Doug Manchester is chairman of Manchester Financial Group. A leader in the San Diego Convention Center expansion project, he contributed the property for its development. His completion of the second largest Marriott and Hyatt hotels in the world paved the way for the vast downtown redevelopment that continues to this day. In addition to the San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina, and the Manchester Grand Hyatt, his projects include the Fairmont Grand Del Mar, Torrey Executive Centre, Manchester Financial Building, and soon a Fairmont hotel in Austin, Texas.
“Papa” Doug, as he likes to be called, is a graduate of San Diego State University and a former trustee of the University of San Diego and Wake Forest University. He is the founder of the San Diego chapter of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society and serves as a member of The Sanford-Burnham-Prebys Medical Discovery Institute Board of Trustees.
He got into the newspaper business in 2011, purchasing U-T San Diego from Platinum Equity, which he sold to the Tribune Publishing Company earlier this year. He also owned La Jolla Light from 2014 to 2015. He has five children and 12 grandchildren and enjoys golf, tennis, marathon running, heli-skiing, traveling and “making positive memories.” Earlier this month, he bought the famed Foxhill Estate in La Jolla, which belonged to the Copley family.
What brought you to La Jolla?
My father received a job managing an apartment complex in Pacific Beach while my family lived in Coronado. I fell in love with La Jolla, where I have my primary residence.
If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract or improve in the area?
Charger stadium on the waterfront! My vision was to build a world-class stadium that would not only support our Chargers team, but also benefit the City of San Diego and attract fans and visitors from around the world. I couldn’t imagine anything better than a sporting experience in downtown San Diego overlooking one of the most beautiful waterfronts in the nation!
Who or what inspires you?
God and family. God inspires me to be a better person every day and my family inspires me, as they are the most precious to me. I am so grateful for the gift of their lives and proud of each and every one of them.
If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?
Family — I am most happy and at peace when I am with my family. I cherish our times together creating positive memories.
What are your five favorite movies?
I only have two — “Cinderella Man” and “Forrest Gump.” “Cinderella Man” because I admired James Braddock’s persistence, dedication and determination to fight and do whatever it took to win and support his family, and I was most fond of Forrest’s commitment toward those he loved most.
What is it that you most dislike?
Politicians who never honor their word. I believe politicians have one of the hardest jobs. Many men and women enter the profession with the right goals and objectives, and end up being swayed by their political party. I honor the leader who truly stands up for his or her own beliefs, has the best intent for our nation at heart, and leads our country forward.
What is your motto/philosophy of life?
My philosophy is to live life like it is the Super Bowl every day — only without any time outs or instant replays.
What would be your dream vacation?
A private yacht in Croatia. My lovely wife, Geniya, and I plan to travel to Croatia.
What clothing item in your closet will you never part with?
Comfortable running shoes. I have competed in 13 marathons and 16 half marathons, and believe that staying active is vital to a long and healthy life.
What are your favorite comfort foods?
Italian dishes are my favorite comfort foods!