Doug Manchester

Doug Manchester
Born Douglas Frederick Manchester
(1942-06-03) June 3, 1942
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Other names "Papa Doug"
Occupation Real estate developer, newspaper owner

Douglas Frederick "Doug" Manchester (born in Los Angeles, California, June 3, 1942) is chairman of Manchester Financial Group and past chairman and publisher of U-T San Diego (The San Diego Union-Tribune).[1][2] Manchester, who prefers to be called "Papa Doug",[3] has built some of the tallest hotels and office buildings in San Diego, including the San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina and the Manchester Grand Hyatt, and is credited as a driving force behind the development of the San Diego Convention Center.[3] Manchester also built the triple 5-star Grand Del Mar Resort & Spa, which sold to Fairmont Hotels & Resorts in 2015, and he maintains a minority ownership.[4] In addition, Manchester built the Torrey Executive Centre, Manchester Financial Building, Whitetail Lodge and Golf Club, and is currently building the Fairmont Austin hotel in Austin, Texas.[5]

Early life and education

Born in Los Angeles, California, Manchester grew up in Coronado, California and the Pacific Beach neighborhood of San Diego. He attended La Jolla High School where he played football. A graduate from San Diego State University, he is a former trustee of the University of San Diego and Wake Forest University; founder of the San Diego chapter of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society; member of the Directors Cabinet at San Diego State University; and currently serves as a member of The Sanford-Burnham-Prebys Medical Discovery Institute Board of Trustees.[3]

Business activities

After graduating from college, Manchester went into real estate, eventually becoming known for developing large, upscale projects. In the 1980s, Manchester built a 27-story office tower called the Columbia Centre, now known as the First National Bank Center, and the San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina.[6][7] In the 1990s, he constructed the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel San Diego.[8] He subsequently sold both hotels to Host Hotels & Resorts.[9] He also built The Fairmont Grand Del Mar luxury resort.[10] The resort received designations including AAA Five Diamond ratings and a Five-Star rating from Forbes Travel Guide.[11] The resort was sold to Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and investor Richard Blum in 2015.[12]

In addition, he founded two banks, the La Jolla Bank and Trust Company (1973) and La Jolla Pacific Savings Bank (1984).[13] Manchester is currently building a 595-foot-tall, 1,066 room Fairmont Austin hotel, in Austin, Texas and the Manchester Pacific Gateway, one of the largest private developments, located on the waterfront in downtown San Diego.[5][14]

His activities have helped to revitalize the San Diego downtown waterfront.[14] Manchester was a major influence in persuading the city of San Diego to build the San Diego Convention Center.[5] Manchester and his company, Manchester Financial Group, also played a major role in transforming Navy Field and San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter into tourist destinations.[15]

In 2011, Manchester bought The San Diego Union-Tribune from Platinum Equity.[16] In 2012, he bought the North County Times and merged it and its subsidiary, The Californian, into the Union-Tribune.[17] In November 2013, he bought eight local weeklies in the San Diego region, which continue to be published as separate papers.[18] In 2015, Manchester sold The San Diego Union-Tribune to the Tribune Publishing Company.[19]

Political activities

Manchester is "an outspoken supporter of conservative causes".[20] He donates to Republican candidates at both the local and national level, and once described Donald Rumsfeld as his hero.[21] On buying the Union-Tribune he stated his intention of using the newspaper to promote conservative causes, and the paper's editorial page took on a strongly conservative tone,[22] including the use of front-page wraparound sections to promote development projects and political candidates.[23][24] The New York Times noted that Manchester seems to be using the paper as a "brochure for his special interests", citing San Diego as "a situation where moneyed interests buy papers and use them to prosecute a political and commercial agenda."[25]

In 2008 he donated $125,000 to support signature gathering for a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.[26] When the amendment qualified for the ballot as California Proposition 8 he also donated to the campaign in favor of it. Manchester explained his position by saying, "While I respect everyone’s choice of partner, my Catholic faith and longtime affiliation with the Catholic Church leads me to believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman."[26] His prominent support for the initiative, which was approved by voters in November 2008 but was ultimately ruled unconstitutional, led to calls by gay-rights groups for a boycott of Manchester's hotels.[27]

Manchester was an early supporter of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, donating $50,000 to a Trump-aligned Super PAC in 2015.[28]


Manchester has been a prominent philanthropist in San Diego.

Personal life

In January 1965 he married Elizabeth "Betsy" Manchester, whom he met when both were students at San Diego State; they have six children and thirteen grandchildren. They divorced in 2013. His divorce proceedings have been called "ironic" because of his expressed support for "traditional marriage" and his Catholic faith.[34][35] He and Geniya Derzhavina were married in December 2013.[36]



  1. "Manchester Financial Group". Retrieved 2016-11-15.
  2. Union-Tribune, San Diego. "$85M deal to combine U-T, LA Times". Retrieved 2016-11-15.
  3. 1 2 3 Light, La Jolla. "10 QUESTIONS: Doug Manchester always wants to be startin' something". Retrieved 2016-11-15.
  4. "Manchester Sells Majority Stake in Grand Del Mar Resort". NBC 7 San Diego. Retrieved 2016-11-15.
  5. 1 2 3 Times, Del Mar. "Doug Manchester adds to portfolio with 1,035-room Fairmont Austin hotel". Retrieved 2016-11-15.
  6. Source, San Diego (2012-11-28). "Columbia Center in downtown SD sold". The Daily Transcript. Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  7. Weisberg, Lori. "Manchester inks Austin hotel contract". Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  8. Showley, Roger. "Port approves sale of Manchester Hyatt for $570 million". Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  9. "Port Approves Sale Of Manchester Grand Hyatt". 10News. 2011-03-09. Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  10. "Manchester Sells Majority Stake in Grand Del Mar Resort". NBC 7 San Diego. Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  11. "Manchester Sells Majority Stake in Grand Del Mar Resort". NBC 7 San Diego. Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  12. "Manchester Sells Majority Stake in Grand Del Mar Resort". NBC 7 San Diego. Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  13. " > News > Business -- Manchester seeks to launch community bank". Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  14. 1 2 "» On Top of Downtown". Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  15. "He Covers the Waterfront". Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  16. Aguilera, Elizabeth. "Platinum Equity to sell U-T to Doug Manchester". Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  17. "U-T Buys North County Times and Californian | San Diego Business Journal". Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  18. Horn, Jonathan. "U-T buys 8 local community newspapers". Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  19. "U-T San Diego Sold to Owner of Los Angeles Times - Times of San Diego". Times of San Diego. 2015-05-07. Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  20. Cohen, Noam; Vega, Tanzina (November 17, 2011). "San Diego Union-Tribune Sold to Hotelier for More Than $100 Million". New York Times. Retrieved December 16, 2013.
  21. Davies, Jennifer (September 27, 2005). "Maverick with muscle: Manchester's combative nature overshadows the developer's softer side". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved December 26, 2013.
  22. "San Diego Media Baron Expands Business to Promote Conservatism". The Blaze. October 22, 2012. Retrieved December 27, 2013.
  23. Lewis, Scott (September 11, 2012). "The Two Faces of Papa Doug". Voice of San Diego. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  24. "Editorial: Think big — New vision needed for downtown waterfront". San Diego Union-Tribune. January 22, 2012. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  25. Carr, David (June 10, 2012). "Newspaper as Business Pulpit". New York Times. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  26. 1 2 Cathcart, Rebecca (July 17, 2008). "Donation to Same-Sex Marriage Foes Brings Boycott Calls". New York Times. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  27. Hernandez, Barbara (September 15, 2008). "Politics + Economics = Boycott at Hyatt Hotel". CBS News. Retrieved December 26, 2013.
  28. Swan, Jonathan (May 15, 2016). "Where Republican donors stand on Donald Trump". The Hill. Retrieved May 15, 2016.
  29. 1 2 3 "Manchester honored at Nice Guys gala". U-T San Diego. November 2, 2013. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
  30. 1 2 "San Diego State University Receives $5 Million Gift From Doug and Betsy Manchester: Donation Sets Record for Largest Alumni Couple Gift in University History". California State University System. November 11, 2005. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  31. 1 2 "Philanthropy". Papa Doug Manchester. Doug Manchester. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
  32. "Philanthropy". Manchester Financial Group. San Diego, California. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
  33. "Biography". Manchester Financial Group. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  34. Davis, Rob (January 20, 2012). "Doug Manchester: San Diego's Cheerleader in Chief". Voice of San Diego. Retrieved December 26, 2013.
  35. Wolff, Eric (August 11, 2009). "Ironic divorce: Protector of traditional marriage Doug Manchester leaving wife of 43 years". San Diego City Beat. Retrieved December 26, 2013.
  36. Potter, Matt (December 30, 2013). "A cool extra million for Papa Doug's ex". San Diego Reader. Retrieved January 18, 2016.
  37. "Papa Doug Manchester Day". Retrieved December 26, 2013.
  38. Cox, Kevin (October 11, 2005). "Manchesters make $5 million gift to WFU". Wake Forest University News Release. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  39. "Manchester Conference Center". University of San Diego. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  40. "Campus Map". University of San Diego. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  41. DeRobertis, Shelli; Sherman, Pat (August 17, 2012). "Bishop's School to dedicate new library on Aug. 22". La Jolla Light. La Jolla, California. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
  42. "Manchester Stadium at Cathedral Catholic High school". ABC 10 news. Retrieved January 20, 2016.
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