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The Plasencia Group Advises on the Sale of
Interest in the Don Cesar Beach Resort
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Two-Year Effort Brings Together Players in Hospitality, Real Estate - and
Results in a Joint Venture Transaction Valuing the Main
Don CeSar Property at more than $300,000 per Room 

St. Pete Beach, Florida, December 15, 2003 – The Plasencia Group, Inc., the leading hospitality transaction and consulting services firm representing owners of hotels, resorts, and golf courses, served as advisor to CIGNA Corp in its sale of a 20% interest in the 277-room Don CeSar Beach Resort to Loews Hotels. The transaction price for the resort – which features 50 suites and two penthouses and will be renamed the Don CeSar Beach Resort, a Loews Hotel – values the main Don CeSar property in excess of $300,000 per room. 

"This transaction allows both parties to meet important strategic goals," said Lou Plasencia, President and CEO of The Plasencia Group, Inc.  "Our client, CIGNA, asked that we identify a partner that could effectively enhance the positioning of a world-class resort, particularly in the higher-end group and transient markets in the northeast. In turn, Loews sought brand growth opportunities in the beachfront destination resort arena.” He concluded, “The Don is truly a Florida classic and an irreplaceable resort asset that has withstood the test of time. We are pleased to have been involved in this win-win transaction for these two important players in the real estate and hospitality industries.”

The Plasencia Group represented CIGNA in the asset management of the resort and the eventual marketing of the joint-venture interest over a two-year period. Concurrent with the sale of that interest, The Plasencia Group worked with CIGNA and Loews to structure an agreement for the branding and management of the Don CeSar.

Dan Peek, Vice President at the Plasencia Group, added, “This transaction has been seamless to the resort’s guests.  The Don CeSar’s General Manager, John Marks, has put together a strong management team that remains in place to provide the unique service and attention to detail that defines the resort.” 

Peek added that the transaction is further evidence of The Plasencia Group’s special effectiveness in marketing properties in the upscale and upper-upscale segments. Last month, the company advised in the sale of the Jacksonville Marriott.  Earlier this year, it advised on several transactions including the sale of the 405-room Norfolk Marriott Waterside in Norfolk, VA, the 197-room Marriott Waterford Hotel in Oklahoma City, OK, and the 279-room Palm Beach Gardens Marriott in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

Founded in 1993, The Plasencia Group, Inc. is the leading hospitality transaction and consulting services firm, representing public and private owners of hotels, resorts, and golf courses. With transactions encompassing close to 11,000 hotel rooms valued at well over $1 billion in the past twelve months alone, The Plasencia Group, Inc. has provided personalized, valued-added investment opportunities and services to clients such as Cigna Insurance, Host Marriott Corporation (NYSE: HMT), MeriStar Hotel Company (NYSE: MHX), Lend Lease Real Estate Investments and the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.  With regional offices in Tampa, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Little Rock, Providence and San Diego, The Plasencia Group, Inc. offers a full range of value-added solutions, including transactions, property valuation analysis, financial and strategic planning, asset management and disposition, and proprietary industry research.  Learn more about The Plasencia Group, Inc. at www.tpghotels.com.

Contact:
Michael Frenkel
MFC PR
 (212) 808-6556
michael@mfcpr.com
Also See: The Plasencia Group Advises on the Sale of the Hilton Garden Inn, Ybor City, Tampa / Sept 2003
The Plasencia Group Appoints Jessica L. Corcoran Director of Marketing and Business Development / Aug 2003
The Florida Mid-Year Lodging Report / Ernst & Young LLP / Sept 2003


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