La Jolla News Nuggets: Estancia resort is sold; coronavirus testing; holiday meals; Concours d’Elegance; more

The Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa has been sold for $108 million to Pebblebrook Hotel Trust.
The Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa has been sold for $108 million to Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, which owns seven other properties in San Diego County.

Estancia La Jolla resort is sold for $108 million

The landmark Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa was sold last week for $108 million.

The 210-room hotel at 9700 N. Torrey Pines Road was purchased by Maryland-based Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, which already owns seven San Diego County properties.

The La Jolla resort was especially appealing, according to Pebblebrook Chief Financial Officer Ray Martz, given its location near Black’s Beach and a growing life science office market nearby that could stimulate bookings for business meetings.

The Estancia, which was purchased from Irvine-based Pacific Hospitality Group, is subject to a long-term lease with UC San Diego that expires in 2066.

“We really like San Diego, particularly the La Jolla submarket,” Martz said. “It’s really impossible to build in La Jolla, so that’s another positive.”

Because the 10-acre property has not been upgraded in some time, Martz said the company plans a renovation that likely will start at the end of 2022. Upgrades will be made to the guest rooms, food and beverage venues and public areas like the pool. where higher-end cabanas will be added. Because the project is still in the planning stages, Martz said he could not provide an estimated price tag. — The San Diego Union-Tribune

Coronavirus testing tent available in The Village

A tent at Girard Avenue and Torrey Pines Road offers free coronavirus testing.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

A tent stationed on Girard Avenue at the corner of Torrey Pines Road in La Jolla is offering free coronavirus testing.

The tent is sponsored by Pacific Beach-based DBL Solutions and the tests are paid for through the federal CARES Act, according to a site representative.

The location provides a PCR saliva test that is sent to a lab for testing and validation. Results are available by email or text message in two to three days, the company says.

The tent, which has been in operation since October, is usually open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, though some days it is packed up by 3 p.m. to allow for getting samples to the lab on time.

DBL Solutions also operates seven other test locations in San Diego County.

Richard Lerner, former Scripps Research president, dies at 83

Richard Lerner, former head of Scripps Research in La Jolla, died Dec. 2.
(File / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Richard Lerner, a biochemist who guided La Jolla’s Scripps Research on its way to becoming an elite center for biomedical science and helped develop Humira, the highest-selling therapeutic drug in the world last year, died of cancer Dec. 2 at his home in La Jolla. He was 83.

Lerner nearly tripled the size of the institute during his 24 years as president from 1987 to 2011, partly through ties with the pharmaceutical industry that helped produce Humira, which fights rheumatoid arthritis, and Benlysta, a treatment for lupus.

“Richard had a tremendous influence on science, the institute and the lives and work of many of us at Scripps Research,” Peter Schultz, the institute’s current president and chief executive, said in a statement. “He was truly a giant, and his vision, leadership and passion for science will be deeply missed.” — The San Diego Union-Tribune

La Jolla Community Center delivers holiday meals to isolated seniors

Staff members of the La Jolla Community Center prepare to deliver meals to isolated senior citizens for Thanksgiving.
(Courtesy of La Jolla Community Center)

The La Jolla Community Center delivered 50 meals to isolated senior citizens for Thanksgiving and plans to repeat the deliveries on Dec. 23, before Christmas.

Donations from the San Diego Seniors Community Foundation and Valley Farm Market in La Jolla contributed to the efforts.

LJCC also will host an in-person holiday celebration at 1 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10, at 6811 La Jolla Blvd. for members and isolated seniors in the community. The event will feature live music, a silent auction, raffles, holiday shopping and hors d’oeuvres by Girard Gourmet.

The La Jolla Community Center is one of 26 area nonprofits that received funding from the San Diego Seniors Community Foundation to provide holiday activities.

For more information, visit

Bugatti and the Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing — dubbed the “sportscar of the century” — will be featured when the La Jolla Concours d’Elegance car show returns in 2022, along with more than 150 automobiles from around the world.

“The La Jolla Concours is an incredible weekend of prestigious events. We take great pride in appreciating the outstanding specimens that make up the automotive industry as we know it,“ according to a news release.

The 2020 show was canceled amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and it moved to Viejas Casino & Resort in Alpine this year.

The 2022 show will be April 22-24 in Scripps Park, with proceeds from the ticketed event going toward the La Jolla Historical Society and several additional local nonprofit partners. A series of cars will line Coast Boulevard in a free component.

Learn more at or (619) 233-5008.

Tickets available for 2022 Farmers Insurance Open

Tickets are on sale for the 2022 Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament, which returns to Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla Jan. 26-29.

Daily grounds tickets are $60 for Wednesday’s and Thursday’s Full Field Days (Rounds 1-2), when fans are guaranteed to see all their favorite players in action before the cut is made. Friday and Saturday will feature later finishes, with golf being played until sunset on the tournament’s Championship Days. Grounds tickets for the final two rounds are $75 per day.

The Farmers Insurance Open will be held Wednesday through Saturday instead of the usual Thursday through Sunday to prevent a conflict with the NFL’s conference championship games on Sunday, Jan. 30.

All tickets to the Farmers Insurance Open will be digital. After purchase, fans can load their tickets to their smartphone’s mobile wallet to display as they enter the tournament gates.

Learn more or purchase tickets at

Library collecting children’s books and toys

The La Jolla/Riford Library is looking for books, toys and more this holiday season and is collecting them onsite at 7555 Draper Ave. and through a drive at the Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center at 7600 Fay Ave. in La Jolla.

Youth services librarian Katia Graham said the children’s area could use toys such as Legos, puzzles, wooden toys and/or magnetic tile games. She also said the children’s section could use “early-reader books in good condition because we never seem to have enough of those, as well as popular juvenile fiction series.”

Toys are not yet allowed in the children’s area but can be collected for when they will be.

The La Jolla Music Society has organized a book drive for 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 19, at The Conrad to benefit the Friends of the La Jolla Library, whose bookstore proceeds benefit the Riford branch.

“Any and all clean books would be terrific, though picture books and hard-cover fiction books are ideal,” Graham said. “They also accept alternate formats such as audio books, CDs, vinyl records, magazines, etc.”

For more information, call the library at (858) 552-1657.

La Jolla Half Marathon on course for Dec. 11

The 40th annual La Jolla Half Marathon is set for Saturday, Dec. 11, beginning at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

The 13.1-mile course, unchanged from previous years, ends at La Jolla Cove, with the final 3.1 miles overlapping with the concurrent La Jolla Shores 5K.

The race, typically held in the spring but canceled in 2020 and postponed in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is the primary fundraiser for the Kiwanis Club of La Jolla, which awards more than $200,000 annually to schools and nonprofit institutions.

The Kiwanis Club also will present a La Jolla Half Marathon Expo beginning at 8:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 10, at Scripps Park in La Jolla. The free all-day event is an opportunity for half-marathon runners to pick up their bibs and registration packets. Vendors will be selling sports-related items.

To register or learn more about the La Jolla Half Marathon and La Jolla Shores 5K, visit

— Compiled by La Jolla Light staff