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June 25, 2024
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Foley Entertainment Group is Welcomed to the Hotel Californian


Foley Entertainment Group has purchased the Hotel Californian, a 121-room hotel property in Santa Barbara, just a block from the waterfront. The hotel, which includes 21k sf of retail and restaurant space, occupies three corners at the prominent intersection of State Street and Mason Street. It recently underwent a major renovation.

The property has been heralded as the “gateway to the city” and is widely considered the major catalyst for development and renewed interest in Santa Barbara’s historic Funk Zone district upon its opening at the end of summer 2017 after about 17 years and millions invested in planning, permits, and construction.

The re‐developed, landmark property was originally home to the historic Hotel Californian, which was built in 1925 and destroyed shortly after in a major earthquake that rocked the area. The property sat vacant and derelict for decades until it was purchased complete with permits as a major development project titled “La Entrada” in 2011 by 35 State Street Hotel Partners, after a deal with another buyer fell through.

Austin Herlihy and Chris Parker of Radius of Commercial Real Estate represented the seller in the deal. Steve Leider and Clarice Clarke of Lee & Associates repped the Foley entity, led by businessman Bill Foley.

Foley is the founder of Foley Family Wines, which includes top-tier vineyards and wineries in the US, France, and Argentina, including northern California properties in Sonoma and Napa Counties and in Santa Barbara County’s Santa Ynez Valley. He is also the chairman of Foley Entertainment Group (FEG), which oversees a swath of sports properties including the perennial Stanley Cup contending Vegas Golden Knights, Henderson Silver Knights of the American Hockey League, Vegas Knight Hawks of the Indoor Football League as well as leisure properties and restaurants across California, Nevada, and Montana.

Under its new ownership, the hotel will benefit from the expertise of FEG, which is also led by co‐CEO Randy Morton who helped run big‐name Las Vegas properties including Bellagio Resort and Casino and MGM Resorts International.

“With their expertise in the service and leisure industry, the new owners plan to bring their own special brand of energy to the Hotel Californian,” added Leider. “Additionally, the hotel will be a showcase for Foley Family Wines brands including well‐known Central Coast labels from Foley Estates, Firestone Vineyard and Lincourt Estates, to name just a few.”

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