The AIG Effect Be Damned! St. Regis Monarch Beach Has New Owner

The AIG Effect Be Damned! St. Regis Monarch Beach Has New Owner

The infamous Dana Point resort where American International Group (AIG) sponsored a luxury retreat just days after accepting a federal bailout reportedly has a new owner.

Washington Holdings announced it has taken control of the St. Regis Monarch Beach resort and golf course in a transaction that had the Seattle real estate investment company valuing the property at about $235 million, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Hammered by the economic downturn, the five-star, 400-room resort was headed for the auction block last summer after its previous owners defaulted on a $70-million loan from Citigroup Global Markets Realty Group.

The St. Regis was also an accomplice in the creation of a phenomenon known as "the AIG effect," which chilled corporate events and caused group bookings to plummet at swanky resorts around the country.

The AIG effect was blamed in February for the closure of the Ritz-Carlton Las Vegas.

California's only five-star, five-diamond coastal resort with a full golf course will continue to be operated as a St. Regis by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., the Times reports.

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