Offering guests live entertainment is not a new concept in the hotel industry. In Las Vegas, major hotels regularly host acts such as Carrot Top and Penn & Teller.

Aloft Hotels, the ultra-modern economy brand operated by Starwood Hotels & Resorts, has put a new twist on the idea, turning its hotel lobbies into concert venues for local and lesser-known musical acts.

The effort began about four years ago, and the performances have drawn such positive reviews on social media that Aloft hotel managers are now getting requests from bands to play the lobbies.

Some of the performers who have played at Aloft hotels say the venues have put them into intimate settings with fans and helped them promote their music.

“Each show normally had about 100 to 200 people in the lobby watching,” said Denton Hunker, the drummer from Green River Ordinance, a Texas rock band that has played at several Aloft hotels. “It was a great promotion for the hotel and for us as a band.”

Matt Hires, a Florida singer-songwriter who has also played several Aloft gigs, pointed out other perks: “They would take care of our rooms and bar tab too, so that’s not too shabby.”

(c)2013 Los Angeles Times. Distributed by MCT Information Services.