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VingCard’s VISIONLINE Wireless RF-online Solution Powers
Smart Check-In Program at New Aloft Harlem


Technology is key at Harlem’s first new hotel in a century, allowing guests to skip
the front desk and go directly to their rooms



DALLAS – February 14, 2011 – VingCard Elsafe, the global leader in hospitality security and part of the ASSA ABLOY Group, has announced that a combination of its proprietary technology solutions have been integrated as critical components of a revolutionary Smart Check-In program at one of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.’s (NYSE: HOT) newest hotels – Aloft Harlem. VISIONLINE RF-online, VingCard’s wireless Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) communication platform, and Signature RFID door locks are making it possible for Aloft Harlem guests to check in remotely through their PC or web-enabled mobile devices and completely bypass the front desk upon arrival. The first Aloft® Hotels property in New York City, Aloft Harlem is also the first hotel from a major brand to open in the historic Manhattan neighborhood in over a century.

Aloft Hotels recently selected VingCard to provide the advanced RFID technology behind its groundbreaking Smart Check-In program. Through the new program, select Starwood Preferred Guest® members who choose to participate receive an enhanced SPG/Aloft-branded RFID keycard. On the day of a planned stay at Aloft Harlem, a text message is sent directly to the guest’s mobile device that indicates their room number at the property. Upon arrival, guests can proceed straight to their guest room, where their encrypted SPG/Aloft-enabled keycard will unlock the door, providing unprecedented convenience, security and ease-of-operation for hoteliers and hotel guests alike.

“The Smart Check-In program, which we have begun rolling out across the Aloft brand, is specifically designed to meet the changing needs of today’s busy, tech-savvy travelers,” said Brian McGuinness, Senior Vice President of Specialty Select Brands for Starwood. “Based on the positive feedback we have received from guests using the system so far, the ability to bypass the front desk is expected to become a valuable new amenity for guests at Aloft. As the hotel industry continues to adopt more innovative self-service solutions, VingCard’s RFID technology is providing a way to not only increase the efficiency of the check-in process, but provide added convenience for our guests.”

Featuring 124 loft-like guestrooms, Aloft Harlem is part of a mixed-use project that also includes Apex, 44 contemporary condominium residences, and retail space. The hotel offers easy access to Columbia University, as well as Harlem's most buzzed about destinations, from the iconic Apollo Theater to the cutting-edge Studio Museum. The location is just steps away from the 125th Street subway station and a quick and convenient ride to anywhere in Manhattan.

The historic opening of Aloft Harlem will prove to be one of the most important hotel launches of 2011, made all the more noteworthy by the inclusion of the Smart Check-In innovation. “Starwood and its Aloft brand are on the leading edge of hotel technology, and we at VingCard are thrilled to help them make the future of hotel check-in a reality,” said George Winker, vice president of sales for ASSA ABLOY Hospitality in North America. “It’s quite appropriate that this truly pioneering technology is now in place at such a history-making hotel as Aloft Harlem.” 

VingCard Elsafe is the world leader in developing locking systems and electronic in-room safes for the hospitality industry, offering user-friendly security systems that meet the unique operational needs of hotels and resorts. For more information, visit www.vingcard.com www.elsafe.com.
 
About VingCard Elsafe
The world leader in hotel security technology, ASSA ABLOY Hospitality has products installed in more than 39,000 properties worldwide, securing in excess of 6.5 million hotel rooms. The ASSA ABLOY Group, a publicly listed company, is a world leader in security and hospitality systems. VingCard provides numerous electronic locking system solutions, including traditional magnetic-strip, smartcard systems and the latest RFID electronic locks compatible with the main ISO standards: ISO 14.443A (MIFARE), ISO 14.443B, ISO15.693 and NFC-compatible (Near Field Communication),  fully integrated PMS interface software solutions, as well as the world leader in wireless online locking solutions for hotels based on ZigBee secured open platform. VingCard has worldwide service and support in more than 166 countries.

Elsafe provides the first UL-listed (1037) hotel safe series on the market today in keypad and card-based models. Safes that include a UL-listed internal power outlet to support recharging of laptops and camcorders, full wireless online capabilities and RFID versions compatible with VingCard system. Elsafe customers also enjoy the same worldwide service and support. The ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Group is dedicated to the hospitality industry. For more information on VingCard Elsafe, visit www.vingcard.com or www.elsafe.com.
 
About Aloft Hotels
Created to shake up the staid, traditional select service segment of the hotel industry, the Aloft brand delivers style at a steal with urban-influenced, modern, open and vibrant design - and a social guest experience - at an affordable price point.  In the same way that W Hotels broke through the clutter of conformity in the upscale hotel arena more than a decade ago, Aloft is shaking up the industry for the next generation of traveler. Aloft hotels are geared toward savvy, design-conscious consumers who grew up with the democratization of design. With 47 hotels open in the two years since Aloft first arrived on the scene and 14 more opening by 2013, Aloft can be found everywhere from Baltimore to Beijing to Brussels and everywhere in between.  For more information, please visit www.alofthotels.com.
 
Aloft Hotels, like all brands within Starwood’s portfolio, is proud to offer the Starwood Preferred Guest® program, which offers a breakthrough policy of no blackout dates on Free Night Awards. To learn more, please visit www.spg.com.
 
About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1025 properties in 100 countries and territories with 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 Element SM.  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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Media Contacts:

Andrea Roland
Plan A Public Relations & Marketing, Inc.
Tel: +1 (407) 905-0608
andrea@planapr.com

Riise Walker, Marketing Manager
VingCard, Elsafe, TimeLox
Tel: +1 (972) 692-3167
rwalker@vcegroup.com

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Debuting at HITEC 2010 VingCard Elsafe Reveals Revolutionary Way for Hotels to Not Only Go Green, but Also Ensure Guest Satisfaction and Comfort; New Wireless Solution from Global Leader in Hospitality Security Increases Guest Comfort, Saving Hotels Energy and Money / June 2010

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