Starwood to Bring Aloft to Kentucky - Analyst Blog


Leading hotelier Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. ( HOT ) is set to introduce an Aloft-branded property in Louisville, Ky. Christened - Aloft Louisville Downtown - the hotel is slated for an Apr 2015 opening and will mark the brand's entry into the state.

Aloft Louisville Downtown, jointly owned by REI Real Estate Services, LLC and Poe Companies, LLC, comprises 167 rooms. The hotel offers essential and exclusive amenities like a pool, a fitness center and a meeting space spanning an area of 2,000 square feet, which make it suitable for both leisure as well as business travelers. Positioned in the heart of Louisville's commercial district, the hotel is close to KFC Yum! Center, the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts and the Waterfront Park.

Starwood's mid-scale and contemporary lifestyle brand, Aloft, has been riding on a high growth trajectory since its launch in 2008 and has already forayed into North America, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, India, Southeast Asia and China. The Aloft concept goes well with modern travelers seeking a unique experience.

The brand's affordable price point in the mid-market hotel category is another reason for its increasing popularity. The company currently boasts as many as 75 Aloft-branded properties worldwide. Aloft has seen solid growth in 2013 as it debuted in various locations including Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Suwon-city, South Korea. Recently, Starwood announced that it will take the brand to Sarasota, Fla. in Aug 2015, which will be the seventh Aloft-branded property in Florida.

Starwood is consistently trying to expand its global presence like other hoteliers Hyatt Hotels Corporation ( H ) and InterContinental Hotels Group plc ( IHG ). In Jan 2014, the company declared that despite the present worldwide macroeconomic turmoil, it signed 152 hotel management and franchise deals in 2013, reflecting a 16% year-over-year increase.

With the rise in global travel demand and increasing wealth, Starwood expects 2014 to be solid in terms of openings and new agreements. The company will continue to concentrate on the fast-growing areas where demand is substantially high but supply remains limited.

Starwood recently posted mixed fourth-quarter 2013 results. While the company's adjusted earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate, its revenue missed the same.

Starwood currently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). A better-ranked stock in the hotel industry is Marriott International, Inc. ( MAR ) carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

HYATT HOTELS CP (H): Free Stock Analysis Report

STARWOOD HOTELS (HOT): Free Stock Analysis Report

INTERCONTL HTLS (IHG): Free Stock Analysis Report

MARRIOTT INTL-A (MAR): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Business , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: H , HOT , IHG , MAR

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