Hotel Online  Special Report


KSL Resorts Moves its Focus to Acquisition and Development Opportunities
Following Sell to Hilton of Management Contracts for Arizona Biltmore,
Grand Wailea and La Quinta Resort & Club
LA QUINTA, Calif. Jan. 17, 2006 -- KSL Resorts has agreed to sell its management contracts for Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, in Phoenix, Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa, in Maui, and La Quinta Resort & Club and PGA West, in La Quinta, Calif. to Hilton Hotels Corporation, it was announced today. Each of the properties are owned by Orlando-based CNL Hotels & Resorts. Financial terms of the deal, which is expected to close on January 31, 2006, were not disclosed. 

Hilton announced separately its plans to make the three properties part of the new Waldorf=Astoria(R) Collection, which will feature the namesake Waldorf=Astoria Hotel in New York City, along with the Arizona Biltmore, Grand Wailea, and La Quinta. 

Scott Dalecio, President and CEO of KSL Resorts, commented, "We're proud to have been stewards of these legendary resorts. Hilton's desire to be associated with these luxury resorts validates the hard work and investment of our associates time and resources towards creating exceptional experiences for our guests and members over the past decade." 

KSL Recreation Corporation had previously sold its property ownership of Arizona Biltmore, Grand Wailea, and La Quinta to CNL Hospitality (now known as CNL Resorts & Hotels, or "CNL") in 2004. After KSL ensured a seamless transition to CNL's ownership, Hilton approached KSL to purchase their management contracts this year, allowing KSL to concentrate its management activities where it has an underlying equity stake. 

"We are excited about the future of KSL," Dalecio continued. "We will continue to focus on enhancing our existing resorts while selectively targeting new development, acquisition and management opportunities. Our strategic relationship with newly formed KSL Capital Partners will be core to the company, as acquisitions are pursued to add exciting new destinations to our resort portfolio." 

Formed recently by KSL Recreation Corporation founder Mike Shannon and former KSL Recreation Corporation CFO Eric Resnick, KSL Capital Partners is a private equity firm focused on making investments in travel and leisure businesses, including the hospitality, recreation, club, real estate and travel services sectors. 

KSL Resorts has consistently invested heavily in property and operational enhancements at its properties, and has recently embarked with their partners on major improvements at the legendary Hotel del Coronado, in San Diego. These improvements include building a stunning new spa with 22 treatment rooms and an infinity pool overlooking the Pacific Ocean (scheduled to be completed in summer 2006), a new restaurant, and the development of luxury villas on one of the finest beachfront locations in all of California. 

The investment in Hotel del Coronado follows the recently completed renovation and expansion of La Costa Resort and Spa, in Carlsbad, Calif. In addition to the extraordinary new Spa at La Costa and numerous improvements throughout the property, KSL Resorts has recently completed the first phase of resort villa development with access to all the resort's amenities. Phase two of the villa development is currently under way. 

Founded in 1992, KSL Resorts owns and operates one-of-a kind destination resorts, including Hotel del Coronado, in San Diego, and La Costa Resort and Spa, in Carlsbad, Calif. Each is a true American classic -- grand without pretension, rich in legacy, and genuine in service. 


Also See: KSL Resorts Enters New Phase of Operations Following Sale of Six Resorts to CNL Hotels & Resorts, Inc / August 2004
Strategic Hotel Capital, Inc. Acquiring a 45% Interest in the Hotel del Coronado, San Diego; KSL Resorts will Continue to Manage / November 2005

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