An Orlando, Fla.-based real estate investment trust said it signed a contract to buy La Quinta-based KSL Recreation Corp., a company that owns and operates upscale destination resorts. The deal includes six properties and 100 percent of KSL's outstanding stock. CNL also agreed to acquire KSL's long-term debt of $794 million.

The acquisition is expected to close in April and is subject to the customary closing conditions.

Thomas J. Hutchison III, chief executive of CNL, said he believes the travel industry is recovering from the downturn that began in 2001, making now the perfect time to purchase destination resorts that include: Grand Wailea Resort & Spa on Maui; La Quinta Resort & Club and PGA West in La Quinta; Doral Golf Resort & Spa in Miami; the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix; Lake Lanier Islands Resort near Atlanta and the Claremont.

'The acquisition of these premium properties -- which are well-managed and beautifully maintained -- fits perfectly with our strategy of building a highly diversified, world-class portfolio of hotels and resorts. It is a wonderful opportunity for us,' Hutchison said.

In December, CNL bought the historic Hotel del Coronado in San Diego through a joint venture with KSL. Affiliates of KSL will continue to manage and own a minority stake in the 688-room hotel building. KSL also will continue ownership and management of the La Costa Resort & Spa in nearby Carlsbad.

CNL Hospitality currently owns 130 hotels in 37 states and Canada. Its affiliate, CNL Financial Group, Inc., has $9.5 billion in assets, representing more than 4,000 properties.