aloft opens doors in virtual world

aloft, A Vision Of W Hotels, is opening an aloft hotel in Second Life, making it the world’s first hotel brand to place a 3-D computer generated property inside a virtual world.Born out of W Hotels, the original “wired” brand, aloft follows W’s lead in hosting “insider” events for its customers… aloft is celebrating this groundbreaking event with an exclusive virtual launch party in Second Life on October 19th, from 7-9PM EDT, featuring special guest Ben Folds.

Ben Folds will appear live at the virtual aloft and will give partygoers a chance to be the first to hear new tracks off of his upcoming Epic Records release, supersunnyspeedgraphic, the lp, due in stores October 24th.

The album is a comprehensive collection of original songs culled from his successful series of EP releases, b-sides, covers and film soundtrack appearances. Boasting remastering and tweaking that was completed at Ben’s own studio in Nashville, TN, the 12 tracks on supersunnyspeedgraphic, the lp include covers of “In Between Days” (The Cure), “Get Your Hands Off Of My Woman” (The Darkness) featuring Corn Mo’s guest vocals, plus a song from The Bens (Ben Folds, Ben Lee and Ben Kweller), and another from Over the Hedge Soundtrack.

The party doesn’t stop there… after the launch event, revelers can continue to the launch of Sony BMG’s amazing new city space on Media Island, an Electric Sheep Company property - featuring music, videos, clubs, a stadium, and much more - where Ben Folds will hang out and party-on with an extended live in-world chat. Fans can get more information on Ben at www.benfolds.com.

Guests at the aloft launch party will be among the first to preview the virtual aloft hotel. Many have followed the development and building progress via the www.virtualaloft.com weblog - they’ll now be able to experience aloft firsthand by exploring some of the aloft signature offerings, like the splash pool, re:lax lobby and bar w xyz. To attend this exclusive launch, send an e-mail to [email protected] to request a VIP invitation. Guests can visit www.secondlife.com for more information on how to create an avatar for the event.

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“The Second Life community has been influential to our development process, so we wanted to do something special for our opening event,” said Ross Klein, President of W Hotels. “Like W Hotels, aloft is all about creating unique experiences, so we’re really excited to have Ben Folds on board. Ben’s a talented singer-songwriter known for his ability to really engage his audience, and his performance at our opening party gives him the opportunity to connect with his fans in a truly unique environment.”

Created in 2003 by San-Francisco based Linden Lab, Second Life is a virtual online world where trendsetters are flocking to exchange ideas, egos and virtual property using “avatars,” or highly-customized 3D representations of themselves. The Second Life environment enables players to create digital alter egos and exchange virtual currency for digitally rendered goods and services, and draws over 700,000 users worldwide.

In addition to the aloft debut inside Second Life, the new brand’s technology focus includes large, HDTV ready flat-panel televisions, plug & play (the aloft brand’s one stop connectivity solution incorporating power and audio/video connections for multiple electronic gadgets), and wireless internet access throughout the hotel. For more information on aloft hotels, please visit www.alofthotels.com.


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