Sheraton Reflagging 3,000 Rooms

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., White Plains, N.Y., announced today that two former Adams Mark Hotels will be reflagged as the Sheraton Dallas Hotel and Sheraton Denver Hotel. And starting in mid-April, both hotels, owned in partnership between Whitehall Funds and The Chartres Lodging Group–known until last month as Oxford Lodging Advisory & Investment Group L.L.C.–will undergo a comprehensive renovation. Each hotel represents a superlative. The Sheraton Dallas Hotel has 1,842 guest rooms and more than 230,000 square feet of meeting space, including the single largest ballroom in Texas. Located in Dallas’s commercial center, it’s attached by a skybridge to another Starwood property, the Westin City Center. And with 1,225 guest rooms and more than 130,000 square feet of conference space, the Sheraton Denver is Colorado’s largest hotel. The property is in downtown Denver at 16th Street and Court Place, near the state capital and on the 16th Street pedestrian mall. The renovations, expected to be largely completed at both hotels by June 2009, include newly designed lobbies and guest rooms (with LCD flat-panel TVs) and new fitness centers. Both will also feature Link@Sheraton, a “communications hub” where guests can e-mail and access free, high-speed wireless Internet. Starwood’s aggressive expansion plans, reported on by CPN on Jan 31., include at least 500 new hotels over the next five years, including two new brands: Aloft and Elements. The core Sheraton brand is to feature 50,000 new or renovated rooms in North America alone by 2009, and 60 new properties in major U.S. cities over the next two and a half years. In Denver, the former Adams Mark joins two existing Sheratons and a Four Points by Sheraton, while Sheraton’s existing Dallas/Ft. Worth portfolio comprises three Sheratons and a Sheraton Suites, plus the Sheraton Stonebriar Hotel and the Sheraton Fort Worth Hotel and Spa, both of which will open in the next few months. Finally, CPN reported on Tuesday that Sam Zell had taken a 7.7% stake in Starwood, although according to an SEC filing he does not intend to become involved in Starwood management.