Shane Nelson
Shane Nelson

Earlier this month, KSL Capital Partners reached an agreement to acquire Outrigger Hotels and Resorts, which has been family-run since its founding in 1947 by Roy and Estelle Kelley.   

Already the owner of travel and leisure assets like the Miraval Group, the Monarch Beach Resort in California and Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, KSL will acquire Outrigger's approximately 6,500 total guestrooms across 37 hotels, condominiums and vacation resort properties in Hawaii, Guam, Fiji, Thailand, Mauritius and the Maldives.

Sean Dee, Outrigger's chief marketing officer, said the sale will likely close in early January and noted that KSL's ability to inject capital into Outrigger's future plans was a key component in the agreement.

"If you look at our business, it's obviously incredibly capital-intensive," he said. "And in our pipeline, both in Hawaii and in Asia, we have some pretty significant projects contemplated over the next decade."

One of those is an extensive upgrade to the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort, where Dee said planned improvements include "the addition of rooms and significant public space enhancement."

"In today's construction environment, the pricing on that could be between $150 million and $250 million, depending on when and how we execute it," he said. "Then in Fiji, and some other properties, we have significant capital needs to grow the properties."

Another key component of the sale agreement with KSL is that Outrigger would maintain its headquarters in Honolulu, and Dee described the expected plan moving forward as "business as usual."

"All indications are that they [KSL] are retaining management, they are retaining David Carey as CEO, and that they anticipate no changes to our core business strategies or our corporate culture or effectively to the employment of our hosts around the world," Dee said.

Dee added, meanwhile, that the company has enjoyed a 10% year-over-year increase in bookings by travel agents since relaunching its Outrigger Expert Agent program earlier this year, noting that around 20,000 agents are now registered worldwide and 7,500 of those are certified Outrigger Expert Agents.

"With that comes a lot of amenities for the guests that are booked through that channel, and obviously that's where our product education and certification programs occur," he said. "Then Outrigger Expert Agents earn points for every booking, and they get cash booking bonuses."

For more details about the program, visit www.outriggeragent.com.

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