By: Kelly St. John
Published: November 1, 2012

CEO Pacific Hospitality Group LLC, Irvine

Hot factor: Further expanded his hotel empire when he acquired the Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach this year

An attorney and hotel developer, Tim Busch was behind two of O.C.’s highest-profile real estate transactions this year. His Irvine-based firm, Pacific Hospitality Group, bought the landmark Balboa Bay Club and Resort in Newport Beach, adding to its portfolio of properties, which includes the Estancia La Jolla Hotel and Spa in San Diego, and the Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa Valley.

Busch – who with his wife, Steph, has been involved with Catholic organizations – was also the architect behind the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange’s purchase of the Crystal Cathedral.

“It just went our way,” says Busch, who chairs the development committee for the renamed Christ Cathedral. “It’s going to bring a lot of people back to the church.”

Busch has a long history of working to promote Catholicism, including co-founding St. Anne School in Laguna Niguel and JSerra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano. He has been a leader in Legatus, an organization for Catholic CEOs and their spouses, and he co-founded the Magis Institute.

His original business, Busch’s Markets – a 15-location specialty grocery store – is the largest independently owned grocery chain in Michigan. A wine lover, Busch also founded Trinitas Cellars in Napa.

Busch says that his ministry has been about bringing faith to the public, instead of keeping it segregated to houses of worship on Sundays.

“We’ve been taught to keep faith to yourself. We have to come back and realize that faith is everything, and it’s to be shared,” he says. “It’s those principles that got us to be the strong country we are today.”

Click here for the story on