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HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY NEWS
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St. Regis Monarch Beach gets new owner

The 400-room property was acquired by Seattle-based Washington Holdings.

By Kristen SchottPublished: April 06, 2010 09:40 AM

Courtesy of Washington Holdings
The St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point has been acquired by Seattle-based real estate investor Washington Holdings from an affiliate of Citigroup for $235 million.

The St. Regis' ownership was transferred to Citigroup, its mezzanine lender, in July, after the resort had reportedly missed payments on a $70 million loan. Washington Holdings, which held the $230 million first mortgage on the property with an affiliate of Prudential Insurance Co. of America, has officially taken over Citigroup's remaining equity interest, according to a statement.

The 400-room seaside property is California's only Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond Resort. The St. Regis boasts an 18-hole championship golf course; restaurants and the 30,000-square-foot Spa Gaucin.

Washington Holdings President and CEO Craig Wrench calls the St. Regis a "world-class asset" to the firm's portfolio, which includes debt and equity interests in properties representing more than 10,000 hotel rooms. He says the company believes in the long-term success of the destination.

The property is managed by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, which says the St. Regis continues to experience an increase in business and expects the uptick to continue throughout this year.

"The hotel and the staff have performed exceptionally well throughout the past year considering the economic headwinds," Wrench adds." This transaction substantially reduces property-level debt so that the resort can be self sustaining."

And despite the economic decline's impact on the hospitality industry, Wrench believes the sector is beginning to see a rebound.

We're also committed to making some strategic investments in the resort," finishes Wrench, "so we can take full advantage of the recovering market."

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Readers Feedback:

TheSt.Regis@Monarch Beach have always been a delight to visit and for participating in various non-profit OC fundraisers.I hope that the new owners will continue to support the good works of the St.Regis General Manager.
Comment at 4/8/2010