Hotel Owner Gets Loan of $205 Million : Coronado’s Lawrence to Consolidate Debt

Times Staff Writer

Hotel del Coronado owner M. Larry Lawrence said Thursday he has obtained a $205-million loan from Primerica Corp., the former American Can Co., that will be used to consolidate existing debt at the hotel and his other businesses.

According to terms of the loan, Primerica, which is based in Greenwich, Conn., will receive a percentage of the hotel’s cash flow.

However, the financial services firm will not receive an equity position in the fabled hotel, which will celebrate its first 100 years in business in 1988.


Primerica and Lawrence denied earlier reports that Primerica would participate in the construction of a 300-room addition to the 700-room hotel. Any future rooms would be added on an “incremental” basis, according to Lawrence, who described the hotel’s desire to expand as “old news.”

The hotel’s last addition came in the late 1970s, when the 200-room Ocean Towers project was completed. The hotel has since presented a handful of expansion plans to the California Coastal Commission and the city. None of those proposals, however, were implemented.

The hotel recently postponed planning on a 125-room addition because of refurbishing in the hotel, according to a hotel spokesman.

However, Primerica did agree to provide Lawrence with about $14 million that will be used in “present and planned” improvements at the hotel, Primerica spokesman Kenneth M. Koprowski said.

The $205-million loan, believed to be one of the largest ever recorded in San Diego County, was made through Primerica’s insurance subsidiaries.

Primerica began its evolution from a manufacturing firm to a financial services and specialty retailing company in 1981. It has divested itself of more than 25 businesses in recent years, using the cash to finance non-manufacturing acquisitions.