|By Douglas Hanks, The Miami
HeraldMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
January 27, 2009 --Monday was the last day for Starwood to run The Atlantic, one of Fort Lauderdale beach's few luxury hotels.
Starwood declined to say why it was leaving. The new general manager, Jon McGaunn, said the decision not to renew Starwood's contract was "mutual" and that guests shouldn't notice the difference. "It's business as usual here," he said.
The divorce between the hotel chain and the ownership group doesn't have as much consequence as when Starwood exited the 166-room St. Regis nearby, since the Atlantic did not carry a recognizable Starwood brand.
After Starwood's departure Tuesday, the 166-unit condo-hotel will remain the Atlantic and the employees are expected to remain at their posts.
The St. Regis is now a Ritz-Carlton, part of the Marriott umbrella.
In leaving the Atlantic, Starwood will remove some complications regarding its 482-room W hotel scheduled to open March 1 two blocks away. Both hotels court high-end travelers.
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