1888-1988." The Balboa Bay Club's general manager was brought over to
be the new hotel's first manager. And when Buccola later sold the
property to a man named Del Webb, the Newporter Inn became Del Webb's
Newporter Inn, says Felton's book.
Over the decades the business landed in several different laps,
including Columbia Savings at one time, but today the facility is a
Hyatt property and known as the Hyatt Newporter.
This is where the summer jazz festival happens, where
out-of-towners often gather for business meetings and where everyday
people as well as celebrities dine.
But back in the day, the hotel was dubbed former president Richard
Nixon's "Western White House," said Joe Alegre, director of sales and
marketing for the Hyatt Newporter.
"He would stay here in our villas," he said. "When Newport Beach
was a lot smaller, more of a quaint place, the Newporter was a
getaway, whether people be in Los Angeles or San Diego."
Former celebrities and politicians used to hang out there. John
Wayne often dined there. Some used to get choppered in from Orange
County to Los Angeles from the heliport that used to be on the
The Hyatt company took over the hotel in 1989. The company kept
"Newporter" in the name to hold onto the strong local connection.
"Versus the Hyatt Newport Beach, since it's been such a landmark
property in the area," Alegre said. "Hyatt wanted to keep it
And though the hotel doesn't cater to as many celebrities of Nixon
and Wayne's former stature nowadays, the principle of customer
service hasn't changed.
"Everyone is a celebrity or politician here," Alegre said. "Or at
least we treat them that way."