|By Mike Gorrell, The Salt Lake
TribuneMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
September 17, 2008 - The Hotel Monaco has been sold.
The broker says most customers will not notice the difference.
"It will be completely seamless to the customer and the community," said Alan Tantleff, executive vice president for Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, which brokered the sale of three Hotel Monacos -- in Denver and Chicago, as well as Salt Lake City -- from a group of "institutional clients" to a real estate investment fund.
He said the total sales price was around $190 million.
The hotels, and their 606 rooms (or "keys" in company lingo), went from a fund overseen by Prudential Real Estate Investors to Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers LLC.
Tantleff said the transaction is not expected to cause any ripples in day-to-day business because all three Monacos still will be managed by the San Francisco-based Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants.
"It really should be transparent," agreed Kimpton public relations director Stacey Ellis.
But in a larger corporate sense, Tantleff said, the sale reflects well on the standing of Salt Lake City's economic development efforts and the vitality of its hotel industry -- especially given the economy's current struggles.
"In a time when people have a pick of where to invest, a big company that picked Salt Lake City is validation of what the community has been working to achieve," said Tantleff.
"People are confident about Salt Lake's hotel market fundamentals. They are confident about the economy of Utah. They are confident in the future, with the redevelopment of downtown, increased tourism and convention-visitor business, and new business travel associated with office development. It's a steady and even-growing community."
The Hotel Monaco also is gem, Tantleff said. "It's a very urban project and performs very well in Salt Lake City."
Utah Hotel & Lodging Association Director Larry Hansen had not heard about the sale Tuesday but was not surprised about the boutique hotel's appeal.
"The lodging industry in Utah, including boutique hotels, has seen continual growth over the past two years, even though the economy itself has had some softening. We hope to see this growth continue."
Tantleff said hotels change owners fairly frequently, citing deals in the past couple of years involving Marriott and Sheraton hotels in Salt Lake City.
Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels alone provided sale and purchase advice on 259 transactions globally last year, deals with a combined value of $13.9 billion, he said. In all, the sales involved 54,763 hotel rooms in 84 cities.
Each of the three Monaco hotels sold Tuesday appeal to upper-end clients. Nightly fees, for a room with a deluxe queen bed ranging on up to the nicest suite, are:
--Salt Lake City, $249 up to $329 (225 rooms total)
--Denver, $259 up to $475 (189 rooms)
--Chicago, $279 up to $529 (192 rooms)
--The average room rate for a Salt Lake City hotel in the first half of 2008 was about $100 per night
Source: Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants, Rocky Mountain Lodging Report
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