STAMFORD, Conn.—From the 2013 American Lodging Investment Summit in Los Angeles, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. announced that it opened 23 hotels in North America in 2012 and signed more new deals than in the previous two years, including 21 conversions. Looking ahead to 2013, Starwood anticipates its strongest year of openings in North America since before the global economic crisis with 28 scheduled openings. Conversions will continue to fuel growth with in-the-year conversions expected to result in additional new hotel openings this year.
“North America remains our largest market with 576 hotels and saw more hotels signed in 2012 than any other region in our vast network,” said Simon Turner, president of Global Development. “We have opened over 135 new hotels in North America since the global economic crisis and expect pent up demand and limited new supply to continue to drive our growth in 2013.”
Starwood’s “Specialty Select” or Mid-Market brands, Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft, and Element, will continue growing North America in 2013. Four Points by Sheraton is expected to surpass 120 hotels in North America and 190 globally in 2013. Twelve openings in key markets will include hotels in Manhattan, Kan.; San Jose/Silicon Valley, Calif.; Columbus, Ohio; Richmond Airport, Va.; Kansas City, Mo.; Charleston, W. Va.; Louisville, Ky.; and Jacksonville, Fla. In Canada, Four Points by Sheraton will debut in Kelowna, Nisku, Edmunston, and Regina. Over the past five years, the Four Points by Sheraton portfolio has surged by 15 percent in North America and the brand is now Starwood’s third largest with the second-biggest global pipeline.
Aloft will open its milestone 50th property in North America and 75th globally—and is on track to open three times as many rooms this year as in 2012. Over the past three years, Aloft has grown its global portfolio by 67 percent, and expects to expand by another 25 percent in 2013. Aloft also signed eight deals in North America and an additional 17 globally during 2012—the highest number since 2008. Conversions and adaptive-reuse projects continue helping Aloft meet demand from partners and developers to bring more properties online quicker. Conversions opening in 2013 include Aloft Tucson and Aloft Calgary University.
Element, Starwood’s sustainable brand, has built a base of loyal fans and will open its first property outside the U.S. this year with Element Vaughan Southeast in Ontario, Canada, to be followed by the debut of the brand in Europe in 2014.
Starwood’s upper-upscale brands, Le Méridien, Westin, and Sheraton, will also see sustained North America expansion in 2013. After significant brand investment and transformation, Le Méridien is experiencing momentum, with eight new hotel openings globally slated for 2013. Conversions continue to serve as a growth opportunity for Le Méridien, with recent conversion hotels having opened in Mexico City, and Arlington, Virginia.
Westin will open four hotels in 2013 in the U.S.: The Westin Birmingham, The Westin San Jose, The Westin Sacramento, and The Westin Houston Downtown. In 2012, Sheraton announced that the brand will enter the Dominican Republic in 2014 with the Sheraton Santo Domingo and the brand will also debut this year at Pittsburgh Airport. The company also recently announced that a new boutique hotel affiliated with the Sheraton brand will be developed adjacent to Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs.