|By Douglas Hanks III, The Miami Herald
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Feb. 13, 2004 - -An Orlando-based real estate fund on an acquisition
spree plans to buy the Doral Golf Resort & Spa as part of its purchase
of the resort chain that owns the suburban getaway, the buyer said Thursday.
CNL Hospitality Properties has signed a contract to pay $1.37 billion
for KSL Recreation Corp., which bought the Doral in 1994.
CNL also will assume $794 million of KSL's debt, pushing the value of
the deal over $2.1 billion.
Along with the 692-room hotel complex in Doral, CNL will take hold of
KSL resorts in Arizona, California, Georgia and Hawaii.
|The acquired resorts include:
Grand Wailea Resort & Spa on Maui -- Encompassing 40 oceanfront
acres at the base of Maui's breathtaking Mount Haleakala, the Grand Wailea
offers 780 luxury hotel rooms, six restaurants, impressive meeting space,
and a 50,000-square-foot European-style spa and fitness center that is
consistently ranked one of the best spas in the "U.S. by Travel & Leisure,"
"Conde Nast Traveler" and "Mobil Travel Guide."
La Quinta Resort & Club and PGA WEST in La Quinta, California --
Renowned for its charm and serenity, this landmark Southern California
resort offers the only U.S. destination golf resort with nine acclaimed
courses, designed by some of golf's most prestigious names: Nicklaus, Palmer,
Weiskopf, Dye and Norman. Set against the backdrop of the Santa Rosa Mountains,
this fully integrated golf and spa resort stretches across 2,181 acres
near Palm Springs,California.
Doral Golf Resort & Spa in Miami, Florida -- This legendary destination
golf and spa resort offers 692 newly renovated guest rooms and suites and
a 50,000-square-foot world-class European-style spa as well as 92,000 square
feet of conference space, a fitness center, eight retail and five food
and beverage outlets, seven swimming pools and 11 tennis courts. Famous
for its Blue Monster golf course, the Doral hosts the popular Ford Championship
tour each spring.
The Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona -- Known throughout
the world as the "Jewel of the Desert," the Arizona Biltmore provides a
restful oasis on 39 acres covered with lush gardens, glistening swimming
pools and Frank Lloyd Wright-influenced architecture. Due to its exceptional
accommodations, luxurious spa services, and outdoor diversions, the resort
has a 70-year history of accommodating renowned businesspeople, celebrities
and leaders, including every U.S. president since Herbert Hoover.
The Claremont Resort & Spa in Berkeley, California -- Situated amid
22 beautifully landscaped garden acres overlooking San Francisco Bay, the
Claremont's elegantly appointed guest rooms and common areas offer panoramic
views of the bridges and skylines of San Francisco. Adding to its pre-eminent
location are the Spa Claremont, which "Vogue" magazine ranked as one of
the best urban spas in the U.S., and a stylish pool and tennis club with
extensive workout and training facilities.
Lake Lanier Islands Resort near Atlanta, Georgia -- Set on the picturesque
shores of Lake Sidney Lanier is Lake Lanier Islands, Georgia's most visited
lakeside resort destination. The year-round 1,100-acre resort boasts a
variety of amenities and attractions including the 216-room Emerald Pointe
Resort, 21,000 square feet of conference facilities, 30 New England- style
lakeside cottages, a water park, and 18 holes of championship golf.
CNL Hospitality, a real estate investment fund affiliated with CNL Financial
Group, bought its first hotel in 1998 and now owns 130 of them, with more
than 29,000 rooms in 37 states and Canada.
"You can't pick up a trade publication where you don't see CNL buying
these very nice, quality resorts," said Guy Trusty, a hotel broker and
president of Lodging and Hospitality Realty in Miami.
"They're probably the most active [buyers] of hotels in the world."
In the Doral, CNL will take over a well-known resort in South Florida,
thanks largely to the annual pro golf tournament on the Blue Monster, Doral's
premier course. This year's Ford Championship at Doral starts March 1.
The resort itself depends largely on business groups for revenue, analysts
said, and it boasts 92,000 square feet of conference facilities and meeting
space. That segment of the hospitality industry took a particularly hard
hit in the economic slowdown after the 2001 terrorist attacks, when companies
cut back on business travel.
A spokeswoman for CNL did not return a call seeking comment Thursday
evening, and no financial details about the Doral were released in the
announcement of the cash-for-stock deal. The resort also boasts a 50,000-square-foot
spa, seven swimming pools and 11 tennis courts.
New York hotelier Alfred Kaskel started the resort in 1961, and his
family sold it to KSL to pay taxes from his estate. The price was not disclosed.
At the time, KSL, based in La Quinta, Calif., announced plans for a $10
million renovation of the property.
"It's been a very successful investment for them," Ruth Pachman, spokeswoman
for KSL's holding company, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., said Thursday
of the Doral. "This was an opportunity to realize some value for their
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