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Pacifica Host Hotels Secures Option to Purchase and Assumes Management
of Historic La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla, California

By Lori Weisberg, The San Diego Union-Tribune
September 14, 2010

A San Diego-based hotel company announced Monday that it is assuming management of the historic La Valencia Hotel and is taking the first step toward a purchase of the storied La Jolla property.

Pacifica Host Hotels would say no more about its intent to purchase the 84-year-old oceanfront property, only that it had brokered a deal with the longtime owners, the Collins family, to secure an option to purchase.

No potential purchase price was revealed, but San Diego hotel consultant Robert Rauch believes that it will likely sell in the neighborhood of $40 million. That is substantially less than the hotel’s estimated value of $100 million when it was last on the market in 2008.

La Valencia poised to be sold to a San Diego hotel owner and operator
In May, Rancho Valencia, the luxury Rancho Santa Fe resort that is the sister property of La Valencia, was sold for more than $15 million to an investment group led by Jeff Jacobs, son of Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs.

Chris Collins, son of Harry Collins, confirmed that there is an impending purchase but it has yet to be finalized.

“The hotel has been in our family for 65 years, and while we’re sad to see it be sold, we’re looking forward to the new ownership taking it to the next level,” Collins said. “They have opportunity to make it more spectacular than it is, and we’re hoping that they’ll be successful.”

Partly influencing the decision to sell both La Valencia and Rancho Valencia was a polo accident Harry Collins had a few years ago that had not allowed the family patriarch to be “intimately involved in all the details,” Chris Collins said.

Pacifica Hotels, which is the hotel ownership and management arm of Pacifica Companies, has a portfolio of more than 30 properties in several states, including nine in San Diego County, but none of the caliber of La Valencia. If Pacifica were to acquire the La Jolla icon, it would mark a major milestone for a company not known for luxury properties.

“This begins the process of putting Pacifica in the big league of hotel acquisitions, because it’s historic, highly regarded, and one of the very few first class hotels on the Pacific Ocean,” said Rauch. It really is an irreplaceable trophy asset.

Among the San Diego hotels owned and managed by Pacifica are the Pacific Shores Inn in Pacific Beach, the Holiday Inn Express in La Jolla and the Best Western Stratford Inn in Del Mar.


Lori Weisberg, Staff Writer
San Diego Union-Tribune
350 Camino de la Reina
San Diego, CA  92102

Also See: San Diego's Manchester Grand Hyatt Deal with Sunstone Hotel Investors Goes Sour / September 2010

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Traveler Preferences are Changing: Upscale San Diego Hoteliers are Increasingly Becoming Pet Friendly Offering Pet Amenities From Surfing Lessons to Pet Psychic Sessions / August 2010

Former Owner of San Diego's W Hotel, Sunstone Hotel Investors, Wants to Acquire Manchester Grand Hyatt / August 2010

San Diego's Downtown W Hotel Now Owned by Lender / July 2010

During Downturn San Diego Hotel Owners Face a Delicate Balancing Act in Calculating When and How Much to Invest in Restorations / April 2010

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