1890 — Owner John D. Spreckels
When the resort was under construction, an economic downturn sent many investors out of San Diego and The Del's founders were concerned. John D. Spreckels, son of wealthy "Sugar King" Claus Spreckels, fell in love with the Hotel del Coronado and provided generous loans and other assistance to the resort's founders Babcock and Story in order to keep the dream alive. Ultimately, the two business men chose to transfer complete ownership to Spreckels. Spreckels remained owner until his death in 1926, and the hotel remained in his family until 1948.