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<== Starwood ==>

Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide is a collection of luxury hotel brands offering over 1200 properties worldwide.

Starwood Hotels was assembled as an REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) by Starwood Capital in 1969. The REIT grew through acquisition of properties. In the 1980s, the company went public on the NSYE with the symbol HOT. Today the Stamford, Connecticut company concentrates on hotel management and franchising.

Brands in the Starwood Family include: Westin, Sheraton (and Four Points by Sheraton & The Luxury Collection), W Hotels, St. Regis, Le Méridien, Aloft, Element by Westin, and the Tribute Portfolio.

Westin Hotels

Westin Hotels was created in 1930 when hotel owners 1930, Severt W. Thurston, Frank Dupar, Peter and Adolph Schmidt formed a joint management company called Western Hotels to help operate their Washington based hotels during the Great Depression.

The company expanded throughout the Western US and Canada and international. The company went public in 1963 with the name Western International Hotels.

Western Hotels was acquired by UAL Corporation in an effort to create a full service travel service in 1970. UAL shortened the name of Western Hotels International to Westin in 1980. UAL sold Westin in 1994 to Acki of Japan which in turn sold the franchise to Starwood in 1994.

Sheraton

Sheraton Corporation began in 1937 when Ernest Henderson and Robert Moore began acquiring hotels including the Stonehaven Hotel of Springville, Ma and a hotel named "Sheraton Hotel." As the Sheraton had a nice sign, the company chose to develop it as their primary brand as they expanded along the East Coast and into Canada.

According to Wikipedia (drawn 9/2015), Sheraton became the first hotel listed on the NYSE.

In 1949 Sheraton acquired the Eppley Hotel company which was started by Eugene C. Eppley in 1917 and had grown to 22 hotels and was considered the largest hotel brand of the day.

Sheraton grew domestically with the introduction of the Sheraton Motor Lodge and outside North America with the purchase of hotels from the Matson Line in Hawaii and in international destinations with destinations such as Tel Aviv and Caracas.

ITT purchased Sheraton in 1968 and improved its communication infrastructure and expanded internationally with the purchase of the Italian CIGA chain. ITT began managing and marketing its top tier hotels as the ITT Sheraton Luxury Collection. ITT created the Four Points by Sheraton Brand for midsize hotels.

ITT sold its hotel interests to Starwood in 1998. Startwood shortened the name of its top tier hotels to simply "The Luxury Collection." Independent four star hotels are listed in "The Tribute Portfolio".

Sheraton purchased the naming rights for the Hawaii Bowl (a college football playoff game) in 2013.

W Hotels

In 1998, Starwood created a boutique brand of hotels with the shortened name "W." The brand is noted for a minimalist modern decor.

St. Regis

Sheraton acquired the St. Regis Hotel in 1968. This four star/five diamond hotel was built in 1904 by John Jacob Astor IV who later perished on the Titanic in 1912.

In 1999, Starwood chose the historic St Regis Hotel as the flagship of its new line of ultra luxury hotels.

Le Méridien

Le Méridien is a brand of upscale hotels developed by Air France. The chain had grown to 58 hotels by 1991 with propertied in Europe, Africa, the French West Indies, Canada, Mauritus.

Le Méridien was acquired by the British Forte Group which added the Heritage Hotels and Posthouse Forte brands then went through a series of mergers and divestitures including The Granada Group, the Compass Group, Nomura Group, the Principal and Lehman Brothers before being acquired by Starwood in 2005.

Le Méridien has over 100 hotels in 50 countries.

Aloft

Aloft Hotels is a brand of boutique hotels developed by Starwood noted for modern architecture and sustainable design. Aloft Hotels also seek to differentiate themselves with involvement in the local community.

The first Aloft was built in 2008 and the concept has expanded rapidly.

Element by Westin

Element by Westin is a brand of eco-friendly hotels established in 2006 designed from the ground up to minimize environmental impact. The hotels are noted for low water usage and use of recycled materials.

The Tribute Portfolio

The Tribute Portfolio is a collection of independent four star hotels.

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