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After investing $2.0 million on its renovation, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (HOT - Analyst Report) recently opened a hotel in Jacksonville, Fla. under its popular brand name Four Points by Sheraton. This is the second Four Points hotel in Jacksonville. Earlier, the hotel was owned by Oceanfront Lodging II Inc.

Four Points by Sheraton Jacksonville features 72 suites with a clear view of the Jacksonville Beach and the Atlantic Ocean; an outdoor pool, a fitness center, a full-service dining, and a meeting space spread over 1,800 square feet.

Currently, the company operates more than 175 Four Points hotels in more than 30 countries. The brand has rapid growth potential and is expected to grow approximately 40% in the next five years. In fact, it has the second largest pipeline among all Starwood brands. Moreover, the company plans to open its 200th property under the Four Points brand in 2014.

Starwood is comprehensively working on its assets to offer an advanced and customized travel experience to its guests. At present, a few other Starwood-branded properties are also going through extensive renovation. Recently, the company unveiled a hotel in Portland, Maine under its brand Westin after investing $50.0 million for renovation. The hotel is a strategic renovation of a landmark property in the heart of the city. This hotel marks the entry of the Westin brand in the state.

In these competitive times, most hotel companies across the globe are trying to augment guest satisfaction and gain a better foothold in the industry. Hence, brand conversion and remodeling have become a trend, especially in the past couple of years. Starwood has invested $1.0 billion in renovations and conversions.

Other hoteliers are also in the fray and are focusing on renovation and refurbishment to attract customers. Recently, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marriott International Inc. (MAR - Analyst Report), completed a $2 million renovation of its iconic spa resort, The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami in Key Biscayne, Fla. Under the remodeling project, the resort’s spa fitness center and salon were upgraded.

The company presently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the hotel sector include Home Inns & Hotels Management Inc. (HMIN - Snapshot Report) and Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. , both with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).


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