Orange Lake Resorts Works To Reduce Carbon Footprint

Developer Orange Lake Resorts, operator of seven Holiday Inn Club Vacations® resort destinations, has announced that they are taking steps toward minimizing the impact of the company’s carbon footprint by introducing a new $1.4 million PulseFlow tunnel system by Pellerin Milnor Corporation that will save them 15 million gallons of water per year at their flagship Orlando resort.

For nearly 30 years, Orange Lake Resorts has used equipment that processes 1,800 pounds of laundry per hour with 3 gallons of water used per pound, and completing the day’s work of 28,800 pounds of laundry over two shifts.

Orange Lake’s new Milnor equipment consists of a PulseFlow Milnor CBW washer, a Single Stage press, and four pass-through dryers. The new equipment processes 4,000 pounds of laundry per hour, using only 0.3 to 0.4 gallons of fresh water per pound, with the day’s work of 30,000 pounds of laundry finishing in just one shift.

Bill Bell of Steiner-Atlantic, Milnor’s local distributor for the Orlando area, says, “Orange Lake has an eye on the staff’s overall environment and on improvements in efficiencies and expenditures, so we were thrilled that they committed to the corporate investment of introducing this modern equipment from the best in the industry.”

The Orlando resort, with 2,478 villas and an average of 511,853 annual guests, processes eight million pounds of laundry per year. The new equipment allows the company the ability to grow their laundry operation to process up to approximately 10.5 million pounds of laundry per year.

Scott Hedrick, vice president, rooms division, says, “We are delighted to be using the Milnor equipment in our laundry facility. It’s a step towards reducing our impact on the environment on a daily basis and changing how we operate to create significant efficiencies and cost savings while positively impacting the guest experience through improved linen quality. It’s also a pleasure to improve the everyday workplace for our skilled laundry team members, who are truly the ‘heart of our house.’”

Orange Lake Resorts is a timeshare resort developer with nearly 30 years of proven success in the industry. Orange Lake’s flagship property in Orlando, located next to Walt Disney World® Resort, was established in 1982 by Holiday Inn founder Kemmons Wilson. A 1,450-acre golf, water park and sports resort, Orange Lake Resort in Orlando includes 2,478 villas with the ability to expand to 4,500 villas.

Orange Lake Resorts is proud to be one of Orlando Sentinel’s “Top 100 Companies for Working Families” for the second year in a row, winning the Sentinel’s 2011 “Community Service Champion” award for excellence in philanthropic contributions.

Diamond Resorts International Implements Sustainable Gardening

Diamond Resorts International®, a global leader in the hospitality and vacation ownership industries, continues global sustainability efforts and offers Agricultural Corner, an educational gardening program, to its owners, members and guests at Sunset Bay Club in Tenerife, Spain, Diamond’s fourth resort to have a sustainable garden.

Agricultural Corner, in conjunction with the on-site sustainability garden, offers owners, members and guests an opportunity to assist in the caretaking and harvesting of a variety of vegetables and herbs, cultivated using all natural products, completely pesticide-free. Gardening experts are available to provide gardening tips and useful information including the health benefits of the local produce.

Diamond Resorts International has already implemented sustainability gardens at Ka’anapali Beach Club in Maui, Hawaii, The Historic Powhatan Resort in Williamsburg, Virginia and Vilar do Golf in Algarve, Portugal.

The use of these gardens enhances the natural environment while benefiting the ecosystem and local economy. Minimal chemical pesticides and fertilizers are used during production and the installation of underground watering systems decreases water waste and eliminates runoff. Each garden boasts unique features and hosts an array of fresh produce native to the area and specific to the cultural cuisine and restaurant offerings of the resort.

“We place a strong emphasis on eco-awareness and will continue to introduce and promote programs which encourage properties worldwide to engage in green initiatives,” stated Stephen J. Cloobeck, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Diamond Resorts International.
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Brand USA, Inc

It was announced this week that the Corporation for Travel Promotion is now doing business as Brand USA, Inc. The Corporation for Travel Promotion was created in 2010 for the purpose of encouraging travelers from all over the world to visit the United States of America.

The public-private marketing entity works in close partnership with the travel industry to maximize the economic and social benefits of travel in communities around the country. Through its call-to-action “Discover America,” Brand USA will “encourage and inspire travelers to explore America’s boundless possibilities.”

In this blog we have written about The Corporation for Travel Promotion, and its mission to increase foreign travel to the U.S., and thus increase jobs and put the U.S. travel industry on a healthy footing, where it has not been since the 9-11 attacks.

Increased foreign tourism to the U.S. can translate into increased interest in timeshare resales, exchanges, and rentals, so it is good to hear that Brand USA Inc. launched the United States’ first-ever nationally coordinated global campaign at London’s British Academy of Film and Television Arts and a subsequent press conference at ExCel London.

According to Stephen J. Cloobeck, Chairman of Brand USA Inc., and Chief Executive Officer of Diamond Resorts International®, “Brand USA has arrived and it’s not just a tourism brand, but a platform to spur powerful growth throughout all the corners of the United States. It is a 21st-century brand that will help reposition our great nation in the global market for travel – and drive economic activity, including billions in new spending and tens of thousands of new outsource-proof jobs and much needed tax revenue.”

“The new identity of Brand USA captures the unique and diverse culture of the US, and is a critical step in the development of the nation’s first unified marketing strategy,” said Cloobeck.

The logo, which comprises a collection of dots joining together to form the letters USA, symbolizes” the boundless possibilities of the US.” The logo also displays Brand USA’s consumer website, The first official advertising and marketing campaign is scheduled to launch in spring 2012.

Holiday Inn Club Vacations Timeshares Heads West

The three-year-old partnership between IHG and Orange Lake Resorts has announced the purchase of an additional resort by Orange Lake in Las Vegas, which will become part of Holiday Inn Club Vacations

The 648-unit Las Vegas Desert Club near the Strip is the newest property in the Orange Lake Resorts portfolio, and is the most significant element of the transaction. The one- and two-bedroom property just a block from the Strip adds a western outpost to complement Orange Lake’s portfolio of six locations in the East that span from Vermont to Wisconsin to Florida, as well as Tennessee and South Carolina. Orange Lake will complete an ongoing renovation of the property, and it should join the Holiday Inn Club Vacations roster sometime in 2012.

“Our alliance with Orange Lake has been so successful it showed us we’re strong enough to add ancillary businesses to our core hotel model without distracting from our core mission while producing accretive value for IHG and our partners,” says Del Ross, vice president, U.S. sales and marketing for IHG. “It wet our appetite for other alliances and we have since launched the InterContinental Alliance Resort program.”

“This is a huge step for us,” says Orange Lake President & CEO Don Harrill of the Las Vegas acquisition. “I liken it to five or six years ago when we were a single-site resort in Orlando and began to build a network of resorts around this hub to satisfy our customer base in the East. And now that we’ve established a beachhead in Las Vegas, we can evolve our product offerings and build our membership in the West.”

Harrill says the company will look for other opportunities in the West with targets including San Diego, Phoenix, San Francisco and Hawaii. “We plan to be opportunistic in our growth strategy,” he says. “While acquisitions are typically more cost effective in this environment, we don’t rule out new development in the right situations.”

The independent timeshare giant Orange Lake Resorts and brand company InterContinental Hotels Group joined in a partnership in January, 2009, an alliance that marries Orange Lake’s vacation ownership expertise with the brand recognition of Holiday Inn Club Vacations and the marketing muscle of IHG.

Last fall IHG and Orange Lake announced a rebranding of existing and new Orange Lake resorts under the Holiday Inn name. The common link is a strong one: both Holiday Inns and Orange Lake were founded by entrepreneur Kemmons Wilson, and the Wilson family still owns and operates the timeshare company, Holiday Inn Club Vacations explained in a press release.

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