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Arbitration Hearing Between Owners of Aviara Resort
and Four Seasons Hotels Conflict Delayed Until Mid-June

By Lori Weisberg,, The San Diego Union-TribuneMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

May 30, 2009--An ongoing dispute between owners of the Aviara luxury resort in Carlsbad and its operator, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, was heard yesterday by an arbitration panel, but the matter has been continued until next month.

The hearing is expected to resume June 17-18. Representatives of both sides said they were advised by the three-member panel to not comment further.

At issue is a demand by the resort's owners, Broadreach Capital Partners, to remove Four Seasons as manager and replace it with New Jersey-based Dolce Hotels and Resorts.

In 2007, Broadreach acquired a majority stake in Dolce, which is a privately held operator of 23 upscale hotels, resorts and conference hotels in North America and Europe. It manages one hotel in California, the 214-room Dolce Hayes Mansion in San Jose.

Four Seasons has resisted relinquishing control of the 329-room Aviara resort, and both sides were in federal court this week to air their positions. U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Miller concluded that arbitration was the best vehicle for resolving the dispute.

The arbitration panel consists of two attorneys and a retired federal judge.

In legal filings, Broadreach has maintained that Four Seasons has failed to operate Aviara in a "cost-effective manner."

Four Seasons countered in a press statement that Aviara "continues to outperform its competitors."

Lori Weisberg: (619) 293-2251;

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Copyright (c) 2009, The San Diego Union-Tribune

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