Dole to Put Focus on Health at Hotel, Spa Near Headquarters By JEFF WEISS Contributing Reporter Dole Food Company Inc. held a groundbreaking celebration for the beginning of construction of the Dole Wellness Center, Spa and Hotel on Friday, March 12, adjoining its headquarters in Westlake Village. The complex will feature a health center, a deluxe 267-room five-star hotel, full-service spa and fitness center, as well as a conference center and state of the art television production facility. Dole plans to use the center to focus on the promotion of healthful eating, nutrition and exercise, its officials said. “It’s long been my belief that Dole and its affiliated companies can play a crucial role in helping consumers eat healthier and thus lead longer healthier and more vital lives,” Dole President and Chief Executive Officer David H. Murdock said. “This new complex will be a major step forward in helping to accomplish this goal.” The new complex will be surrounded by more than nine acres of lush gardens including walking/jogging paths, a waterfall and a unique outdoor function area. The components of the complex have each been designed to work together to enhance and promote the overall wellbeing experience, company officials said. “We plan on offering the center to the general public and to executives who want to learn to eat better and healthier,” Dole Director of Corporate Communications Freya Maneki said. “Nutrition education is a big focus for Dole. It will be a resort with an emphasis on learning how to live a healthier lifestyle.” Scheduled for completion in December of 2005, the facility plans to offer interactive information systems to benefit quality of life through a variety of programs designed to promote health and longevity. Physicians will provide diagnostic and preventative services at on-site medical facilities. The Dole hotel will join the Westlake Village Inn and the Hyatt Westlake Plaza as major hotels in the local area. According to PKF Consulting, which tracks the hotel industry, hotel occupancy within the greater San Fernando Valley area was only 67.1% for the month of January, 2004, up from 60.8 percent in January, 2003. Room rates as of January 2004 averaged $105.79, compared to an average rate of $99.95 in the same month last year. Founded in Hawaii in 1851, Dole Food Company, Inc., with 2002 revenues of $4.4 billion, is the world’s largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and fresh-cut flowers and markets a growing line of packaged foods. The Company does business in more than 90 countries and employs, on average, 33,000 full-time permanent employees and 24,000 full-time seasonal or temporary employees, worldwide.