Friday, July 28, 2006


Marriott Timeshare Vacation Club International Expands Presence in Asia

MVCI Asia Pacific will introduce a new Club Points product uniquely tailored to the vacationing habits of consumers in Asia. The program offers flexibility of use such as duration of stay, timeshare size and location at Club resorts in addition to exchange at MVCI timeshare resorts around the world.

"The development of Marriott's Phuket Beach Club in 2001 was just the beginning of our long-range plans for the Asia Pacific region. We have recognized for quite some time that while timeshare is booming elsewhere in the world, Asia is still a relatively untapped market. I am excited about the opportunities that are upon us to offer exceptional vacation experiences to consumers in Asia," said Steve Weisz, president, Marriott Vacation Club International.

The regional Asia Pacific team based in Singapore is lead by Harold Derrah, senior vice president and managing director, MVCI Asia Pacific.

MVCI will continue to develop its core product of deeded or right-to-use timeshare resorts in addition to the points-based product for consumers in Asia. Current Asia Pacific plans include developing properties across the region, and utilizing inventory at the existing Marriott's Phuket Beach Club. Marriott's Grand Chateau in Las Vegas, and Marriott's Ko Olina Beach Club, Oahu, Hawaii will also provide timeshare inventory to the Club Points product.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Architectural Concepts To Transform Vegas Apartments To Timeshares

Architectural Concepts Inc. (News) announced a new contract to transform the Desert Sky Las Vegas apartment complex into a equestrian style timeshare resort. Financial terms of the deal were not released.

Located south of the Las Vegas Strip, the project is inspired by the neighboring hotel/casino and equestrian center known as South Coast Casino.
“We engaged Architectural Concepts to help us develop and transform the 170 unit apartment complex into an attractive, inviting and relaxing timeshare community,” said Dan Reedy, CEO, Ocean Front Development Inc. “We were extremely impressed with the interior design staff.”

According to Jesse Gonzalez, ACI’s project director on the new retreat “the future timeshare will be a retreat from the intense stimulation and over indulgence that bombards Las Vegas visitors. It allows them to re-energize and relax.”

The conceptual development of the common areas includes a water area complete with expanded garden areas to allow for multiple hot and cold spas, a large swimming pool area with an outdoor lounge seating area with a fire pit, Yoga and Fitness facilities and casual reception building and club house.

The first phase of the project is scheduled to be completed in early fall 2006. Model units are underway and sales are slated to begin shortly.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


$370M Construction Financing Closes for Maui Timeshare Resort

Kapalua Bay L.L.C., an entity of Maui Land & Pineapple Co. Inc., has secured a $370 million construction loan from Lehman Brothers Holdings L.L.C. for the development of a new luxury residential condominium and fractional ownership / timeshare property at the 23,000-acre master-planned Kapalua Resort community in West Maui. Maui Land, which owns the 24-acre waterfront property on which the project will be developed, is collaborating with the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. L.L.C. and Exclusive Resorts to realize the endeavor.

The Kapalua Bay project will consist of The Ritz-Carlton Club Kapalua Bay, the timeshare portion of the development that will offer 62 fractional ownership residences, and the 84-unit The Residences at Kapalua Bay condominium segment.

“There’s such a high demand for fractional ownership and timeshare properties, and this will be the first one in the state,” Hospitality Advisors L.L.C. president Joseph Toy told CPN. “With regard to resort condominiums, there are signs that we may be reaching an oversupply. I think the Ritz property is better positioned for fractional ownership and the condominium segment may be able to benefit from that.”

With the closing of the financing deal, Lehman extended Kapalua Bay L.L.C. a $40 million advance to cover pre-development expenses, and provided the borrower with the option of accepting a second advance of $45 million after building permits for the project have been issued; the advances do not require a minimum amount of residential unit sales.

Monday, July 24, 2006


Timeshares Will Become Available Near The Historic Area

A big timeshare company expects to invest about $150 million in its second project in Virginia - a new resort with about 500 timeshare units next to Colonial Williamsburg's Historic Area.

Officials at Bluegreen Corp. - based in Boca Raton, Fla. - said the first 76 units, going in renovated hotel space, would become available as soon as the second quarter of 2007. Then about 400 timeshare units are scheduled to go in new buildings constructed in eight phases over 12 years.

Bluegreen - whose other Virginia property is the Shenandoah Crossing resort in Gordonsville, near Charlottesville - is entering a tourism market with a low hotel occupancy rate, averaging 47 percent in 2005. But company officials are optimistic, saying occupancy rates are generally higher for timeshare resorts. The average rate across the country in 2004 was 86 percent, according to a time share industry group.

"Williamsburg has been a great market for a lot of our competitors for a long time," said Doug Kinsey, Bluegreen's senior vice president of acquisitions and development. "We think demand in our system will be very high."

The company manages about 30 resorts across the country and has about 150,000 customers in its time share network. A trade magazine said it was the nation's fifth-largest timeshare company two years ago, behind - among others - giants like Marriott and Cendant.

For its new resort, Bluegreen has bought the 4.6-acre Patrick Henry Inn property on York Street, and it's in the process of buying the 18-acre Colonial Capitol Inn property on Penniman Street. The seller in each case is hotelier Hunter Vermillion.

Bluegreen will renovate the two hotel buildings on the Patrick Henry property. City officials said the company planned to tear down the Colonial Capitol Inn and other buildings on that property to make room for the new four-story timeshare buildings housing the later 400 units.

Friday, July 21, 2006


Residents Tired of Timeshare Rentals

Residents of a Valley community are tired of not knowing who their neighbors are going to be from week-to-week or what kind of noise they're going to make. There are several people in the Massanutten area who are fed-up with homes in their neighborhood being rented to out-of-towner timeshare owners.

They say they're dealing with partying, property damage, littering, and cars lined up along the street. One Valley man is taking the issue to the Rockingham County Board of Supervisors to try and put a stop to what he calls "the cross between a fraternity house and a bed and breakfast."

Gene Hauze lives in a residential neighborhood in Massanutten. He says about two years ago he found out the hard way about timeshare renting. "I was sleeping at night and there was partying going on in the home behind my house about 100 yards away and there was loud noise and carrying on until about three o'clock in the morning," says Gene Hauze, a resident in Massanutten. He says he called the police and three people were arrested that night.

Hauze has now filed a formal complaint to the Rockingham County Board of Supervisors regarding what he believes is a zoning violation. "They're renting these out on a nightly basis for up to $600 a night and a weekly basis, some of the homes up to $3500 a night, they're packing 20, 30 people into the homes and it's a business," says Hauze.

Hauze says in Massanutten there are timeshare units allowed, but only in designated areas. "This is not a Massanutten problem, this is a problem for all of Rockingham County because it affects all the residential zoning areas," says Hauze. He hopes the board will clarify what is meant by single-family private dwellings and whether or not that includes weekly rentals.

Officials at the Massanutten Property Owners Association say this is definitely an issue that they are looking at. It's also under review by the Rockingham County Board of Supervisors and they plan to propose a solution to the timeshare problem in the next month or two.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Ground Breaks On $300M Ritz Timeshare Resort In Lake Tahoe

A groundbreaking today kicked off development of the Ritz-Carlton Highlands, an timeshare and residential destination at Lake Tahoe, Calif.'s Northstar-at-Tahoe ski resort. East West Partners of Lake Tahoe is teaming with Crescent Real Estate Equities Co. on the $300 million project, which will mark The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co.'s entree into the Northern California ski resort market.

Located on an on-mountain site, Ritz-Carlton Highlands (pictured) is a multifaceted ski-in/ski-out project that will bring the first five-star hotel to the town. The lodging segment will feature 174 guestrooms, as well as 11,000 square feet of meeting space and a 14,000-square-foot spa. The full-ownership residential portion of the development, the Ritz-Carlton Residences, will offer 82 condominiums, while The Ritz-Carlton Club, the deeded fractional ownership or timeshare segment, will consist of 78 units. A bevy of other developments will surround the property, including East West's and Crescent's new Highlands condominium and townhome community and the mixed-use Village at Northstar, to which Ritz-Carlton Highlands will be linked via gondola.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Timeshare Real Estate Tax Boost

Orange County Commissioners have passed an increase to Orange County's tourist tax rate. The rate will increase one penny, from five to six percent.

The tax will draw mainly from hotel and timeshare rentals and is expected to generate more than $900 million over the next 25 years.

Half of that money is earmarked for a new sports arena, a renovated Citrus Bowl and a new performing arts center; the rest will be for new tourism advertising.

County Commissioners are in the middle of a three-day budget workshop, deciding where to spend this timeshare tax and other money over the next year.

Lake County is looking at a similar increase. Commissioners are considering a 1-cent increase in tourist taxes that could help pay for a proposed performing arts center.

Right now, the county's bed tax is 4 percent.

Lake-Sumter Community College and the nonprofit Performing Arts of Lake & Sumter are the driving forces behind the 80,000 square-foot facility.

The increase is expected to bring in over $500,000 dollars a year.

Other groups, including the cities of Leesburg, Mount Dora and Minneola are also hoping to get a share of that timeshare real estate money.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Construction At St. Regis, Westin And Sheraton Properties Will Include More Than 1,600 New Timeshare Units

"Starwood Vacation Ownership continues its robust growth under ourSheraton, Westin, and St. Regis brands, driving our aggressiveexpansion plans in new and existing domestic and internationalmarkets," said Raymond L. "Rip" Gellein, Jr., chief executive officerof Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc. "With new timeshare projects launching in New York City, Aruba, Mexico, and Hawaii, expansion projects at several existing resorts, and sales underway or planned for all theselocations combined, 2006 is sure to be another record-breaking yearfor us."

Starwood Vacation Ownership's 2006 expansion plans include the following timeshare resorts:

St. Regis Residence Club

-- St. Regis Residence Club, New York, NY: Sales began earlier this year at the first hotel-affiliated fractional property in New York within one of the world's most acclaimed hotels, the St. Regis New York. The mixed-use hotel and fractional ownership development will include 22 luxury residences at build-out, slated for occupancy in July 2006.

-- St. Regis Residence Club, Punta Mita, Mexico: Construction recently began on the latest St. Regis mixed-use project which will include a hotel, whole ownership residences, and a St. Regis Residence Club fractional resort. The residence club will feature 36 free-standing villas scheduled to begin sales in mid-2007 with occupancy expected in late 2007.


-- Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas, Kauai, HI: This new property, the first Westin-branded timeshare resort in Kauai, is under construction, and sales commenced in February. The mixed-use resort includes a two-story clubhouse and seven two- and three-story guest buildings with 179 two-bedroom lock-off units and six hotel units. The first units are scheduled to open in early 2008.

-- Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas North, Maui, HI: Located next door to the award-winning Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort in Maui, this new beachfront timeshare resort will feature 258 two-bedroom lock-off units upon completion. The resort is currently in sales, and occupancy of the first phase is expected in mid 2007.

-- Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas North II, Maui, HI: This resort, which will be SVO's third resort on Maui, is now in the entitlement process. This new property is in the early development phase and will consist of a mix of one-, two-, and three-bedroom units upon completion.

-- Westin St. John Resort & Villas, St. John, Virgin Islands: Construction continues this year, with the addition of 54 loft, two-, and three-bedroom units scheduled to open in late 2007.

-- Westin Aruba Resort & Spa, Aruba: This mixed-use Westin-branded resort will include 154 two-bedroom lock-off timeshare units located next to the Westin hotel. The resort is scheduled to be in sales by early 2007.

-- Westin Lagunamar Ocean Resort, Cancun, Mexico: Construction on SVO's first vacation ownership resort in Latin America is on schedule, with the first phase to be completed in 2008. It will be the first vacation ownership resort in Cancun, Mexico developed by a major U.S. lodging company, with 296 two-bedroom lock-off villas at build-out.

-- Westin Kierland Villas, Phoenix, Arizona: Construction on the resort's final phase will be completed this year, with 54 two-bedroom lock-off units. Opened in 2004, the timeshare resort will have a total of 158 villas upon completion.

-- Westin Desert Willow Villas, Palm Springs, California: SVO recently acquired 30 acres in the established Desert Willow development of Palm Desert, where it will build a new Westin-branded vacation ownership resort. Construction is scheduled to begin on the new villas in early 2008 with preconstruction sales set to begin later this year.


-- Sheraton Kauai, Kauai, HI: This resort will be the first Sheraton-branded vacation ownership resort on the island of Kauai. Located adjacent to the existing Sheraton Kauai, the resort will feature roughly 388 one-, two- and three-bedroom timeshare units. The resort is currently in the pre-development entitlement process.

-- Sheraton Broadway Plantation, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: The latest phase of this resort's expansion includes 22 new units to be completed in mid-2006. The resort has a potential expansion up to 504 vacation timeshare ownership villas upon final build out.

-- Sheraton Vistana Villages, Orlando, Florida: The successor to the company's flagship resort, Sheraton Vistana Resort, will add an additional 195 units encompassing seven buildings in 2006 and 2007. Upon completion of this phase, the resort will have 615 villas and has a potential final build out of 1,415 timeshare villas.

Monday, July 17, 2006


AHG Gets Clearance For De Vere Timeshare Takeover

Hotel and leisure group De Vere has been given the green light by the Pensions Regulator for its proposed takeover by the Alternative Hotel Group (AHG).

As a result, the De Vere directors will unanimously urge shareholders to accept AHG’s third bid of 875p per share at an extraordinary general meeting to be held shortly.

AHG will take over De Vere (which operates 19 De Vere hotels, 155 timeshare lodges and 16 Village hotels and leisure clubs) through a court-approved scheme of arrangement.

The dates of the court meeting and the shareholders’ meeting will be outlined in the details of the scheme that will be posted to De Vere shareholders by next Monday (24 July).

AHG, which also owns Verve Venues (formerly Initial Style Conferences), was set up by the directors of Marylebone Warwick Balfour, owner of the Malmaison and Hotel du Vin boutique hotel brands.

Friday, July 14, 2006


Timeshare Mogul Sunterra Considers Sale As It Seeks To Boost Value

International timeshare operator Sunterra Corp. said Thursday it will hire an investment banker to explore alternatives for the company, including a possible sale.

Sunterra, which moved its headquarters from Orlando to Las Vegas in 2002, didn't say which firm it planned to hire. The company recently retained Chanin Capital to evaluate the potential sale of its European business.

"We are interviewing different firms," Sunterra spokeswoman Marilyn Windsor said. "There are alternatives other than a sale of the timeshare company, but a sale is possible."

Windsor said the Sunterra's board thinks it is undervalued.

"We are essentially looking for ways to unlock shareholder value," Windsor said. She said no deadline has been set for a decision.

In April, Sunterra fired its accountant, Grant Thornton LLP, and launched a probe into allegations of accounting irregularities in its European division. In late June, the company board put Sunterra President and Chief Executive Officer Nicholas Benson on paid administrative leave pending the results of the investigation.

Sunterra has more than 100 timeshare resorts worldwide, including six in Central Florida. The company was founded in 1990 as Signature Resorts and changed its name to Sunterra in 1998. Just another timeshare name change.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Westin Resort and Villas Joins Time Share Trend, Converting 108 Rooms

Since owning real estate on St. John today has become cost-prohibitive for most people, timeshare ownership is becoming the latest Love City trend.

The Westin Resort and Villas’ vacation ownership villas have been so popular, management is now offering more than 100 additional guest rooms at the resort as time shares, according to the Area Managing Director Graeme Davis.

“We are taking 108 of our guest rooms and turning them into vacation ownership villas,” Davis said. “We’ve had extremely successful sales over the past five years with our vacation villas sold in weekly intervals.”

“We decided to add more because we’ve had such great success and such great demand,” he added.

108 Rooms To Be TimeShare Units

Although 108 rooms will be used for the timeshare conversion, two or three of the rooms will be converted into one timeshare unit, Davis explained.

“We will gut out the interior of the rooms and cut through the walls,” he said. “The rooms will then be joined together to create the time share unit. We’ll also be adding kitchens to the units.”

“If you take three hotel rooms you create one two-bedroom villa,” Davis continued. “The middle becomes the living and kitchen areas and the two bedrooms are on the sides.”

$20,000 to $140,000 Price Tag

Prices for the timeshares vary greatly depending on the size of the unit and the time of year.

“The current pricing ranges from $20,000 to $140,000 for lifetime deeded ownership for a week,” said Davis. “The pricing is for the new and the old — it’s a combination. To buy a week in a studio in the off-peak season will run about $20,000.”

“A three-bedroom villa during Christmas week will probably cost about $140,000,” Davis continued.

The hotel rooms slated for conversion are currently in buildings 24 through 27, located on the main hotel side of the Westin property. The rooms are on the hillside above the pool and restaurant.

Rising real estate prices on the island are contributing to the increased popularity of vacation ownerships, according to Davis.

“I think it’s popular because if you look at the home prices on St. John they average around $1.2 or $1.3 million,” he said. “People who want a second home usually won’t use it all year. What better way to own a property on St. John than to just buy one week or two weeks, and be able to walk away?”

The Westin’s amenities and reputation contribute to the strong time share sales as well, Davis added.

Guaranteed Electricity, Water

“People feel good knowing that they have a strong brand like the Westin looking after their property,” he said. “When they come down they are guaranteed electricity because we have our own power plant, and guaranteed water, because we have our own desalination plant.”

Timeshare sales enhance the property and buffer any economic downfalls that might occur, Davis explained.

“First of all, you have guaranteed return visitors,” he said. “Even if there is a down-turn in the economy, it won’t affect us. We’ll always have the occupancy numbers up here at the Westin.”

“We’ll always have people who have an affinity for St. John,” Davis continued. Timeshare owners have the ability to trade their week at the Westin St. John for a week at any of the Westin’s timeshares throughout the world, or at a differnt company’s properties across the globe.


Saddleback Timeshare Decision Due

The proposed creation of house lots and timeshare condominiums on Saddleback Mountain is only the beginning of much more extensive development at the ski resort.

The Land Use Regulation Commission is due to hand down a decision today on the creation of five private house lots and 18 timeshare condominium units, along with associated roadwork, parking and utilities at the ski resort.

The plan also calls for the extension of two skiing trails, the expansion of snowmaking facilities and the construction of a water storage facility. If approved, construction on the new facilities could start as soon as this summer.

According to a Land Use Regulation Commission memo dated July 3, the staff of the commission has recommended that the commission approve the plan. That makes final approval likely but not definite.

Bill Berry of Farmington, who bought Saddleback Mountain in 2003 when the resort was facing closure, said the proposal is the first step in a much larger 10-year plan to expand housing and associated amenities on the mountain.

An application for that long-term plan has been submitted to the commission but is in the very early stages of the process.

Berry said it is clear that the timeshare resort needs more housing, although he said that even when it is complete, the development will be relatively modest compared to larger resorts, such as Sugarloaf/USA.

"Originally, when we bought the resort we knew that bedrooms on the mountain were a critical issue" said Berry. "Rangeley does not have the facilities to house people, particularly when the town is full of snowmobilers."

By creating more places to stay on the mountain, Berry said Saddleback hopes to not only make a profit through its real estate enterprises, but also expand weekday skiing.

He said the expansion is necessary to help support overall operations on the mountain because most of the profits related to skiing come only on winter weekends and holiday weeks.

"Most ski operations throughout the country, at least the large ones, tend to be real estate operations with the skiing a prime amenity," he said.

Eventually, he said, plans call for turning the ski mountain into a four-season resort, although using a different model than used at many other ski resorts. The idea at Saddleback will be to create a resort based not just on Saddleback, but the entire Rangeley area, he said.

Those long-term plans call for the creation of a number of amenities associated with the timeshare condominiums, including an indoor pool, tennis courts. A water tubing facility is also planned.

The creation of more amenities will also help the resort keep more key employees and create jobs year-round, although Berry said he is not sure yet how many new jobs would be created.

Developing other profit centers will also make the resort less dependent on ski tickets, which is important because low ticket prices have been a goal since Berry bought the resort.

"We are trying to keep our rates down so the people in Maine have a place to ski," Berry said.

Since 2003, Berry has spent over $15 million on improvements, the most visible being a three-level, 36,000-square-foot timeshare lodge, with a food court capable of seating more than 500 people.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Condo Conversion Planned For Ski Side Timeshares

Ski Side Village, a timeshare project on Camelback Mountain, will be partially converted to condominiums and used as collateral to clear debt and pay for renovations.

The timeshare project is headed by Alan and Adam Luckner of Bridge Associates of Pocono Township. They will transfer some timeshares to existing three-bedroom units, in order to free up 26 two-bedroom units so they could be sold as condominiums.

The two-bedroom units each have two stories, and measure approximately 1,300 square feet.

Funding for the project — $1.65 million — is coming from Kennedy Funding of Hackensack, N.J.

Friday, July 07, 2006


Sunterra's Accounting Probe Of The Timeshare Operator's European Division Sunterra Leads To A Delisting.

Considering the fragile state of affairs that timeshare operator Sunterra(Nasdaq: SNRR) is facing these days, its executives may end up having to stay at one of their competitors' resorts instead of their own when they go on vacation. Teetering on the edge of a Nasdaq delisting amid an accounting probe of its European division, Sunterra is facing a very cloudy future, one that could result in the entire company being sold off.

Sunterra timeshare emerged from bankruptcy in 2002 and has been busy trying to recover the lost glory of the timeshare industry. Since filing for bankruptcy in 2000, the resort operator has nearly doubled vacation-interest annual sales and increased the number of families owning timeshares from 260,000 to more than 300,000 over the same period. While Cendant(NYSE: CD) is the largest timeshare operator, with more than 3,700 resorts located in more than 100 countries around the globe, ILX Resorts(NYSE: ILX) and Bluegreen(NYSE: BXG) remain the two pure plays in the industry.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


High Court Favors Subdivsion With Timeshares In Scenic Meadow

The Nevada Supreme Court on Wednesday overturned a lower court judge's order against a subdivision with timeshares to be built on about 1,600 acres of scenic forest and meadow land in the Clear Creek Canyon area, south of Carson City.

The high court decision favored developer John Serpa and Douglas County, whose lawyers challenged a decision by Douglas County District Judge Dave Gamble. Gamble had held that the commission's approval of the timeshare project, on part of the old Schneider ranch, was arbitrary.

The Supreme Court ruling went against the Alpine View Estates Property Owners' Association, whose lawsuit led to Gamble's ruling.

Serpa has proposed developing 221 1-acre lots and 155 8,000-square-foot lots. The development would consist of 366 single-family homes, 18 timeshare or guest lodges and a private golf course.

Gamble said commissioners failed to make all the findings required to amend the Douglas County master plan. He also rejected the argument that the timeshare development had to be approved in order to obtain infrastructure needed to support the project.

The judge also said that if the project faltered, the developer could return and ask for another change, saying the approved project is still not feasible until more building sites are approved.

Justices added that information provided to commissioners proved that the timeshare project, "although not perfect, was worthy of the requested amendments and development approvals."

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Timeshare Revenue Soars For Accor

ACCOR Premiere Vacation Club had gross revenue of more than $100 million in the past year as the holiday timeshare industry rode the crest of a wave.

The company spent $60 million buying property around Australia and New Zealand in the same period, APVC's chief operating officer Jim Sabot said.

This brought the portfolio to 15 resorts and timeshare properties, and three more deals were due to be announced soon.

Club membership was growing by 6000 per year, Mr Sabot said, and the organisation - based on Queensland's Gold Coast - would have more than 1000 employees by year's end.

APVC is a joint venture between the Paris-based Accor Hotels and Melbourne developer Becton Group.

Industry insiders say that from Accor's point of view, the Australian-based timeshare venture is an experiment that will be rolled out elsewhere in the world if successful.

Under the tarnished 1970s model, owners bought a specific week in a specific apartment or resort in mostly inflexible deals, but the latest schemes offer membership of clubs that own multiple timeshare properties.

The industry body, the Australian Timeshare and Holiday Ownership Council, says the sector has undergone a "clear resurgence" in the past six years and is now the fastest-growing segment of Australia's tourism industry.

A soon-to-be released ATHOC report on the sector's economic significance says there are 73 timeshare resorts around Australia, and more than 125,000 owners.

Average annual net sales of timeshare property have grown to $173 million and the industry is expanding at an average 10 per cent annually.

APVC's portfolio now covers every Australian state except South Australia, and the company has taken on development projects as well as purchases and leases of completed product.

It has a focus on luxury, boutique-style properties, many brand new but some also in historic, character properties, such as Basildean Manor in Western Australia's Margaret River district, which it bought early last year for $4.5 million.

The company is expecting to spend a similar amount for renovating the National Trust and Heritage Council classified guesthouse.

In May, APVC took over a lease on a group of upmarket apartments at The Vintage estate at Rothbury in NSW's Hunter Valley, which are run under Accor's 4 1/2 star Grand Mercure brand.

Late last year, APVC announced its first deal outside Australia and New Zealand, and said it would spend $5.3 million developing 23 apartments in Bali.

Last month, it announced the $10 million-plus purchase of the Grand Mercure Puka Park on the Coromandel Coast, on the New Zealand North Island.

The timeshare resort has 48 chalets and covers 10ha near Pauanui.

In Victoria, APVC has upmarket villas in the Forest Resort at Creswick near Ballarat, and at Mt Buller on the snowfields.

Monday, July 03, 2006


Starwood Timeshare In California On Move Again

Starwood Vacation Ownership, the Orlando timeshare division of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, has completed acquisition of nearly 29 acres in the Desert Willow development in Palm Desert, Calif.

Starwood plans to build a Westin Vacation Ownership timeshare resort on the property, with construction expected to begin in 2007. Starwood sold out its first vacation ownership project in the area, called the Westin Mission Hills Resort & Villas, in 2005.

This will be the eighth Westin Vacation Ownership project. Others are located in Hawaii, California, Arizona, Mexico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Aruba. More timeshare for your money.

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