The new property is called the Westin Mission Hills Resort &Villas, offering weekly time-shares in this community near PalmSprings.

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The resort is the first Westin-branded vacation timeshare inCalifornia and the fourth that Starwood has built or underconstruction, according to Raymond L. "Rip" Gellein Jr., chairmanand co-chief executive officer of Starwood Vacation OwnershipInc.

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The new resort occupies just over 20 acres and will feature 158two-bedroom villas, each with full kitchens, separate living roomand dining room, and a whirlpool tub. The first phase, which openedTuesday, includes 16 villas, with a second phase of 40 villas dueto open in January and the balance to open in late 2003 and in2004.

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The Westin resort overlooks the Mission Hills Golf Course andwhen completed will feature a family pool with a water slide, aseparate children's only pool, an adult pool, private cabanas,restaurant and bar. The property will become part of a newly formedStarwood Vacation Network (SVN), an exchange program that givesmembers access to other Sheraton and Westin time-shares.

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The new property is the latest in a series of new resorts andtime-shares either opened or under way in and around Rancho Mirage,Palm Springs and other Coachella Valley communities. Among theothers is a development approved for 242 villas, 40 of which arebuilt, at Cimmaron Resort in Palm Springs; and a 255-time-sharedevelopment called Star Canyon Resort that is planned for PalmSprings.

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