Wyndham Hails New Florida Timeshare Resale Act

Wyndham Vacation Ownership (WVO) applauded the enactment of the Timeshare Resale Accountability Act as Florida Governor Rick Scott signed it into law this past Friday, June 22. The new bill is designed to tackle fraud by timeshare resale companies. 

Franz Hanning, President and CEO of Wyndham Vacation Ownership, said: "We remain committed to protecting our owners and the integrity of our industry at large. This new law will help to ensure deceptive companies can no longer take advantage of timeshare owners. 

"I commend Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and Gov. Rick Scott, along with bill sponsors Sen. Andy Gardiner (R-Orlando) and Rep. Eric Eisnaugle (R-Orlando), for aggressively pursuing action against the fraudulent and deceptive practices that have become commonplace among many timeshare resale companies." 

The Timeshare Resale Accountability Act was enacted to protect Florida consumers, and help put an end to deceptive marketing practices conducted by fraudulent timeshare resale companies that have been targeting consumers under the guise of offering a service to help sell their timeshare product. 

The new Act requires full and fair disclosure of the terms and conditions of services being offered, a reasonable rescission period for consumers to cancel a contract and penalties for those individuals and companies that engage in misleading and fraudulent practices. The bill will become effective July 1, 2012. 

If you are considering selling your timeshare, take a look at the Full Service Timeshare Resales option offered by RedWeek.

Welk Resorts Earns 2012 ACE Employer of the Year Award from ARDA

California-based Welk Resorts, an industry leader having over 40,000 owners in San Diego, Palm Springs, Cabo San Lucas, and Branson, MO, received the 2012 ACE Employer of the Year Award from the American Resort Development Association (ARDA).

It’s no surprise that Welk Resorts was recognized with this prestigious award, one that recognizes an employer who has demonstrated exceptional commitment to its employees.

For the award that is given to individuals, teams or resorts that have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments with remarkable service and dedication to the profession, ARDA selected Welk Resorts because, “They treat their employees like family. From training and continued-learning opportunities to promotion from within the company, rewards for healthy living, and a vacation-donation program, Welk Resorts has a long tradition of giving back to its employees.”

Welk Resorts is no stranger to receiving recognition for its outstanding guest and owner satisfaction, especially with the company’s take-pride attitude to meeting the needs of today’s families with their “I will take CARE of it for you” mentality.

With numerous Trip Advisor awards, ranging from becoming number one in the Cabo market within three months of opening their Sirena del Mar (see photo) property to being named number 11 in the “Top 25 Resorts In The World” in 2011, Welk Resorts is well on its way to exceeding all expectations. Welk Resort’s appeal is undeniable.

From 2009 to 2011, when most development and timeshare companies were retrenching, Welk Resorts grew its top-line revenue more than 17 percent to $105 million. Jon Fredricks, President of the thriving company, credits Welk’s success to a corporate culture that provides fertile ground for creating the high-performance teams.

Keeping a long standing tradition alive that was established by founder Lawrence Welk, a bandleader who hosted one of TV’s most enduring series, is what sets Welk apart from others within the industry. Welk employees demonstrate the ideals established by their beloved Lawrence: kindness, compassion and generosity. “This is the Welk legacy that we are challenged to live up to every day,” says Jon Fredricks, President and CEO of Welk Resorts as well as the grandson of Lawrence Welk. 

“Winning the ACE Employer of the Year award is really about our employees—they are who make us shine. We are honored to acknowledge them in this way. There were over 475 ARDA Award submissions this year and competition was fierce, which makes us doubly proud for receiving this prestigious award,” said Fredricks.

Festiva - Phase III at Blue Ridge Village

During 2011 Festiva Hospitality Group worked on refurbishments and new construction at the Blue Ridge Village Resort in Banner Elk, N.C. These updates improve the long-term quality of the resort for all Festiva members and resort guests, and are part of a large improvement project taking place at several properties throughout Festiva’s network of resorts.

In 2008 Festiva began renovations at the Blue Ridge Village, taking it one building at a time. Improvements to the units included replacing all soft goods such as furniture, window treatments and bedding, replacing all cabinets, countertops and appliances in the kitchens, installing new televisions, replacing lighting and bathroom fixtures and updating the décor. These updates are completely funded by Festiva Hospitality Group at no cost to owners, members or guests.

In 2010, free wireless internet was installed in all units and throughout the resort. Several other improvements to shared amenities and common areas began near the end of 2010. Improvements to common areas include renovations to the pool area and the addition of a new spa, a repainted basketball court with a new adjustable goal, resurfaced tennis courts with new covered benches and new carpeting and landscaping at the mini-golf course. Additions to the resort’s grounds include new landscaping with a water feature, fire pit and pavilion complete with a large gas grill for guests to enjoy.

One of the most exciting additions to the property at Blue Ridge Village is Phase III of the resort. This will consist of luxurious stand-alone log cabins that will be located on previously undeveloped land on the property.

“We have received wonderful feedback from our guests on the improvements that have been made to date,” said a Festiva spokesperson, “and we are thrilled about the value we are adding to our properties for all of our members and guests.”

Based in Asheville, North Carolina, Festiva Hospitality Group manages and operates a dynamic collection of hotels and resorts in some of the most sought-after destinations throughout the Midwest, Southeast, Northeast and Caribbean. Festiva Resorts currently has more than 60,000 members among 25 vacation ownership resorts.

Marriott’s Oceana Palms Celebrates Major Development Milestone

Marriott Vacation Club’s second resort in The Palm Beaches is anticipating more villas for additional guests with spectacular ocean views by early 2013. 

A recent topping-out ceremony marked the structural completion of the final 19-story tower making way for the build-out of 78 additional two-bedroom/two-bath villas which will combine for a resort total of 159 villas.

Since the opening of the first phase two years ago, the beachfront resort located on Florida’s well known Singer Island has maintained a 90%+ average annual occupancy level, presenting significant demand for the second and final tower.

 “Our Oceana Palms resort is truly spectacular and offers a very appealing and unique high-rise, beachfront resort experience for our Owners and guests to enjoy,” said Lee Cunningham, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer-North America and Caribbean, Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation.

“We’re very pleased with the progress on the second phase and upon completion look forward to welcoming more of our Owners to vacation at this beautiful resort and destination,” said Cunningham.

The second phase will offer sweeping views of the ocean from spacious 1,100 square foot villa interiors that are vibrant and contemporary, complementing the traditional Palm Beach lifestyle. Villas feature a fully-equipped gourmet kitchen with GE stainless steel appliances; generous living and dining areas; multiple LG flat-panel televisions with DVD players; an oversized shower with multiple shower heads in the master suite; and a washer/dryer. Each villa accommodates up to 8 guests.

Both 19-story towers have a contemporary architectural style with subtle references to the Art Deco motif that is very prevalent in the architectural history of South Florida. The second phase will also accommodate a 3,200 square foot fitness center, “the Den” teen lounge, and back-of-house office space on the first floor in addition to six more floors for parking. The landscape will feature a prominent cascading water feature and a “great lawn” and fire pit for games and gatherings.

Marriott Vacation Club International and the programs provided under the Marriott Vacation Club brand are not owned, developed, or sold by Marriott International, Inc. Marriott Vacation Club International uses the Marriott marks under license from Marriott International, Inc., and its affiliates.

Photo Credit: marriott.com