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Historic Mount Washington hotel sold to current operator

The Omni Mount Washington Resort, with Bretton Woods ski area in the background.Omni Mount Washington Resort

A privately held Dallas luxury hotel chain has purchased the historic hotel at the base of Mount Washington from the Florida real estate investment firm that has owned it since 2006, the companies said in a press release this week.

Omni Hotels & Resorts had already been running day-to-day operations at The Omni Mount Washington Resort in New Hampshire since 2009 under a multidecade lease. The company now owns the property after buying it from CNL Lifestyle Properties Inc., a subsidiary of publicly traded CNL Financial Group LLC.

An Omni spokeswoman declined to detail the terms of the purchase. However, in a recent financial filing, CNL said: "In November 2015, we entered into a purchase and sale agreement for one of our ski and mountain lifestyle properties for $90.5 million, which exceeds the carrying value of the property."


Omni promised the transition would be "seamless" for guests of the hotel.

In addition to the hotel, the deal includes the Bretton Woods ski area and several adjacent golf courses and inns. Omni also gets 500 acres "for future expansion and development." The company said it has no current plans to develop the land.

The Mount Washington Resort, built by Italian masons in 1902, is one of the few surviving "grand hotels" that once dotted the White Mountains. Its Spanish Renaissance-style architecture reportedly inspired Disney's Grand Floridian Hotel in Orlando, Fla.

In 1944, the resort was host to the historic Bretton Woods Conference, formally the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference, at which the International Monetary Fund was established.

CNL, along with two partner firms, bought the resort and surrounding properties in 2006 for $45 million, and later invested millions in substantial improvements there.

CNL enraged some New Hampshire residents in 2010 when it was revealed that the company had applied for a trademark on the "Mount Washington" name. CNL later insisted the trademark would only apply to other nearby hotel businesses.


Earlier this year, CNL said it was considering selling off its portfolio of ski properties, which includes well-known resorts like Sunday River and Sugarloaf in Maine, plus Loon Mountain and Mount Sunapee in New Hampshire. The company also has moved to liquidate a number of marinas it owned, according to public financial filings.

Dan Adams can be reached at dadams@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @DanielAdams86.