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 Ralph Burnet Named as Starwood Hotels & Resorts
2009 Developer of the Year



MINNEAPOLIS--March 1, 2010--Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. has named Ralph Burnet, and his company RWB Development, 2009 Developer of the Year. The honor was announced at the recent Starwood North America Owners Conference held in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The award was presented in recognition of Burnet’s two Starwood-managed properties, W Minneapolis – The Foshay and the recently converted, Le Meridien Chambers, both located in Minneapolis.

The Starwood Developer of the Year award recognizes those organizations or individuals that opened hotels between Sept. 1, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2009 and went above and beyond to ensure that development was on-time, on-strategy and on-brand.

In presenting the award to Burnet, Denise Coll, President of the North America Division, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc, noted his “passion for art, design and lifestyle hotel brands as reflected in his two spectacular properties.”

“Ralph takes personal ownership of his investments, and his attention to detail is evident the moment you walk in the door to one of his hotels,” said Coll. “Both his hotels are historical retrofits of office buildings and among the first of their kind. Ralph’s belief in Starwood's brands has made him an incredible asset to the company, and his zest for collecting art and globetrotting has helped to authentically bring the W and Le Méridien points of view to life.”

The award was presented as part of the First Annual North America Owner Awards and was one of 19 awards presented in eight different categories. Other categories included: Environmental Sustainability, Community Outreach, Conversion of the Year, New Build of the Year, Renovation of the Year, Deal of the Year and the President’s Award.

Le Méridien Chambers is a 60-room art hotel located at 901 Hennepin Avenue, and is considered one of the top art hotels in the world. Burnet’s other Starwood hotel is W Minneapolis – The Foshay, located in the historic Foshay Tower. W Minneapolis is a 229-room, contemporary lifestyle hotel located at Marquette and Ninth Street, featuring its own museum and Minneapolis/St Paul’s only public observation deck. Both hotels are located in downtown Minneapolis in the heart of the city’s cultural, business and social scenes.

For more information or reservations visit www.LeMeridien.com/minneapolis or www.WHotels.com/Minneapolis.


About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 992 properties in nearly 100 countries and 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels 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 Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft®, and ElementSM. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.
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Contact:

For Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide:
Jacqueline Hanson, 952-941-3949
Hanson Communications
952-451-5000 M
Jacqueline@HansonPR.com


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