Aliso Creek Inn, golf course purchased

A private investment group led by longtime Laguna Beach resident Mark Christy has purchased the Aliso Creek Inn and Golf Course, according to a news release Thursday.

Laguna Beach Golf & Bungalow Village purchased the 87-acre property from Aliso Creek Properties, which owned the parcel since 2004, the release said. The purchase price was not disclosed.

"My partners and I feel fortunate to be a part of something that we believe will be an integral part of the fabric of Laguna for generations to come, and we're committed to keeping the public nine-hole course focused on serving area locals and visitors alike," Christy said in the release.

The company was formed to purchase Aliso Creek, with Christy as managing member.

Anthony Malk of Eastdil Secured, a national real estate brokerage and investment company, represented Aliso Creek Properties in the transaction.

The property includes a 62-room hotel, the golf course and a 15,000-square-foot restaurant and meeting facility, all with views of Aliso Canyon.

The course means a lot to Christy, owner of Hobie.

"This property holds a special place in my heart," Christy said. "My late father taught me to play golf on these fairways when I was about 8 years old. Years later, I taught my own son the game on this course, and it is still our 'go to' spot when we need quality time together."

In the 1870s, George and Sarah Thurston staked a claim on the parcel. They lived there for the next 50 years, until William "Bill" Bryant bought the property and began constructing the course, which opened in 1950.

Ben Brown purchased the site in 1956 and over the next 10 years developed his vision for the Laguna Beach Country Club and Village, which included a hotel, restaurant and golf shop.

Brown died in 1970 and his wife, Violet, managed the property for more than 30 years, until Aliso Creek Properties bought it.

Kurt Bjorkman will continue as general manager with a team of 50 associates serving hotel guests and golfers and coordinating weddings, meetings and events, the release said.

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