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BRIEFLY IN BUSINESS

Developers speak at Business Club

Laguna Beach real estate developers and business owners Mark Christy and Sam Goldstein will speak Thursday at the monthly breakfast meeting of the Laguna Beach Business Club.

The two businessmen will discuss the future of downtown Laguna, including the constraints of the downtown specific plan, the balance between resident and tourist serving development, and the struggle to maintain a village atmosphere while encouraging growth and beautification.

Christy, owner of Hobie Sports and co-owner of Tuvalu Home Environment Stores, has six storefronts. Formerly a principal of Laguna Pacific Realty Group, Christy is a lifetime Laguna Beach resident. He holds a degree in business economics.

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Goldstein, a 28-year resident, was a musician before switching to real estate development. He has developed properties in several communities in Southern California, and last year acquired the historical Heisler Building "” the largest building in the downtown and former home to the Jolly Roger "” which he plans to renovate.

Laguna Beach Business Club is a private membership organization of some 30 local business principals who meet on the third Thursday of each month from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the Hotel Laguna. Guests welcome.

The cost is $20, with buffet breakfast. To reserve a seat, call club president Steve Ewing, Ewing Design Group, (949) 497-4275. For more about the club, go to www.lagunabeachbusiness

club.com.

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Four Diamonds for two hotels in Laguna

The Surf and Sand Hotel and the Montage Resort & Spa were among 25 hotels and 18 restaurants in Los Angeles and Orange Counties to receive the AAA Four Diamond Award for 2008 from the Automobile Club of Southern California.

It is the 17th year the Surf and Sand has been top-rated by AAA, and the first for Montage.

The award-winning properties are among the top 4% of more than 2,600 Southern California hotels, motels and restaurants inspected by the Auto Club, the nation’s largest AAA affiliate.

“The AAA Diamond rating system remains an objective and consistent method to measure upscale dining establishments and lodgings with Auto Club and AAA members rely upon," said Charles Smith, the Auto Club’s approved accommodations manager.

Auto Club staff reviews establishments without notification. Inspectors review and rate exterior, grounds and public areas, room decor, ambience and amenities, guest rooms, bathrooms, housekeeping and maintenance, maintenance, and staff and guest services.

Once the inspection process is complete, properties that meet all requirements receive a rating of one to five diamonds.

Montage supports Special Olympics

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For the fourth consecutive year, The Hearts of Montage has supported the Annual Columbus Day Drive for Special Olympics. The resort contributed a two-night stay at an estimated value of $1,500 to the event’s live auction. The event recently raised more than $60,000 in net profits, as a team of volunteers and supporters enjoyed a day of golf and dinner at Strawberry Farms Golf Club in Irvine.

According to Hearts of Montage board member Christine Loidolt, “Hearts of Montage has been honored to donate to the Columbus Day Drive for Special Olympics for the past four years. When we see the smiles on the athletes’ faces, our hearts are full, and we are grateful to have been asked."

The golf event has netted in excess of $200,000 in its first four years.

For more information about the 2008 Columbus Day Drive for Special Olympics, contact Special Olympics Orange County at (714) 564-8374.



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