Starwood puts hotels near airport up for sale

General manager Patrick Sanchez in the logo of Aloft hotel, opening today at the Philadelphia airport.
General manager Patrick Sanchez in the logo of Aloft hotel, opening today at the Philadelphia airport. (DAVID SWANSON / Inquirer Staff Photographer)
Posted: June 23, 2013

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. is selling its trio of hotels near Philadelphia International Airport.

The complex has the 251-room Sheraton Suites Philadelphia Airport Hotel, the 177-room Four Points by Sheraton Philadelphia Airport, and the Aloft Philadelphia Airport with 136 rooms - 564 rooms in all.

Simon Turner, president of global development for Starwood, said Friday: "Starwood continues its systematic pursuit of an asset-light strategy by selling hotels to owners who share our vision for each property. We are fortunate to have a quality portfolio of owned assets in a number of high-barrier-to-entry markets.

"With continuing improvements in hotel industry fundamentals, historically low interest rates, and improving capital markets conditions, we've seen a meaningful increase in buyer interest."

The complex joins the Philadelphia Downtown Marriott as significant properties for sale. A spokesman confirmed this month that the Marriott, with 1,408 rooms, was looking for a buyer.

"What is going on is just a reflection of improvements in the credit markets, where lending continues to become more available for hotel purchases," said lodging analyst C. Patrick Scholes at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Inc. Starwood has "been trying to become 'asset-light' for about eight years now. . . . to focus more on their global hotel management and franchise business."

Peter Tyson, vice president of PKF Consulting USA, which tracks the region's hospitality industry, said the complex obviously benefits from its location.

It "is excellent in terms of capturing demand generated by the airport and from the surrounding area," Tyson said in an e-mail. "The airport is responsible for a significant number of room-nights: distressed passengers, passengers with early-morning flights preferring to spend the trip's eve near the airport, airline crews, in-transit passengers with their second-leg flights the following day, and groups preferring to meet near the airport... .

"Further, there are many companies in southwestern Philadelphia and Delaware County that generate demand for hotel rooms."

Contact Suzette Parmley at 215-854-2855,, or follow on Twitter @SuzParmley.

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