Hotel Online  Special Report

 East West Partners and Crescent Real Estate Equities Break Ground
on the 173-room The Ritz-Carlton Highlands, Lake Tahoe 
Lake Tahoe's first five-star ski-in/ski-out resort and spa

TRUCKEE, Calif., July 19, 2006 - The official groundbreaking ceremony for Lake Tahoe's first five-star luxury hotel -- the 173-room The Ritz-Carlton Highlands, Lake Tahoe -- was held today at The Highlands, a new on-mountain residential, resort community set amidst the Northstar-at- Tahoe(TM) ski resort in North Lake Tahoe. The new $300-million resort project, slated to open in late 2009, is being developed by East West Partners, veteran developer of award-winning resorts in Colorado and Utah, and its partner, Crescent Real Estate Equities Company (NYSE: CEI).

The two companies have an agreement with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C., to operate the new luxury property, which will also include The Ritz-Carlton (full-ownership) Residences; The Ritz-Carlton Club, offering residences for deeded fractional ownership; and a world-class spa, several pools, and on-site meeting and event space. These amenities will be connected by a new gondola to the Village at Northstar(TM) condominium residences, shops, restaurants and ice rink.
"Lake Tahoe is a spectacular area with great weather, an incredible lake, and wonderful skiing, particularly at Northstar-at-Tahoe, which has been ranked 5th in North America for its family programs," said Harry Frampton, founder and managing partner, East West Partners. "The new hotel, residences and club will fit perfectly into the gorgeous, mid-mountain setting shared by our other properties. We believe we are creating a renaissance of development in Lake Tahoe."
The Ritz-Carlton Highlands, Lake Tahoe is slated for completion in late 2009. Sales will begin this winter on the first phase of residences. In addition to foundation work, construction began this summer on the 4.5-mile Highlands View Road, a scenic parkway leading up to the hotel site. The road is carefully routed to preserve the natural terrain, with four roadway tunnels running beneath the existing ski slopes at various intervals. Q&D Construction of Reno and Swinerton Builders of San Francisco are serving as joint contractors on the project.
"We have a long-standing relationship with The Ritz-Carlton Company, and we are excited about the opportunity to bring the first five-star luxury hotel to the North Lake Tahoe region," commented John C. Goff, vice chairman and chief executive officer, Crescent Real Estate Equities Company.
"The Ritz-Carlton," he added, "is a wonderful addition to the four major resort residential properties we are developing in North Lake Tahoe. Ritz-Carlton not only generates a lot of attention for the region, but it also enhances the value of the area and fits appropriately with the high level of quality that our developments bring to the region's destination and resort experience."
As The Ritz-Carlton properties are completed, they will neighbor East West Partners' and Crescent's new 1,450-unit Highlands community, featuring ski-in/ski-out condominiums and townhomes. Residents and vacationers alike will be able to step outside their homes and immediately ski to a lift that transports them to and from the slopes at Northstar-at-Tahoe and the new Village, or take advantage of an extensive recreational trail network for hiking and biking.
"East West Partners is recognized for developing high-end residential resort communities, and The Ritz-Carlton hotel, combined with The Ritz-Carlton Residences and The Ritz-Carlton Club, will be another feather in their cap," said Bill Rhodes, senior vice president of operations for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. "When completed, The Highlands and Lake Tahoe will call home to The Ritz-Carlton's first ski resort and spa in Northern California, offering guests and home owners a luxury lifestyle with breathtaking views set high in the mountains, plus amenities at the Village at Northstar."
The design of this destination resort property is led by the world-class team of Mark Hornberger, FAIA, principal of Hornberger + Worstell, and Stanford Hughes, FAIA, principal of BraytonHughes Design Studios. The hotel's design will pay tribute to the great environmental spirit of Northern California, and will incorporate native granite stone, local timber and other building materials native to the Sierra Nevada-Lake Tahoe region.
Lodge features will include steeply pitched roofs with shed dormers, sheltering porches and entryways and stone fireplaces in the great lobby and in individual guestrooms. When completed, it will be one of the few true ski-in/ski-out hotels in the world, and will have access to the shopping, restaurants and ice rink located in the Village at Northstar via a short gondola ride.
Northstar-at-Tahoe is in the midst of an extensive mountain improvement plan, which includes two new lifts, relocating the cross-country ski center, expanding its snowmaking system, adding new parking lots and additional terrain.
"While Northstar-at-Tahoe has been a landmark ski destination since the 70s, The Ritz-Carlton properties can only generate more interest in North Lake Tahoe, especially from those seeking more extended, year-round vacation stays in upscale properties," says Chris Ryman, president of Booth Creek Resorts. "The new five-star hotel will compliment our new Village at Northstar and the aggressive mountain improvement plan underway."
About The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, based in Chevy Chase, MD, manages 61 award-winning hotels in Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Europe, the Caribbean and Mexico, and The Middle East. For more information, visit the website at
About Crescent Real Estate Equities Company
Crescent Real Estate Equities Company (NYSE: CEI) is one of the country's largest real estate investment trusts, headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. Through its subsidiaries and joint ventures, Crescent owns and manages a portfolio of 74 premier Class A office properties totaling 30 million square feet, located in select markets across the United States. In addition, Crescent has investments in world-class resorts and spas, and resort residential developments. CEI has been a principal investor in East West Partners for the last 12 years and has invested more than $250 million in the partnership. For more information, visit
About East West Partners
For more than 30 years, East West Partners has pioneered the master-planned community concept by providing its customers with unparalleled vacation and homeownership experiences in the most sought-after resort environments, with world class amenities to match. With a northern California base in Lake Tahoe, East West Partners has operations in five states: California, Colorado, Montana, South Carolina and Utah. Among the company's most notable projects are several major developments in and around Beaver Creek, Colorado, including their base mountain village and the on-mountain Bachelor Gulch residential neighborhood. In the North Lake Tahoe area of California, East West Partners is creating a year-round resort experience with four distinctive communities under the Tahoe Mountain Resorts brand: The Village at Northstar, The Highlands, Old Greenwood and Gray's Crossing. The company's holdings also include Coyote Moon Golf Course in Truckee and the lakeside Wild Goose restaurant in Tahoe Vista. Ownership in any of Tahoe Mountain Resorts' four communities allows for membership in the Tahoe Mountain Club, with amenities that include swimming, tennis, fitness, golf, skiing, spa services, and fine dining. For more information, visit
About Booth Creek Resorts
Booth Creek Resorts, established in 1996, owns six resorts across North America, including Northstar-at-Tahoe(TM) and Sierra-at-Tahoe(TM) in the Lake Tahoe region of Northern California; Waterville Valley, Mt. Cranmore Mountain Resort and Loon Mountain(TM) in New Hampshire; and the Summit at Snoqualmie near Seattle, Washington. Booth Creek is the fourth largest ski resort owner in the country (



 East West Partners

Also See: Crescent Real Estate and the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC Break Ground on Texas' Only Ritz-Carlton Hotel and the Residences at the Ritz-Carlton, Dallas / May 2005
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company Selected by East West Partners and Crescent Real Estate to Operate Lake Tahoe's First 5-Star Ski-in/Ski-out Resort; $300-million Resort Project Begins Construction in Summer 2006 / March 2006

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