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AREA Property Partners and Winston Harton Holdings Purchase the 489-key
Sheraton Safari Hotel and Suites, Orlando, Florida;

$25 million Redevelopment of Property to Begin Immediately

ORLANDO, Fla. – Jan. 4, 2011 – AREA Property Partners and Winston Harton Holdings, LLC today announced the purchase and planned $25 million redevelopment of the Sheraton Safari Hotel and Suites on Lake Buena Vista Drive in Orlando, Fla.  The seller and transaction price for the 489 key facility were not disclosed.  Extensive improvements of the facility are scheduled to begin immediately, with completion anticipated by spring 2012, the firms said.
 
The $50,000 per room renovation will encompass a spectacular pool complex, expanded and updated conference facilities, and beautifully revamped guestrooms and family suites, as well as a new fitness center, upgraded contemporary restaurant and lounge, and an update of all public spaces of the hotel. Maintaining the Sheraton flag of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT), the redeveloped property is part of the brand’s $6 billion revitalization campaign to attract both business and leisure guests.
 
“We are very pleased to conclude this transaction and to be part of the redevelopment of Sheraton Safari Hotel and Suites,” said Randy Torres, AREA partner.   “It is an opportune time to reposition and reestablish the hotel as the Orlando hospitality market continues its recovery.”  
 
“A top team has been assembled to execute the Sheraton Safari’s redevelopment plan in this phenomenal location,” said Russ Flicker, managing partner, Winston Harton Holdings, LLC.  “We are eager to create a strong presence in the Orlando market and look forward to great success with a revitalized property.”
 
The hotel, located minutes from the Disney theme parks, will feature 393 guestrooms, 90 suites and six executive suites. Accommodations will be spacious, with a modern yet comfortable feel. The new pool complex is set within an oasis of palm trees and will include multiple cascading pools, water game amenities and slides, a wet deck and pool café.
 
In addition to wireless internet access throughout the hotel and suites, Link@Sheraton experienced with Microsoft, an online connectivity hub in the lobby, will offer access near the new 24-hour café and general store.  Renovations will include several banquet and conference venues, including a grand ballroom and a variety of meeting rooms, as well as the addition of a 6,200 square-foot conference center.
 
Sheraton Safari has brought together a powerhouse team of hospitality talent. World-renowned interior design company Looney & Associates leads the re-design, assisted by local architect Baker Barrios. Rida Development Corporation, one of central Florida's leading hotel developers, is overseeing the redevelopment of the property, and Welbro Construction, one of the largest privately held contractors in Central Florida, is handling the construction. Aimbridge Hospitality has been awarded the management contract and CAM Hospitality Advisors & Management represents the ownership team.
 
AREA, RIDA, Looney and Welbro have partnered previously on large Orlando projects, including the one-year-old 1,400-room Hilton Orlando Convention Center and the 720-room Omni ChampionsGate.  
 
Sheraton Safari Hotel and Suites currently offers an imaginative, safari-themed décor throughout the hotel.  Amenities include a pool, fitness facility, game room, 13,000 square feet of flexible function space and complimentary shuttle service to nearby Walt Disney World® Theme Parks.
 
Helping guests make connections at more than 400 hotels in 75 countries around the world, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts is currently implementing a $6 billion worldwide, multi-year revitalization program. 
 
“We are delighted to enhance our footprint in Orlando with the redevelopment of Sheraton Safari,” said Hoyt H. Harper II, Senior Vice President for Sheraton Hotels & Resorts. “Sheraton prides itself on instilling a sense of belonging in its guests by providing them with spacious accommodations, signature services and updated technologies that will all be present at the new Sheraton Safari.”
 
For more information on the Sheraton Safari Hotel and Suites, please contact 1-800-325-3535 or visit http://www.sheratonsafari.com.
 
About AREA Property Partners
AREA Property Partners, formerly known as Apollo Real Estate Advisors, is a leading international real estate investor and fund manager on behalf of prominent government and corporate pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies, foundations, endowments, and high net worth individuals.  Since the firm’s founding in 1993, AREA Property Partners has overseen the establishment of multiple real estate funds and joint ventures totaling $13 billion in equity commitments for investments in the United States and globally.  Its funds have collectively invested in over 500 transactions with an aggregated value in excess of $60 billion. The firm has offices in New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Paris, Luxembourg and Mumbai.  The firm’s Web site is www.areapropertypartners.com
 
About Winston Harton Holdings
Winston Harton Holdings, LLC (WHH) was established by Russell Flicker and Jonathon Rosenfeld to acquire distressed, value-added and operationally intensive real estate assets (through equity and debt), with a particular focus on gateway cities. Its principals have extensive experience and complementary skill set in the real estate sector, including acquisitions (private transactions and public securities), capital markets and asset management and asset repositioning. WHH will partner with both traditional institutional capital as well as private pools of capital to pursue transactions ranging from $10 - $250 mm.  For more information, visit www.whhllc.com
 
About Starwood Hotels & Resorts
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 http://www.starwoodhotels.com.
 
About Aimbridge Hospitality
Aimbridge Hospitality is one of the nation’s leading independent hotel investment and management firms with a proven track record for delivering superior returns for its strategic partners in a variety of markets and economic cycles. Aimbridge provides management, asset management, development, renovation and consulting services. Based in Dallas, Texas, Aimbridge currently owns and/or manages over 60 upscale, independent and branded hotels with nearly 11,000 rooms across the United States and the Caribbean, including such affiliations as Marriott, Hilton, Embassy Suites, DoubleTree, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites, Aloft, Hyatt, Wyndham and the Phoenix Inn Suites chain of hotels.  For more information on Aimbridge Hospitality, please visit www.aimbridgehospitality.com.

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Contact:

For AREA Property Partners
Michelle Manoff
Rubenstein Public Relations
212-843-8051
mmanoff@rubensteinpr.com
 
For Sheraton Safari Hotel and Suites
Melissa Zuckerman • Autumn Barnes Mayfield
The Mayfield Group
850-421-9007
mzuckerman@the-mayfield-group.com
amayfield@the-mayfield-group.com

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