Starwood Returns to Las Vegas

18th Mar 2003

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) announces its return to Las Vegas and the first Westin hotel ever in Nevada, The Westin Casuarina Hotel & Spa, slated to open in Las Vegas this fall.

The Westin Casuarina Hotel & Spa, located at the site of the former Maxim Hotel just off the Strip, will greet guests with 825 guest rooms, a spacious spa, luxurious pool with six pool-side cabanas, a 20,000 square-foot casino, ample meeting space and a restaurant with a private dining room. The hotel and casino are owned and operated by Columbia Sussex, which operates more than 50 full-service properties in the U.S. and overseas. Starwood will franchise the hotel under its Westin brand. Starwood sold Caesars Palace and the Desert Inn Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas in 1999 and 2000 respectively.

“Las Vegas has been part of Westin`s growth strategy and at the top of our development `wish list` for decades,” said Sue Brush, senior vice president, Westin brand operations. “We are pleased to finally have a strong presence in this important market where we`ll be able to meet our guests` demands for Westin`s style of Modern Luxury.”

“We are very excited to bring The Westin Casuarina Hotel & Spa to Las Vegas,” said Tim Bouley, vice president of Columbia Sussex. “We first opened The Westin Casuarina on the Cayman Islands and named the hotel after the islands` prolific tree, the casuarina. We plan to bring the tropical island environment to Las Vegas, a destination renowned for re-creating some of the most desirable places on earth. We are delighted to be working with Starwood Hotels on this exciting project.”

More than $75 million is being invested to completely refurbish the 17-story property to reflect Westin brand standards in the lobby, guest rooms, meeting space and public areas. The hotel will offer 825 guest rooms, including four two-bedroom suites and six one-bedroom suites. Additionally, the hotel will feature five contiguous meeting rooms that can accommodate up to 470 people theater-style, one meeting room that can accommodate up to 350 people theater-style and two boardrooms that can accommodate up to 12-15 people each.


Westin`s Heavenly Bed and Heavenly Bath Headed for Sin City

Westin`s acclaimed Heavenly Bed(R) and Heavenly Bath(R) will be featured in all 825 guest rooms and suites. Providing an oasis for weary travelers, Westin`s Heavenly Bed consists of a custom designed, pillow-top mattress set; cozy down blanket; high quality, high thread count linens; crisp white duvet coverlet and five queen-size and king-size pillows. All guest rooms will also highlight Westin`s latest guest room innovation, the Heavenly Bath, a custom-designed shower with a dual showerhead to provide more power and wider water coverage and a specially-designed curved shower rod allowing eight more inches of elbowroom.

As the number one upper-upscale hotel brand according to Business Travel News` 2003 Annual U.S. Hotel Chain Survey, Westin delivers unmatched comfort and outstanding service to affluent, professional business and leisure travelers. Westin guest room components include a large work area with a two-line speakerphone with data port for high-speed Internet access, cordless bedside telephone, voice messaging, fully-stocked refreshment center, cable television, in-room movies, laptop-sized safe and more.

Guest services include Westin`s Service Express(R), a program that revolutionizes the way guest services are provided. Through Service Express, guests will dial only one number on their in-room telephone to make all service requests. This “one call does it all” concept improves the timeliness and quality of services provided to guests and maximizes Westin`s productivity and efficiency by training hotel employees to perform multiple functions.

Karin Davis, Westin Casuarina`s director of sales, says, “Our hotel`s services will be ideal for anyone coming to Las Vegas. The casino, full-service spa, pool and whirlpools are perfect for leisure travelers and Service Express, high-speed Internet access and a self-service business center will also be offered for business travelers.”

The Westin Casuarina is located just steps from the famous Las Vegas Strip, across from Bally`s and walking distance to the Flamingo Hilton, Paris, Bellagio, and Caesar`s. The hotel is located less than one mile from the Las Vegas Convention Center, Sands Convention Center and Mandalay Bay Convention Center. The 20,000 square-foot casino will be operated by Columbia Sussex and will feature 400 slot machines and ten table games.

Westin Hotels & Resorts, with more than 110 hotels and resorts in 26 countries, is owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. and was voted the number upper-upscale hotel brand for three years in Business Travel News` “Annual U.S. Hotel Chain Survey.” 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 105,000 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, The Luxury Collection, Sheraton, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton, W 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

** Please contact Starwood`s new, toll-free media hotline at (866) 4-STAR-PR (866-478-2777) for photography or additional information.**



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