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OCBJ INSIDER

With 15,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space, Newport Beach’s Lido House falls just under the threshold for the Business Journal’s annual list of OC’s biggest hotels by meeting space—see page 26 for this year’s edition, part of our annual Meetings & Conventions Special Report.

The boutique Marriott hotel makes up for its size with the notable events it hosts, such as last Monday’s meet-and-greet for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, hosted by Lido House developer Bob Olson following a meet-up with the New Majority.

The event was part of a quick fundraising swing through Newport Beach for Abbott; he was also hosted at the Pacific Club by the Lincoln Club. The OC events raised over $675,000 for the governor’s reelection campaign, the Business Journal hears.

Notable execs meeting the governor included Ware Malcomb Chairman Larry Armstrong, Veritone President Ryan Steelberg and Stradling Yocca’s Shawn Collins, who conducted a Q&A; with the governor.

Also on hand was Lido Island resident Palmer Luckey, whose hosting of Donald Trump for a fundraiser at his home made national news last year.

Abbott got a tour of Luckey’s new Costa Mesa digs for Anduril Industries while in town; the Press office campus is currently one of the busier development sites in OC. See page 1 for more on Anduril’s latest milestone, its first $1 billion contract win.

Gov. Abbott wasn’t the biggest star at Lido House early last week.

That honor falls to rock star Jon Bon Jovi, on hand for some R&R;, and to promote his French-made rosé wine, Hampton Water, the Business Journal hears. Expect to see the wine on the menu at the hotel soon.

Irvine Co. owns much of Newport Center, and what it doesn’t own it keeps close tracks on.

The developer appears to like what it sees at the Vea Newport Beach hotel and Newport Beach Country Club, each of which have seen major overhauls under the watch of locally based hospitality investor Eagle Four Partners.

Eagle Four is seen by industry watchers as a leading candidate to take over operation of Irvine Co.’s Fashion Island Hotel, which has been shuttered for over a year. Irvine Co. will retain ownership of the underlying land at the 295-room property once a new operator is selected.

See page 22 for more on changes taking place at Newport Center’s two main hotels.

John Buckingham, who runs the Al Frank Fund (VALUX) from his Aliso Viejo office, has a simple explanation about why Apple, with a market value approaching $3 trillion, is in his value-focused fund.

“We’ve owned Apple for 20 years,” Buckingham told our Peter J. Brennan, and estimated his cost basis in 2003 was 25 cents—it’s now trading around $168.

“It’s a stock that we’ve trimmed repeatedly. It’s hard to call Apple a value stock, but they’re still making a ton of money, pay a big dividend and have a fantastic balance sheet.”

Last week, Apple reported record quarterly revenue of $123.9 billion with a $34.6 billion profit.

For more on how Orange County’s diverse array of mutual funds performed in 2021, see page 4.

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Mark Mueller
Mark Mueller
Mark is the Editor-in-Chief of the Orange County Business Journal, one of the premier regional business newspapers in the country. He’s the fifth person to hold the editor’s position in the paper’s long history. He oversees a staff of about 15 people. The OCBJ is considered a must-read for area business executives. The print edition of the paper is the primary source of local news for most of the Business Journal’s subscribers, which includes most of OC’s major corporate and community players. Mark’s been with the paper since 2005, and long served as the real estate reporter for the paper, breaking hundreds of commercial and residential real estate stories. He took on the editor’s position in 2018.
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