BY JAMES WILKINSON
Starwood is set to re-enter the Perth market on June 1, 2012, following the signing of a management agreement to operate the former Citigate Perth under the Four Points by Sheraton banner.
The company left the Perth market 18 months ago when the Sheraton was rebranded as a Pan Pacific and the signing – between Starwood and a joint venture comprising Host Hotels and an affiliate of Singapore’s GIC Real Estate – could not come at a better time with rates, RevPAR and occupancy in the West Australian capital soaring on the back of the state’s mining boom.
Starwood’s Regional Vice President for the Pacific, Sean Hunt, said the 277-room property was undergoing “a comprehensive capital improvement program” to upgrade facilities before the June 1 reopening date.
“We are excited to be working with Host and GIC to expand the Four Points by Sheraton brand and strengthen our overall footprint in Australia,” he said.
“Perth is an especially attractive location for travelers from within Australia and abroad, as it has become a premier destination for business, entertainment, culture and the arts (and) we are responding to the growing demand for lifestyle brands in the hospitality industry.
“In this case, our target is the mid-market, value-for-money segment,” he said.
The property – located opposite the 14,500-seat Perth Arena, which is currently under construction and due for completion in the third quarter of 2012 – will join hotels in Sydney and Geelong in the Australian Four Points stable.
Starwood’s Senior Vice President – Acquisition and Development for Asia-Pacific, Matthew Fry, is confident the signing will spark further interest in the company’s brands down under.
“Starwood’s nine unique and differentiated lifestyle brands are all conversion friendly and we have an unsurpassed ability to match the right brand with the right development opportunity in the right market, driving results for our owners and shareholders,” he said.
“At the same time, we are pragmatic in our approach to conversions, ensuring brand standards while balancing owners’ needs.”