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Fairmont Hotels & Resorts to Manage Preeminent Luxury Hotel on U.S. West Coast

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA--(Marketwired - Mar 26, 2015) - Luxury hotel operator Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is delighted to announce that it will soon take over management of San Diego's top-rated hotel and rebrand it as the Fairmont Grand Del Mar. The highly regarded resort, which was named TripAdvisor's #1 Luxury Hotel in California in 2014 and a Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Hotel for the fourth consecutive year, will soon join a distinctive hotel collection that includes the iconic Fairmont San Francisco, world-famous The Plaza in New York, and landmark The Savoy in London.

Upon closing of the deal, which will see private equity firm Blum Capital take majority ownership of the resort, Fairmont will oversee day-to-day operations of the award-winning property under a long-term management agreement. Manchester Financial Group and Fairmont's parent company FRHI Hotels & Resorts (FRHI) will both hold a minority interest in the AAA Five-Diamond hotel.

Today's Grand Del Mar announcement follows another high-profile California hotel deal between Fairmont and Richard Blum, which last year saw the two acquire the landmark Claremont Hotel Club & Spa in Berkeley, California. Following that acquisition, a multi-million dollar refurbishment project was undertaken to revitalize the hotel and enhance the Claremont's stunning architecture.

"With the beauty and climate of San Diego attracting travelers from all over the world, we're extremely pleased to be adding an asset of this caliber to our hotel collection," said William Fatt, chairman and chief executive officer, FRHI. "We've aligned with some great partners and are very happy to be working with Blum Capital and Richard Blum on this very exciting deal, which will further expand our already strong presence in the California market."

"The acquisition of the Grand Del Mar, one of the most revered luxury hotels in the United States, aligns with our investment strategy and perfectly complements Fairmont's unrivaled portfolio of hotels in the California market and abroad," said Richard C. Blum, chairman and president, Blum Capital. "We look forward to showcasing this remarkable asset to an even greater audience and working with a celebrated brand like Fairmont to further enhance the property's award-winning reputation."

Featuring Spanish and French influences, and a design reflecting the Mediterranean style of famed American resort architect Addison Mizner, the property is well suited to San Diego's warm climate and outdoor lifestyle. Set amidst the Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve in Southern California, the resort features 249 guestrooms, counting a high mix of luxurious suites, plus 8 two-story 4,500 square foot villas.

Key features of the luxury resort include a 21,000 square foot spa, which received a Five Star rating from Forbes Travel Guide in 2015; 18-hole Tom-Fazio designed golf course and clubhouse; six food and beverage venues including Addison, the resort's AAA Five Diamond rated signature restaurant; and a state-of-the-art fitness center. The resort also houses boutique shopping outlets and 27,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 10,000 square foot ballroom, perfect for both large and small scale events.

"The Manchester team, led by 'Papa Doug' Manchester, have built an incredible hotel product and coupled it with an expertly trained and highly engaged group of hotel colleagues. This formula has established the Grand Del Mar as one of the country's truly outstanding hotels," added FRHI's Fatt. "We are excited to become stewards of this wonderful hotel and to continue this amazing performance, while also working with our partners - majority owner Blum Capital and minority partner Manchester Financial Group - to further strengthen and grow the resort's luxury positioning."

Fairmont Grand Del Mar is located near the coast in Northern San Diego, and surrounded by the pristine coastal communities of La Jolla, Del Mar and Rancho Santa Fe. It is conveniently located close to the San Diego Airport and a short drive from word-class beaches and the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.

About Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts connects guests to the very best of its destinations, providing travelers with memorable travel experiences, thoughtful and attentive service and luxury hotels that are truly unforgettable. Each Fairmont property reflects the locale's energy, culture and history through locally-inspired cuisine, spirited bars and lounges and distinctive design and décor. With more than 65 hotels globally, and many more in development, the Fairmont collection boasts some of the most iconic hotels in the world including The Plaza in New York, London's The Savoy, Fairmont Peace Hotel in Shanghai and Quebec City's Fairmont Le Château Frontenac. Fairmont is owned by FRHI Hotels & Resorts, a leading global hotel company which operates more than 125 hotels and branded residential properties under the Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel brands. For more information or reservations, please visit www.fairmont.com.

About Blum Capital

Blum Capital Partners is a private equity firm specializing in acquiring all or a major interest in public or privately held companies. Blum Capital focuses on seeking value working with management often over an extended period of time, both for domestic companies as well as companies in Asia. For 12 years, Mr. Blum was Chairman of CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) and recently retired from that position. Blum Capital's major investments have included Northwest Airlines, URS Corporation, and various banking and consumer oriented interests in Asia. Its clients are primarily institutional. Increasingly the firm has focused on real estate investments which are managed through its Montgomery Street Partners. www.blumcapital.com

About Manchester Financial Group

Founded in 1970, Manchester Financial Group is headquartered in San Diego, California. The company specializes in and focuses on hotel and commercial property development, acquiring, developing, and managing high profile properties throughout the United States. www.manchesterfinancialgroup.com