by Michael J. Shapiro | May 29, 2015
For the first five months of 2015, Starwood Hotels & Resorts has signed more hotel deals than it had during the same time period for each year since 2008. Much of the activity is occurring in North America, which accounts for 40 percent of the signings. Three-quarters of those deals are for select-service brands, signings for which have jumped by 30 percent year-over-year. Starwood will open its 600th hotel in North America this year; the region remains home to the company's biggest portfolio, as well as the most robust pipeline for hotels in development. All of Starwood's select-service brands -- Aloft, Element and Four Points by Sheraton -- are experiencing growth. Worldwide, 13 hotels under one these three flags have opened this year; more than 30 more will debut by the end of the year.

In the luxury segment, Starwood will open more St. Regis and Luxury Collection properties this year than it has since 2001. Twenty new Sheraton Hotels are expected to open in 2015, half of which will be in the Asia Pacific region; and Westin and Le Méridien both are showing solid growth outside of the U.S.

Starwood's newest brand, Tribute Portfolio, has debuted in Miami, with plans to open properties in Asheville, N.C.; Nashville; Savannah, Ga.; and Charleston, S.C.