At the end of July, I reported on the supposed sale of the St. Regis Princeville. However, at the time, neither of the parties involved would confirm the sale. But, now Starwood Capital confirmed as buyer of the St Regis Princeville.
A few months ago, when this story first came out, a lot of noise was being made regarding the fact that Starwood Capital was vehemently denying its purchase of the St. Regis Princeville. But, about a month ago (where have I been?!) The Garden Isle reported that they are, in fact, the purchaser of the property. In fact, according to the paper, a consultant for the property’s current owners, the Los Angeles County Employee Retirement Association (LACERA), confirmed Starwood Capital as the property’s purchaser.
No firm dates are available as of yet, though the Garden Isle goes on to report that the sale will close in November 2018. So, that’s any day now, really. What will happen after the sale closes, though, is anyone’s guess. Starwood Capital has been aggressively growing its 1 Hotels brand, so, logically, they’re likely to rebrand the St. Regis Princeville at some point in the future. The rebrand will probably follow an extensive renovation, though, which could see the property close temporarily. In fact, this was what happened when the property was transformed from a Sheraton into the St. Regis.
Reason for Sale
According to the Garden Isle, LACERA is selling the property due to the real estate program’s failure to meet benchmarks over a ten-year period ending in 2017. The article also mentions that LACERA members enjoy a special rate of $250/night and is a favorite destination for those members.
You know, this is just speculation, but if your property is underperforming at a consistent 80% or higher occupancy for the past 10 years, but maybe it’s the special member rate doing the harm? I mean, the property has only 252 rooms and the rack rate is usually more than double what LACERA members pay. So if a significant portion of those rooms is occupied by members, then, of course, the property isn’t going to perform well.
Starwood Capital is Confirmed as the Buyer of the St Regis Princeville, Final Thoughts
I’ve never stayed at the St. Regis Princeville and don’t plan to. But, it is unfortunate that we’re likely losing what is a very unique Starwood/Marriott property. And, while I’d say to try to book one last stay here now, my searches keep showing the property as sold out. Furthermore, we have no idea what’s going to become of the property once the sale closes. So if you do try to book and are successful, it’s best to make sure that 1) your airfare is refundable, or 2) you have a backup hotel booked. If not, you could end up in a tough spot.
I’m hoping that, once the sale closes, that Starwood Capital will provide more information too. It would be nice to know what exactly is going on. Especially if they intend to shutter the property to work on it. But we’ll see. Hopefully, we’ll hear something soon. After all, November is just days away now.