Following the brand conversion of existing hotels,
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc.
) will now end September 2012 with two new Aloft properties. The
properties are Aloft San Francisco Airport hotel and Aloft
Nashville Music Row. Meanwhile, there are several other properties
lined up to be converted into the Aloft brand in Tucson, Calgary
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While the makeover of an existing Clarion property to a 253-room
Aloft San Francisco hotel took 14 months to complete, the
conversion of the Hotel Indigo Nashville Music Row to the 139-room
Aloft Nashville hotel needed just a month.
The San Francisco Airport property enjoys a prime location,
adjacent to mass-transit options into San Francisco as well as one
of the world's major air-travel hubs. Apart from this, the
hotel is easily accessible from various corporate hubs, making it
strategically fit for repositioning.
The Aloft Nashville Music Row, which is the first
non-Starwood-owned Aloft conversion hotel also marks the brand's
entry to Nashville market which will likely create a strong guest
Starwood set a trend in hotel designs with Aloft, which spread its
operations globally with more than 60 hotels opened since its
launch in June 2008. In its four years of journey, Aloft has been
on an uphill ride in terms of guest satisfaction scores, reflecting
the brand's strength and growing popularity.
In the second quarter of 2012, RevPAR growth in Aloft was 8.7% or
9.7% in constant dollars, the highest among all the other brands.
Aloft as a brand name has also earned recognition as it offers an
urban concept for modern travelers seeking a unique experience. Its
affordable price point in the mid-market hotel category is another
reason for the burgeoning popularity.
Starwood is ideally targeting two types of prospects for the Aloft
conversion. First are the well positioned, older hotels set up in
the '70s or '80s, and second are the well-to-do independent hotels
in need for a stronger brand.
Starwood which competes with the likes of
Marriott International Inc.
), currently retains a Zacks #2 Rank, which translates into a
short-term Buy rating. We are also maintaining our long-term
Neutral recommendation on the stock.