Papa Doug Manchester to retain a minority stake
SAN DIEGO, CA – March 30, 2015 – Manchester Financial Group, headed by ‘Papa Doug’ Manchester, has announced a joint venture with luxury hotel operator Fairmont Hotels & Resorts to have Fairmont take over management of the Grand Del Mar. The deal will see Blum capital taking majority ownership of the world-class resort with Fairmont overseeing day-to-day operations of the award-winning property under a long-term management agreement. Fairmont’s parent company FRHI Hotels & Resorts (FRHI) and developer Manchester Financial Group will both hold a minority interest in the AAA Five-Diamond hotel.
“We’re truly fortunate to have one of our cherished assets joining the Fairmont Hotels & Resorts under the leadership of Richard Blum,” said Papa Doug Manchester. “Manchester Financial Group, and I personally, have enjoyed the emergence of the Grand Del Mar as one of the world’s most beautiful and recognized resort and spa destinations. This new relationship assures that the property will continue on the world stage in perpetuity.”
Upon completion of the venture, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts will rebrand the property as the Fairmont Grand Del Mar. The highly regarded resort, which was named TripAdvisor’s #1 Luxury Hotel in California in 2014 and a Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Hotel for the fourth consecutive year, will soon join a distinctive hotel collection that includes the iconic Fairmont San Francisco, world-famous The Plaza in New York, and landmark The Savoy in London.
“With the beauty and climate of San Diego attracting travelers from all over the world, we’re extremely pleased to be adding an asset of this caliber to our hotel collection,” said William Fatt, chairman and chief executive officer, FRHI. “We’ve aligned with some great partners and are very happy to be working with Blum Capital and Richard Blum on this very exciting deal, which will further expand our already strong presence in the California market.”
“The acquisition of the Grand Del Mar, one of the most revered luxury hotels in the United States, aligns with our investment strategy and perfectly complements Fairmont’s unrivaled portfolio of hotels in the California market and abroad,” said Richard C. Blum, chairman and president, Blum Capital. “We look forward to showcasing this remarkable asset to an even greater audience and working with a celebrated brand like Fairmont to further enhance the property’s award-winning reputation.”
Featuring Spanish and French influences, and a design reflecting the Mediterranean style of famed American resort architect Addison Mizner, the property is well suited to San Diego’s warm climate and outdoor lifestyle. Set amidst the Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve in Southern California, the resort features 249 guestrooms, counting a high mix of luxurious suites, plus 8 two-story 4,500 square foot villas.
Key features of the luxury resort include a 21,000 square foot spa, which received a Five Star rating from Forbes Travel Guide in 2015; 18-hole Tom-Fazio designed golf course and clubhouse; six food and beverage venues including Addison, the resort’s AAA Five Diamond rated signature restaurant; and a state-of-the-art fitness center. The resort also houses boutique shopping outlets and 27,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 10,000 square foot ballroom, perfect for both large and small scale events.
“The Manchester team, led by ‘Papa Doug’ Manchester, have built an incredible hotel product and coupled it with an expertly trained and highly engaged group of hotel colleagues. This formula has established the Grand Del Mar as one of the country’s truly outstanding hotels,” added FRHI’s Fatt. “We are excited to become stewards of this wonderful hotel and to continue this amazing performance, while also working with our partners – majority owner Blum Capital and minority partner Manchester Financial Group – to further strengthen and grow the resort’s luxury positioning.”
About Manchester Financial Group
Founded in 1970 by Papa Doug Manchester, commonly referred to as “the father of the San Diego Convention Center,” Manchester Financial Group, headquartered in San Diego, California, specializes in and focuses on hotel and commercial property development. Manchester Financial Group and its subsidiaries have been instrumental in developing downtown San Diego’s waterfront, paving the way for the city of San Diego’s burgeoning convention industry, while also founding two banks and establishing an extensive and diverse investment portfolio. The company invests and takes active leadership roles in industries including tourism, hospitality and convention services, technology, telecommunications, banking, broadcasting, medical device instrumentation, education, and other important areas of health and human services. Over the past few decades, Manchester Financial Group has developed more than $3 billion in assets in 11 states and continues to be one of San Diego’s largest and most profitable private companies, employing approximately 3,000 people nationally. For additional information on Manchester Financial Group, please visit manchesterfinancialgroup.com
About Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts connects guests to the very best of its destinations, providing travelers with memorable travel experiences, thoughtful and attentive service and luxury hotels that are truly unforgettable. Each Fairmont property reflects the locale’s energy, culture and history through locally-inspired cuisine, spirited bars and lounges and distinctive design and décor. With more than 65 hotels globally, and many more in development, the Fairmont collection boasts some of the most iconic hotels in the world including The Plaza in New York, London’s The Savoy, Fairmont Peace Hotel in Shanghai and Quebec City’s Fairmont Le Château Frontenac. Fairmont is owned by FRHI Hotels & Resorts, a leading global hotel company which operates more than 125 hotels and branded residential properties under the Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel brands. For more information or reservations, please visit fairmont.com.
About Blum Capital
Investment firm Blum Capital Partners targets small and middle-market US firms, providing capital for transactions such as share repurchases, acquisitions and divestitures, and privatizations. The partnership invests in a relatively small number of public or private companies (usually around five per year), but typically takes a substantial position either by acquiring a strategic block of the company’s shares, or through a negotiated transaction. Blum Capital often takes an active role in management. It oversees investments for wealthy families, corporations, and university and philanthropic endowment funds, as well as its own account. Chairman Richard Blum founded the company in 1975. blumcapital.com