Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Hotel Hotwire: more on Starwood’s plans for Philadelphia

Way back when, we reported that Starwood was evaluating four sites for expansion in Philadelphia for either a W Hotel or one from their new Aloft line.

The speculated sites included the Architects Building on 17th and Sansom, which we felt would make for a mighty fine location for a W.

This Sunday, the New York Times reported that Starwood has indeed narrowed their choices to one location — and that location is at the Philadelphia International Airport:
Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide announced a similar concept last year, geared toward the Gen X crowd, with the name Aloft. The company expects to open the first of those hotels, in Lexington, Mass., Lincolnshire, Ill., and at the Philadelphia airport, with loftlike rooms in 2007 and have 500 Aloft hotels worldwide by 2012.
A sphincter says what? We would sooner recommend a visitor stay at the Holiday Inn Express Midtown, than at any hotel near the Philadelphia fucking airport.

What the shit is Starwood thinking? More importantly, who the hell do they have spec’ing their real estate moves? They’d have to be uber-fucking-incompetent to propose that a hotel aimed at Gen X be placed at the Philadelphia Airport.

Seriously, this is one of the all-time worst ideas we’ve ever heard. Right up there with building an effing 11-story parking garage on Rittenhouse Square – (thank christmas that got blocked).

We hope Starwood gets their head out of their ass — like, immediately — and rethinks the location of their planned Aloft.

They should also work on finding some new talent for prospecting locations in Philly — and make a permanent note to self that the airport is not one of the city’s flashier neighborhoods.

UPDATE: Unfortunately, the news has just been corroborated (we’d been hoping it was a reporting mistake):
According to Ted Darnall, President of Starwood's Real Estate Group, … the company plans to break ground later this year on aloft hotels at Philadelphia Airport and in Lexington, Massachusetts. [Smith Travel]
Related:
Starwood plans to open one of their first Aloft hotels at PHL in 2007; thinks oil refinery odors/visuals will keep hipsters coming back for more

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