Buyer of Park City Marriott envisions lengthy stay | ParkRecord.com

Buyer of Park City Marriott envisions lengthy stay

New owner, Driftwood Acquisitions and Development, may seek to expand footprint in the area

The Park City Marriott, one of the towns largest hotels, was recently purchased by Florida-based investment firm Driftwood Acquisitions and Development. Carlos Rodriguez, the firms CEO, says hed like to eventually develop a much larger presence in Park City.

Carlos Rodriguez didn't know much about Park City until he visited for a month last summer.

Rodriguez, CEO of the Florida-based hotel investment firm Driftwood Acquisitions and Development, quickly became enamored.

"Quite frankly, I just fell in love with the place," he said. "It's an amazing, beautiful small town. I really enjoyed Park City and enjoyed the surrounding areas."

He liked the town so much, in fact, that he started searching for land to build a hotel, but left without finding an opportunity that made economic sense for Driftwood Acquisitions and Development. However, Park City remained in the back of his mind until this spring, when the Park City Marriott hit the market.

Rodriguez crunched the numbers and acted fast. Late in June, Driftwood Acquisitions and Development announced that it had acquired the popular hotel on Sidewinder Drive — one of the largest in Park City — from the California-based Sunstone Hotel Investors. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Rodriguez said the hotel's position in the Park City market made it an obvious fit for the firm.

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"It's a hotel that has a great brand, a good reputation and a good business," he said. "It has amazing facilities and I think some of the best meeting space in the town, so that gives us some advantages over the competition."

Sunstone Hotel Investors did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Driftwood Acquisitions and Development does not intend to make wholesale changes to the property, Rodriguez said. Guests may notice small cosmetic updates, but the general experience will be the same. Additionally, the firm plans to retain the current staff even as its hotel management arm takes over operations.

"We believe that with our management expertise we can improve it somehow," he said. "We really like the team that is in place there, but with our support, we believe that the team will flourish. … We have a lot to work with. We have a great location, a great brand and great people, which is always the most important thing."

The Park City Marriott is not Driftwood Acquisitions and Development's first property in Utah. The firm also owns the Sheraton Salt Lake City Hotel. Rodriguez said the Park City Marriott will retain its current moniker for the foreseeable future, but could eventually become a Sheraton — branding that falls within the Marriott family.

Rodriguez also hinted that the Park City Marriott may not be the last property Driftwood Acquisitions and Development purchases in the Park City area. He said he enjoyed his visit to the town so much that he will continue to search for other business prospects nearby.

"In this particular case, it's not business for me — it's business plus it's pleasure," he said. "I really enjoy Park City and enjoy the people there. I always look forward to going back there. If there are more opportunities for us to do business there, we would love to entertain them. We'd like to have a much bigger presence, if possible, in the area."