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St. Regis Resort facing foreclosure

June 10, 2009 6:22:39 AM PDT
The St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort, one of Southern California's priciest hotels, is facing foreclosure.The massive 5-star hotel in Dana Point has a golf course, a beach club and 500 rooms, some of which cost several thousands of dollars a night.

But according to the L.A. Times, the St. Regis has a mounting debt problem, which has forced it into foreclosure. Barring a last-minute deal between the owners and their lenders, the entire resort will be auctioned off to the highest bidder on July 7, according to the paper.

"I'm really surprised when you think of something the quality of the St. Regis and the location and the ratings that it has, that it would find itself in this position," said Dave Craig, a San Clemente resident.

Word of a possible foreclosure sale is catching many local residents off guard. The St. Regis opened to much fanfare eight years ago, and is known as a world-class resort.

It's the place where insurance giant AIG spent more than $440,000 last fall on a lavish retreat shortly after it received billions of dollars in federal bailout money.

Guests of the resort say they haven't noticed any signs of financial problems during their stay.

"Nothing, nothing. Service is lovely, everybody's been extremely helpful. It's a beautiful place," said guest Robin Baum.

"In these times I'm not terribly surprised. It is quiet," said guest Richard Baum. "It's a shame, I mean that's what's going on. It's a beautiful place."

The St. Regis isn't the only local resort facing financial difficulties. The Terranea Resort had to ask the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council for an $8 million loan. The $480 million resort, which was built on the old Marineland property, is slated to open later this week.

The St. Regis is expected to remain open during the process.

ABC7 Eyewitness News tried to contact the St. Regis for a response, but they have not yet commented.

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