A joint venture among funds managed by Trinity Real Estate Investments LLC (“Trinity”) and funds managed by Elliott Management Corporation (“Elliott”) today announced the acquisition of the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, the largest resort in Phoenix. This transaction follows Trinity and Elliott’s joint purchase of the Grande Lakes Orlando Resort in December 2018, advancing the partnership’s strategy of acquiring market-leading large hotel properties with value-add opportunity.
The $602 million paid for the property makes it the biggest resort sale in Arizona history.
Spanning 396 lush acres, the Resort features a 950-room hotel, 212,500 square feet of flexible meeting space, seven food and beverage options, and numerous amenities including five pools, a lazy river, a world-class spa, and two championship golf courses designed by Arnold Palmer and Nick Faldo. The luxury complex, which also boasts the largest ballroom in the state, is considered one of Arizona’s premier resorts and was ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best hotels in Phoenix for 2018.
“We are pleased to continue our strategic partnership with Elliott through the acquisition of another world-class resort destination,” said Sean Hehir, Managing Partner of Trinity. “Importantly, we managed to purchase this trophy asset at an attractive basis well below replacement cost, reflecting our ability to source and close deals that align with our strict investment parameters. We look forward to applying our proven value-add platform to drive enhanced operational and financial performance.”
Situated in one of the nation’s fastest-growing cities, the resort is well-positioned to benefit from demand drivers for business and leisure travel due to Phoenix and Scottsdale’s strong economic growth and rising competitiveness in the group and convention market. Due to its geographic proximity and access to markets throughout California and the Southwest, Phoenix serves as the primary commercial and cultural hub of the Southwest United States and is a preferred business destination.
Tim Mackey, Portfolio Manager at Elliott responsible for commercial real estate in the Americas, added, “Elliott is pleased to close another major transaction with Trinity, a globally recognized hospitality investor and actively engaged asset manager. Desert Ridge is a strategic complement to the Grande Lakes Resort in Orlando, Florida, which we acquired with Trinity in December 2018. Large luxury group-business resort and conference center properties continue to be attractive investment opportunities. The JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa is a market leader in terms of the number of rooms, meeting room space, location, and quality.”
Trinity and Elliott intend to implement a multi-million dollar capital improvement plan to further enhance the Resort’s offerings and unlock embedded value. In addition to guestroom renovations, planned improvements include upgrades to the Resort’s meeting spaces and ballrooms, water features, and food offerings. Moreover, Trinity and Elliott will consider opportunities to expand the Resort and will leverage their deep institutional knowledge and experience owning and operating big-box convention hotels to drive higher-rated transient business.