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Let the bidding begin

10:02 PM CDT on Sunday, April 25, 2004
By ALAN PEPPARD / The Dallas Morning News

Dallas businessman David Lane owned the chic Las Ventanas Mexican resort for about 30 seconds before he got hit up for his first charity freebie.

Located on the tip of Baja in Los Cabos, Las Ventanas al Paraiso has one of the highest occupancy rates in the world, running consistently north of 95 percent. In other words, David, who bought the place earlier this year, doesn't have to give away anything.

But he got caught in the viselike grip of Kim Gatlin, honorary co-chair of Saturday night's Dream Gala, and her cousin, actress Angie Harmon, auction chair of the benefit for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. They tag-teamed him like the Von Erichs until he gave a startlingly lavish vacation package to the gala auction.

Before attending the black-tie event at the Wyndham Anatole - featuring the Gatlin Brothers - clear off any balance on your platinum card so you can bid with the big dogs for the Las Ventanas package. It features a four-night stay in the three-bedroom presidential suite, dinner for everyone in the resort's La Cava wine cellar, golf at the Tom Fazio -designed course and spa treatments for everyone. Xtrordinair is providing round-trip private jet service from Dallas to Cabo.

Down on the farm While lots of Dallasites go to Las Ventanas, during the weekend, Las Ventanas came to Dallas. Luis Fernandes is managing director of the hotel, which is managed by Dallas-based Rosewood Hotels and Resorts, owner of The Mansion.

Rosewood CEO John Scott gathered all of the company's managing directors in Dallas for a retreat. Among the visitors was James McBride, new manager of Rosewood's Manhattan flagship, The Carlyle.

To get a taste of Texas, the whole group headed to the country Saturday night, where they were feted at the Pine Lake House, the country home of Rosewood founder Caroline Rose Hunt and her children.

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