|ORLANDO, Fla. - July 11, 2006 -- Starwood Vacation Ownership, a division
of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT), today announced
major expansion plans for the Westin St. John Resort & Villas in St.
John, USVI. The new Bay Vista phase will include a total of 94 two and
three bedroom villas overlooking the island and the picturesque Great Cruz
Construction plans call for the conversion of 186 hotel rooms in seven buildings in the hillside section of the resort to become vacation ownership villas. Construction of the first phase includes 54 villas and will begin in July, 2006 with an expected occupancy in late 2007. The second phase of 40 villas will begin shortly thereafter. Sales of the new phase will also begin in July.
"This is an ambitious project based on the increasing demand of luxury vacation ownership resorts in the Caribbean. Our Westin Resort & Villas in St. John has been one of the most successful vacation ownership resorts in the region and we are excited to extend our presence and continue our commitment to the island," said Raymond L. "Rip" Gellein, Jr., chief executive officer of Starwood Vacation Ownership.
The Westin Resort & Villas currently has a total of 92 studio, one, two and three bedroom villas. Owners and guests at the resort have full access to all the amenities of the award winning Westin St. John including the breathtaking pools, spa, Westin Workout facility, beachside water sports, tennis, Westin Kids Club and hotel restaurants. There will be a total of 186 villas upon completion of phase two of construction.
"Vacation ownership continues to play a larger role in the overall tourism market in St. John and throughout the Caribbean. We are basically doubling the size of our vacation ownership resort in St. John to meet the demand of consumers. Our newest phase will raise the standard of luxury vacation ownership resorts with the best furnishings, the highest commitment to detail and unparalleled customer service," said Graeme Davis, area managing director, South Florida and Caribbean.
Starwood Vacation Ownership's portfolio of resorts in the Caribbean includes the recently announced Westin Aruba Resort & Spa and Harborside Resort at Atlantis adjacent to the acclaimed Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island, The Bahamas. SVO will now have eight Westin-branded vacation ownership resorts either completed or in the development process.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with approximately 850 properties in more than 95 countries and 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood(R) Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels and resorts with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis(R), The Luxury Collection(R), Sheraton(R), Westin(R), Four Points(R) by Sheraton, W(R), Le Meridien(R) and the recently announced aloft(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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Starwood Vacation Ownership
|Also See:||Starwood Vacation Ownership CEO, Raymond L. Gellein Jr., Sees Lots of Potential Beyound the U.S. / June 2005|
|The Sheraton Cancun Resort & Towers to be Redeveloped as a Starwood Vacation Ownership Resort and Branded the Westin Lagunamar Ocean Resort / September 2005|