Ty Warner Wants to Sell the Miramar

The Miramar Hotel, commonly asserted as the last vestige of Ty Warner’s ambitious renovation campaign in Montecito, is up for sale, representatives of the hotelier told the Journal on November 21. Warner, who purchased the club for $42 million in early 2005, had until this week been planning a significant remodel of the downtrodden property, but reportedly believed the project would be too costly.

“His direction was up to this point to follow through,” said Greg Rice, executive vice president of development for Ty Warner Hotels & Resorts, LLC. “It was with great disappointment letting all of this work go without completion.”

During an interview at his office, Rice said Warner had grown increasingly dissatisfied with County planning procedures that allow projects to get delayed and costs to increase while forcing applicants to acquiesce to the will of opposing minorities.

“In the end, you wind up with a project you didn’t want and you wind up making compromises that have nothing to do with your neighbors,” Rice said.

Rice singled out his strongest criticisms for the Montecito Association, which he said had been most resistant to Warner, despite staggering support for the hotelier’s projects from the Association’s membership.

“It seems that whatever we propose, they’re against it,” Rice said of the Association. “They alone are dictating how we complete our projects, not for the people of Montecito or their members, but for their own partials opinions – specifically against Ty Warner.”

The announcement of Warner’s plans ends several weeks of speculation about whether the hotel mogul would sell the Miramar. Rice has often complained on Warner’s behalf about the difficulties of getting a project approved in Montecito.

For more on this story, read the new issue of the Journal on November 29 for a full breakdown and analysis of the announcement.