Thayer close on Grande Lakes sale

Thayer Lodging Group has completed the sale of the 1,582-room Grande Lakes Resort in Orlando, Florida to Orlando-based CNL Hotels & Resorts for $753 million.“We are very pleased that the sale represents a compounded annual return to Thayer’s investors in excess of 40 percent,” said Thayer Co-Chairman Frederic V. Malek. “The sale of this extraordinary luxury resort hotel is consistent with our investment strategy and capitalizes on a very strong capital market and one of the best performing major hotel markets in the United States.”
The award-winning Grande Lakes Resort was developed by Thayer and Marriott International, with construction commencing in the spring of 2001. The Resort opened on time and on budget to accolades in July 2003 and has performed exceedingly well since its opening. It contains a 584-room Ritz Carlton Hotel, a 998-room JW Marriott Hotel, over 125,000 square feet of meeting space, a 40,000 square foot spa, and an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Greg Norman, all located on a 500-acre site at the headwaters of the Everglades.
According to Lee Pillsbury, co-chairman, president and CEO of Thayer, “Grande Lakes reflects the vision of Marriott and Thayer to create a world-class luxury resort in Orlando on a grand scale. The spectacular success of Thayer’s investment is strong evidence of the wisdom of this vision.”
Eastdil Realty was retained by Thayer as an advisor to the deal, Ritz Carlton will continue to manage the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Spa and Golf Course and Marriott International will continue to manage the JW Marriott Hotel.
The sale of Grande Lakes will conclude Thayer’s successful sale of $1.5 billion in hotel real estate over a nine-month period. Other transactions closed by Thayer in that time period include the sale of the 1,334-room Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. in July 2005 for $300 million (representing 2.4 times return on invested equity and 17% compounded annual return), an eight hotel portfolio comprising Thayer Hotel Investors II in July 2005 for $266 million (representing 2.1 times return on invested equity and 29% compounded annual return) and the RIHGA Royal New York in May 2005 for approximately $190 million.