Hilton Worldwide Holdings has agreed to buy two of Key West’s largest and most upscale resorts: the Casa Marina and the Reach Resort.
Hilton already operates the hotels for the Blackstone Group LP, the current majority owner. Both are considered Waldorf Astoria resorts.
Prices were not disclosed, according to a published report. But the overall deal, which includes two other resorts in Orlando and one in San Francisco, is worth $1.76 billion, the Keynoter reported.
Citing Bloomberg News, the Keynoter reported that the sales are “to defer [Hilton Worldwide] capital gains taxes from its sale of New York’s Waldorf Astoria,” which sold for $1.95 billion. Blackstone owns 55 percent of Hilton.
The 311-room Casa Marina, at at 1200 Reynolds St., dates back to the days of railroad magnate Henry Flagler, who viewed it as a destination for wealthy travelers on the Key West Extension of his Florida East Coast Railway. On Jan. 22, 1912, the first railroad arrived in Key West, the Keynoter reported.
The designers of the Casa Marina were Thomas Hastings and John Carrere, both of whom helped design the New York Public Library and the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, the Keynoter said. Construction of the Casa Marina lasted from 1918 to 1920. It was used by the military during World War II and during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Keynoter said.
The Reach, at 1435 Simonton Street, is far newer. Built in 1985, it has 150 rooms, and is located directly on the beach in Key West’s Old Town. [Florida Keys Keynoter] — Ina Cordle