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Classic Hotels Buys, Plans to Renovate Inn at Laguna

July 10, 2001|BRAD BERTON | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Classic Hotels & Resorts has acquired the Inn at Laguna, overlooking the ocean in Laguna Beach, for about $19.25 million.

The affiliate of Phoenix-based Grossman Company Properties plans to renovate and reposition the 70-room property on Pacific Coast Highway.

Classic Hotels, headed by principals Sam Grossman and Matt Crow, acquired Inn at Laguna from an affiliate of UBS Warburg. The property is not subject to a long-term management contract with a hotel operator.

In the last two decades, Grossman, Crow and associates have developed, owned and managed more than 4,000 hospitality properties in the Southwest. They're perhaps best known for restoring the famed Arizona Biltmore resort in Phoenix to its prestigious position after its bankruptcy in the early 1990s.

Although development along California's coastline is tightly restricted, the popular Laguna Beach and Dana Point areas are seeing some luxury hotel construction, said brokers Arthur Buser and John Strauss of Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, which handled the sale of the Inn at Laguna.

The planned renovation will make the property more competitive in a marketplace with a room occupancy rate that tops 80%, brokers said.

Room rates at Inn at Laguna range from $99 to $599 a night.

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