Multiple W's May Make Their Way to D.C.

"The W brand brings something new to...DC market, fills a void": Starwood Hotels CEO

By Asha Beh
|  Friday, Oct 9, 2009  |  Updated 5:45 PM EDT
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Multiple W's May Make Their Way to D.C.

More W's like this may pop up around town.

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D.C.'s got one W, which just celebrated its opening. Now it looks like we might get more.

At the W's grand opening party at the former Hotel Washington Thursday night, Starwood Hotels CEO Frits van Paasschen said that the company sees some cities as prime candidates for a more expansive rollout of the W brand -- and D.C. is among those markets, The Washington Business Journal reports.

"Washington is certainly a place where we’d love to do that, and we’re always looking at opportunities,” van Paasschen said. “I think the W brand brings something new to the DC market, fills a void.”

Because D.C. doesn't exactly shout "luxury." (Unless you live in Chevy Chase, Potomac or McLean. Or shop in Friendship Heights, Georgetown or Tyson's Corner.)  

The White Plains, N.Y.-based company, which plans to open somewhere between 30 and 60 W hotels over the next three years, has not invested a significant amount of money marketing the W on 15th Street, NW, van Paasschen told the Journal. He said they prefer to build buzz and gain customers through word of mouth -- a strategy that seems to be working, judging by its mentions in various local papers and other media.

The D.C. market has also given Starwood a boost in other ways. The company’s Aloft brand has five hotels opened or slated to open in the D.C. Baltimore area, the Journal reported.

“D.C.’s been great for us [for Aloft],” he said. “It brings the energy and the attitude of the W to a different market segment with different pricepoints.”

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