Westin Mission Hills Celebrates Grand Opening

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Dec. 10, 2002—City officials, local residents and management from Starwood helped celebrate the grand opening today of the newest Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) vacation ownership resort, The Westin Mission Hills Resort & Villas in Rancho Mirage, California.

Located adjacent to the luxurious Westin Mission Hills Resort, this resort gives guests the opportunity to purchase weekly intervals in one of the most popular vacation destinations in the country.

“We are extremely pleased to celebrate the opening of this incredible property. This is our first Westin-branded vacation ownership resort in California and the fourth Westin vacation ownership resort we have built or is under construction. The response to this product has exceeded our expectations as presales, which began last year, continue to outpace our projections,” said Raymond L. “Rip” Gellein, Jr., chairman and co-chief executive officer of Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc.

The Westin Mission Hills Resort and Villas is located on just over 20 acres and will feature 158 two-bedroom villas upon completion. Each two-bedroom villa is designed to capture the modern luxury and style in keeping with the Westin name. The fully-equipped kitchens include everything needed for a gourmet meal, the separate living room and dining room provide plenty of space for families and guests, the master bedroom is its own oasis complete with a whirlpool tub and, of course, the Heavenly Bed(R).

Overlooking the world-class Mission Hills Golf Course, the resort will also feature its own lavish amenities area complete with a large family-oriented pool complete with a water slide, a separate children`s only pool, an adult pool, private cabanas, restaurant and bar. The first phase of 16 villas is now open and the second phase of 40 additional villas will open in January. The balance of the villas will open in late 2003 and in 2004.


“The Westin Mission Hills Resort is a world-class property complete with golf, tennis and an incredible spa. Our vacation ownership resort is the perfect compliment to the resort`s traditional lodging and will give guests an opportunity to own weekly intervals and enjoy the area year after year or exchange their interval through the Starwood Vacation Network,” said Jeffrey A. Adler, president and co-chief executive officer of Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc.

The Westin Mission Hills Resort & Villas will become part of the newly formed Starwood Vacation Network (SVN), an innovative exchange program that gives its members easy access to other exciting Sheraton and Westin Vacation Ownership resorts as well as to Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.`s more than 750 properties around the world. SVN will provide its members with worldwide opportunities to experience Starwood`s exceptional brands including St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Sheraton, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton and W Hotels. SVN was developed to meet the needs of today`s travelers resulting in a user-friendly system that emphasizes flexibility and access to all of Starwood`s hotels and resorts worldwide. In addition to SVN, The Westin Mission Hills Resort & Villas owners will also have access to Interval International, an external exchange program.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 750 properties in more than 80 countries and 110,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. With internationally renowned brands, Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels and resorts including: St. Regis(R), The Luxury Collection(R), Sheraton(R), Westin(R), Four Points(R) by Sheraton, W(R) brands, as well as Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwood.com .