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Business Observer Friday, Apr. 21, 2017 1 year ago

Hotel's $214M sale sets area precedent

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The Don CeSar set a record for hotel sales along the Gulf Coast

ST. PETERSBURG BEACH — The “Pink Palace,” the iconic Don CeSar Hotel and Resort on St. Pete Beach, fetched $214 million when it was acquired earlier this year by Host Hotels & Resorts, a Bethesda, Md.-based company that spun off of Marriott International two decades ago.

The price equates to one of the highest sales amounts for a single hospitality asset in Gulf Coast history.

Pinellas County property records listed the sale of the 347-room resort at $202.7 million, but Host Hotels officials noted the higher price in announcing the mid-February purchase, which also involved a “like-kind exchange” with the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa, in Palm Desert, Calif.

James Risoleo, Host Hotels' president and CEO, says the Don CeSar will be among the company's top 20 generators of revenue available per room, a key industry metric.

He adds that the company believes “there are significant value-add opportunities at the property through aggressive asset management” and other initiatives.

The 3400 Gulf Blvd. resort had been owned by a joint venture comprising Prudential Real Estate and Loews Hotels.

“We found it to be an irreplaceable location and it fits in well with our portfolio,” says Gee Lingberg, vice president of investor relations at the company. “It's an iconic property, and it was a good price for that asset.”

In addition to the Don CeSar, Host Hotels also owns lodging properties in Florida in Naples, Amelia Island, Orlando and Miami.

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