Don Bauder 7:30 a.m., April 23
Borrego: one resort for sale, two big properties in escrow
But does the desert town have a future for resort business?
The Borrego Springs Resort & Country Club is on the market for $10 million, according to real estate salesman Rick Vesci, who has the listing. "It was never really successful," says Jerry Morrison, San Diego County hotel guru. "It was marginally successful," says San Diego hotelier Jack Giacomini. Both Morrison and Giacomini question current management's marketing strategy. Vesci believes the property can be a winner, of course, but that depends greatly on whether Borrego Springs itself will blossom into a tourist destination of note. Morrison questions that, although Giacomini believes Borrego has a good resort future.
Two other prominent properties are in escrow. One is Rams Hill, the big housing development with golf course and other amenities. It has long been troubled and in and out of bankruptcy. The Borrego Water District and bondholders are demanding back payments. The third property is Borrego Ranch Resort & Spa, formerly Casa del Zorro. Nobody will say who the potential buyers are for Rams Hill and the former Casa resort, but it's a safe bet to assume that the resort's buyers are a group headed by former San Diego City Manager Jack McGrory, realtor Casey Brown, and Giacomini. Their deal fell out of escrow some time ago but is apparently back in.