BOOM IN BRANDED RESORTS
The timeshare and traditional resort businesses have been booming, with branded chains accounting for much of the development. Some recent highlights:
Wyndham Vacation Ownership recently reflagged its massive Bonnet Creek Resort in Orlando under the Wyndham banner. The former Fairfield property opened in 2004 and has 294 units. When complete, the resort will have nearly 1,600 suites. The company also rebranded another Fairfield property — this one in Branson, MO — as a Wyndham. The Wyndham Mountain Vista has 66 units and 6,500 owners. Two other Fairfields in the Branson area will be reflagged within the next year.
Wyndham signed a deal last month with The Peterson Companies to build an upscale, 250-unit vacation ownership property as part of the National Harbor mixed-use complex Peterson is developing near Washington, DC.
In Colorado, Wyndham recently started construction on a 142-unit expansion of its WorldMark at Steamboat Springs.
Hilton has plans for two new resort properties in the Orlando market. One of the properties will be, at build-out, a 1,200-unit Hilton Grand Vacations Club at the Midtown master planned development. The other, more ambitious project will be a combination Waldorf=Astoria and Hilton resort in the Bonnet Creek area adjacent to Walt Disney World. The $500-million complex, which opens in late 2009, will include a 1,000-room Hilton and a 498-room Waldorf.
In Nevada, the company plans another combo development that will include 200 Hilton timeshare units and 50 luxury fractionals under the Waldorf=Astoria banner. The project, which also opens in ‘09, is at the Lake Las Vegas development 17 miles from the Las Vegas Strip in Henderson.
Last month, Starwood Vacation Ownership broke ground on its second Westin timeshare project in Mexico. According to the company, the 64-unit Westin Los Cabos Ocean Villas will be the first vacation ownership resort in in Los Cabos developed by a major U.S. lodging company.
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