DANA POINT, CA-Even though the interior walls were not closed up yet, the elegance and sophistication that will be the St. Regis Hotel Monarch Beach Hotel when completed mid-2001 was evident Thursday night, as public officials and invited guests celebrated the topping off of construction in a gala event.

Scheduled to open in August 2001, the $240-million property, located on 17 prime acres of California coastline, features a Tuscan-inspired architectural style. With a majority of its 400 guest rooms (including 74 suites) featuring ocean views and an on-site 18-hole championship golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., the property is being promoted as the first luxury resort hotel to be built in Orange County in 16 years.

“This is an important event in the life of Orange County,” says economist James L. Doti, president of Chapman University. “We will have a strong economy next year in Orange County and this is one of the reasons why.”

Once opened, Doti expects the resort to generate revenues equaling $3 million a year in the form of occupancy taxes. It will also add to the county’s job growth numbers, employing almost 1,000 people. The resort should attract an international presence to the area, not just domestic guests, totaling 250,000 new tourists annually, Doti said. And, he added, it will attract a “high-end market” with its share of “influential dollars.”

Developer of the project is CPH Resorts I LLC, a subsidiary of Capital Pacific Holdings, Inc. based in Newport Beach. Known primarily for its residential construction projects, this first hotel property for the company is being built strictly in accordance with five-star, five-diamond rating standards.

When completed, the property will be managed by Starwood Hotels & Resorts World Inc., which presently has more than 700 hotels in 80 countries with 120,000 employees. Named one of the fastest growing companies in Orange County with a three-year sales growth rate of almost 30%, CPH now has three divisions: CPH Residential, which has built over 20,000 homes; CPH Commercial, which owns and manages a portfolio of office buildings in California and Nevada; and the new CPH Resorts, which develops hotels, spas and golf courses.

The St. Regis Monarch Beach is the eighth St. Regis hotel in the company’s worldwide network. Rates for the rooms averaging 535 sf, with Internet access, three phones, a 32″ flat-screen television with DVD and VHS players and the signature St. Regis butler service, will range from $400 to $6,000 a night.

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