When two members of the Marriott family started their own hotel investment and asset management business in Newport Beach in 2019, they knew who to call to help seed their firm with best-in-class hotel assets in the Western U.S., as well as executive talent.
An affiliate of Twin Bridges Hospitality, a locally based asset management firm that’s quickly building a portfolio of Marriott-branded properties across the country, last month took over ownership and operation of a third hotel built by Newport Beach’s R.D. Olson Development.
The just-opened 110-room AC Hotel by Marriott Wailea Maui was bought by Dauntless Capital Partners, which is a private equity affiliate of Twin Bridges, for what hotel sources indicate was $83.6 million.
The deal is the third transaction in recent months between the upstart investment group and R.D. Olson, which has been the most active developer of Marriott-branded hotels in the Western U.S. over the past decade.
It brings the new group’s investments in hotels built by R.D. Olson to nearly $290 million.
Dauntless earlier this year bought the 200-room Residence Inn by Marriott Maui Wailea, another Olson property in Hawaii next to the AC Hotel, and the 144-room Residence Inn Pasadena, which opened in 2016.
The trio of deals, as well as other acquisitions elsewhere around the U.S., place Dauntless among the most active hotel investors in the country this year.
“We are optimistic about the recovery of the hospitality industry,” Twin Bridges Senior Vice President of Asset Management Adam Beer said about the company’s investment push after one of the more turbulent years in history for the hotel sectors. “We’ve seen a surge in activity in core leisure market this summer due to pent-up demand for travel and lack of international travel.”
“This summer has been the strongest summers in the history of several of our hotels, exceeding 2019 levels which is generally the highwater mark for the industry,” Beer said.
The three just-added R.D. Olson properties bring the new company’s portfolio up to over 1,500 rooms. It also has properties in Atlanta, Colorado and Washington, D.C.
The group also has a minority stake in the Newport Beach Marriott in Newport Center. That property’s primary owners are locally based Eagle Four Partners and Lyon Living Development Co.; Twin Bridges officials said they are advising that group on the redesign and renovation of the property’s public spaces and guestrooms.
“Twin Bridges has ramped extensively this year,” Beer said. “We started the year with one hotel on our platform, added eight additional hotels to date, anticipate adding several more before the end of the year, and plan to continue to grow for years to come.”
The Business Journal in April was first to report on R.D. Olson’s sale of Wailea Residence Inn, a reported $148.5 million deal for the 5-year-old property. At $740,000 a room, the deal marked the highest price per key for any select service hotel in the country.
That record pricing was eclipsed by the recent purchase of the new AC Hotel, which sold for nearly $760,000 a key, according to sources.
The Old Town Pasadena property, a few blocks north of Colorado Boulevard, sold for about $400,000 a key, according to property records.
CBRE Group’s Bob Webster represented R.D. Olson in the trio of sales.
The Twin Bridges name is a nod to Virginia’s Twin Bridges Motor Hotel, the first hotel operated by what would become Marriott International. It opened in the late 1950s.
Twin Bridges’ executive team has several ties to Bob Olson’s local development company, as well as the founding family of $45 billion-valued Marriott International (Nasdaq: MAR).
Chris Harrison, the company’s co-founder and managing partner, served as the first general manager of the 15-story Marriott Irvine Spectrum, which opened near the end of 2017. It ranks No. 35 on this week list of hotel meeting rooms in Orange County (see list, page 20).
Harrison, a Ladera Ranch resident, has also held a variety of roles at Marriott International prior to starting Twin Bridges and Dauntless.
He’s the great-grandson of the hospitality giant’s founder, J.W. Marriott Sr. His brother-in-law, Craig Ballard, is also a co-founder of Twin Bridges and Dauntless. Regulatory filings indicate the duo has a two-thirds stake in both entities.
The Marriott family still counts a sizeable stake and multiple members on the board of the Bethesda, Md.-based hotel giant, filings indicate.
Also part of the Twin Bridges exec team is another ex-R.D. Olson general manager, Beer, who served as the inaugural general manager of Newport Beach’s Lido House, which opened in 2018.
Beer heads Twin Bridge’s growth and performance.
Lido House and the Irvine Spectrum Marriott remain in the long-term portfolio of R.D. Olson and are not for sale, says the developer’s CEO and owner, Bob Olson.
Twin Bridges “specialize in Marriott hotels since our asset managers have spent significant time within the Marriott and Starwood system but can bring our expertise to help other brands and independent hotel chains,” Beer said.
“We plan to continue expanding our portfolio nationwide in the premier business and leisure markets—targeting markets with high barriers of entry. We are always looking for like-minded individuals to partner with on projects or portfolio management.”