SAN SIMEON, CA-After years of opposition from the San Simeon community, Hearst Corp. has relinquished its plans to develop a resort on a piece of the 83,000-acre Hearst Ranch, opting instead to help the American Land Conservancy preserve it as open space.

The $100-million resort on 257 seaside acres would have included a 225-room hotel just below the Hearst Castle visitor center as well as restaurants, coffee shop, meeting rooms, retail shops, a golf course, an equestrian center and many other amenities.

The owner of the San Francisco Chronicle, among other newspapers, has been seeking approval to build its proposed resort since 1988 in exchange for preserving about 82,000 acres. Hearst had been negotiating with The Nature Conservancy and The Conservation Fund, but all the while it was applying for more than 250 certificates of compliance to subdivide the ranch for development.

Now Hearst has stopped negotiating with The Nature Conservancy and The Conservation Fund, and has launched negotiations with the American Land Conservancy to preserve not only the 82,000 acres but also the 257 acres eyed for the resort. How much the ALC will pay for Hearst’s development rights is still under negotiation.

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