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 The Sheraton Seattle Hotel & Towers Undergoing $112 million Expansion; 
Will Grow from 832 rooms to Seattle's Largest at 1,253 rooms
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SEATTLE – November 7, 2005 - The Sheraton Seattle Hotel & Towers $112 million expansion project, now in its third month, represents a key step in Seattle’s evolution as a meeting, convention and business destination. 

In 2004, the impact of large meetings and conventions in the Seattle market was a record $432 million, yet Seattle’s Convention and Visitors Bureau has cited the lack of a 1,000 room headquarters hotel as a major reason the city is at a competitive disadvantage with other major U.S. cities when competing for convention sales. 

The Sheraton’s expansion will build on Seattle’s growing popularity as a destination for the conventions and meetings travel segment.  The city has a hard-earned reputation as a center of arts and culture, cuisine, natural beauty, and technology: the downtown district offers visitors easy walking access to retailers, theatre, music venues, renowned restaurants, and the city’s new Rem Koolhaas-designed library. 
Proximity to the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport also makes the city a convenient destination for domestic and international travelers.

The Sheraton’s expansion project, which includes the creation of the 25-story Union Street Tower, will give Seattle its first 1,000+ room hotel (1,253 total), a development that will enable the city to accommodate more and larger events, meetings and conventions.  The growth in the meetings market is a priority for Seattle, as it accounts for more than 55 percent of the city’s downtown hotel occupancy, plus convention delegates typically spend nearly twice as much as leisure or business travelers on hotels, restaurants and shopping (Source: Seattle’s Convention and Visitors Bureau 2005 Marketing Plan). 

Don Welsh, president and CEO of Seattle’s Convention and Visitors Bureau, said, “The expansion of the Sheraton Seattle is a major milestone in Seattle’s development as a premier convention, business and leisure travel destination.  This new addition provides us the opportunity to pursue larger convention groups that have not been able to meet in Seattle in the past due to the fact that they require a 1,000-room headquarters hotel.” 

In addition to the positive impact on the city’s ability to attract meetings business, the hotel’s growth also has positive implications for the community.  Over the past several years, the Sheraton Seattle has strategically partnered with over 25 prominent community groups and organizations to host fundraising events and donate and procure auction packages that have helped raise millions of dollars.  Such groups are expected to benefit from the increased meeting space produced by the expansion - 31,000 square feet will be added, bringing Sheraton’s total number of meeting rooms to 47. 

“This hotel has an exemplary record as an employer, as a leader in the community and as a driver to the economy,” said Terry Botten, general manager of the Sheraton Seattle.  “The impact of this development will benefit each of these aspects of the Sheraton’s service.”

About Sheraton Seattle Hotel & Towers
 The 838-room Sheraton Seattle Hotel &Towers, recipient of Meetings and Conventions Gold Key Award, is located at 1400 Sixth Avenue in downtown Seattle.  The hotel’s current $112 million expansion project includes the construction of the new, 25-story Union Street Tower (415 additional guestrooms) and extensive upgrades to the hotel’s meeting facilities that will provide the Sheraton Seattle with a total of 47 meeting rooms and an additional 31,000 square feet of new meeting space for a total of 75,000 square feet.  The project is estimated to be complete in spring 2007.  Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 750 properties in more than 80 countries and 110,000 employees at its owned and managed properties.  With internationally renowned brands, Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels and resorts including: St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Sheraton, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton, W brands, as well as Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts.  For more information, please visit www.starwood.com

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Contact:

Louie Richmond
Phone: (206) 682-6979
louie@richmondpr.com

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Also See: The 840-room Sheraton Seattle Hotel & Towers Outfitting All Rooms with Original Artwork by Dale Chihuly / March 2002
Developers Preparing More than a Dozen Proposals for Hotels in the Seattle Area; Too Much Too Soon? / December 2004

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