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Orlando Firm Buys Resort Chain

ORLANDO, Fla. -- A real estate fund said it plans to pay $1.37 billion to buy a resort chain that owns properties in Florida, Arizona, California, Georgia and Hawaii, including South Florida's Doral Golf Resort & Spa.
CNL Hospitality Properties Inc. of Orlando said Thursday it signed a contract to buy KSL Recreation Corp. of La Quinta, Calif. CNL also will assume $794 million of KSL's debt.
KSL's properties include Doral, which is well-known largely because of the annual pro golf tournament on the Blue Monster, its premier course. This year's Ford Championship starts March 1.
New York hotelier Alfred Kaskel started the resort in 1961, and his family sold it to KSL in 1993 for $55 million, according to Miami-Dade County property records.
'It's been a very successful investment for them,' said Ruth Pachman, a spokeswoman for KSL's holding company, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. 'This was an opportunity to realize some value for their investors.'
CNL Hospitality, a real estate investment fund affiliated with CNL Financial Group, bought its first hotel in 1998 and now owns 130, with more than 29,000 rooms in 37 states and Canada.
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