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The 44 Year Old Sheraton Yankee Trader Hotel Closing on June 1, 2008 to
Begin Multi Million Property-wide Renovation Creating  the Westin
Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort


GREENWICH, Conn., April 15, 2008 - Starwood Capital Group Global, LLC, a leading private investment firm, today announced plans to dramatically transform and re-flag the Sheraton Yankee Trader Hotel, re-opening it as The Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort following a multi-million dollar renovation. Owned by an entity controlled by Starwood Capital Group, the new Westin will continue to be managed by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT), one of the world's leading hotel and leisure companies. When it opens in February 2009, The Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort will inspire personal renewal and relaxation in a prime, oceanfront setting.

After a successful 44-year presence at 321 North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard, the Sheraton Yankee Trader Hotel will close officially on June 1, 2008 to begin the property-wide renovation.

"We are extremely pleased to announce this investment, which we believe will create one of the most sought-after destinations for vacationing families and corporate travelers along the Florida coast," said Robert Geimer, Senior Vice President for Starwood Capital Group. "We believe the combination of the asset's excellent location, extensive renovation plans and the management expertise of Starwood Hotels will result in one of the strongest performing assets in Fort Lauderdale."

"The future is exciting for this landmark location and we are confident that our loyal guests, along with future visitors, will enjoy the luxurious accommodations and personalized, instinctive services that will be provided by The Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort," said Amaury Piedra, Complex General Manager for the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort and Sheraton Yankee Clipper Hotel.

The renovation will result in dramatic exterior modifications, enhancing the spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean, Intracoastal Waterway and the city of Fort Lauderdale. Plans to significantly refurbish the interior of the hotel will offer guests a restful, rejuvenating experience including the new Heavenly Spa by Westin(TM) and Westin WORKOUT(R) fitness center as well as state-of-the-art meeting facilities.

The hotel will also refresh its signature restaurant, Shula's on the Beach. Plans call for the upscale steak house to remain open for dinner service throughout the property-wide renewal. Additional enhancements to the guest experience will feature soothing touches, including a subtle earth tone decor, mood music and ambient lighting. The resort will feature Westin signature services including The Westin Heavenly Bed(R), Westin Kids Club(R) and The Westin sensory welcome.

The Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort will boast more than 32,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space to suit every occasion, including the 10,000 square foot Las Olas Ballroom, which can accommodate groups of up to 1,200 people. Additionally, the resort will feature the 3,900 square foot Sunrise Terrace with inspiring views of Fort Lauderdale Beach and the Atlantic Ocean.

Located directly on Fort Lauderdale Beach, The Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort will inspire visitors with spectacular views, exquisite dining and refreshing signature amenities. Guests can relax poolside, overlooking the ocean, or enjoy miles of sandy beaches. The Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach is just minutes from downtown Fort Lauderdale, close to a variety of restaurants and boutiques. Nearby recreation includes golf, deep-sea fishing, scuba diving and sailing.

For more information or for future bookings, please call (800) 823-2240, or visit

Starwood Capital Group Global, LLC is a privately-held global real estate investment firm based in Greenwich, CT (with its predecessor Starwood affiliates "Starwood"). Founded in 1991, Starwood specializes in the creation and acquisition of real estate-related investments on behalf of commingled investment vehicles that are sponsored and created by Starwood or its affiliated entities. Such real estate-related investments include residential and commercial land development, multifamily, hotel, office, retail, mixed- use, industrial, health clubs, golf and mezzanine debt. Starwood's clients include public and private retirement programs, university endowments, foundations, international and high net worth investors. During the past sixteen years Starwood and its affiliates have invested approximately $6 billion of equity capital in transactions representing over $30 billion of asset value.

Starwood Capital Group has led the formation and/or growth of several market leading companies including Groupe Taittinger and Societe du Louvre, Europe's second largest hotel network; iStar Financial, the leading publicly traded finance company specializing in commercial real estate mortgage, mezzanine and net lease financing; Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, a leading global owner/operator of hotels, Westin Hotels & Resorts which was merged into Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide in January 1998; Equity Residential Properties Trust, one of the premier US multifamily REITs; and National Golf Properties/American Golf Corporation, the largest owner/operator of golf courses and related facilities in the U.S., who, together with its private sister company, owned, leased or managed 255 golf courses.

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities regulations. Forward-looking statements
are not guarantees of future performance or events and involve risks and uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated at the time the forward-looking statements are made. 


Starwood Capital Group Global, LLC

Also See: Gill Family to Sell Majority Stake in Twin Yankee Hotels to Starwood / April 2005


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