year for maintenance.
"Everything looks good," Supervisor Tom Wilson said in a statement
after the approval. "Adjustments that we are asking for are being
Even with the approval, the deal is not yet final. Culver City
real estate company Goldrich & Kest Industries and Tahoe Shores are
still in escrow with the current owners to buy the resort's lease,
buildings and marina.
The new group plans to run the resort as the subsidiary Newport
Dunes Marina, once escrow closes. That is expected to occur in
August. Current owner Newport Dunes Partnership has stayed nearly
silent about the deal. That stance continued Tuesday.
"We really can't comment on the sale until it's completed," owner
Tim Quinn said. "Obviously, [the county's action] is good news."
Preliminary estimates of the deal's price tag have come in at as
much as $50 million, according to Eastdil, the Los Angeles real
estate company handling the transaction. The county has put the value
of the lease at between $15 million and $20 million.
County officials with the Public Facilities and Resources
Department wrapped up an audit of the two prospective buyers last
week. That audit showed that the two concessionaires have the
financial muscle to operate and run the resort, county officials have
City leaders have taken a wait-and-see approach to the deal and
hope to meet with the concessionaires when the is done.
"I'll be anxious to hear the details," Councilman Gary Adams said.
The consortium of potential new owners has not disclosed whether
it would exercise an on-the-books option that would allow them to
build a 275-room "family inn" on the site.
A plan for a larger hotel with room for conferences was a major
target of the initial Greenlight activism, which successfully placed
a slow-growth law on Newport Beach's books.
Greenlight leaders and other activists contend any new owners
would need to take even the 275-room hotel to voters, in keeping with
the spirit of the law's regulations.
Susan Skinner-Caustin formed the activist group Stop the Dunes
Hotel to halt any expansion. Skinner-Caustin's husband, Bob, who
formed Defend the Bay to help clean up the Back Bay, has joined her
in that cause.
"I'm hopeful that the new owners truly intend on operating it as a
family-oriented, public-oriented venue," Bob Caustin said. "I'm
hopeful they leave it like it is."
* PAUL CLINTON covers the environment and politics. He may be
reached at (949) 764-4330 or by e-mail at email@example.com.