STAMFORD, Conn. and MERRILLVILLE, Ind., Jan. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) and White Lodging Services Corporation today announced plans to open a second Westin hotel in Austin, Texas. The Westin Austin Downtown is scheduled to break ground in 2013 and open in Spring 2015 on the northeast corner of East Fifth Street and San Jacinto Boulevard. The 17-story, 326-room Westin hotel will be a joint venture between White Lodging Services Corporation, the Harry Whittington family and REI Real Estate Services, LLC.
"We are delighted to work with White Lodging to expand the Westin brand in Austin, where we will soon offer travelers another terrific location, this time in the heart of downtown near high-tech businesses and live music venues," said Allison Reid, Senior Vice President of North America Development, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. "The Westin brand is experiencing robust demand in cities throughout North America and has generated a fiercely loyal following among both business and leisure travelers due to the outstanding success of its distinct wellness positioning and performance."
Located at the center of Austin's lively downtown, The Westin Austin Downtown will be just one and a half blocks from the city's convention center and a short walk to many of the city's restaurants and music venues. The famous Sixth Street entertainment district is just around the corner. Hotel facilities will include a White Lodging-managed, full-service restaurant, fitness center, and 13,500 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting and banquet space."We are so pleased to be developing another signature project in Austin. The demand for high-quality hotels continues to grow here," said Deno Yiankes, president and CEO of White Lodging's investment and development division. "And, we are excited to do this in partnership with the Whittington family and REI." "We continue to experience an uptick in demand across Austin and particularly in the central business district," said Bob Lander, president & CEO of the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau. "Business travel, leisure and conventions all generate demand in this area and Westin Hotels & Resorts has long been recognized as a leader and innovator in these market segments. Starwood, Westin's parent company, has an extremely strong international sales presence and we look forward to working with them to further increase the awareness of Austin as a premier destination." In addition to helping meet an ever-growing demand for hotel rooms, the Westin will generate significant economic benefits, including more than 130 permanent jobs and approximately $4.5 million in taxes annually. "Westin Hotels and White Lodging have again shown special talent and ability to bring high quality developments to Austin," said co-owner Harry M. Whittington. "We are pleased with their plans to make San Jacinto and Fifth Street a new and accessible hospitality center." "Developing this hotel next to our historic 6 th Street District is another major step in the city's economic development efforts, said Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell. "I couldn't be more pleased with the jobs and revenue White Lodging and Westin are bringing to Austin." The sensory-rich environment at Westin offers a respite from the rigors of travel and sets a welcoming tone. The Westin brand's innovative programs and instinctive service transform every aspect of a guest's stay into a revitalizing experience. All guestrooms and suites at The Westin Austin Downtown will offer the world-renowned Westin Heavenly ® Bed – an oasis of lush sheets, down and a patented pillow-top mattress, which cradles and contours to the body for truly restorative sleep. Guests will revive in the Heavenly ® Bath enhanced with the brand's Heavenly ® Shower, Heavenly ® Robe and White Tea Aloe bath amenities, in-room and high-speed Internet access. The hotel also will also offer the Westin brand's signature SuperFoodsRX ® menu, which includes nutrient-rich and delicious options to tempt every palate. Westin Hotels & Resorts, like all brands within Starwood's robust portfolio, is proud to offer the Starwood Preferred Guest ® program, which made headlines when it launched in 1999 with a breakthrough policy of no blackout dates on Free Night Awards. SPG ® offers members the ability to redeem awards at more resorts, more luxury properties, more European hotels and more golf properties than any other hotel program. For more information on Westin Hotels & Resorts, please visit www.westin.com, Facebook or follow Westin on Twitter. White Lodging Services Corporation - was established in 1985 and is headquartered in Merrillville, Ind. White Lodging is a fully integrated hotel ownership, development and operations company – a recognized leader that has defined and cultivated the ability to achieve consistent, sustainable growth among mid-to large-scale hotels across the country. Its current portfolio consists of more than 159 hotels in 20 states and encompasses several leading brands including Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. Inc. For more information about White Lodging, please visit www.whitelodging.com. REI Real Estate Services – was established in 1994. Headquartered in Carmel, Ind., the company has developed well over $1 billion worth of hotels, office buildings and apartments in Indianapolis and throughout the country. REI Real Estate Services provides a full range of real estate services to local, regional and national clients, seeking to build long-term relationships which build value for all parties involved. About Westin Hotels & ResortsWestin Hotels & Resorts offers innovative programs that transform every aspect of a stay into a revitalizing experience. All Westin signature services – like the Heavenly Bed, delicious SuperFoodsRX® and WestinWorkout® studio – have been designed with the guests' well-being in mind. Westin hotels, with more than 186 hotels and resorts in nearly 40 countries and territories, is owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT). Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1,128 properties in nearly 100 countries and 154,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis ®, The Luxury Collection ®, W ®, Westin ®, Le Meridien ®, Sheraton ®, Four Points ® by Sheraton, Aloft ®, and Element SM. The Company boasts one of the industry's leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest® (SPG®), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., a premier provider of world-class vacation experiences through villa-style resorts and privileged access to Starwood brands. For more information, please visit www.westin.com (Note: This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities regulations. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or events and involve risks and uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated at the time the forward-looking statements are made. These risks and uncertainties are presented in detail in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Although we believe the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions, we can give no assurance that our expectations will be attained or that results and events will not materially differ. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.)