Tuscon Ritz-Carlton Resort Gets $160M Equity Financing

With construction started on Ritz-Carlton’s second resort in Arizona, Phoenix-based Warnick & Company arranged for $160 million in equity financing for the new 250-room golf and spa resort Ritz-Carlton now under construction at Dove Mountain in northwest Tucson. The resort is scheduled to open in late 2009 in the nation’s 32nd largest city. The project was announced Oct. 18. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. joins Tuscon-based Cottonwood Properties and Greenbrier Southwest Corporation to open The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, which will also include 300 single-family residences in the town of Marana.Encompassing 850 acres within the Dove Mountain master-planned community, The Ritz-Carlton project will offer a 17,000 square foot spa and fitness center, a variety of meeting and special events spaces including two ballrooms, three restaurants and recreational activities including two Jack Nicklaus Signature golf courses. The $160 million dollar project will be the second Ritz-Carlton in Arizona, joining the The Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix. The $220 million first phase of The Residences will include 91 single family homes and 16 exclusive building sites. Lot development is under way on The Residences models. Tuscon’s tourism has grown steadily since 2002 when hotels garnered just 59.7 percent occupancy. From January to June 2007 (most current figures available) the figures were already at 72.7 percent. The 2006 figures were 68.3 percent, all according to the city of Tuscon. The hospitality market is growing with a Hilton Garden Inn at Tuscon Airport opening this month, a Residence Inn by Marriott as well as a hotel casino both opened in December. An Embassy Suites opened in September. Almost a dozen hotels and resorts completed upgrades or renovations since late 2006, according to city information. The city has 3.5 million visitors per year with tourism creating $2 billion in economic impact on Tucson annually. More than 40,000 jobs in Tucson are related to the hospitality and tourism industry.Warnick & Company is a strategic advisory firm that specialized in the lodging and recreational real estate industries. With offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Phoenix, the firm provides consulting, asset management, investment banking, and development management services to investors, developers, financial institutions, hotel companies, and government agencies.