Construction to Begin on Aloft Hotel

Construction is expected to start next month on a new style of hotel that will bring “urban cool” in the style of the W hotel to Tulsa.
Ground is expected to be broken in early- to mid-March on an Aloft Hotel at 71st Street and U.S. 169 near the newly opened Dave & Busters restaurant and arcade at 6812 S. 105th East Ave. Tulsa area hotel developer Andy Patel said the project will bring entry of the Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. branding into the Tulsa market.
Patel, who is developing the property under the name TAP (Tulsa Aloft Properties) Holding Co. with partner Narry Krushiker, said the contemporary style of the Aloft line “will attract a lot of young crowds, especially generation X and Y, but also a lot of baby boomers. It will attract all kinds of clientele with a younger mind set.”
“Tulsa does not having anything like Aloft. It is unique,” he said.
Brad Minor, senior manager of Corporate Public Relations for Starwood, said, “Aloft was created to reinvent the traditional, uninspiring hotel experience in the select serve sector. The concept is to provide style at a steal – a W-inspired hotel for the masses. We wanted to meet the needs of the next generation of traveler accustomed to great design from affordable brands like Ikea and H&M.”
The 139-room hotel is expected to open May 1, 2010. Originally expected to open in late 2008 or early 2009, permitting and subsequent financing delays pushed back the start of construction, Patel said.
Developing at ‘Full Force’
Meanwhile, Patel, who also builds and operates hotels under the corporate name Anish Hotel Group, has seven hotel properties planned or under development in the Tulsa area, including the Aloft and another hotel next to the Aloft for which he has not determined a brand.
“Everyone has things on hold, and we are moving on full force,” Patel said, noting that his groups have about $70 million in developments completed, planned or under way in Tulsa and the region.
He said his group has two Fairfield Inns by Marriott, one in Bartlesville and one in Muskogee, opening in April. He also has two Hampton Inn & Suites under development, one north of the Tulsa Hills shopping center at U.S. 75 and 71st Street and another at 31st Street and Memorial Drive. In addition, he said his group has been approved to build a Hilton Garden Inn near Bass Pro in Broken Arrow.
“We are planning one in Glenpool, but we haven’t decided on a brand yet,” he said.
Patel currently operates La Quinta Inn & Suites, 6030 E. Skelly Drive; Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott, 3214 S. 79th East Ave., and Homewood Suites by Hilton, 4900 W. Madison Place in Broken Arrow.
Starwood in Growth Mode, Too
The introduction of the Starwood presence in the Tulsa market comes as the hotel and leisure giant continues an aggressive growth strategy.
Starwood has more than 940 properties in about 97 countries, with 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. It announced earlier this year that it will open its 1,000th hotel in 2009 as part of the company’s plan to open 100 hotels this year in diverse markets throughout the world.
Starwood Hotels is the owner, operator and franchisor of the St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Sheraton, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton, W and Le M√?ridien brands as well and the recently launched Aloft and Element Hotels.
Minor said the Aloft line “is a vision of W Hotels and puts the urban style of W within reach. Aloft brings urban cool to unexpected places and is most often found in hip, less traditional business areas within city centers, near airports and in suburbs.”
With the first Aloft opened in 2008, the brand has opened nearly 20 hotels around the world, including China
All About Amenities
Minor said, “Like all Aloft hotels, the Aloft Tulsa will feature urban-influenced design, accessible technology, style and a social atmosphere.”
Guest rooms will feature loft-like, nine-foot ceilings and oversized windows, large stylish bathrooms with walk-in showers and amenities created by Bliss spa. Each guest room is also a combination high-tech office and entertainment center, featuring wireless Internet access and Plug & Play, a one-stop connectivity solution for multiple electronic gadgetry.
Aloft also offers “atmospheric public spaces designed to draw guests from their rooms to mix and mingle,” Minor said.
“Savvy travelers can read the paper, work on their laptops via complimentary hotel-wide wireless Internet access, play a game of pool or grab a drink with friends at re:mix, the communal lobby area featuring the sassy w xyz bar.,” he said.
The hotels also provide a re:charge fitness center and a 24-hour, one-stop food and beverage area called re:fuel by Aloft.



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