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Ty Warne Acquires the Montecito Country Club; 86-year old Clubhouse Structure a Stately Santa Barbara Icon

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SANTA BARBARA, CA – Today, Ty Warner finalized the purchase contract with the Tsukamoto Sogyo Company, Ltd. to add the Montecito Country Club to his unique collection of properties that include: the Four Seasons Biltmore Hotel - Santa Barbara, the San Ysidro Ranch - Santa Barbara, the Sandpiper Golf Course - Santa Barbara, Kona Village Resort - Big Island of Hawaii, and the Four Seasons Hotel - New York.

Tsukamoto Sogyo have been esteemed owners of the private golf club since 1973, having celebrated two decades of ownership by providing members with an extensive renovation of the clubs interior in 1995. Seishiro Tsukamoto, President of Tsukamoto Sogyo Co. Ltd., said of the decision to sell the Montecito Country Club, “Once we made the decision to sell the club, we wanted to make sure it was to someone who would carry on the rich tradition of the club in the community.”
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Montecito Country Club
920 Summit Road
Santa Barbara, California
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After establishing a personal home base in Montecito several years ago, the golf club purchase reflects Warner’s deep affection for the Santa Barbara area, and devotion to investing in landmarks that define the community.

According to Ty Warner, the purchase of the Montecito Country Club provides an opportunity to continue and foster the club’s prestigious legacy. “It is due to the great lineage of architects, members and owners – from Avery Brundage to Tsukamoto Sogyo – that the club enjoys such a distinguished reputation in this community,” stated Mr. Warner. “I want to ensure that the next era for the Montecito Country Club is as successful, honored, and celebrated as its past and present eras,” he added.

Golf courses are not new to Mr. Warner. In 2003, he purchased the Sandpiper Golf Course in Goleta, and is working with world-renowned golf course designer, Tom Fazio on a renovation plan to protect the property’s ecological resources, and enhance the golf experience for the public, including the guests of the Four Seasons Biltmore and the San Ysidro Ranch.

While Sandpiper serves the local public and Santa Barbara visitors, the Montecito Country Club will remain an exclusive private course. According to Greg Rice, a representative for Mr. Warner, there are currently no specific plans for the Montecito Country Club, but over time, Mr. Warner will make investments to continue the club’s reputation for excellence and prestige.

“The interest in the Montecito Country Club is more a result of Ty Warner’s passion for the preservation of architecture, history, and the beauty of Santa Barbara, than it is for quick financial gain,” said Mr. Rice. “It is our intent to respect the Montecito Country Club’s great legacy, while also exploring ways to better serve the interests and desires of today’s members,” he added.

“Historic preservation and improvement has proven to be the common thread in Ty Warner’s other purchases”, confirmed local historian Christine Palmer, who has served as a consultant for the Biltmore, Coral Casino, and now the Montecito Country Club.

The renovation of the Biltmore Spa and Fitness Center included such attention to historic detail as to have terracotta tiles recreated by the same family that provided the original tiles during the hotel’s 1927 construction. Warner also recently resurrected the Coral Casino lighthouse lamp that had been dormant for 50 years.

“Ty Warner’s properties, and those who enjoy them, have benefited from his attention to rediscovering and reengaging Santa Barbara’s historic spirit and grandeur,” stated Palmer.

History of the Montecito Country Club

The Early Days: A place to call home

The Montecito Country Club and the Biltmore may have more in common than potentially sharing the same owner. In 1894, the Montecito Country Club’s original 3-hole course was actually located where the Biltmore’s front lawn exists today, and the original clubhouse consisted of a single story redwood-framed structure on Channel Drive about where Mr. Warner’s ARCO property sits.

In the years that followed, the course expanded, and the clubhouse became somewhat of a transient. The clubhouse was rebuilt four times, in four different locations. Eventually the railroad and the Coast Highway bisected the course, and thus the final home of both the course and the clubhouse landed just north of the 2-lane highway.

The Goodhue Clubhouse: Ecclesiastically Inspired

In 1918 Bertram Goodhue, an architect who specialized in churches and cathedrals, designed the dramatic chapel-like clubhouse that exists today, and for some time the club was quite prosperous. Yet, the emergence of the Valley Club, combined with the stock market crash of 1929, caused financial struggles for the club that lasted several decades.

The Brundage Era: Avery To The Rescue

Avery Brundage, Montecito resident and then chairman of the International Olympic Games is accredited with leading the Montecito Country Club to renewed prosperity when he purchased the club in 1947. Brundage made significant investments in the club to raise it to a world-class facility. He added a pool to the facility, renovated the clubhouse, and restored the greens, fairways, and tennis courts.

The Tsukamoto Sogyo Era: Building Upon Greatness

Tsukamoto Sogyo Company, Ltd, continued Brundage’s efforts when they purchased the course in 1973, and maintained the clubs reputation and prestige. In 1995, 20-years of ownership was celebrated with a complete renovation of the clubhouse’s interior. Today, the Montecito Country Club’s par 71-course is considered to be one of the most challenging local courses, and the 86-year old clubhouse structure continues to be a grand and stately Santa Barbara icon.

About Ty Warner
Forbes Magazine ranked Ty Warner as being the 30 th wealthiest individual in the U.S. with a net worth of six billion dollars. He is known for his generosity, most recently donating $6 million to the Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation for his underprivileged children’s school in Las Vegas. He also completed the $8.1 million building fund for the Ty Warner Sea Center in Santa Barbara, California with a donation of $1.5 million. Recently, Mr. Warner donated soft toys valued at $300 million to promote a Red Cross Blood Drive in Japan.

About TY Inc.
Founded in 1986 by Ty Warner, creator of the wildly popular Beanie Babies®, Ty is the world leader in the sale of plush toys. In Japan, collectors have been known to wait in line overnight to purchase some of Ty Inc.’s exclusive new releases. In addition to the Beanie Baby® line, which is celebrating its 11th anniversary, the company’s product line includes: Beanie Buddies®, Classic®, Beanie Boppers®, Punkies®, Pluffies® and Teenie Beanie Boppers®. The Ty Heart Logo®, recognized around the world, can be found on all Ty products available at finer specialty gift retailers. Visit Ty on the internet at http://www.ty.com.

About Ty Warner Hotels and Resorts
Ty Warner Hotels & Resorts, LLC was founded and is solely owned by Ty Warner. Properties owned by the company include the Four Seasons Hotel New York located on 57 Street. I.M. Pei, the world-renowned architect who also designed the Miho Museum in Kyoto, Japan and the Pyramide du Louvre in Paris, France, designed this hotel. Other properties include the 75 year-old Four Seasons Biltmore in Santa Barbara, the romantic San Ysidro Ranch retreat, which sits on 500 acres in the affluent Montecito community in beautiful California, and - just added to his unique collection of properties - the enchanting Kona Village Resort located on the Kona Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. Mr. Warner also owns the magnificent Sandpiper Golf Course which is situated on a Pacific Ocean bluff. All of the properties are currently involved in extensive renovation programs according to Mr. Warner’s vision.


 
Contact:
Greg Rice
695-8887 ext 21
Also See: Ty Warner Hotels & Resorts, LLC Acquires the Kona Village Resort / July 2004
San Ysidro Ranch Owner Ty Warner Undertaking Multimillion-dollar Renovation; Honoring the Storied History of the Hollywood Hideaway / January 2004


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