FelCor buys two resorts for $225mn

FelCor Lodging Trust has acquired two upper upscale, destination resorts from entities owned by affiliates of Walton Street Capital, Rockpoint Group and SCS Advisors for a combined purchase price of $225 million.The Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club is located in St. Petersburg, Florida and the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa is located in Indian Wells, California. Marriott International will continue to manage the properties under a long-term management agreement.

The Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club, a historic, 361-room, AAA Four-Diamond resort, features an 18-hole golf course and club house, 74-slip marina, world-class tennis facility, over 50,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space, award winning restaurants, day spa, historical museum and the private Vinoy Club. The showplace of St. Petersburg’s waterfront, the Renaissance Vinoy is one of only a few luxury resorts on Florida’s West Coast and is located just blocks from downtown St. Petersburg. Opened in 1925, the resort has earned the National Register of Historic Places designation.

The Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa, a 560-room, AAA Four-Diamond resort, is situated on 70 acres and nestled at the base of the majestic Santa Rosa Mountains in the exclusive community of Indian Wells and has been featured in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2004 Gold List of “World’s Best Places to Stay” and Travel + Leisure’s “500 Greatest Hotels in the World.” The resort has 65,000 square feet of indoor meeting space, including 40,000 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting space built in 2003 and 25,000 square feet of outdoor meeting space, the highest square foot per key in the Coachella Valley. Other amenities include a 12,000 square foot spa with 18 treatment rooms, award winning restaurants and a tennis facility. The resort is part of the 36-hole Indian Wells Golf Resort, which recently completed an approximately $80 million renovation, and includes a new 50,000 square foot clubhouse. The Indian Wells Golf Resort is host to the annual PGA skins game.

The company forecasts that the combined properties will contribute approximately $17 million of Hotel EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest Expense, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) during 2008.

The company assumed the current combined mortgage debt of $177 million, which bears interest at LIBOR plus 155 basis points. Current payments are interest only and principal is paid in full at maturity in 2012 (including the company’s extension options). The remaining acquisition cost was funded with cash on hand.


“These two hotels meet our stated strategy to continue to improve the overall quality of the portfolio. The hotels meet our criteria of acquiring upper upscale hotels and resorts in markets with high barriers to entry. From a value perspective, we are acquiring hotels with IRRs that exceed our weighted average cost of capital, will provide the portfolio with higher, future EBITDA growth and will be accretive to FFO in 2008. In addition, we will use our core competencies to further enhance the EBITDA growth and our return on investment through various redevelopment opportunities,” said Richard A. Smith, FelCor’s President and Chief Executive Officer.