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Calistoga Ranch sells at near-record price

CALISTOGA -- Mill Valley-based Auberge Resorts said it acquired the luxury resort Calistoga Ranch, backed by a team of real estate investors and vintners including Bill Foley.

Auberge acquired the resort from Olympus Real Estate for an undisclosed sum. Yet the price paid, based on each of the high-end resort's 50 suites and not considering development rights to expand, was among the nation's highest on record, according to a statement Tuesday from Jones Lang LaSalle, which represented Olympus in the deal.

"We were very pleased to have achieved our real estate sell out earlier this year which has paved the way for achieving well in excess of a million dollars per key for the resort portion of Calistoga Ranch,” said David Deniger, managing partner of Olympus, in the statement Tuesday. Selling the 22 homes on the property earlier this year helped increase interest in the acquisition of the resort, according to Jones Lang LaSalle.

Auberge helped develop Calistoga Ranch for Olympus and has operated the resort since its opening in 2004.

Other backers of the deal include Chicago-based AJ Capital Partners and Michael Uytengsu, a founding partner in Napa Valley winery Tusk Estates.

"We are so pleased to add Calistoga Ranch to our portfolio, and we're excited to have such esteemed partners in this venture who share our commitment to the Napa Valley and to creating an exceptional luxury resort experience in this very special destination," said Mark Harmon, chief executive officer of Auberge Resorts (415-380-3460, aubergeresorts.com), in a statement.

Mr. Foley's Foley Family Wines has been building a network of wineries and resorts in the North Coast as well as wineries on the Central Coast, in the Pacific Northwest and New Zealand. In a statement, he said he looks forward to working with Mr. Harmon on taking the resort "to the next level."

"This was a natural alignment, given our deep ties to the community of Napa Valley," Mr. Foley said. His portfolio also includes Napa Valley vintners Kuleto Merus and Altvs.

Calistoga Ranch is located in a 157-acre canyon in upper Napa Valley. It has 50 guest lodges and private Lakehouse Restaurant overlooking Lake Lommel. Calistoga Ranch commands some of the highest rates in California. They average $1,200 a night, rivaling those of sister Napa Valley resort Auberge du Soleil.

Calistoga Ranch was named one of the "Best Hotels in the USA" this year by U.S. News & World Report and ranked on Conde Nast Traveler’s "Gold List" this year for "The World's Best Places to Stay."

Other properties in the Auberge portfolio include Auberge du Soleil, Napa Valley; Solage Calistoga, Napa Valley; Esperanza, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; The Inn at Palmetto Bluff, Bluffton, S.C.; Hotel Jerome, Aspen, Colo.; the Malliouhana Hotel & Spa, Anguilla; and The Auberge Residences at Element 52, Telluride, Colo., and Pronghorn Resort, Bend, Ore.

This story was updated Nov. 19 with information from brokerage Jones Lang LaSalle, which represented the seller.

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