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By Gaynor Dumat-ol Daleno

HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, May 19) – The Guam Marriott Resort and Spa will change owners on June 1, about two years since the Tumon hotel last changed hands.

The property will transfer from Guam Acquisition Company to UFB Guam Hotel Corp., according to a notice of intended bulk sale advertised in yesterday's Pacific Daily News.

The sale price was not available, and UFB Guam representatives could not be reached for comment.

Even with the change in ownership, the hotel is expected to keep the Marriott brand because its management company still will be under Marriott International, said Julian Wong, the hotel's director of marketing.

The Manhattan Steakhouse, Marriott Café and the hotel's operations in general also do not expect disruptions stemming from the ownership change, Wong said.

In 2004, the hotel's original owner, Republic of Nauru Guam Inc., lost the 19-story property in a foreclosure after the Nauruan company defaulted on two loans. The Marriott International Capital Corp. was the lender of the two loans: one for $4.7 million and another for $16.5 million, foreclosure notices have indicated.

Once known as the Pacific Star, the Guam Marriott went through a renovation estimated to have cost $14 million, only to be damaged soon after by Typhoon Chata'an and Supertyphoon Pongsona in 2002.

The Guam Marriott's latest sale ushers out an era of for-sale signs on Tumon Bay's hotel row.

In the past few years, a number of Guam hotel properties have sold, including the Hilton Guam Resort & Spa and the Hotel Nikko Guam.

The Sherwood Guam is probably the last of the Tumon Bay hotels up for grabs as foreign investors see Guam with renewed interest, said Nick Captain, president of real estate consulting firm The Captain Company.

"The amount of foreign investment interest has really exploded. The market has been extremely liquid, and there are lots of buyers looking," Captain said.

Investors from Japan, Taiwan and Australia are some of those interested in buying Guam hotels, he said.

May 19, 2006

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