Starwood Hotels & Resorts is launching its new Aloft Hotel in the virtual land of Second Life in September, months before the chain of hotels opens in real life. The brick-and-mortar version of the hotel, which caters to active, urban 30- to 50-year-olds, is set to roll out the red carpet sometime in 2008. The folks at Starwood are hoping the hotel attracts a lively bunch of avatars who like to mingle in the lobby and give feedback about the hotel. In this way, Second Life will help guide the earthbound hotel's operations.
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