Wyndham Vacation Ownership’s Franz Hanning Elected Chairman of American Resort Development Association

Franz Hanning, president and chief executive officer of Wyndham Vacation Ownership (WVC), was officially elected as Chairman of the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) during the recent ARDA World Convention and Exposition in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

ARDA is the national trade association representing the vacation ownership industry.

“We are honored to have Franz serve as our industry leader and look forward to working more closely with him as an advocate for vacation ownership,” said Howard Nusbaum, president and CEO of ARDA. 

“Franz’s rich background and deep roots in resort sales and management is an asset to our industry, especially at this time of product innovation, market growth and consumer satisfaction. He is the perfect steward to introduce a new generation to timeshare and better vacationing,” Nusbaum said.

“I am extremely honored to step into this role with ARDA, and energized by what we can accomplish together,” said Hanning.

“For more than 30 years, this industry has been my passion and I look forward to leading a global perspective during such an exciting time for vacation ownership,” Hanning continued.

The four primary consumer brands of Windham Vacation Club - CLUB WYNDHAM®, WorldMark® by Wyndham, Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific and Shell Vacations Club — together comprise more than 185 resort properties throughout North America, the Caribbean, Mexico and the South Pacific.

These brands represent approximately 23,000 vacation ownership units and serve more than 900,000 owner families worldwide.

Since being named president and CEO of WVO in 2004, Hanning has overseen all management, operations, strategic planning and growth initiatives, and leads a worldwide staff of more than 15,000 employees. 

Through his vision, WVO has grown to be the world’s largest developer in the timeshare industry with revenues in excess of $2 billion. 

Hanning also led the organization through the launch of the innovative fee-for-service business model which has reduced the company’s capital intensity, increased recurring management fees and improved investment returns, and transformed the vacation ownership industry in turn.

Wyndham Vacation Ownership Applauds New Legislation Protecting Timeshare Owners

Wyndham Vacation Ownership applauds the recent signing by Florida Gov. Rick Scott of the new Florida timeshare transfer company legislation (Bill 7025), focused on protecting timeshare owners and associations from unscrupulous transfer companies.

While the overwhelming majority of timeshare owners use and enjoy their timeshares, those who no longer vacation or can no longer afford ownership are easy prey for unrepentant scam artists.

Many of these are fraudulent transfer companies that take advantage of those trying to sell or transfer their ownership, targeting consumers under the guise of offering a service but in the end scamming them out of thousands of dollars.

This new legislation will help protect owners who seek assistance in effectively transferring their timeshare. “I commend Gov. Scott and his legislative partners for taking swift action to guard against timeshare transfer scams,” said Franz Hanning, president and CEO of Wyndham Vacation Ownership, the world’s largest vacation ownership company.

“This new law will further enhance safeguards for timeshare owners and associations, and strengthens our collective efforts to protect consumerism,” Hanning said.

The key aspects of this legislation include prohibiting a transfer company from collecting any fee until a written agreement is signed by the timeshare owner.

The legislation also requires the transfer company to deposit any funds received from the timeshare owner into an escrow account until the transfer is completed. These provisions will provide additional consumer protection to minimize the risk of the timeshare owner being subject to transfer scams that currently exist, while in no way restricting their ability to transfer or resell their timeshare.

The legislation will also prohibit the transfer of timeshares to anyone they know who does not have the ability, means or intent to pay all assessments. This will further protect timeshare associations and their respective owners against higher than normal delinquencies.

This new law will become effective July 1, 2013.

Wyndham Vacation Ownership, with headquarters in Orlando, operates 17 resorts in the State of Florida.

According to research by the ARDA International Foundation, nearly 16 percent of all timeshare properties owned are located in the state of Florida and one-in-five own in an Orlando-based resort.

Photo Credit: canstockphoto.com

RCI® Celebrates the Addition of 35 Properties

RCI, the global leader in vacation exchange and part of the Wyndham Worldwide family of brands, has announced that it added 35 new affiliated properties to its global network in the first quarter of 2013.

These additions join the more than 4,000 affiliated resorts already a part of RCI’s network.

“We have had another great quarter of affiliations, and are proud to have added these fantastic new properties to our exchange network,” said Gordon Gurnik, president, RCI.

"These quality affiliations add even more flexibility and choice for our subscribing members with new resort options in amazing destinations all over the world, including some great resorts in Thailand, Brazil, Spain and Las Vegas,” Gurnik said.

One of the newest additions in Asia is the Tides Boutique Spa Resort (see top photo), Samui, which offers luxury and service for visitors looking to explore Thailand. The resort boasts its own stretch of beach from which vacationers can take in views of The Great Buddha statue and surrounding islands.

The property was designed with comfort in mind, and guests can relax by the infinity pool or enjoy one of many available spa treatments.

Another new resort destination is Dom Pedro Laguna Beach Villas and Golf Resort, a five-star hotel in Brazil that is part of the luxury eco-resort Aquiraz Riviera. This private and relaxing resort serves up paradise for guests, with both golf and beach options spread across a beautiful lagoon and the Marambaia Beach.

The resort offers access to the Ocean Golf Course, swimming pools next to the beach, fitness facilities, spa treatments, tennis and volleyball courts, and much more.

Royal Sun Resort is a new RCI-affiliated resort in Tenerife. Set on a high cliff, the resort offers stunning views of both the village and the sea. Vacationers can relax by the heated swimming pools, where a sparkling waterfall flows past surrounding sunbathing terraces.

The resort also boasts squash courts, a whirlpool hot tub, a fitness center, a playground and game rooms. Evening entertainment is available, and the elegant on-site restaurant features flavorful cuisine and splendid views.

Marriott Celebrates 16 Years of Caring for the Children of Central Florida

This spring Marriott hosted its 16th Annual Caring Classic corporate charity golf tournament, raising a net donation of more than $170,000 for Greater Orlando Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

This represents a cumulative total of nearly $1.8 million in funds raised since the tournament’s inception that directly benefit the young patients of Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies and Shands Hospital for Children at the University of Florida.

“Each Marriott associate is committed to giving back to the communities in which we live and work,” said Stephen P. Weisz, president and chief executive officer of Marriott Vacations Worldwide.

“Since our company’s inception in 1984, we have been passionate supporters of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The commitment of our associates and valued partners continue to help make a difference in the lives of so many of Central Florida’s children,” Weisz said.

This year’s tournament took place at Marriott’s Grande Pines Golf Club, part of the Marriott Vacations Club timeshare resort Marriott’s Grande Vista, where representatives of 84 Marriott partner companies contributed to the tournament’s success.

Over 80 Marriott associate volunteers and golf staff provided an exceptional on-course hospitality and golf experience for the participants.

“As the newest member of the Greater Orlando Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals team I was overwhelmed by the commitment of the Marriott associates,” said Molly Piveral, manager Greater Orlando Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

“Every dollar raised plays a role in helping the families we serve. Without the unselfish dedication of Marriott, we would not be successful. It is with deep heartfelt gratitude I say thank you.”

This year’s tournament was part of Marriott’s overall commitment to the expansion of The Alexander Center for Neonatology at the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies.

Over the next four years, the company has committed to raise more than $1 million through existing and new CMN Hospitals fundraising activities benefiting the tiniest lives in Central Florida.

In recognition for reaching this goal, a portion of the neonatology unit expansion will be recognized as the “Marriott Vacations Worldwide NICU-POD” which will memorialize the company’s long-standing commitment to children, especially the very tiniest newborns.