Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa will be sold to KSL Capital Partners

Here’s the press release from KSL Capital Partners:

KSL Capital Partners, LLC announced today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire the historic Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa from an affiliate of Sammons Enterprises, Inc. One of the most iconic resorts in the United States, the 512-room Grove Park Inn sits between the majestic Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains in Asheville, North Carolina. The agreement is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the next 30 days.

As part of the resort’s Centennial celebration in 2013, KSL Capital Partners is planning an extensive $25 million renovation of the resort’s public areas, guest rooms, dining outlets, meeting spaces and spa that will honor the historic style of the resort while enhancing the guest experience.

Sammons has owned and operated the resort for nearly 60 years. Following the acquisition, The Grove Park Inn will continue to operate as an independent luxury resort and will be managed by KSL Resorts, a leading independent hotel management company. KSL Capital Partners and KSL Resorts have extensive experience in owning and operating historic properties such as The Grove Park Inn.

“The Grove Park Inn has a deep and storied past and we understand the importance of honoring the history of the property while providing the next level of service and amenities that today’s guests demand,” said Marty Newburger, a principal of KSL Capital Partners. “We believe the experience KSL Resorts has in managing properties like The Grove Park Inn partnered with our planned capital improvement program will bring a further level of luxury, service and amenities for our guests and the community to enjoy.”

About The Grove Park Inn

Constructed in 1913, the resort features 512 rooms, one of the country’s most widely acclaimed spas, eight dining outlets and seven retail outlets, an 18-hole Donald Ross-designed golf course, a 50,000-square-foot sports complex, and 55,000 square feet of meeting space with 42 meeting rooms. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, just beyond the energy of downtown Asheville, North Carolina, The Grove Park Inn is sanctuary for the soul. Enchanting mountain vistas, lush green fairways, warm Southern charm, and passionate hospitality make The Grove Park Inn an oasis for family vacations and romantic getaways. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and one of Travel + Leisure’s Top Spa Resorts in the country, The Grove Park Inn is the place to relax, rejuvenate, explore, play, eat and celebrate. To learn more about the Grove Park Inn, please visit

About KSL Capital Partners

KSL is a private equity firm specializing in travel and leisure enterprises in five primary sectors: hospitality, recreation, clubs, real estate and travel services. KSL has offices in Denver, Colorado and New York.

KSL’s current portfolio includes some of the premier properties in travel and leisure, including The Homestead, Montelucia Resort & Spa, Barton Creek Resort & Spa, Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa, The Royal Palm, La Costa Resort and Spa, and ClubCorp, one of the world’s largest owners of private golf and business clubs. KSL also owns other premier recreation businesses, including Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, two of the leading ski resorts in North America; Western Athletic Clubs, the owner and operator of luxury fitness clubs on the West Coast; and Orion Expedition Cruises, a luxury expedition cruise operator based in Sydney, Australia. For more information on KSL, please visit

About KSL Resorts
Founded in 1992, KSL Resorts currently manages eight time-honored resorts with outstanding recreational amenities including spa, golf, tennis and ski. Each is refined yet unpretentious, rich in legacy and genuine in service. The KSL Resorts portfolio of properties includes:

  Hotel del Coronado (San Diego, Calif.)
  Beach Village at The Del (San Diego, Calif.)
  La Costa Resort and Spa (Carlsbad, Calif.)
  Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa (Rancho Mirage, Calif.)
  Vail Mountain Lodge & Spa (Vail, Colo.)
  Barton Creek Resort & Spa (Austin, Texas)
  The Homestead (Hot Springs, Va.)
  Montelucia Resort & Spa (Scottsdale, Ariz.)

For more information, call (866) KSL-7727 or visit

About Sammons Enterprises, Inc.
Founded in 1938, Sammons Enterprises, Inc. is a diverse holding corporation that owns and operates companies in three core business sectors – financial services, equipment distribution and hospitality and real estate. Sammons is dedicated to building the world’s premier ESOP-owned company through a commitment to high ethical standards, industry-leading businesses, solid financial performance and a true values-based culture, where every person makes a difference.

The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa remains one of the world’s legendary getaways. Built by hand from native granite boulders, the resort and spa overlook Asheville, North Carolina’s skyline and the majestic Blue Ridge mountains beyond. When it opened in 1913, William Jennings Bryan said it was “built for the ages,” and Charles Sammons assured its survival and continued success when he purchased the hotel in 1955.

Under his direction, Sammons Enterprises began an enormous restoration and expansion program. The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa is now a full service resort and conference center. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and a member of Historic Hotels of America, the 512-room resort is famous for its year-round activities, its recently renovated Donald Ross-designed 18-hole golf course and its unparalleled full-service spa, opened in 2001. The Spa at The Grove Park Inn Resort is nothing short of extraordinary, as its architecture and treatment packages combine the natural elements of fire, rock, water and light.

Thanks to the ongoing investment and care of Sammons Enterprises and the countless distinguished and attentive employees who have hosted guests through the past 99 years, The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa is sure to remain a pioneer in a class of its own and a true industry-leading business.

Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, with assets of almost $50 billion, Sammons Enterprises consistently ranks in the top 150 on Forbes’ “America’s Largest Private Companies” list. For more information, visit


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Jake Frankel
Jake Frankel is an award-winning journalist who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, from politics and government to business, education and entertainment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

12 thoughts on “Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa will be sold to KSL Capital Partners

    • Curious

      Is there some implication to Mr. Summers’ quote from the KSL Capital Partners’ website? What are we supposed to get from this?

  1. Karen

    Although i have never worked there it is common knowledge that they are horrendous to their employees. Let’s hope this will change.

  2. D. Dial

    KKR (Kohlberg Kravis and Roberts) had a movie made about them. “Barbarians at the Gate”.
    About the largest hostile takeover of RJR Reynolds Tobacco. I’m wondering if this was a hostile takeover???

    • Jake

      Hostile? Not at all. Sammons Corp. has been looking for a buyer for a while.

      Let’s just hope that KSL builds the parking at GPI that City Council approved in 2004.

  3. mat catastrophe

    Let’s focus on what’s important here, people….


  4. brebro

    I hope they install speakers that play “Dies Irae” the whole time you are driving up Macon Avenue to get there.

  5. D. Dial

    All employees are now unemployed and must re-apply…seems pretty hostile to me.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.