Rosario Resort & Spa will remain a resort

At 1:45 p.m. Sept. 30, only 45 minutes after bidding began, the gavel came down and Rosario Resort & Spa was sold at auction for $5.45 million, plus the buyers' fee.

Laurie Cameron, executive director of the seller, Olympus Real Estate Partners, would not disclose the buyer's name. But marketing director Christopher Peacock said Rosario Resort & Spa was purchased by an Anacortes-based, family-owned investment and development group with deep roots in the San Juans. The group is slated to take over the resort on or around Oct. 30.

“We are excited to be the future owners of Rosario," the buyers said in a statement released by Rosario's marketing department. "As Fidalgo Island residents and boaters in the San Juans, we’ve always loved the islands and understand Rosario’s importance to the region. We look forward to working with the Orcas Island community to help Rosario reach its potential under the Resort’s approved Master Plan. Restoring the Moran/Rosario legacy will be a project to be proud of.”

The current ownership, Olympus Real Estate Partners of Dallas, Texas, will close the resort on Oct. 20 and the new ownership group has yet to announce when the resort will re-open.

A total of 10 bidders, with at least one online, took part in the auction, which was held Sept. 30 in the music room of the mansion. Attendance at the event was limited to "serious bidders" who put up a refundable $250,000 deposit to gain admittance.

Peacock, Rosario’s historian and author of “Rosario Yesterdays,” is optimistic about the resort’s future. "I predicted that in the auction, the winning bidder will have a passion for the resort. I think they have arrived. I believe they will be good stewards of the property."

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