The Pacific Hospitality Group listed the Bacara Resort & Spa in Goleta for sale for an undisclosed amount, PHG Chief Investment Officer Kory Kramer said.
The Irvine-based company has invested more than $25 million in upgrades and renovations since it purchased the resort in 2013 for an estimated $150 million to $180 million.
Improvements included a Foley Food & Wine Society tasting room, a new coffee bar, addition of the new steakhouse Angel Oak, a refreshed seaside restaurant and an upgraded poolside bar as well as extensive renovations to its 360 rooms. Winery mogul Bill Foley, a Pacific Hospitality Group investor, took a minority stake in Bacara as part of the purchase.
The hospitality group appointed Atlanta-based real estate firm Hodges Ward Elliott to help market the property, which also features a 42,000-square-foot spa and wellness center and 70,000 square feet of meeting space.
“The main reason I was looking at Bacara is that it fit perfectly within our hotel criteria, and well within the Meritage Collection,” Kramer told the Business Times in 2013, referring to Pacific Hospitality’s four high-end hotels in the state including Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach, Estancia La Jolla Hotel in San Diego County and The Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa Valley. It manages 11 properties in total.
“We thought it was a good value given the asset. It was a deal that we really liked. There aren’t many opportunities like that,” Kramer said.
Prior to PHG, Ohana Real Estate Investors and Rockpoint Group acquired the 78-acre property in 2011 for around $104 million from ADCO, a New York-based real estate and merchant banking company. Ohana spent about $5 million on renovations and brought in a new management team to reestablish ties to the South Coast community.
Shashi Poudyal took over the general manager position when Kathleen Cochran resigned in 2015 after more than four years at the helm. The Bacara, under Cochran’s leadership, hosted more area events and partnered with regional organizations in an attempt to make the resort more accessible.
During her time at Bacara, the resort had the highest occupancy and revenue in its 15-year history, the company said.
“It was probably one of the highlights of my career, bringing the beauty of the Bacara back and opening up its doors for all of Santa Barbara to enjoy,” Cochran told the Business Times in 2015.
In other recent hotel sales, the 158-room Goodland Hotel in Goleta was sold to KHP Capital Partners for $40.9 million in 2015.
With 360 rooms and 579 employees, Bacara is one of the largest hotels and biggest employers in the Tri-Counties. The resort has reduced its staff by 60 employees since October 2015, according to Business Times research.
The oceanfront resort was built in 2000 to the tune of $222 million.
• Contact Alex Kacik at [email protected]