Rosario Resort sold at auction

ROSARIO, Wash. (AP) - The historic 74-acre Rosario Resort in the San Juan Islands was sold at auction Tuesday, but the previous owner won't discuss the buyer or the purchase price.

The buyer, who lives in the Puget Sound region but not in the San Juans, beat out 10 other bidders in a live auction that lasted about 40 minutes, said Laurie Cameron, managing director of Olympus Real Estate Partners of Dallas. Olympus has owned the resort since 1998.

Cameron said the buyer has asked that details of the sale not be released yet.

"He loves the San Juans," auctioneer Bill Vipond said of the buyer. Vipond also declined to release details. "We think he's going to be a good steward of the land."

Cameron said Olympus wasn't "nuts about the pricing, but we think it's fair considering what's happened in the last 10 days."

The property's main attraction is the 25,000-square-foot Moran Mansion, built in 1909 by former Seattle Mayor Robert Moran, who was also a ship builder.

The mansion features Tiffany fixtures, a 1913 Aeolian pipe organ and a Steinway grand piano. The property also includes a 34-slip marina and 28 offshore moorings, plus a conference center, restaurants, a museum and a spa.

It includes 10 buildings with 131 rooms and comes with a plan already approved by San Juan County that will allow the new owner to build 134 luxury vacation condos.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-09-30-08 2038EDT
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