Regency loses its crown

The Hyatt Regency Irvine now goes by a different name: Hotel Irvine.

With the new label comes new management. Hotel Irvine marks the third hotel controlled by the Irvine Co.

"We are the owner, the brand, the face," said Ralph Grippo, president of the Irvine Co.'s resort properties.

The Irvine Co. owned the 536-room hotel in Jamboree Center even when the Hyatt operated it. But the company saw in it an opportunity to better meet the needs of customers, Grippo said.

Irvine Co. management believed they could provide a more individualized service. They hope the Hotel Irvine will be "not just a place to be in a ballroom," as Grippo put it, but a place to take advantage of the surrounding area.

"We know this part of the world extremely well," Grippo said.

Already, the property's signs have changed. The company also plans for extensive interior renovations. It plans to keep up daily operations throughout the process.

Unlike the Resort at Pelican Hill, which provides for the ultra-luxury leisure traveler, or the Island Hotel, which meets the needs of so-called "upper upscale" business travelers, Hotel Irvine will cater to a business crowd that may be looking to pay a little less but still receive quality, personalized service, Grippo said.

"They're different in size, price, style and service standards," he said of the three hotels. "They complement each other, versus compete with each other."

The Irvine Co. assumed control of the Island Hotel from the Four Seasons in 2005.

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