Fair Game


The landscape for luxury accommodations in town is changing as we speak, introducing the Pendry Newport Beach

Fair Game Toms new headshotEagle Four Partners has single-handedly changed the luxury resort make-up of Newport Beach in just the last 30 days. 

Already the proud owners of the Balboa Bay Resort, Eagle Four last month acquired the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa, with the promise of a sizable investment towards a re-brand to the all-new VEA Newport Beach. And then, this week, Eagle Four double-downed with their purchase of the Fashion Island Hotel and the announcement of a planned re-brand to the Pendry Newport Beach.

Those three properties, when fully operational, along with The Pelican Hill Resort, will arguably make Newport Beach the top millennial tourist destination on the West Coast.

Quite frankly, those in the know in tourism have to be excited.

Let’s review. First the VEA Newport Beach. According to Visit Newport Beach, the VEA property will “undergo a total top-to-bottom reimagination. Guests can look forward to new coastal-chic guest rooms, new suite categories, newly imagined dining concepts, a wellness-focused spa, a high-performance fitness center, expansive indoor and outdoor event spaces and a vibrant pool scene featuring regular live music performances, designer fashion.”

That will all be designed around the spectacular ocean views, as it sits atop the beautiful Newport Beach Country Club (also an Eagle Four property).

Now the Pendry Newport Beach. This off-shoot of Montage Hotels & Resorts caters to the luxury traveler with the promise of a unique boutique property that elevates design and service.

Fair Game Pendry SNN 2.18

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Pendry Hotels & Resorts

A rendering of the Fashion Island Hotel reimagined with the Pendry flag atop

Here, that means “approximately 295 guestrooms, including 82 suites, each with floor-to-ceiling windows that open to step-out balconies or private patios with ocean, harbor and bay views. The hotel will deliver three unique lounge, restaurant and bar experiences – including a pool, sundeck and cabanas, in addition to a private membership club focused on creating community, delivering bespoke experiences, and connecting a diverse group of people from different backgrounds and industries.” 

And if you want to see and understand the unique visions and concepts behind the designs going into the Pendry Newport Beach, I invite you to visit Studio Munge, who will handle the interior designing; WATG, the company behind the overall architecture; and Burton Studio, the landscape architect.

You’ll begin to understand just how impressive it should be.

Timing: VEA Newport Beach is planned to open in Spring 2022, while Pendry Newport Beach will open in Summer 2023.

And finally, for you naysayers who might argue, “oh no, not more tourism!” Let me remind you, TOT (Transient Occupancy Tax) is the third largest tax generator in Newport Beach. It pays for things like public safety and potholes, etc. It’s collected from the guests who stay in our resorts. The tax is calculated on room rate, so that means when all of these rooms come online, the City of Newport Beach coffers are in for some very good years.

And for that, we can thank Eagle Four Partners (Kevin Martin, Todd Pickup, Kory Kramer, Rick Weiner and Joe Moody) for their vision and for their investment! 

• • •

This won’t show up in today’s Police Files, but a truly spectacular piece of police work between Newport Beach PD and the LA County Sheriffs took place Tuesday night in the Port Streets.

As is commonplace these days, a burglary gang/group had been organized and hitting various cities throughout Southern California in recent weeks and perhaps months.

The LA Sheriffs had established a tail on them and little did they know it, but they were being watched from 7,000’ above from an LA Sheriff’s airplane. The group had moved into Newport Beach with the intent to commit crime.

NBPD officers and Sheriffs’ members were notified of a burglary in progress and responded. The gang of suspects fled in two vehicles, both under pursuit, with one abandoning their vehicle a short ways away. 

The first car’s passengers were all tracked down and captured by police, while the second vehicle shortly thereafter was apprehended in Huntington Beach.

Everyone was arrested, booked and taken off the street.

This, incidentally, was the second burglary gang busted in Newport Beach within days of each other, as NBPD officers, with the help of a dog, arrested four South Americans in the act last Saturday. The four had broken into a Newport Coast home and attempted to also flee.

Again, all arrested and jailed.

Kudos to our men and women in blue. They continue to work our streets, keeping our city safe and our crime figures down.

• • •

WAKE UP! Newport has breakfast with Mayor Kevin Muldoon planned for the Thursday, March 3 meeting at the Newport Beach Public Library, beginning with a 7:15 a.m. Continental breakfast, followed by the program from 7:45-8:30 a.m.

Kevin will offer his State of the City and discuss goals and projects planned for the city this year.

Muldoon was elected to City Council in 2014 to represent District 4 and reelected in 2018 for a second term. He’s currently serving as mayor for the second time. He’s also termed-out and is expected to be a candidate for the OC Supervisor District 5 seat primary race in June.

WAKE UP! Newport is free, but attendees are asked to make reservations at for seating and food considerations.

• • •

The Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce is less than a week out for their 2022 Economic and Financial Update. Christopher Schwarz, Ph.D., the Associate Professor of Finance and Faculty Director for the Center of Investment and Wealth Management at UCI’s Paul Merage School of Business, will be the keynote.

The meeting takes place via Zoom at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 23. It will be broadcast to some 20+ chambers and business-member groups throughout Orange County.

For more info or to make reservations, go to The update is free.

• • •

Clarification: A story last Friday by Sara Hall contained the following: “During a straw vote to maintain Banning Ranch in the Housing Element Update inventory and not count it towards RHNA, there was a vote of 6-1 with Council Member (Joy) Brenner voting no; however, during the Closed Session Report, it was noted that she changed her vote to affirmative.” 

Councilperson Brenner offered the following for changing her dissent to unanimous approval: “In this case, there were no other good options to keep our city from receiving huge penalties from the State of California.”