Sunday, January 15, 2006


Fairfield Picks Up 1,000-Acre Pocono Timeshare Resort From Shawnee

Orlando-based Fairfield Resorts Inc. acquires Shawnee Development Inc., a timeshare resort in the Pocono Mountains. Fairfield acquired approximately 28,000 existing timeshare-owners, 600 timeshare condo units under active management contracts, 14 units of available timeshare inventory, fully entitled land for 41 timeshare units, and approximately 200 acres adjacent to the Shawnee Mountain ski area that are tentatively entitled for future timeshare development. In all, the resort encompasses approximately 1,000 acres, according to the Fairfield spokesman.

Both a member of the former ownership and a Fairfield spokesman declined to disclose the price tag, and the terms are not provided in current SEC filings by Fairfield’s parent, Cendant Corp. Commenting on the acquisition in a statement, Franz S. Hanning, Fairfield’s president and CEO, says the deal gives Fairfield an “immediate presence in a highly desirable and growing resort destination in the Poconos. We’ve been eager to add a timeshare resort in this region for some time.”

Bob Shebelsky, former chairman, CEO and one of the six sellers of Shawnee, tells, “We’ve been selling fixed-unit, fixed-week timeshare ownership for over 30 years. That’s how it evolved. But Fairfield was getting away from that with its FairShare Plus, point-based system, which gives owners much more flexibility, and Fairfield also has a large network of resorts to offer owners.” Fairfield initiated the FairShare Plus system in 1991, which gives timeshare owners the opportunity to stay at resorts throughout its nationwide network. The network now contains more than 70 timeshare resorts.

“We thought about starting a point system of our own,” Shebelsky says, “and we have a couple of other small timeshare properties in Florida and South Carolina, but it just wasn’t feasible for us.” He said under the agreement with Fairfield, “we will stay on, not as employees, but in some capacity.” The Fairfield spokesman tells that Fairfield took over management of the property at the close of the sale on Aug. 12.

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