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Most hoteliers 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. As part of its continued push to popularize its brand, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. (HOT - Analyst Report) is set to introduce an Aloft-branded property in Greenville, SC. Christened, Aloft Greenville, the hotel is slated for a 2015 opening and will be the second hotel under the brand in the state.

Aloft Greenville will be developed by McKibbon Hotel Group — a premier real estate developer and owner of nationally franchised hotel brands. Positioned in the heart of South Carolina, the hotel will be part of the new project to develop Greenville’s downtown region.

The 144-room hotel will offer a state-of-the-art meeting space and rooftop amenities including an outdoor pool. The hotel is located in close proximity to many shops and restaurants as well as the Peace Center for the Performing Arts and the Bon Secours Wellness Arena.

The hotel is also located next to Greenville’s ONE Building — home to many top corporate firms — and will be constructed over a 470-space public garage. In our opinion, the upscale location and the newly renovated public plaza on Main Street facing the hotel will act as major crowd-pullers for the hotel.

Starwood’s mid-scale and contemporary lifestyle brand, Aloft has been riding on a high growth trajectory since its launch in 2008. The brand has already made its presence in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, India, Southeast Asia and China. The brand is preferred by modern travelers looking for a unique experience within a reasonable price range.

Starwood is consistently trying to expand its presence domestically like hoteliers such as Hyatt Hotels Corporation (H - Snapshot Report) and InterContinental Hotels Group plc (IHG - Snapshot Report). Through the Aloft brand, the company plans to target the boomer generation and the emerging middle classes with higher disposable income.

The company currently boasts more than 100 Aloft-branded properties worldwide. Last year was particularly strong for Aloft as it debuted in locations such as Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Suwon-city, South Korea. Recently, Starwood announced that it will debut the brand in Secaucus, NJ in mid-2016.

Starwood currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked stock in the hotel industry is Marriott International, Inc. (MAR - Analyst Report) with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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