Starwood Hotels selling four-star St. Regis Resort Aspen
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. is selling the four-star hotel, which recently converted many of its rooms to fractional-ownership residences, to 315 East Dean Associates Inc, which is being represented by Bangkok-based OptAsia Capital Co., according to a statement from Starwood.
The sale price was not disclosed.
The St. Regis went on the market in November 2008, a low point in Aspen's economy. But it apparently is part of a larger shift in strategy as Starwood and other big-name brands like Hilton Hotels Worldwide focus on managing properties instead of owning them. Starwood reportedly only owns 62 U.S. hotels and recently put the Westin Atlanta up for sale, according to the Wall Street Journal. While Starwood is shedding its American hotels, it appears to be bullish on hotel purchases over in Asia.
Meanwhile, Aspen's hospitality market is undergoing major changes.
A tornado of paperwork swirled around The Hotel Jerome as two different groups of Chicago investors grew engrossed in a high-stakes legal tug-of-war for the property. Then the Aspen Skiing Co. purchased the Limelight hotel last spring. And Kimpton's 90-room Sky hotel is also on the block.
Hotels have been hit hard by the recession. U.S. hotel occupancy fell 8.2 percentage points between 2007 and 2009, and revenue per room fell 18.3 percent, according to Smith Travel Research. But it may be poised for a comeback. Smith Travel Research also predicts U.S. hotel occupancy will rise by more than 4 percent in 2010.
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