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— San Diego hotel magnate Douglas Manchester, whose flagship Marriott and Hyatt hotels on the downtown bayfront are suffering from high vacancy rates and whose Oceanside luxury hotel project has yet to break ground, has sold his beloved but troubled Shore Lodge in the lakeside resort town of McCall, Idaho. Manchester, a one-time insurance salesman who made it big in the San Diego real estate booms of the '70s and '80s, purchased the 116-room, 53-year-old Shore Lodge and convention center back in 1988 for $4.2 million. The San Diegan had earlier adopted the small Idaho resort town as his second home, built a luxurious home on the lake, and frequently commuted there by a private jet he personally piloted. In 1998, Manchester announced he would invest $5 million in what he called a "five star" remodel of the Shore Lodge, to include 16 new rooms, meeting and dining room expansion, and a 48-slip marina on Lake Payette, along with a 94-foot clock tower requiring a variance from McCall's 35-foot building-height limit. As construction proceeded, the price tag climbed past $10 million. Scheduled for completion in 1999, the renovation dragged into this year, and now the project isn't supposed to open until next spring. A Manchester spokesman confirms that the new owner of the property is Randall Perkins, identified as a San Diego financial consultant with a home in the area, who is paying $13 million for the lodge and the 18-hole Manchester at Payette Lake Golf Course.

Dry seals Navy SEAL teams from Coronado have been showing up at a rock-climbing school in Red Rock Canyon in the Nevada desert to rehearse their moves for duty in Afghanistan, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. The paper says that two SEALs, identified only as "Dirk" and "Chase," said they were scouting out the Vegas-based Sky's the Limit rock-climbing school, which features an indoor climbing gym and guide service, as a possible training venue. "Basically, the stuff we're learning out here is so we can move quickly and efficiently through this kind of terrain," Chase told the paper. "A lot of what we do is try to come in from an unexpected direction." ... With air traffic off following the September 11 terrorist attacks, U.S. airlines are having their highest on-time arrival rates since September 1997, reports the Washington Post. The exception: Alaska Airlines' flight between San Diego and Portland, late 85.19 percent of the time ... Harold "Gil" Johnson, that downtown San Diego redevelopment board member whose business dealings with Padres owner John Moores forced a city council revote on the controversial baseball stadium deal, has failed to file a valid Statement of Economic Interests, required by state law. City records show he took office more than a year ago, in November 2000. After a reminder from the city clerk's office this April, he filed an incomplete statement listing no assets in May of this year. A cityclerk spokeswoman says the case is a "work in progress."

Off line The Washington Times broke the story that a San Diego-based gay website called usQueers.com has posted a wish for the death of conservative politicians, including ex-President Ronald Reagan. Others named to the death list included Senator Strom Thurmond, South Carolina Republican; Senator Jesse Helms, North Carolina Republican; Paul Weyrich, head of the Free Congress Foundation; evangelist Pat Robertson; the Reverend Jerry Falwell; the Reverend D. James Kennedy; and GOP assemblyman Steve Baldwin, of whom it says, "Been watching this truly mean man for years, from our vantage point here in San Diego. No mercy, no quarter for a merciless shark." A spokesman for Oklahoma GOP congressman J.C. Watts, also on the list, told the paper, "It is a shame that, even as our country is at war, a fringe group would set up a website to blatantly call for the death of a number of public figures in America." According to a note posted on the site, "usQueers.com does not authorize, ratify, or directly threaten acts of violence toward the people or organizations on this list. If a person on this list dies (preferably a horrible death), a line will be drawn through their name (and they will probably be added to our Good Riddance! list)." Several days after the Times story appeared, the website was taken down.

Contributor: Matt Potter

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