Hot Markets for Timeshare

If timeshare is doing it limited to one area? We think not. Reports show there are definite sparks of life in the industry that was hard-hit by the recession, and some of the areas where you'll find those sparks may surprise you.

Las Vegas 

Las Vegas is seeing its biggest growth since 2008. According to the Las Vegas Business Press, more than 1,000 units have been added, or will be added, to the Las Vegas timeshare sector. (In last week's blog we talked about construction resuming on Desert Blue, a 281 unit Vegas timeshare started by Wyndham Worldwide.)

Says Ed Kinney, a Marriott Vacations Worldwide spokesman, "We are seeing a continued pattern of increased travel. There is a tremendous interest, and Las Vegas has always been a popular destination." Last month, the company topped the third 37-floor tower of its off-strip Grand Chateau, which added 223 units.

Hilton Grand Vacations added to its luxury timeshare portfolio with the purchase of 300 units at the Trump International Hotel. At Grandview at Las Vegas near South Point, construction of a new tower is expected to increase its number of units from 1,556 to 1,856 according to the LVCVA survey.

Other parts of the world are also seeing an industry upswing:


With CRDA VO-Com running this week in Vancouver, it's hard not to hear talk about Skyline Vacation Club, Ontario’s first drive-to vacation club. Only days ago, Skyline International Development announced their new lifestyle division, a members-only, points based vacation club. The club offers members a choice of vacation experiences from 3 different categories. The Urban Collection, with locations in downtown Toronto (Pantages Hotel and Cosmopolitan Hotel), the Resort Collection, located 1-2 hours from Toronto (Horseshoe Resort and Deerhurst Resort), and the International Collection, featuring over 4,000 vacation options around the world through a partnership with RCI.

Gil Blutrich, President of Skyline International Development, says, "Skyline Vacation Club elevates the guest experience by providing connectivity between city and country, urban and resort."


Reports from a survey by Failte Ireland, (Ireland's National Tourism Development Authority) show Ireland's tourism is 'on the turn' (Irish speak for upturn). Business sentiment is at its highest since the economic crash in 2008. The report goes on to say that occupancy was up in over two-thirds of hotels, 58% of guest houses, and 46% of B&Bs.  Good weather was cited as a contribution to the up turn, but also 6 of 10 businesses cited the Government's Gathering Initiative (Ireland's biggest ever tourism initiative) as a factor for increased trade.

New Zealand

All those who attended NZHOC back in May know that New Zealand is facing its timeshare challenges head on. The Australian Timeshare Holiday Ownership council has representatives from 3 main timeshare regions.  Two of the regions are on North Island, in the Bay of Islands Region, and in the Taupo Region in the center of North Island. The 3rd region is in Queenstown where 9 resorts are located.

A New Zealand astro-tourism operator is hoping to take advantage of the "star gazing craze."  Every year tens of thousands of tourists flock to Lake Tekapo, where Canterbury University's Mt. John Observatory resides, to see Southern Stars, the Milky Way, and meteor shows. Graeme Murray, founder of the astro- tourism concession Earth & Sky, wants to build a $5 million "window to the universe" facility on the lake's shore to cater to the needs of those star-gazing tourists.  Earth & Sky will be just a part of a wider development plan around Lake Tekapo including hotels, shops and a supermarket that Mr. Murray hopes to get going.

Apparently, astro-tourism, which has taken off in Asia too, has immense potential for the region as it means tourists need to stay overnight to watch the stars.

Is the market upswing here to stay? 

There are still a few worries. Lisa Ann Schrier, executive director of the National Timeshare Owners Association is concerned about "the amount of timeshares coming online all at once instead of sticking a toe in the water to see if it will fly or not." But she adds, "the major players seem to think there is still a lot of life in the old warhorse."

We'd like to know what you think. Please post your comments below.

Growth Seen in Resort Development

As the Economy Goes So Goes the Hospitality Industry 

There is good news for the timeshare industry, which was hard hit during the recession when travelers postponed vacations and held back on new purchases.  Recently there are indications that companies are showing they can compete, thrive, and do better.

Industry leaders are seeing a recovery in the resort industry. According to a report from Jones Lang LaSalle, 'the resort sector accounts for 18.4 percent of total investment transaction volume this year in the hospitality sector." The report goes on to say that "the increase is due to $2.46 billion of transactions through year-to-date August 2013, the highest volume in the segment since 2007, and more than triple that of 2012."

The Jones Lang LaSalle report also states, "even though the resort market is taking off, not all assets are ready for the flight." "During the downturn, resorts held off on renovations. Now owners may be able to add amenities and create a more differentiated product. Companies who are able to go to market in the next three years with a renovated product and capitalize on the on the upswing with added value, may attract more investors."

FARROW Commercial Construction, a hospitality construction company in Santa Rosa, California understands the upswing in the industry. The nationwide company reports revenues up 300% over last year at the half-way mark.

John Farrow, President and CEO of FARROW says, "We are growing again. After the few soft years where not many were breaking down our door to get either refurbishments or ground-up construction done, we are very happy to report that the tide has changed and we are once more on the move." Farrow attributes his company's growth surge to competitive pricing, faster timelines and strong communication.

Another turn-around happened recently when construction resumed in Las Vegas.  Construction started up on a Wyndham Worldwide project, a 281 unit timeshare called The Desert Blue.  Work on the project had halted four years ago.

Breckenridge Grand Vacations has broken ground on a very high end, luxury 75-unit timeshare called the Grand Colorado Resort. According to Rob Millisor, an owner/developer of the company, “The Grand Colorado will be the pinnacle resort within this community. With only 75 residences, it will become the most exclusive fractional/timeshare resort to own." The company is also showing its industry optimism by looking to hire new sales representatives. “We have more qualified prospects than we can currently handle," says Dave Stroeve, Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

Cautious Optimism?

Though there are definite signs of upswing in the hospitality industry, should we remain cautiously optimistic?  We see how certain events can affect the industry. The current government shutdown has caused the closure of many top tourist attractions and, in turn, caused consumers to cancel travel plans. The industry needs to be prepared and anticipate future events that could potentially impact timeshare growth.

Can it be that time already... Timeshare Awards Season?

Yes! This is the time of year that the timeshare industry begins a series of events to honor its members who have achieved the highest level of excellence in the industry.

Vacation Ownership Conference (VO-CON) - October 22-23, 2013

Kicking off the start of the season is a new comer to the awards game. The Canadian Resort Development Association(CRDA) presents the Vacation Ownership Conference (VO-CON).  With its theme "Exploring the Business of Vacations,"  it's billed as a conference for understanding the current state of the
industry, and where it's heading in the future.

The finalists are already posted for VO-CON's first annual Cornerstone Award. This award was established to honor a vacation ownership professional, company, resort or HOA whose accomplishments and dedication help to lay the foundation for the success of the industry in Canada. The three finalists are...Grand Pacific Resort Management Canada, Club Intrawest, and Whistler Vacation Club.
Vote at the VO-CON web site.

Global Networking Expo (GNEX) - February 9-12, 2014

GNEX will hold its annual "Global Meeting of Minds" conference in February. This event for the timeshare and fractional ownership industry attracts senior level executives from more than 100 companies from all over the world, and focuses heavily on networking.

The 2014 Perspective Magazine Awards are given out at GNEX conference's Wrap Party. On October 7, the magazine began taking nominations for the awards. Winners are selected by a combination of judging panel and online voting by industry professionals. For nomination categories guide and to enter: go here.

American Resort Development Awards (ARDA) - April 6-10, 2014

The granddaddy of all the awards programs, and the most notable, is ARDA's annual awards program better known as the ARDY's. This award program recognizes the best nominees in categories that include overall professional excellence, outstanding sales and marketing achievements, product design, advertising, and staff. The prestigious ARDA Circle of Excellence (ACE) awards honor "those who have attained the very highest level of excellence in the resort industry, and whose accomplishments and dedication spur the industry
to new heights."

The nomination guide is online now.  The final deadline for submitting an entry is Friday, January 3, 2014 and awards will be given out during ARDA's Annual Convention on April 9.  The convention is the premier annual gathering for timeshare professionals from around the world. According to ARDA, the convention's forums, networking events, and receptions offer key opportunities for attendees to connect with industry leaders from all over the world. The 40+ educational sessions are the most comprehensive way to stay up on trends and best practices.

Promoting the Value of Timeshare

Most timeshare owners already know the value of owning a timeshare. The American Resort Development Association has established a website to talk to consumers who want to learn more about it. The website is undergoing some major changes which are projected to be revealed early next year in time for ARDA World 2014, their annual convention. The site itself is still a wonderful resource for both consumers who are thinking about purchasing a timeshare and want to make sure it's the right thing, or timeshare owners who want to learn how to make the most of their timeshare. It’s also a terrific third party credibility piece for timeshare sales reps to show to their prospects.

At, ARDA’s consumer information website, you can find everything you want to know about timesharing without bias, but clearly with a positive slant--all answered with the click of a button. There are several websites that make it their business to answer timeshare questions, but when it comes to clarity and objectivity from an industry point of view, is a good place to start. The website provides a wealth of information for consumers thinking about timesharing, as well as existing owners.

We will keep you posted as to the new look and feel of the site.  ARDA’s Communications Committee selected an organization based in Washington D.C. for the redesign.  But, until that work is finished, still has tons of valuable information for consumers and industry professionals, including:

a. Timeshare 101  is a favorite section of the site. It has a list of the most frequently asked questions about timesharing. Find your question, click on it, and you will get a comprehensive answer.

b. Understanding Timeshare  answers the question, "How does timeshare provide a better vacation?"

c. Understanding Ownership, with subheadings such as Variety, When You Purchase, and Benefits of Ownership, is a good starting point for potential buyers.

d. Understanding Exchanging  gives you exchange tips and explains how it can be a wonderful way to leverage your timeshare ownership into vacation locations other than your own.

e. Vacationing With Timeshare provides a checklist of the reasons your next vacation should be a timeshare.

ARDA also has their own blog with good information about timesharing, and the laws related to purchasing and ownership of timeshares. Vacation ownership is highly regulated. ARDA works closely with federal and state governments to support consumer protection legislation and to make sure strict standards are upheld.

Of course we are proud of this blog and we strive to keep you updated with information about use, points, rentals, exchange, and industry updates. Be sure to subscribe to our blog for updated info.