MARK CHRISTY – Owner/Principal
Mark Christy is a lifetime Laguna Beach resident. He’s active in his beloved town of Laguna Beach as the owner of Hobie Sports, president of Laguna Beach Properties, co-owner of Tuvalu home furnishings, partner in La Sirena Grill and a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway. As an individual and a businessman, Mark has tirelessly worked toward making Laguna Beach a better place to live and work, donating his personal time and money to various local causes and efforts, including Schoolpower, the Boys & Girls Club, Laguna Beach Little League, numerous educational programs, youth sports organizations and many other local causes.
Mark recently headed up a group of local investors to form Laguna Beach Golf & Bungalow Village, LLC, to purchase the former Aliso Creek Inn, now reborn as The Ranch at Laguna Beach. The vision for The Ranch LB is inspired by the love and respect that the partners have for this iconic property. Together they intend to make this resort an integral part of the Laguna Beach community for generations to come.
“There is something genuinely magical and timeless about this natural setting,” Mark says. “I really don’t believe that there is anything comparable in Southern California. With that in mind, we plan to preserve its integrity while embracing the future.”
KURT BJORKMAN – General Manager
At the helm as General Manager of The Ranch LB, Kurt Bjorkman has cultivated an atmosphere of exceptional service. Previously, he was the founder and managing partner of over5 Hospitality, a company that caters to real estate developers and independent hotel operators who seek to push the boundaries of the status quo.
Kurt gained valuable insights working with world-class brands, including Norwegian Cruise Lines, the Buena Vista Hospitality Group, The Desert Inn Las Vegas, The Mirage Corporation, Regent International Hotels, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Kor Hotel Group, Joie de Vivre Hospitality and Montage Hotels & Resorts. He is currently a featured blogger for Hotel F&B Magazine. This broad experience has given him a unique perspective on the hospitality industry.
Kurt attended Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.
JIM TOLBERT – Director of Sales and Marketing
As Director of Sales and Marketing, Jim Tolbert oversees all sales and business developments as well as account management. As a strategic and motivational sales leader, he brings over 20 years of luxury resort management experience. Prior to joining The Ranch LB, Jim was the Director of West Coast Sales at Montage Laguna Beach, where he developed custom marketing strategies and travel options for each market segment. Before that, Jim served as the National Sales Manager for the San Diego North Visitors & Convention Bureau, where he led business to support 90 hotels and resorts represented in San Diego and Arizona. Jim has also led sales management positions at The Island Hotel in Newport Beach, California; and La Costa Resort and Spa and Four Seasons Resort Aviara, both in Carlsbad, California. Jim’s early career was spent leading high-level directorship positions at prestigious golf resorts throughout Arizona.
Jim attended Arizona State University in Tempe.
LAURIE ALTER – Interior Designer
As a native of the city, Laurie Alter lives and breathes Laguna. The coastal-centric design that permeates every space at The Ranch LB comes courtesy of her hand. Laurie is an interior designer by profession and a boutique owner by passion. She founded Tuvalu Home—part décor destination and part design studio—in downtown Laguna Beach in 2003. Laurie’s vision for The Ranch LB was to intermingle the history of the storied property with the comforts of modern day. The overwhelming sense of welcome and warmth she created puts visitors at ease to take pleasure in the many pursuits, from golfing to dining to relaxing at the spa, as if they were enjoying their very own slice of Laguna. In bringing this environment to life through skillful design, Laurie captured the very essence of what The Ranch LB is all about: A place where the Laguna coast, which captivates all who visit, feels so very much like home.