Gardere Assists KSL Capital Partners with Purchase of Montelucia Resort and Spa


Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP represented the private equity firm KSL Capital Partners in the acquisition of the InterContinental Montelucia Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona. The Gardere Hospitality Industry Team worked for nine months to negotiate the nine-figure purchase with the various lending groups that have held possession of the luxury resort for the past two years.

This is just the latest deal handled by the Gardere Hospitality Industry Team, which has assisted clients in a number of similar high-profile acquisitions in recent years, including the La Costa Resort and Spa, and Ritz-Carlton Kapalua.

"The purchase of the Montelucia was a complicated, protracted process involving many concerns, including negotiations with several different lending groups," says Cliff Risman, head of the Gardere Hospitality Industry Team, an interdisciplinary group that combines expertise in all areas related to the hospitality industry, including acquisitions, contract negotiations, tax, real estate, food and beverage, labor and employment, litigation, and bankruptcy and reorganization.

The Montelucia transaction includes a unique "affiliation agreement" for marketing the property. Under the agreement, the resort will operate as an independent entity that will be branded as Montelucia Resort & Spa. KSL Capital will manage the property, while Montelucia will retain a reservation and marketing affiliation with InterContinental. The agreement could serve as an industry model for how hotel and resort owners work with major hotel brands to market similar properties in the future, says Mr. Risman.

"This type of affiliation provides both sides with great benefits," says Mr. Risman. "We think similar arrangements may become more and more popular as the resort industry continues to recover from the recent economic downturn."

Members of the Gardere Hospital Industry Team who worked on the Montelucia deal include Mark Bayer, Dewey Brackin, Michael Donohue, Jason Fulmer, Randall Jones, Robert Miller, Cynthia Nelson, Sarah Shaw, Kacy Whitehead and Celeste Yeager.

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