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New Life for Town and Country

San Diego

Lowe Enterprises and AECOM Capital acquired an interest in the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center. With an infusion of new capital, the venerable Mission Valley property is being refreshed and repositioned. (We all reach an age where we need a little work done, just ask one of the Real Housewives.)

Yesterday, we spoke with Lowe Enterprises co-president Rob Lowe, whose LA-based company formed a JV with AECOM Capital and the resort's long-time owner Atlas Hotels to own and operate the 40-acre property. Town and Country is a large property that's extremely well located in the center of San Diego, but it's become a bit tired and is being passed by. (You'd think it could find a nice place to take a nap; after all, it's got nearly 1,000 rooms.) Atlas prez Terry Brown, whose late father Charlie Brown opened the then 46-room hotel in 1953, sought a partner to create the Town and Country for the next 50 years. The deal also involved a refi of the hotel's debt.

The Town and Country (500 Hotel Circle North) features two towers, a day spa, three swimming pools and three restaurants. (Just wait 30 minutes after you eat before swimming... or eat in the pool.) It also boasts San Diego's largest convention facility outside of Downtown with 200k SF of conference and meeting space. The California Restaurant Association's local chapter held its annual awards dinner there this week. The largest ballroom is over 41k SF and can seat 3,500.

Rob (with his family hiking to Preikestolen in Norway) says they'll take the next 12 to 24 months to operate the property and learn how it works, working closely with Terry and his existing operating team. Then they'll create a long-term master plan for the property. "Obviously, the conference facilities will continue to be the core of the resort." Everything from the convention facility, to food and beverage as well as leisure amenities, particularly the pool facilities, will be upgraded.

The resort also boasts award-winning rose gardens. (Good place to take someone if you forgot a special day and can't find an open florist.) Lowe's hospitality management subsidiary, Destination Hotels & Resorts, has taken over management of the property. Lowe has considerable experience in the San Diego hospitality industry: Destination manages the L'Auberge and Paradise Point resorts, and Lowe built and for many years owned the Estancia La Jolla hotel and resort.