Welk Resorts Branson Receives Award for Tribute to Veterans

Welk Resorts, a well-established leader in the vacation ownership industry, has announced that Welk Resort Branson has been the proud recipient of the ARDA Ace Community Service Award for their Yellow Ribbon Tribute to Veterans.

The ACE Community Service Award, which recognizes outstanding community contributions by an ARDA membe,r was presented this year to the team at Welk Resort Branson for the tributes they pay to our Service Personnel, particularly during Branson Veterans Homecoming Week.

“It was an honor to accept this award on behalf of our Welk Resorts associates.” said Dathan Atchison, General Manager, Welk Resort Branson.

“We share this recognition with our Branson community, who know how much our Veterans deserve our respect and admiration, and honors them daily throughout our community,” Atchison said.

The week-long festivities have become the second biggest veterans’ event in the country after Washington, D.C. The Vietnam Memorial Wall replica has been a serious commitment for the resort for the last sixteen years.

Throughout the week, visitors from schools, ROTC programs, and other organizations as well as the veterans and general public come to look at the wall, dropping off flowers and memorabilia and looking for loved ones’ names.

The Welk Hospitality Group has a long history of showing their commitment to their surrounding communities by not only providing financially, but also by giving their time to volunteer organizations that reflect the Lawrence Welk Family legacy.

They recognize that charitable engagement is a fundamental component of personal well-being and associate satisfaction. They also believe that when corporations like Welk include good citizenship as a benchmark of success, they demonstrate that they are ethical, responsible, proactive, and caring members of those communities.

Founded in 1955 by the late entertainment icon Lawrence Welk, Welk Resorts is one of the most respected independent brands in the vacation ownership industry today.

Welk Resorts remains a privately held, family-owned company led by President Jon Fredricks, who is the grandson of the late Lawrence Welk.

Interval International Welcomes Hotel Savoy on Madeira

Interval International, a leading global provider of vacation services and an operating business of Interval Leisure Group, has affiliated Hotel Savoy on the Portuguese island of Madeira to its global exchange network.

Upon completion in 2014, it will include 246 timeshare apartments, ushering in the second chapter of the vacation ownership product for Siet Savoi SA, the developer of the successful Royal Savoy, affiliated in 2002.

“We’re very happy to be able to offer more exchange options to Interval members who want to visit this magnificent island, known for its stunning scenery and spring-like temperatures,” said Darren Ettridge, Interval International senior vice president of resort sales and business development for Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

“There are nearly 5,000 vacation owners at Royal Savoy who enjoy consistently high standards at this award-winning property. We’re sure that Siet Savoi will build on its outstanding success to deliver another truly wonderful holiday experience,” Ettridge said.

All of the Hotel Savoy timeshare apartments will be air-conditioned, offer Internet access, and have ocean-facing balconies or terraces. One-bedroom apartments will have separate lounge and dining areas, a full kitchen and master bedroom with en-suite bathroom and walk-in closet. 

The two- and three-bedroom lock-off apartments will be ideally suited to holidays with friends or family sleeping up to six and eight guests respectively. Studio units will have a kitchenette and a spacious lounge area.

Hotel Savoy guests also will have access to a full-service spa with sauna; fitness center, heated indoor, outdoor, and children’s swimming pools; whirlpool; tennis court; and restaurants and bars on the grounds of the resort. Other amenities will include 24-hour reception service, room service, and underground parking.

“Hotel Savoy is the newest generation of a small family-run hotel first opened at the beginning of the 20th century,” said Isabel Cristina, project director of the Savoy Group.

“We’re proud of our reputation for hospitality and very pleased to have Interval International as an exchange partner, so that we can introduce many more people to our beautiful home.”

Closer to the coast of North Africa than Europe, the volcanic island of Madeira is just 35 miles long by 13 miles wide, studded with dramatic ravines and rocky headlands.

The island that many call “the floating garden of the Atlantic” is a 90-minute flight from Lisbon and the Hotel Savoy is 15 minutes from Madeira’s Funchal International Airport and a five minute walk to the historical center of Funchal.

Marriott Takes Leadership Role in Sustainable Purchasing

Marriott International has announced that it will spend 75 percent of its 2013 furniture, fixtures and equipment budget with suppliers who are part of the MindClick Hospitality Sustainability Performance Index (HSP).

The HSP Index measures suppliers' corporate social responsibility, environmental operations, and product sustainability efforts. Marriott is incorporating MindClick's supplier scorecard as an integral solution in greening its global supply chain, following a year as a member of the Hospitality Sustainable Purchasing Consortium.

Led by MindClick, a leading sustainability consulting firm with over 20 years of performance measurement expertise, Consortium members worked together to establish a supplier sustainability rating system for the hotel industry.

"Utilizing the MindClick Index to make sustainable purchasing decisions will help us choose suppliers who will improve our hotels' sustainability, reduce costs and enhance the guest experience," said Dave Lippert, Marriott vice president procurement.

"Ultimately, improving our environmental impact extends beyond our hotels and into our global supply chain," Lippert said.

Recent studies conducted by MindClick SGM reveal corporate travel executives, on-line travel agents, meeting planners and consumers alike are looking at hotel's environmental commitment when making travel and booking decisions.

In a study of Fortune 1,000 corporate travel executives, 75 percent of those spending $50 million in annual travel have "green business" travel programs. As a result, RFPs now include questions specific to sustainability initiatives, including efforts in hotel construction, operations and purchasing.

A study of 5,000 U.S. Expedia consumers conducted in January 2012 shows two out of three consumers believe hotels need to be more mindful of their impact on our communities and the planet. Of these 5,000 participants, 90 percent were able to identify at least one item they believe allows hoteliers to provide rooms which are healthier and better for the planet.

"The Index provides brands, designers, purchasers and owners with the knowledge and tools to design and furnish hotels more sustainably," said JoAnna Abrams, CEO of MindClick SGM.

"MindClick's HSP Index benefits suppliers by validating their investments in sustainability, eliminating greenwashing and providing a roadmap to engage in efforts that matter most to the industry," Abrams said.

MindClick SGM, a leading sustainability research and consulting firm, provides clients with performance measurement tools to develop, implement, improve and promote product and company sustainability. 

Serving clients ranging from global Fortune 1000 companies in consumer products, automotive and hospitality from family owned building products suppliers to government municipalities, MindClick drives growth through sustainability.

Headquartered in Los Angeles with offices in San Francisco and Seattle, MindClick combines a decade of experience in sustainability with 20+ years of research, product development and marketing expertise. The result is sustainability performance rating services that provide executive decision makers with

Source: MindClick SGM

Interval International’s U.S. Members Traveling More for Leisure and Staying Longer According to Recent Study

Interval International, a prominent worldwide provider of vacation services and an operating business of Interval Leisure Group, has announced that its U.S.-resident members traveled approximately 24 nights per year for leisure purposes during the last 12 months, and report average annual household income of $121,550, more than twice the median household income according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

In addition, approximately 18 percent indicated that they are likely to purchase additional vacation time in the future. These are some of the findings from the Interval International 2013 U.S. Membership Profile, which was prepared to assist Interval in developing benefits, products, and services.

The observations from the online survey detailed in the report may also be useful to resort developers and prospective industry entrants in designing their products and sales and marketing strategies.

“We’re very pleased to share these positive results that are reflective of an improving U.S. economy,” said Bryan Broek, Interval’s senior vice president of resort sales and business development for the U.S., Canada, and Caribbean.

“We’re seeing member income levels hold steady and an increase in the nights they’re traveling for leisure, and in length of stay,” Broek said

More than half (53.5%) of respondents own more than one week of shared vacation ownership time or its equivalent. Of those likely to purchase more vacation time, approximately one in three (33.2%) indicated that they would be most interested in buying in Florida.

The next most desired states are Hawaii (26.5%) and California (20.8%). Those wanting to purchase additional vacations remain most interested in the two-bedroom configuration, with nearly two-thirds (67.2 percent) citing that preference.

Other notable findings from the 2013 U.S. Membership Profile include: Leisure travel nights during the prior 12 months have increased from an average of 22 in 2011 to 24 in 2013. Approximately 65 percent of total annual leisure nights were domestic (15.9 nights) and 35 percent international (8.4 nights).

The number of members owning points-based products increased to 35 percent in 2013, as compared to 22 percent in 2009. Nearly four in 10 (38.8%) cite Bermuda, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean as the leisure destination of choice within the next two years. 36.5 percent plan to visit Europe and almost one in four (24.6%) plan to travel to Mexico during the same period.

Interval International operates membership programs for vacationers and provides value-added services to its developer clients worldwide.

Breckenridge Grand Vacations Takes Gold Medals In ARDY Awards Competition

It’s another winning year for Breckenridge Grand Vacations. The world famous timeshare company was recently honored with two Gold ARDY awards at the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) World Convention.

Breckenridge Grand Vacations (BGV) captured the gold in the categories of Best Manager or Team– BGV’s Event Team, and for best In House Sales Team–BGV’s Grand Lodge on Peak 7.

“The fact that we won two team prizes speaks volumes. All of our teams are winners and they are comprised of people who love the resort, the area and their job,” said Dave Stroeve, Vice President of Sales.

“Winning these awards is a testament to what a great place Breckenridge Grand Vacations is to work,” Stroeve said.

This is not the first time BGV has won the prestigious ARDY Award. BGV’s team members have won the award in numerous categories over the past eight years including last year’s winning of the top ARDY award by BGV’s Marketing Service Team.

Breckenridge Grand Vacations is the parent company of Gold Point Resort, Grand Timber Lodge and the Grand Lodge on Peak 7.

Upcoming shortly is a very high end, luxury 75-unit timeshare to be located at the base of Peak 8. Groundbreaking is scheduled for this spring.