‘No Impending Sale’: Ty Warner Puts End to Rumors About Montecito Properties
In an exclusive interview with the Montecito Journal, Ty Warner, Montecito resident, Beanie Baby creator, and billionaire owner of the Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club, the Four Seasons Resort the Biltmore, the Montecito Country Club, and the San Ysidro Ranch, said he had no plans to sell any of his local properties, all of which except the San Ysidro Ranch have remained closed due to COVID-19 concerns.
Last week, the Journal reported that Montecito’s Board of Architectural Review voted to approve Warner’s plans to make exterior improvements to the Coral Casino. The proposed project was being planned amid rumors that Warner might sell the property.
Warner denied the rumors flatly. “There is no impending sale,” Warner said in a July 31 interview with the Journal. “There is no chance in my lifetime that any property I have in California is going to be sold – absolutely none.”
Though Warner closed three of his properties for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic, he said it was not evidence of any desire to unload the properties, but rather that he was being cautious about reopening.
Warner added: “The reason they are closed should not be a problem for anyone to understand. I do not want to take the risk for them to open or to be sued or have any liability were something to happen.”
Meanwhile, Warner said he was using the property closures as an opportunity to reinvest in them, as evidenced by the proposed improvements being planned for the Coral Casino. Warner has a well-known history of investing heavily in his Montecito properties. He purchased the Four Seasons in 2000 for $150 million and then promptly spent more than $240 million for massive upgrades. In 2005, Warner invested $65 million to vastly overhaul the dilapidated Coral Casino. Ten years later, he shut down the Montecito Country Club for a three-year, $75 million remodel.
“We would not be doing all these things if I was going to sell the properties. There are no plans to sell Montecito Country Club, the Coral Casino, or the Four Seasons Biltmore,” Warner explained, expressing irritation about the speculations. “I’m having breakfast and pick up the newspaper and I am like, ‘Where is this coming from?'”
Although Warner is notorious for rarely speaking to the press, he insisted he isn’t that hard to track down. “It’s not like nobody can find me,” he said. “I’m in town. These are big money sales and the last thing I would be thinking of is selling at any price. There is no price I would sell the Biltmore at for any reason.” The same thing goes for the Montecito Country Club. “I am trying to make the Country Club the best club in the United States, and the Biltmore the best hotel. To say we are for sale is the furthest thing from my thinking.”