October 13, 2004
Chandler’s historic San Marcos Resort is in the process of being sold.
Manager Darlene Heavlin said the hotel, which has been on the market for about two years, is being sold by San Clemente, Calif., owners Sunstone Hotels, but she would not say who the buyer is.
"We’re not ready to disclose that at this point," she said. "It is in the process of a sale right now."
Claudia Whitehead, Chandler’s downtown coordinator, said the city hopes whoever takes over the hotel becomes involved in the downtown area.
"I think that what the city would like to see is somebody who would take a keen interest in reinvesting in the hotel and really be able to appreciate it and market its historic richness," she said. "I’d really like to see someone who wants to invest in the hotel and really be a part of historic downtown Chandler."
Whitehead said the San Marcos is an important asset to the downtown for many reasons.
"In a historic sense, it is very significant because of its rich history of being one of the first resorts in Arizona and all of the movie stars staying here in the ’20s and ’30s," she said. "Economically, because it brings people in from all over the world and the nation, and those guests shop and dine in the downtown, so it really helps to benefit the entire area."
The San Marcos was constructed in 1912 by Dr. A.J. Chandler. Whitehead said the resort offered Arizona’s first grass golf course and was named after Marcos De Niza, who was rumored to have been in the area in 1539 looking for the legendary seven cities of gold.
C.W. Edwards purchased the property in the 1940s, and San Marcos manager John Quarty bought it from Edwards in the ’60s. When Quarty died in 1979, the hotel closed for eight years, during which time it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The resort was reopened in 1988 by the Kahler Corp., which sold it to Sunstone in 1999.
Whitehead said Sunstone spent about $6 million renovating the hotel before putting it on the market.