheduled openings. Conversions will continue to fuel growth with in-the-year conversions expected to result in additional new hotel openings this year. “North America remains our largest market with 576 hotels and saw more hotels signed in 2012 than any other region in our vast network,”said Simon Turner, president of Global Development. “We have opened over 135 new hotels in North America since the global economic crisis and expect pent up demand and limited new supply to continue to drive our growth in 2013.””There are a number of positive trends in the North American hospitality market and we expect more than one-third of Starwood’s hotel openings around the world to be in the US and Canada in 2013,”added Allison Reid, senior vice-president of North America Development, Starwood. “Our strong brands, global scale and presence, powerful systems and growing base of loyal customers continue to set Starwood apart from our competition. We are seeing increased interest among owners in initiating new hotels with Starwood especially around conversions.”Starwood’s “Specialty Select”or Mid-Market brands, Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft and Element, will continue charging across North America in 2013. Fast-growing Four Points by Sheraton, with its popular positioning around comfort, style, and affordability, is expected to surpass 120 hotels in North America and 190 globally in 2013. Twelve openings in key markets will include hotels in Manhattan (KS), San Jose/Silicon Valley (CA), Columbus (OH), Richmond Airport (VA), Kansas City (MO), Charleston (WV), Louisville (KY) and Jacksonville (FL). In Canada, Four Points by Sheraton will debut in Kelowna, Edmonton, Edmundston, and Regina. Over the past five years, the Four Points by Sheraton portfolio has surged by 15% in North America and the brand is now Starwood’s third largest with the second-biggest global pipeline. Aloft, Starwood’s sizzling “style at a steal”brand, continues conquering markets wherever it plants a flag. This year, the brand will open its milestone 50th property in North America and 75th globally – and is on track to open nearly three times as many rooms this year as in 2012. Over the past three years, Aloft has grown its global portfolio by 67%, and expects to expand by another 25% in 2013. Starwood’s stronger-than-ever upper-upscale brands, Le Méridien, Westin and Sheraton, will also see sustained North America expansion in 2013. After significant brand investment and transformation, Le Méridien is experiencing strong growth momentum, with eight new hotel openings globally slated for 2013. Conversions continue to serve as a growth opportunity for Le Méridien, with recent conversion hotels having opened in Mexico City and Arlington, Virginia. Westin, whose singular positioning around wellness continues powering global growth, will open four hotels in 2013 in the US. And Sheraton boasts its strongest portfolio in its history. In 2012, Sheraton announced that the brand will enter the Dominican Republic in 2014 with the Sheraton Santo Domingo and the brand will also debut this year at Pittsburgh Airport. Starwood continues to have, and build on, one of the strongest North America luxury portfolios in the industry with its St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, and W Hotels brands. In 2012, the company signed The St. Anthony, A Luxury Collection Hotel, San Antonio – an external conversion set to open in 2014 as the second Luxury Collection property in Texas. (http://www.starwoodhotels.com)

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