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Napa’s Meritage and Vista Collina resorts for sale; price could top $500 million

Between this Wednesday and Friday, a different kind of visitor is expected at Napa’s Meritage and Vista Collina resorts. Instead of vacationers, potential buyers were invited to tour the properties.

The resorts, totaling 467 rooms over 36 acres, are for sale. An asking price was not provided.

However, compared to other such hotel sales, the dual property could be sold for as much as $500 million, according to one industry expert.

Both of the south Napa resorts are owned by Pacific Hospitality Group of Irvine, Calif. The adjacent Vino Bello timeshare property was not included on the sales listing.

According to a property summary from CBRE, the sale includes the 322-room Meritage Resort & Spa, the 145-room Vista Collina Resort, a “fully operational” 9-acre vineyard,” a 5.39-acre fully entitled 253-room AC and  Residence Inn development site and three commercial condominiums providing “back of house” space.

In total, the space offers 80,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor meeting and event space including the “two largest” ballrooms in wine county, stated CBRE. Together, it is one of Napa County's largest hotel/resort complexes. 

The listing was first reported in Paul Franson's NapaLife newsletter.

Built 15 years ago, the Meritage property presents “tremendous potential upside via renovation and rebranding,” said the sales document.

The Meritage Resort includes five food and beverage restaurants or cafes, a 22,000 square-foot wine cave, spa, chapel and bowling alley.

Vista Collina Resort, which opened in 2018, includes four food and beverage operations, a retail center and expansive “lawn.”

Both are located on Bordeaux Way in south Napa. 

A representative from Pacific Hospitality Group was unable to provide additional information about the sale.

“We aren’t ready to comment,” said Garrett Busch, vice president of capital markets at Pacific Hospitality Group.

A representative from CBRE could not be immediately reached.

The prices that are being paid for California hotels today are setting new records, said Alan X. Reay, president of Atlas Hospitality Group.

“There is a tremendous amount of capital sitting on the sidelines and trophy California hotel assets are setting some very high prices, this is why you are seeing owner's bringing assets to market,” said Reay.

For example, the Montage in Healdsburg sold at over $2 million per room and the Four Seasons Resort in Calistoga is rumored in escrow at $2.1 million per room, said Reay.

“These are both smaller hotels, but I could see the Meritage trading for well over $1 million per room, which would put the value for the whole project over $500 million.”

John Evans, managing director of Napa’s Silverado Resort, said he thinks the sale, “will ultimately be good for the hotel community and Napa Valley.”

“The best case scenario would be for a recognized national brand to acquire the resort or take over as the management entity,” said Evans.

“A major brand would have more reach across the nation and bring awareness of the resort to its data base of frequent travelers. I have always said that we need all the hotels and resorts in the Valley to be successful and I believe there has been a strong collaboration among the entire hospitality industry in Napa Valley to make that happen.”

Of course, a selling price depends on the market, said Evans.

However, what he’s seen from recent sales for much smaller assets, “would lead me to believe the value at $800,000,” or more per key.

“There are many factors that will go into the purchase price … such as the earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization used as an indicator of the overall profitability of a business,” Evans noted.

“Hotel and resort assets in Napa Valley have shown to be selling at a premium in part due to the high demand producing occupancy levels and average daily rates that place us in the upper 10 percent on a national scale. Napa showed its demand strength as it rebounded relatively quickly from the pandemic at a level that also placed it at the upper tier based on national comparisons,” said Evans.

Evans pointed out that Napa Valley has high barriers to entry for new hotels.

“The entitlement process can take two to three years and the build process depending on the complexities of the build can take three to five years,” or more.

The Meritage first opened in 2006 at an estimated cost of $50 million. A later addition of a spa and cave totaled $11 million.

In 2011, it underwent a $40 million expansion, adding 165 guest rooms to the original 155 rooms and an extra 28,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space.

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Business Editor

Jennifer Huffman is the business editor and a general assignment reporter for the Napa Valley Register. I cover a wide variety of topics for the newspaper. I've been with the Register since 2005.

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