KSL, Davidson team up in Florida deal

KSL Capital Partners and Davidson Hospitality Group are teaming up again in Florida as the Denver-based private equity firm closed on June 30 the acquisition of four beachfront hotels in Islamorada, Florida, with Davidson’s lifestyle operating vertical Pivot taking management.

A KSL affiliate acquired Amara Cay Resort, La Siesta Resort & Marina, Pelican Cove Resort & Marina and Postcard Inn Beach Resort & Marina. KSL would not divulge the price paid for the assets. As part of the transition, there are plans for extensive renovations and enhancements to the guest experience. Collectively, the four hotels comprise 379 rooms; more than 5,200 square feet of meeting and event space; and nine food & beverage outlets, including the iconic Holiday Isle Tiki Bar, which is storied to be the original inspiration for the popular song, “Kokomo.”

June 30 also marked the date KSL Capital Partners completed the final closing of its latest travel and leisure focused credit fund, KSL Capital Partners Credit Opportunities Fund III (not used for Islamorada hotels). The Fund targets dollar denominated performing credit in travel and leisure businesses in North America and the Caribbean.

Postcard Inn Beach Resort & Marina
Postcard Inn Beach Resort & Marina

Against an initial target of US$675 million, together with commitments from the General Partner, KSL Credit III exceeded its target with aggregate capital commitments of US$753 million. Surpassing the size of KSL’s prior private credit fund, KSL Credit III is backed by a diverse group of existing and new investors including state pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, endowments, foundations, insurance companies and family offices.

“KSL has long pursued growth opportunities in the Florida Keys and we are thrilled to be joining the incredible Islamorada community with our long-time partners at Davidson Hospitality Group,” stated John Ege, Partner, KSL Capital Partners, which since 2005 has raised approximately US$15 billion of capital across both debt and equity funds. “We look forward to embarking on the journey to significantly invest in these resorts. KSL backs best-in-class management teams, and Pivot, Davidson’s lifestyle platform, is a perfect fit to drive operational excellence and enhance these properties.”

“We are excited to expand our footprint even further in the booming Sunshine State, bringing our statewide property count to 10, nine of which are iconic resort or waterfront boutique assets,” said Davidson Hospitality Group President Thom Geshay. “KSL has an exceptional heritage acquiring and elevating iconic, destination assets and, in conjunction with Davidson’s in-house design and construction team, will create a new level of quality in these irreplaceable properties, thereby tapping into the unique and eclectic elements that make The Keys one of the most desirable and highest demand markets in the nation.”