Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Inc. will grow its New York portfolio by 50 percent this year and open more hotels in New York in 2010 than any other city in the world. Today, Starwood operates 12 hotels in the Big Apple across six of its nine brands. The boom will result in 18 Starwood hotels including the debut of Starwood's two newest brands in Manhattan - Aloft and Element. Starwood is on track to open more than 80 hotels in key markets around the world this year.
During the remainder of 2010, Starwood will open six new hotels in neighborhoods across Manhattan, as well as in Long Island City and Brooklyn, representing 25 percent of the new hotel rooms in New York City - one out of four new hotel rooms slated to debut in the city this year will be branded Starwood. In May, the highly anticipated Sheraton Brooklyn opened its doors - bringing the total number of new Starwood hotels to open in the Big Apple in 2010 to seven. The company's aggressive growth will bring 1,712 new hotel rooms and more than 500 new jobs to New York City.
Over the past several months, NYC occupancy has continued to surpass last year's levels: June occupancy averaged 86.4 percent, up 5 percent over last year at the same time. In addition, 45.25 million tourists visited in 2009, exceeding expectations by 7 percent. By 2012, New York City anticipates attracting 50 million visitors annually and there is a need for new hotels to meet this demand. New York maintained its position as the world's most popular tourist destination for international visitors last year, and emerged as the top choice for domestic travelers for the first time in nearly 30 years. Starwood is well prepared for the influx of travelers with product that is the best it has ever been. In fact, by 2011, 75 percent of Starwood's portfolio in New York will be brand new or freshly renovated.
This year, Starwood will debut its two newest lifestyle brands in New York City with the opening of Aloft hotels in Harlem and Brooklyn and its first Element hotel in Times Square. Aloft and Element have proven to be popular among the hotel development community as consumer demand for stylish, comfortable and affordable accommodations in Manhattan and the outer boroughs continues to rise. The Aloft and Element brands redefined the select service segment when the first hotels opened in 2008, and by the end of the year will have a combined portfolio of nearly 59 properties worldwide. Aloft is the stylish new select service lifestyle brand derived from the DNA of W Hotels, and Element, which is inspired by Westin Hotels & Resorts, and offers an eco-savvy experience for longer-stay guests.
Within the upper-upscale segment, New York is proving to be fertile ground for Sheraton, Starwood's largest and most global brand. Among the new hotels Sheraton is adding worldwide, two are in New York City. The summer opening of the highly anticipated Sheraton Brooklyn New York Hotel will be followed by the opening of Sheraton Tribeca New York Hotel in September. Sheraton and its partners are also continuing to invest in upgrading its existing flagship hotel, the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers, which is slated to begin a $100 million renovation later this year. These enhancements to the Sheraton brand's NYC portfolio stem from its recently completed $6 billion global, multi-year revitalization program, which resulted in $2 billion in new hotels and $1.3 billion in renovations.
New York City remains the epicenter of W Hotels Worldwide, with four currently open in the metro area, and the new W New York - Downtown Hotel & Residences opening this summer. W continues to evolve its existing landmark hotels, recently renovating W New York and W New York - Times Square. Since the very first W opened in New York City in 1998, the hotel category buster and industry innovator has evolved from a New York City phenomenon to a global powerhouse with a portfolio of 35 W Hotels around the world and plans to more than double its portfolio by the end of 2011.
Four Points by Sheraton continues to make inroads in New York City with the upcoming opening of Four Points by Sheraton Long Island City this summer. The fast-growing brand made its debut just six years ago in the Big Apple, where it expects to have a total of seven hotels by 2011.
Earlier this spring, Starwood also relocated its Manhattan-based luxury and design-led brands from Chelsea to new headquarters on Varick Street at the junction of Soho and Tribeca, two of New York City's most creative neighborhoods. The new design offices house the design and brand marketing teams across the company's W, Le Meridien, St. Regis and Luxury Collection brands.