The Coast News Group
Rancho Santa Fe Lead Story

New owner of The Inn talks changes

RANCHO SANTA FE — John Kratzer, one of the new owners of The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, spoke to the Association about future plans for the historic hotel. 

He told the board at its April 19 meeting that some things will stay the same, but there will also be changes including a new general manager and chef.

The Inn was listed last fall after having been owned by the Royce family for more than 50 years. At the time, the price was thought to be about $3 million.

Kratzer said when The Inn went up for sale many people wanted to buy it.

“There was a whole raft of suitors, some wanted to pay more, but the owners wanted a buyer with an understanding of the community, and how The Inn interacts with the community,” said Kratzer, president and CEO of JMI Realty, the successful bidders.

He said The Inn will not join any brand hotel group, but its own Benchmark Hospitality group of hotels.

“We are a private company, we are not beholden to any brand,” he said.

Kratzer said any improvements will be designed exclusively for The Inn. It is estimated that about $12 million will be put into the project.

“We are completely flexible about what is right for The Inn,” he said.

Included in some of the plans are renovations, some of them subtle and some not, he said.

The new management is looking at valet parking and relocating and updating the spa.

“Spas are today what swimming pools were to a hotel in the old days,” he said.

Technology and its infrastructure will be updated because today’s guests demand it.

“The Inn was built in 1922. The reality is that we have to go in with state-of-the-art technology,” he said.

Landscaping is another area of consideration, he said.

Krazter said that even with the changes, his company will be mindful of The Inn’s position in the community.

“We are very transparent about what we do,” he said.

He said they will remember to retain the superior comfort for guests as well as keep the romance, recognizing its importance to the community and remembering to retain its essence.

“What we have here that no one else has is the community,” he said.

He said they will continue to welcome clubs, groups and organizations that meet there such as the Rotary.

“We want them there,” he said.

The company, JMI, may be remembered for being chosen to do the restoration of the Ballpark District surrounding Petco Park in 1998.

One of the owners of JMI is Padres owner John Moores.