Chef Alain Ducasse Moving to the St. Regis

A New Sanctuary of Culinary Escapism to Debut in March 2007

. October 14, 2008

WHITE PLAINS, NY, September 27, 2006. St. Regis Hotels & Resorts is pleased to announce a partnership with internationally acclaimed chef Alain Ducasse who will open a new signature restaurant at the brand's legendary flagship, The St. Regis Hotel, New York. Opening in March 2007, the soon-to-be named restaurant will also feature an exciting wine bar designed to educate and delight both new and experienced oenophiles alike.

Chef Alain Ducasse is one of the world's most decorated chefs and the only chef in the world to own and operate three signature restaurants each honored with three Michelin stars. Ducasse has developed unparalleled expertise over the past 25 years in the art of good living and eating, evidenced by his receipt the world's most prestigious culinary awards.

"Pairing the talent of Alain Ducasse with the luxury and rich legacy of the St. Regis Hotel, New York will create a distinct and exciting experience," said Steven J. Heyer, chief executive officer for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., the parent of St. Regis Hotels & Resorts. "Our vision is to create a new style hotel restaurant with a theatrical environment, energy and vitality."

Masterfully utilizing the freshest seasonal ingredients, the menu will feature an elegant cuisine, rich textures and new flavors complemented by one of the most important wine collections in the world today.

"My ambition for The St. Regis in New York is to create a wine and culinary experience with a resolutely unique approach. The goal will always be to create an unforgettable culinary experience," stated Chef Alain Ducasse.

Recently named the number one hotel in the world by the readers of Institutional Investor, The St. Regis Hotel, New York is the first New York hotel to win the coveted top spot in the survey's 25-year history. The opening of the Alain Ducasse restaurant, further underscores the hotel's reputation for and commitment to creating extraordinary experiences for guests.

David Rockwell and the talented Rockwell Group design team will oversee the dramatic redesign of the space formerly occupied by Lespinasse including customized areas for private dining along with several distinctive private tasting rooms.

"We are delighted to welcome Chef Ducasse to The St. Regis Hotel, New York, offering guests and New Yorkers an unrivaled dining experience. The addition of this unique collaboration is another chapter in the hotel's storied history, and further establishes The St. Regis Hotel, New York as a destination for the world's most discerning travelers," commented Scott Geraghty, general manager of The St. Regis Hotel, New York.

The St. Regis Hotel, New York is revered as one of the finest addresses in the world. The majestic Beaux Arts exterior, elegant public spaces, exquisitely designed guest rooms and suites and unparalleled, bespoke service have preserved its legendary status for more than 100 years. Ideally located in the heart of Manhattan at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 55th Street, The St. Regis Hotel, New York completed an exquisite renovation by noted designers Sills + Huniford, as well as with a new Remede Spa. In September 2006, the hotel unveiled a magnificent suite designed by Bottega Veneta.

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Hotel Law: A Labor Crisis and Cyber Security

According to a recent study, the hospitality industry accounted for 2.9 trillion dollars in sales and in the U.S. alone, was responsible for 1 in 9 jobs. In an industry of that scope and dimension, legal issues touch every aspect of a hotel's operation, and legal services are required in order to conform to all prevailing laws and regulations. Though not all hotels face the same issues, there are some industry-wide subjects that are of concern more broadly. One of those matters is the issue of immigration and how it affects the ability of hotels to recruit qualified employees. The hotel industry is currently facing a labor crisis; the U.S. Labor Department estimates that there are 600,000 unfilled jobs in the industry. Part of the problem contributing to this labor shortage is the lack of H2B visas for low-skilled workers, combined with the difficulty in obtaining J-1 visas for temporary workers. Because comprehensive immigration reform is not being addressed politically, hotel managers expect things are going to get worse before they get better. Corporate cyber security is another major legal issue the industry must address. Hotels are under enormous pressure in this area given the large volume of customer financial transactions they handle daily. Recently, a federal court ruled that the Federal Trade Commission had the power to regulate corporate cyber security, so it is incumbent on hotels to establish data security programs in order to prevent data breaches. The lack of such programs could cause hotels to face legal threats from government agencies, class action lawsuits, and damage to their brand image if a data breach should occur. These are just two of the critical issues that the December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.