Starwood Hotels is taking things up a notch by launching its Aloft chain virtually, two years before the real thing is opened in the U.S. Sara Van Gorden, writing on the blog that details the projects progress, explains that "Where this differs from more traditional modeling programs is the fact that SL also functions as a societal engine as well. Users can interact in real time, exploring the vast virtual world together, collaborate on building, customizing their avatars (your inworld representation), or just hanging out. This adds a huge level of depth to the creation experience that you can't get from a CAD program. If you'd like to read more about Second Life before going further in this blog - and there's a lot more to discover - check these links out. "
The blog can be found in its entirety here. The site for the real-world hotel can be found here.