This company thinks your next vacation needs a touch of luxury. WHM does business as LXR Luxury Resorts, and operates a collection of about 30 upscale hotel properties. Its resorts are located in the US (with a concentration in Florida and western states such as California and Arizona), the Caribbean (in Puerto Rico and Jamaica), and Europe (with two locations in Berlin). Its properties typically fine dining and leisure activities such as golfing, swimming, and skiing. Several locations operate under luxury brands such as Waldorf Astoria, Hilton, and Hyatt. LXR's portfolio includes the Miami Beach Resort in Florida and The London NYC in New York City. WHM is an affiliate of investment firm The Blackstone Group.
With help from Blackstone, LXR Luxury Resorts intends to expand even further in Florida. It has plans to build a $250 million development on Fort Lauderdale's Bahia Mar peninsula. The plan includes the building of a 296-room Waldorf Astoria hotel, a marina, and 1.5-acre park atop a parking garage. (The company dropped plans to include two condo towers in the development after receiving complaints from neighborhood activists.) LXR intends to finish the project by 2016.
The company is making divestitures, too. It sold the Carmel Valley Ranch, a 144-room resort and golf course, in 2009. Florida-based John Pritzker's Geolo Capital bought the 400-acre property for a reported $18.5 million. LXR Luxury Resorts had owned the site for about four years.
LXR Luxury Resorts was formed in 2005 following Blackstone's acquisitions of Boca Resorts and Wyndham International. The hospitality operator includes properties formerly owned by Boca and more than a dozen report properties once operated by Wyndham. At the time of the deal, Blackstone announced plans to spend $400 million on hotel improvements at LXR Luxury Resorts. Blackstone also owns hospitality giant Hilton Worldwide.
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