RVSD January 2012 : Page 132

132 | look who’s talking | Ranch Hand Qualcomm scion Jeff Jacobs dishes on his new day job: Owner of Rancho Valencia Resort. | By Gillian Flynn | Photography by Robert Benson | It’s fitting that Jeff Jacobs’ epiphany came at a hotel in Nairobi, where the chief marketing officer of Qualcomm realized he was missing out on his two sons growing up. “It was a ‘cat’s in the cradle’ moment,” says Jacobs, sitting in the Rancho Valencia dining room, which may as well be his new office. The youngest of the Jacobs clan hung up his Qualcomm hat and teamed up with his brother Hal to buy the lush property, nestled on 45 acres in Rancho Santa Fe, for $15 million from the Collins family. If anyone knows a thing or two about hotels, it’s Jacobs, who’s traveled to 75 countries and makes annual trips to France (the four-time Hawaiian Ironman champ tests the Tour de France course with Garmin Cervelo, the pro cycling team he part-owns). But the biz may also be in his genes: Patriarch Irwin enrolled in Cornell’s famed hotel school before switching to an engineering major (as the tech world breathes a collective sigh). This month, Jacobs is embarking on a $20 million refresher course, including remodeling the ballroom and the dining room, while adding a casual eatery and a yoga pavilion. Plus: consider the alfresco ante upped with fire pits and intimate settees. “It has to be understated elegance,” says Jacobs, who tapped Todd-Avery Lenahan for the redesign. “There is so much charm and character. We need to keep it authentic.” Consider it an homage to the Collinses, who wanted to pass the property to “a local family who cared as much as they did,” says Jacobs. “We know its soul.” R Jacobs’ Hots Gorilla trekking in Rwanda, the cheeseburger at the Hualalai on the Big Island (a true cheeseburger in paradise), Gaudí architecture in Barcelona, my family waiting at the Ironman finish line, the Challenged Athletes Foundation, John Wayne, Fidel’s chicken enchilada/burrito combo IN DEEP Jeff Jacobs in Rancho Valencia’s spa reflection pool. The former Qualcomm exec quit the family biz to take over the resort. “When I get a facial, I wake up laughing when I realize I own the place,” jokes Jacobs. Jacobs’ Nots Heights, $50 hotel breakfast buffets, gaudy hotels, overcharging for in-room amenities, 1,000 channels on cable with nothing compelling to watch, anger—what a waste of energy Jan/Feb 2012

Look Who

Gillian Flynn

Ranch Hand<br /> <br /> Qualcomm scion Jeff Jacobs dishes on his new day job: Owner of Rancho Valencia Resort.<br /> <br /> It’s fitting that Jeff Jacobs’ epiphany came at a hotel in Nairobi, where the chief marketing officer of Qualcomm realized he was missing out on his two sons growing up. “It was a ‘cat’s in the cradle’ moment,” says Jacobs, sitting in the Rancho Valencia dining room, which may as well be his new office. The youngest of the Jacobs clan hung up his Qualcomm hat and teamed up with his brother Hal to buy the lush property, nestled on 45 acres in Rancho Santa Fe, for $15 million from the Collins family. If anyone knows a thing or two about hotels, it’s Jacobs, who’s traveled to 75 countries and makes annual trips to France (the four-time Hawaiian Ironman champ tests the Tour de France course with Garmin Cervelo, the pro cycling team he part-owns).But the biz may also be in his genes: Patriarch Irwin enrolled in Cornell’s famed hotel school before switching to an engineering major (as the tech world breathes a collective sigh).This month, Jacobs is embarking on a $20 million refresher course, including remodeling the ballroom and the dining room, while adding a casual eatery and a yoga pavilion.Plus: consider the alfresco ante upped with fire pits and intimate settees. “It has to be understated elegance,” says Jacobs, who tapped Todd-Avery Lenahan for the redesign. “There is so much charm and character. We need to keep it authentic.” Consider it an homage to the Collinses, who wanted to pass the property to “a local family who cared as much as they did,” says Jacobs. “We know its soul.”<br /> <br /> Jacobs’ Hots <br /> <br /> Gorilla trekking in Rwanda, the cheeseburger at the Hualalai on the Big Island (a true cheeseburger in paradise), Gaudí architecture in Barcelona, my family waiting at the Ironman finish line, the Challenged Athletes Foundation, John Wayne, Fidel’s chicken enchilada/burrito combo <br /> <br /> Jacobs’ Nots <br /> <br /> Heights, $50 hotel breakfast buffets, gaudy hotels, overcharging for in-room amenities, 1,000 channels on cable with nothing compelling to watch, anger—what a waste of energy IN DEEP Jeff Jacobs in Rancho Valencia’s spa reflection pool. The former Qualcomm exec quit the family biz to take over the resort. “When I get a facial, I wake up laughing when I realize I own the place,” jokes Jacobs.

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