The luxury SLS Beverly Hills hotel created by hotel and nightclub mogul Sam Nazarian has been sold for $195 million to Torrance multilevel marketing and hotel firm Sunrider International.Nazarian's company SBE opened the 297-room hotel in 2008, just as the hospitality industry was going into a recession-related skid. The hotel business has since recovered and investors have snatched up high-end Southern California properties at steep prices in recent months.
In January, the five-star Montage Laguna Beach sold for $360 million — a record $1.4 million per room for a California hotel. The 47-room Malibu Beach Inn traded for $79.9 million in February, and the trendy 182-room Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles just sold for $103 million.
This year's sales are building on a 2014 trend that saw real estate investors rush into the hotel business as tourism and business travel surged.
Investors bought 399 California hotels for a total of $5.1 billion in 2014, a nearly threefold increase from 2009, when 92 hotels sold for a combined value of nearly $1.8 billion, according to research by Atlas Hospitality, an Irvine hotel industry consulting firm.
Nazarian said nearly a year ago that he was putting the SLS Beverly Hills up for sale as part of a strategy to reduce SBE's holdings in real estate while expanding its contracts to manage hotels for other investors.
Sunrider was founded by an herbalist born in Taiwan. It makes nutritional supplements, beauty products, weight loss drinks, household cleaners and other food supplements, beauty supplies and other products distributed in more than 40 countries.