Walter Mencken 2:27 p.m., June 18
Ad seeking Manchester hotel buyer not real, says attorney
Grand Del Mar loan OK and no receivership, says Papa Doug attorney
An ad has shown up on Craigslist seeking a partner or buyer for "Papa Doug" Manchester's $300 million Grand Del Mar luxury hotel. Experts in the hotel industry wondered why such an ad would show up on Craigslist, of all places, except attorneys placing an ad often deliberately find an unlikely medium. Says the ad, "The Grand Del Mar, San Diego at $210 [million]...direct with owner (Manchester) attorney. Ideal situation is a JV [joint venture] partner come in with around $75 [million] and take a majority ownership. Need Loi [letter of intent], Pof [proof of funds] and bio. If he sold he wouldn't take less than 210 [million]. He wants to stay with the property. Bank wants serious LOI's (sic) and proof of funds in order to work with receiver."
Says Samantha M. LaPine, attorney for Cooley LLP who has done the legal work several of Manchester's deals, "The ad is not real. The long term loan is current and well secured and not in receivership."
"I have not heard anything about a receiver," says Alan X. Reay of Orange County's Atlas Hospitality Group. He is an expert on hotel deals. "At one time there was talk that the hotel was doing terribly, and occupancy was bad, [and] it was way upside down [worth less than the debt on it]. But today is a different market," and the situation may be much brighter, he says. He agrees that any use of Craigslist would be extremely unusual. The matter could be tied to Manchester's dispute with his first wife, suggests Reay, stressing that he doesn't know.
At this point, I have to accept LaPine's explanation that the ad is not real.