Sound sense from Westin

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Count on Westin Hotels to be on the tip. Last fall, Starwood's upscale flag instituted a progressive, healthful no-smoking policy at all its 124 properties. Now comes word that Westin will partner with music site emusic.com to develop a signature music program for its lobbies and for in-room entertainment.

âœEmusicologistâ Richard Gehr, who has written music criticism for national publications such as Rolling Stone, Spin and AARP: The Magazine, will help define the âœglobal voiceâ of the Westin brand. The target is an âœambient, melodic, rhythmic and energizing feelâ for soundtracks at Westin properties.

Emusic specializes in independent labels, suggesting Westin will draw from an inherently alternative musical pool. Whether it taps into major labels remains to be seen; the copyright issues might be too complex for it to venture there.

For now, it seems, the soundtracks Gehr will put together should smack of the global; heâ™s emusicâ™s world-beat/reggae columnist. No word on the delivery system, though emusicâ™s iPod-friendly site suggests guestroom downloading will be the MO.

Souvenirs? A natural. Westin should consider customized CDs for guests so they can conjure the Sensory Welcome program Westin is putting together at home.

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