Leading Hotels Join Club Biz

The Leading Hotels of the World jumped into the growing, but sometimes controversial non-equity residence club business with the formation of The Leading Residences of the World. The venture is an alliance between Leading Hotels; Cendant Corp.; and the principals of Destination Club Partners, who pioneered the first residence club in the U.S., the Deer Valley Club in Utah.

At launch, the new club will offer more than 20 residences, including properties in Mexico, Santa Fe, Maui, Kiawah Island, New York and London. The group expects to grow to 40 residences by the end of the year.

As with other clubs, members pay a deposit of $325,000, of which 80 percent is refunded. They also pay $15,000 a year in dues in exchange for unlimited access to the accommodations.

In other club news, segment leader Exclusive Resorts expanded its portfolio by 20 percent with the addition of 46 new residences in four beach locations: Los Cabos, Mexico; Wailea, Maui; South Beach; and Fort Lauderdale. The firm has more than 200 homes in 33 destinations with 200 additional homes under development.

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