The FINANCIAL — Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. on October 5 announced the launch of its fast-growing Aloft brand in Durham, North Carolina. Owned by ATC East Development and managed by Davidson & Jones Hotel Corporation, Aloft Durham Downtown boasts a prime location within a new mixed-use complex in the recently revitalized American Tobacco Historic District. Designed for the hyper-connected global traveler, the newly constructed Aloft hotel features 134 spacious, loft-like rooms, tech forward innovation and a buzzing social atmosphere.
“The energy of our Aloft brand is a great fit for the American Tobacco Historic District in downtown Durham,” said Brian McGuinness, Senior Vice President, Specialty Select Brands for Starwood. “We’re seeing phenomenal success of the brand in dynamic markets across the globe, and we look forward to bringing its tech-forward mind-set, leading-edge design and buzzing social scene to the exciting city of Durham.”
Located between the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) and the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, Aloft Durham Downtown is at the heart of the American Tobacco Historic District, which launched a massive redevelopment and restoration project in 2004 to transform the iconic American Tobacco Company’s campus into a unique, mixed-use development complex with local and national corporations, restaurants and event venues. Just 14 miles from the Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU), the hotel is also close to the Durham Convention Center, Duke University and Medical Center, and Research Triangle Park – one of the nation’s most prestigious high-tech and biotech hubs, according to Starwood Hotels.
Aloft Durham Downtown features an outdoor Splash pool, a 24-hour gym, re:fuel at Aloft – a one-stop gourmet grab & go food and beverage area, and the brand’s signature W XYZ bar where guests can enjoy a refreshing cocktail and catch the latest up-and-coming music acts as part of the brand’s signature Live At Aloft Hotels music series. In addition, the hotel offers approximately 1,600 square feet of flexible meeting space for both business meetings and social gatherings, plus a parking deck.
“We are thrilled to debut Starwood’s popular Aloft brand on the American Tobacco Campus, where travelers will enjoy easy access to the area’s restaurants and sports and cultural venues,” said Michael Goodmon, Vice President of Real Estate for Capitol Broadcasting Company, which owns American Tobacco. “The opening of Aloft Durham Downtown also marks an important step forward in the ongoing redevelopment of Durham’s historic downtown.”
The Aloft brand’s innovative and exclusive initiatives set it apart from the competition. Aloft Hotels recently announced the launch of SPG Keyless—an evolution of Aloft’s Smart Check-in— the hospitality industry’s first mobile, keyless entry system allowing guests to use their smart phone as a key. The technology is rolling out to all Aloft, Element and W Hotels Worldwide by year’s end. This forward-thinking initiative is part of the brand’s innovative DNA. Additionally, every Aloft Hotel around the world offers live, free access to local emerging artists and some of the hottest bands with Live at Aloft Hotels programming at the W XYZ® bars.
Aloft remains the fastest growing brand in the history of hospitality with nearly 100 hotels in 15 countries. On track to open its milestone 100th hotel later this year, the brand boasts the company’s second largest pipeline. Fueled by accelerating demand in dynamic markets worldwide, Aloft continues to enter new markets including Munich and Stuttgart, Germany as well as expand its portfolio in Greater China to ten hotels by year’s end.