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Sheraton Wins Sought After Phoenix Bid

Sheraton Hotels & Resorts has been selected to manage a new 1,000-room convention hotel in downtown Phoenix. The Phoenix City Council chose Sheraton yesterday after an eight-month competitive bidding process. The hotel, which is expected to include 100,000 square feet of meeting space, several restaurants, a swimming pool, fitness center and spa, plus Sheraton’s signature Sweet Sleeper Beds, is scheduled to open in late 2008.
“We are thrilled to manage this high profile property, which is critical to attracting more meetings and conventions business to Phoenix and will enable the city to be one of the top group destinations in the country,” said Barry S. Sternlicht, Chairman and CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., (NYSE:HOT), Sheraton’s parent. “With nine properties in the Phoenix area as well as a corporate office, Phoenix is an important market for us, and we very much wanted to win this hotel in what was a tough battle with our two biggest competitors.”

Starwood’s portfolio of hotels in the Phoenix area includes the famed Phoenician resort, the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass which opened in 2002 and The Westin Kierland Resort and Spa which also opened in 2002. Earlier this week, Starwood Vacation Ownership celebrated the grand opening of its first vacation ownership product in the area, The Westin Kierland Villas.

“On behalf of our 2,700 associates who call Phoenix home, I would like to thank the city of Phoenix for selecting us to manage this hotel, and we look forward to working closely with the city to build a superior hotel for which we will all be proud,” added Sternlicht. “We applaud Phoenix’s efforts to expand the convention center, add rooms downtown and revitalize the area, all of which will enable the city to compete with any convention destination in the country.”

“Winning this very competitive project as well as another highly sought after convention hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico earlier this year, speaks to the success of many of the enhancements we have made to the Sheraton brand over the past few years,” said Norman MacLeod, Executive Vice President for Sheraton Hotels & Resorts.

Since 1998, Sheraton and its owned, managed and franchised hotels have spent more than $1 billion upgrading the brand, primarily in renovations. In September 2002, the brand introduced the Sheraton Service Promise, the hotel giant’s highly tauted service program that promises, “if you’re not satisfied, just tell us and we’ll take care of it.” The brand recently invested more than $75 million to put 110,000 new signature Sheraton Sweet Sleeper Beds in 200 hotels in North America. This year, Sheraton has rolled out two new products, Lo-Carb Lifestyle by Sheraton, the hotel industry’s largest low carb dining program, and Sheraton Speed Check, automated check-in kiosks that allow guests to check in and check out in under a minute.