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In order to bolster its presence in the U.S., Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. (HOT - Analyst Report) recently unveiled its 1st Westin branded (upper/ upscale luxury brand) property – The Westin Sacramento – in Sacramento, Calif. The Westin branded property, previously known as Le Rivage Hotel, was re-opened after an extensive refurbishment worth $3.2 million.

Strategically positioned next to the Sacramento River, the 100-room hotel is next to the Sacramento Convention Center Complex and the campus of California State University and in close proximity to Sacramento International Airport (SMF). The Westin Sacramento provides various amenities like an outdoor pool, bar, fitness center, spa and a meeting place measuring 7,000 square feet.  

We believe the opening of the latest property is a strategic fit as Sacramento, the capital of California, is a key trading hub, which boosts business travel in the area. Moreover, the closeness of the property to some of the major cultural attractions that the U.S. offers is likely to attract more leisure travelers. Starwood already owns and operates 2 other properties in Sacramento under two brands, Sheraton and Four Points by Sheraton.

Several other hoteliers including Hyatt Hotels Corporation (H - Snapshot Report), Wyndham Worldwide Corp. (WYN - Analyst Report) and Marriott International Inc. (MAR - Analyst Report) made their presence felt in this region.

This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company has set a new trend in hotel designs with its Westin brand and has spread its operations globally with more than 192 hotels in over 40 countries. The brand rides on a high growth since its launch.

In the fourth quarter of 2012, the revenue per available room (RevPAR) growth at Westin was 4.2% in constant dollars, the 3rd highest among the company’s all the other brands. Starwood is continuously trying to boost its Westin brand, which is likely to reach the benchmark of 200 hotels worldwide by 2013.

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