But property moving forward on upgrades; will have new managerSANTA ROSA -- The 138-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel is getting a new owner, general manager and guest-services upgrades.

A trustee's sale of a portfolio of five hotels, including Courtyard by Marriott locations in Santa Rosa and Vacaville, is set for Dec. 6 in Petaluma to pay an unpaid loan balance of $56.7 million.

Windsor Capital Group of Santa Monica acquired the portfolio in August 2005 via a $51.3 million loan from Greenwich Capital Markets, now part of RBS Securities. Greenwich securitized the loans in a $4 billion package that year.

But before that happens, the court-appointed receiver for the properties, Rim Hospitality of Newport Beach, is bringing in a new general manager for Santa Rosa, according to Max Childs, hotel sales director. The new manager is scheduled to start Nov. 15.

Longtime manager Brad Calkins left earlier this month.

"We're going to get some new energy to focus on guest service,” Mr. Childs said.

By the end of this year, the hotel will have new fitness center equipment and flat-panel televisions in the rooms. The lobby will be renovated to match other Courtyard properties, with touchscreen information displays for news and weather reports and a cafe counter for lunch and dinner items by the end of next year.

"This hotel has been profitable," Mr. Childs said. "We've been on the higher end of the portfolio. Three were doing well, and two were not."

Other hotels in the portfolio are Courtyard by Marriott locations in Sacramento and Modesto and a Country Inn & Suites facility in the Southern California city of Port Hueneme.

Mr. Childs said occupancy rates for corporate bookings are up well over last year, helped recently by teams arriving for the In-and-Out Burger restaurant and Whole Foods Market openings this fall. Daily room rates have been held steady throughout the tough economic conditions, he said.

The hospitality industry is doing much better than it was when the notice of default was filed in March of this year, according to Ken Fischang, president and chief executive officer of the Sonoma County Tourism Bureau. The March notice said the portfolio had missed a $5 million loan payment in September.

"We feel that we've definitely turned a corner on the economic recovery," he said. "Hopefully, we'll be back to 2008 levels sometime in 2011."

The occupancy rates for Sonoma County full-service hotels was 76.7 percent in September, compared to 74.4 percent in Napa County, 51.5 percent in South Lake Tahoe, 66.4 percent in Monterey and 42.3 percent in Palm Springs, according to data the bureau uses from Smith Travel Research. Occupancies were in the 40 percent range in Sonoma County earlier this year.

Occupancy rates increased 9.9 percent in Napa County the first nine months of this year compared with that period last year, followed by 6.9 percent in Sonoma County.

The trustee's sale is set for 11 a.m. at Lucchesi Park.