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Phoenix Approves New 1,000-Room Downtown Hotel

Phoenix, the 5th-largest city in the US,
will deliver a 1,000-room hotel to accompany its innovative, high-tech,
expanded convention center. The Phoenix City Council today approved the
new Sheraton hotel that will be owned by the city and constructed in
downtown Phoenix’s Copper Square. The hotel is scheduled to open upon
completion of the expanded Phoenix Civic Plaza Convention Center and other
downtown revitalization projects, as early as late 2008.
“In the next five years, downtown Phoenix will transform itself into a
24/7 city, with a new 1,000-room hotel, a Civic Plaza that’s triple the
size, the Phoenix Bioscience Center and 15,000 ASU students and faculty,”
said Mayor Phil Gordon.

The hotel will substantially increase room inventory for the downtown
convention market, and will provide delegates with convenient walking
access to the convention center, located just one block away.

“The new, 1,000-room downtown hotel is the necessary public infrastructure
to service central city businesses and to maximize the investment in Civic
Plaza,” said Sheryl Sculley, assistant city manager.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc will manage the property under its
Sheraton flag. Starwood also runs publicly financed hotels for Overland
Park, Kansas; and Sacramento, California. In addition, Starwood manages
other high-profile properties in the Greater Phoenix area, including The
Phoenician, Wigwam, Westin Kierland, and Sheraton Wild Horse Pass. The new
hotel will increase Starwood’s presence to almost 4,000 rooms in Greater

“This is a milestone for the Starwood family here in Phoenix,” said Rick
Suhl, VP of Operations, SW Region, for Starwood. “We will have the
capability to truly support the Starwood Sales Network from around the
world with a variety of hotels and resorts in the Phoenix metro area. As
we combine the quality of the new hotel with the Sheraton Brand, and
couple that with the efforts of the City of Phoenix and the expanded and
remodeled convention center space, this can only be considered a huge win
for the City of Phoenix, the surrounding areas and the state.”


Opportunity for an Economic Downtown Engine

Together, the expanded convention center and new hotel will bring
additional visitor dollars to downtown Phoenix, and to the region, as more
than half of all Civic Plaza convention attendees travel outside of

“We kept this project fairly quiet with our clients this past year as we
did not want to announce this until it was an absolute reality,” said
Greater Phoenix CVB President/CEO Steve Moore. “To get the city to expand
the center and invest in a large hotel within a year of the other speaks
to this city’s commitment to the meetings industry.”

The demand for a third, large hotel is reflected in the GPCVB’s tracking
of lost opportunities associated with the current downtown package. Since
1986, almost 300 conventions representing 1.1 million delegates, 2.5
million room nights and $1.3 billion in direct expenditures have contacted
the Greater Phoenix CVB with interest in booking downtown Phoenix, but
eliminated the destination primarily due to the current lack of adequate
hotel room inventory.

“This does not take into account those clients who knew not to even ask,”
Moore said.

The new Sheraton Hotel will complement current downtown hotels that
include the Hyatt Regency (712 rooms) and the Wyndham Phoenix (532 rooms)
and will be located at Van Buren and 3rd streets, in the heart of Downtown
Phoenix, which provides visitors with a wide array of outlets for cuisine,
entertainment and culture. Bank One Ballpark, America West Arena, the
Herberger Theater Center, Symphony Hall, Orpheum Theatre, Arizona Center,
Dodge Theatre, and the Arizona Science Center are just a few of the
adjacent options available to visitors. The award-winning Heard Museum and
the Phoenix Art Museum are within two miles.

Expanded Convention Center Has Already Broken Ground

Groundbreaking for the three-phase, $600 million expansion took place in
May, 2004. When completed, the new convention center will triple in size
to more than 900,000 square feet of meeting and exhibition space. All
construction on the facility is scheduled to be complete in mid-2009.

The addition of the new West Building, which is the first phase of the
expansion project, will provide 165,000 square feet of space on four
levels, and is scheduled to be ready for groups in early 2006.

The existing South Building will remain in operation throughout the first
two phases of construction, providing an additional 143,000 square feet of
space that can be utilized entirely for exhibits or for meeting and
exhibit space.

The construction phases of the expansion will be completed with the intent
of minimizing impact on meetings. The Phoenix Civic Plaza Convention
Center will remain open and functional for the duration of the
construction project.