Detroit landmark becomes a Westin

Starwood has announced that the venerable Book-Cadillac in downtown Detroit will operate under the Westin flag after undergoing a massive $180 million renovation.The Westin Book-Cadillac Detroit hotel, a four-star, full-service property, will also feature The Westin Book-Cadillac Detroit Residences, consisting of 67 luxury condos on the top eight floors of the hotel. The hotel/condominium development will be the first of its kind in Detroit and residents will enjoy most of the signature amenities available to hotel guests.

The Ferchill Group, a Cleveland-based real estate and development management company, began renovation on the 455-room, 33-story hotel project earlier this month with an anticipated grand opening date scheduled for Summer 2008.

“This is an historic moment in the revitalization of Detroit and Westin is thrilled to be part of it,” said Sue Brush, Senior Vice President, Westin Hotels & Resorts. “We’ll bring Westin’s sophistication and signature services to this truly iconic property and do our part to accelerate Detroit’s rebirth.”

The Westin Book-Cadillac Detroit hotel is the newest addition to the Westin brand which is in the midst of its most robust growth period in the brand’s 75 year history. Having signed more than 40 deals last year, and with more than 50 new hotels scheduled to open between now and 2009, the Westin brand is the fastest growing upper upscale hotel brand in the world. Parent company Starwood Hotels is aggressively growing its global footprint, having signed a record number of new hotel deals last year, and continuing to win more new upper, upper upscale and luxury projects than its competitors.

“This is a deal that couldn’t have happened without the Westin flag and the support of the entire Starwood development group,” remarked John Ferchill, Chairman/CEO of The Ferchill Group. “The hotel and residences will be unlike anything the City of Detroit has ever seen, and we look forward to working closely with Starwood to make this ‘the’ premier hotel not only in Detroit, but in the entire Midwest.”

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The 82-year old Italian renaissance-styled hotel enjoys colorful and historical significance. Built in 1924 by the Book Brothers, it became the tallest building in Detroit and tallest hotel in the world. It hosted a cadre of illuminaries including U.S. Presidents Harry S. Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, actor Errol Flynn, and baseball stars Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams. After World War II, the property began a gradual decline and closed in 1986.

Plans call for elaborately restoring the property to its original splendor. At the same time incorporating services and products aligned with the new Westin brand positioning centered on renewal and offering guests the services, products and amenities that will help them rejuvenate, relax and restore their mind, body and spirit. Amenities include guest rooms with scenic views of the Detroit River and city skyline, a state-of-the-art fitness center, whirlpool and swimming pool, all designed to renew and recharge business and leisure guests alike. Also included are flat-screen televisions, and high-speed cable and wireless Internet access in each room, fine dining and 24-hour room service, a full-service concierge and valet parking. In keeping with the company’s new brand identity, the Westin Book-Cadillac Detroit will be a smoke-free facility.

When completed, the convention hotel will offer 39,000 square feet of event and conference space, the largest in the area. The historic Grand and Italian Garden Ballrooms will both be fully restored while an additional, 11,000 square foot ballroom will be added. With seating for 1,000 it will be the largest ballroom in Detroit. Its location at Washington Boulevard and Michigan Avenue makes it convenient to the Convention Center, Riverwalk, and the city’s celebrated sports arenas and ballparks. The Westin Book-Cadillac Detroit hotel has been listed on the National Registry of Historic Buildings and will be renovated according to National Park Service standards.

Starwood has also been nominated this year for a

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World Travel Award as World’s Leading Hotel Brand.
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