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Interval Leisure Group Completes Acquisition of Hyatt Residential Group October 23, 2014

Posted by Steve Luba in : Hyatt timeshare, Interval International, News & Events , add a comment

Interval Leisure Group, a leading global provider of non-traditional lodging across a broad spectrum of the vacation industry, has completed the previously announced acquisition of Hyatt Residential Group from affiliates of Hyatt Hotels Corporation (“Hyatt”) (NYSE:H), a leading global hospitality company. The purchase price of approximately $220 million includes Hyatt’s interest in a joint venture that owns and is developing Hyatt Ka’anapali Beach, a 131-unit shared ownership property in Maui. In connection with the acquisition, a subsidiary of ILG has entered into a global Master License Agreement with respect to the exclusive use of the Hyatt brand in shared ownership.

Interval Leisure GroupUnder the terms of the global Master License Agreement, Hyatt will receive annual license fees and the Hyatt Residence Club and 16 existing shared ownership resorts will retain the Hyatt Residence Club brand. The approximately 30,000 Hyatt Residence Club owners will continue to receive all privileges currently associated with their memberships, including Hyatt Gold Passport benefits.

Interval Leisure Group (ILG) is a leading global provider of non-traditional lodging, encompassing a portfolio of travel, leisure, membership, exchange, resort management, and rental businesses including Interval International and Trading Places International (TPI), which offer exchange and travel-related products to more than 2 million member families worldwide. Under license from Hyatt, Hyatt Vacation Ownership markets and manages shared ownership properties and operates Hyatt Residence Club. Vacation Resorts International, VRI Europe, and TPI offer timeshare resort, homeowners’ association, and club management services, while Aston Hotels & Resorts and Aqua Hospitality provide hotel and condominium rentals and resort management. Headquartered in Miami, Florida, ILG has offices in 16 countries and nearly 6,000 employees.

Seneca Niagara and Allegany Resorts Align With Bluegreen October 19, 2014

Posted by Steve Luba in : Bluegreen Resorts, News & Events , add a comment

Seneca Resorts & Casinos has developed a multi-faceted strategic alliance with Bluegreen Vacations, a leader in the vacation ownership industry that connects more than 180,000 owners with 60+ Bluegreen resorts in 40+ popular destinations across the continental U.S. and the Caribbean.  Bluegreen will now offer its members access to a range of vacation packages at Seneca Resorts & Casinos, a sensational integrated resort and casino experience in both Niagara Falls and Salamanca, N.Y.  In addition, Seneca Resorts & Casinos will be proud to introduce a range of world-class vacation experiences provided by Bluegreen Vacations to its customers and particularly the Player’s Club members, thereby adding more depth and value to the loyalty program.

Seneca Allegany Resort

Seneca Allegany Resort

Seneca Resorts & Casino is the Northeast region’s leader in hospitality, operating destination resorts including Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino in Niagara Falls, N.Y., with Seneca Hickory Stick Golf in Lewiston, N.Y. as an added amenity to visitors of Niagara, Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino in Salamanca, N.Y., and the Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino for urban entertainment in downtown Buffalo, N.Y. The Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino is just a two block walk from the thunder of Niagara Falls and the Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino is couched in the rolling Allegheny hills just minutes from ski country in nearby Ellicottville. At Seneca Resorts & Casinos travelers and gaming enthusiasts have diverse options for fine dining, a full-menu of luxurious spa and salon services, swimming pools, Jacuzzi tubs and workout facilities at both properties, not to mention a full schedule of events and top-notch entertainment for a nightlife teeming with concerts featuring legendary and contemporary chart-topping artists, and shows headlining famous comedians.

Both the Seneca Niagara and the Allegany Resorts & Casinos are AAA Four Diamond Award properties notable for luxurious accommodations and superior g uest service. Each resort property features the award-winning signature restaurant, the Western Door Steakhouse—one of the region’s premier destination steakhouses, which has been voted “Best Steakhouse” by Buffalo Spree magazine for four years. 

The Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino features 604 deluxe rooms and suites, nine dining outlets, nine retail outlets, a full-service Spa & Salon, and entertainment venues including the 2,400-seat Seneca Niagara Events Center and 440-seat Bear’s Den Showroom. Guests can enjoy 147,000 square feet of gaming space with more than 3,600 slot machines and 90 table games. In February 2014, the property unveiled a completely renovated main gaming floor with the addition of STIR, a new high-end feature bar and lounge. The property is located less than a 10-minute walk away from the breathtaking brink of Niagara Falls, in the core of the Niagara Region that is home to historic wine trails, endless shopping, and numerous attractions. Prospective golfing enthusiasts visiting the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino have Seneca Hickory Stick Golf as an added amenity. Located in scenic Lewiston, N.Y., Hickory Stick is an award-winning 18-hole course of championship-level golf on a challenging PGA-style terrain designed by world-renowned course architect Robert Trent Jones II, who has designed more than 270 golf courses in 40 different countries.

The Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino in Salamanca features a AAA Four Diamond Award–winning hotel tower with 413 luxurious rooms, seven unique dining locations, a full-service spa and salon, an outdoor hot tub and an indoor pool. The gaming floor features nearly 2,000 slot machines and more than 30 table games. The 2,400-seat Seneca Allegany Events Center serves as a venue for top entertainment as well as special events and conferences. Retail outlets include the TEN Store featuring affordable gifts all under ten dollars and the 24-hour Logo Shop. Located at Exit 20 on Interstate 86, Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino is nestled in an outdoor enthusiast’s haven with activities, such as hiking, skiing, boating, fishing, and horseback riding nearby. 

The relationship with Seneca Resorts & Casinos, which annually has more than 10 million visitors a year, is expected to result in thousands of vacations for Bluegreen members and Player’s Club members, for an overall big win for travelers. 

Cathy Walker, president and CEO of Seneca Resorts & Casinos said, “There is something for everyone visiting Seneca Resorts. Whether it’s a getaway centered on food and wine, golf, gaming or family fun, our properties have it all,” said Walker. “And when you add in our close proximity to other area attractions, vacationers have a wealth of entertainment possibilities to choose from. Given the distinct experiences that await visitors to both the Niagara and Allegany regions, we believe Seneca Resorts & Casinos is a perfect fit for Bluegreen Vacations. We have a tremendous opportunity to further expand the scope of this collaborative relationship that will benefit travelers.”  

Bluegreen Vacations aspires to “share happiness,” by providing quality, flexibility and choice to Bluegreen Vacation Club owners through its network of resorts and is excited to extend these vacation options to the Seneca Resorts & Casino Players Club Members.

“‘It’s time to play!’ is the motto at our three Seneca Resort & Casino properties,” said Doni Taube, senior vice president of marketing. “Bluegreen members will find that they can tailor their escape to Seneca Resorts & Casinos for as lively or relaxing a vacation as they desire. You can play indoors or out, stir the senses, build the romance, or simply wind down and relax. Whatever you choose to do, it is our aim to please our guests beyond their expectations and we are equally excited about introducing our customers to the world of amazing vacations provided by Bluegreen.”
Peter Menges, senior vice president of Bluegreen Vacations, expressed his enthusiasm for the new alliance. “Bluegreen is delighted to provide an enhanced set of vacation offerings to our members as a result of the alliance with Seneca Resorts & Casinos,” said Menges. “We have built our reputation on our ability to provide our members with quality vacation choices, and Seneca Resorts & Casinos delivers with its two diverse locations and a wealth of entertainment options. In addition, we are excited to maximize the range of opportunities provided to us to introduce the Seneca Resorts & Casinos guests and best customers to the world of Bluegreen Vacations.”

Bluegreen Vacations program features a points system which allows flexibility to craft vacations that fit every individual lifestyle. Bluegreen includes Seneca Resorts & Casinos and other top quality resorts that guarantee excellence in service.
The Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino, also part of the Seneca Resorts & Casinos portfolio, is located in the rapidly developing Cobblestone District along Buffalo, N.Y.’s Inner Harbor, located just a half-hour from Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino. At Buffalo Creek, guests can enjoy more than 800 slot machines and 20 table games, and dining options including the BC Café, Stixx Sports Bar and Buffalo Savors Grill for a true taste of Buffalo foods.

BuyaTimeshare.com Launches Dynamic New Website October 15, 2014

Posted by Steve Luba in : New Features, News & Events, Timeshare Resale , add a comment

In a significant step forward for the timeshare resale industry, online advertiser BuyaTimeshare.com has announced the launch of a newly designed website aimed at providing easier access for consumers seeking information about the secondary market.

Using the new slogan “Buy Smart From The Start”, the website launch also includes a mobile version of the site using new dynamic technology which allows the site to adapt to whichever mobile device is accessing the site. A consumer using a smart phone or a tablet will now be able to access timeshare information without having to zoom or awkwardly change the configuration of the screen in order to read the text and use the links to properly search for information.

Wes Kogelman BuyaTimeshare.com

Wes Kogelman, CEO, BuyaTimeshare.com

Created in conjunction with web design firm Advanced Internet Management (AIM), timeshare resale information will now be more accessible than ever through easier use of the new platform, meeting the needs of timeshare buyers and renters looking for information from whichever device they are using.

“It’s no secret that all of the trends point to the increased adoption of mobile devices for online commerce, so this is the natural progression of our business model to serve the needs of consumers seeking timeshare resale information,” said BuyaTimeshare.com president and CEO Wesley Kogelman.

“In 2010, only 3.4% of total visits to all e-commerce sites came from mobile devices, whereas today, 36.9% of site visits are from tablets and phones. That’s only going to grow, and we hope to capture an even larger share of the online resale market through our new site.”

“We also have a new feature which allows a seller to conduct an automated market analysis of their timeshare, which will display an average asking price based on the owners advertising on our site, and provide sellers with a starting point to assess the potential value of their timeshare,” Kogelman added.

These new features build upon the success of the company over the past 14 years, adding to innovations such as the Timeshare Pulse alert system and consumer protection initiatives like e-signature technology for written contracts and captcha security for online offers made to buy or rent timeshares.

For more information about the substantial savings on the timeshare resale market, please visit http://buyatimeshare.com.

Wyndham Rewards Partners with American Red Cross October 12, 2014

Posted by Steve Luba in : News & Events, Wyndham Timeshares , add a comment

Now through the end of this year, Wyndham Rewards is matching member point donations to the American Red Cross—up to one million Wyndham Rewards points—in celebration of the organization joining the growing loyalty program as its newest online redemption partner.

Wyndham RewardsThrough the partnership, Wyndham Rewards members now have the option of easily making a donation to the Red Cross directly from their member account, starting with as few as 3,000 points for a $15 donation, up to 22,000 points for a $100 donation. Regardless of the amount donated, 100 percent of all donations go directly to the Red Cross to assist with domestic and international disaster relief efforts, preparedness education and blood services.

“Our goal with this partnership was to empower members, offering them a simple and easy way to give back to communities in need, whether during times of disaster or otherwise,” said Mike Mueller, vice president of loyalty, marketing and partnerships at Wyndham Hotel Group. “We’re proud to partner with the American Red Cross and excited about the potential impact that our more than 37 million members will be able to make in assisting the organization as it works to fulfill its mission and vision.”

The Red Cross joins a growing list of charitable organizations that Wyndham Rewards members may donate to via the program. Those organizations include the Starlight Children’s Foundation, Christel House International, Hole in the Wall Camps and Hotels for Heroes, to name a few. To learn more about Wyndham Rewards or to enroll, visit www.wyndhamrewards.com.

WorldMark by Wyndham Acquires Stablewood Springs Resort October 9, 2014

Posted by Steve Luba in : News & Events, Wyndham Timeshares , add a comment

WorldMark by Wyndham, one of Wyndham Vacation Ownership’s four primary consumer brands, has announced it has expanded its presence in Texas with the acquisition of Stablewood Springs Resort, located in Hunt, Texas. The resort is the Company’s second in Texas and is anticipated to open to WorldMark owners in early 2015. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Stablewood Springs Resort“The acquisition and development of this resort is an exciting opportunity for us to provide additional vacation options for our owners and guests traveling to Texas,” said Geoff Richards, chief operations officer, Wyndham Vacation Ownership, part of the Wyndham Worldwide family of brands. “Our valued owners will be able to experience beautiful accommodations and amenities, while enjoying the highly-sought after area of the Texas hill country.”

Stablewood Springs, located on a ridge in the Guadalupe River Valley, sits on 140 acres of land and includes a swimming complex, a fitness center, hiking and biking trails and a fishing pond. It is anticipated that 31 units will be available to WorldMark owners in early 2015, and new construction will begin soon to create additional units by 2016.

Hunt, Texas is known for its tranquil scenery, and is filled with meandering rivers, rugged mountains, valleys and canyons. Visitors can enjoy Los Maples, a 2,200-acre wildlife park, or the nearby town of Fredricksburg featuring quaint shops and antiques.

Currently, WorldMark New Braunfels is the only Texas resort in the WorldMark portfolio. However, through the company’s new WYNDHAM Club Pass program, WorldMark owners and guests can also visit Wyndham La Cascada and Wyndham Riverside Suites, both located in San Antonio and operated by CLUB WYNDHAM.

Coral Resorts Properties Granted RCI Gold Crown Status October 5, 2014

Posted by Steve Luba in : Hilton Head Island, News & Events , add a comment

Four premium Hilton Head Island resorts—Coral Reef Resort, Coral Sands Resort, Island Links Resort and Port O’Call—collectively referred to as the Coral Resorts family of properties, have received the “Gold Crown” award from RCI, the largest vacation timeshare exchange-network in the world.

Coral Sands Resort

Coral Sands Resort

The Gold Crown award, the highest designation presented by RCI, is based upon a 12-month compilation of guest assessments. The Coral Resorts properties exceeded Gold Crown qualifications in every category that the guest survey tracks, including hospitality, check-in/check-out procedures, maintenance and housekeeping, as well as evaluations of resort facilities, amenities and services. This year’s award is the 11th consecutive year the Coral Resorts family of properties has received this prestigious distinction of excellence.

“This recognition is a testament to our staff and their unrelenting commitment to ‘gold-standard’ customer satisfaction at each of the properties, collectively known as Coral Resorts,” said Dean Pierce, president of the Coral Resorts family of properties. “Our staff is dedicated to providing visitors from around the world with the best possible, most memorable Hilton Head Island vacation experiences. We are pleased to continue our RCI Gold Crown tradition and, equally important, are delighted to contribute to the tradition of excellence the Hilton Head service industry has worked so diligently to establish over the past several decades.”

The Coral Resorts family of properties has served more than 30,000 satisfied customers since developing the brand’s first resort more than 25 years ago.

BuyaTimeshare.com CEO Wes Kogelman Elected to CRDA Board of Directors October 2, 2014

Posted by Steve Luba in : Canadian timeshare, CRDA, News & Events , add a comment

Wesley Kogelman, president and CEO of online timeshare resale and rental advertising company BuyaTimeshare.com, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Canadian Resort Development Association (CRDA).

CRDA is an industry-based association that is dedicated to furthering the vacation ownership resort and leisure industries. It was founded over 30 years ago in response to the public’s demand for reliable information about Canadian timeshare products. Focus has since broadened to all aspects of the resort and shared ownership industry.

Canadian Resort Development Association“The Board welcomes Wes and his representation of an ethical resale industry. Wes has been very supportive of CRDA and will bring a technology perspective to our Board, which is imperative as we continue to look for new ways to connect with the new generation of timeshare buyers,” said Jon Zwickel, president and CEO, CRDA.

“I am honored to have been elected to serve on the CRDA Board and look forward to helping in any way I can. Canada is our second largest market, next to the U.S., so I would like to share our insights to help advance the Canadian vacation ownership industry,” said Kogelman.

Because of the global reach of BuyaTimeshare.com’s industry-leading online timeshare resale marketplace, CRDA executives invited Kogelman onto the Board as the industry trends toward more online interaction with timeshare owners.

“We already have consumers seeking to buy Canadian timeshare products through our website and learning how those consumers interact online is important to the development of the Canadian timeshare industry.”

“Unique visitors to our website from Canada are up 14 percent from last year, with Ontario as the top source market, so interest in the product is clearly on the rise. And with over $2 million in offers to buy Canadian timeshare through our site, we can monitor what is trending when it comes to Canadian products,” added Kogelman.

The Board election was held during the recent Canadian Resort Conference, CRDA’s annual industry event which was held at the Pantages Hotel Toronto Centre in Toronto, Ontario over September 23-24. The conference brings together an international audience of vacation ownership and resort industry professionals to discuss topics relevant to the Canadian resort marketplace and the purchasing trends of Canadian vacationers.

To find out more about BuyaTimeshare.com, please visit http://buyatimeshare.com.

IHG Rewards Club Offers Autumn Promotion September 28, 2014

Posted by Steve Luba in : Holiday Inn Club Vacations, News & Events , add a comment

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has announced its “Autumn” promotion offering IHG Rewards Club members their choice of IHG Rewards Club bonus points, bonus airline miles or free nights at any IHG-branded hotel anywhere in the world including, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo Hotels, Holiday Inn Hotels, Holiday Inn Resort Hotels, Holiday Inn Club Vacations, Holiday Inn Express Hotels, Staybridge Suites Hotels, Candlewood Suites Hotels and EVEN Hotels.

Holiday Inn Club Vacations at Orange Lake Resort

Holiday Inn Club Vacations at Orange Lake Resort

“We strive to create relevant and rewarding travel experiences for our loyal guests. This promotion provides an even greater opportunity for our members to further enjoy our portfolio of hotel brands around the world,” said Bruce Lahood, vice president, Global Loyalty Consumer Marketing, IHG. “We are really excited to reward our members with what’s most important to them – IHG Rewards Club bonus points, bonus airline miles or free nights.”

Registration for the “Autumn” promotion begins on Sept. 4 . Once registered, members will receive personalised offers and begin earning their rewards when they stay at any IHG-branded hotel between Sept. 4 and Dec. 31, 2014 –it’s that simple.

IHG Rewards Club is the world’s first and largest hotel loyalty program, with industry-leading benefits including no blackout dates for Reward Nights and fast-track to Elite status when guests explore the IHG brand portfolio.

IHG’s family of brands across 4,700 hotels ranges from an award-winning InterContinental resort to a city-center Holiday Inn hotel. IHG’s scale and diversity means that our hotels can meet our guests’ needs whatever the occasion – whether an overnight getaway, a business trip, a family celebration or an once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Palm Springs Resort The Dunes Club Joins RCI September 25, 2014

Posted by Steve Luba in : News & Events, RCI, Timeshare Exchange , add a comment

RCI, the global leader in vacation exchange and part of the Wyndham Worldwide family of brands, recently added The Dunes Club in Coachella Valley to its network of affiliated resorts. The boutique-style residence club is a haven for golfers looking for a high-end experience in California.

The Dunes Club“We chose to affiliate with RCI because, as the world’s largest exchange program, it can help provide an effective and efficient way for us to market ownership at The Dunes Club,” said Vanessa Estes of The Dunes Club. “Adding RCI’s vacation exchange services for our owners allows us to drive more business while also minimizing marketing expenses. And, we believe RCI members who are golf-enthusiasts will be very excited about the new opportunity to visit our upscale Palm Springs resort.”

Owners and RCI subscribing members who visit The Dunes Club can enjoy an experience in the private gated community of the Bermuda Dunes Country Club, the original home of the PGA Bob Hope Classic. Guests here can access the same fairways where Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Phil Mickelson have played.

Originally a small hotel catering to the Hollywood elite, The Dunes Club maintains this high level of luxury in its accommodations with spacious residences that include state-of-the-art kitchens, comfortable living and dining areas, and serene bedrooms. The resort grounds also feature a variety of pools and hot tubs, so guests can enjoy time on and off the green.

“The beautiful Dunes Club is a wonderful addition to RCI’s list of golf exchange options,” said Gordon Gurnik, president of RCI. “The greens and resort facilities are impressive, and the luxurious accommodations will provide a home-away-from-home experience for RCI members. We are glad to have this property as part of our network, and look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with The Dunes Club.”

Send Me on Vacation To Hold Crush-Out the Effects of Cancer Event September 21, 2014

Posted by Steve Luba in : Charity, News & Events, Send Me On Vacation , add a comment

Send Me on Vacation returns to the Napa Valley for its 4th annual breast cancer awareness event, “Crush- Out the Effects of Cancer”, to be held on October 2, 2014.

This year “Pink Is The New Red” for Rob Hunter from Hunter III Wines who has recently released his Petite Syrah Rouge in support of Send Me On Vacation. Hunter III Wines located in St. Helena CA was the first winery to support Send Me On Vacation in the Napa Valley. SMOV chairwomen, Victoria Acquistapace, assistant winemaker for Hunter III wines, was instrumental in aligning Hunter III wines with Send Me On Vacation. Over the past four years Send Me On Vacation has created partnerships with dozens of wineries in Napa Valley.

Send Me On VacationThe mission of Send Me On Vacation is to use the vacation as a catalyst for breast cancer survivors to cope with the  emotional and physical effects of surviving cancer treatment. SMOV believes that when the physical treatments end, the emotional struggles begin. This year SMOV annually awards nearly fifty women from throughout the country dream vacations.

“The need to go on vacation and get away from it all multiplies when you are a cancer survivor,” says Pam Horwitz, a two time survivor and chairwomen of Send Me On Vacation’s Survivor Committee.

In addition to sending women on week-long vacations, the organization recently launched a program called “The Goodness Vacation” in Phoenix, Arizona. The Goodness Vacation is four-night Staycation for women with Stage 4 cancer who are unable to travel far from home. Its purpose is to provide a nourishing getaway from ongoing treatments that create a heightened sense of wellness. SMOV will be launching this program in multiple cities across the country. The second city to launch the Goodness Vacation will be in the Napa Valley. The Wine Country Inn, located in St Helena, Ca, will be hosting the vacation. “We couldn’t think of a more beautiful and relaxing inn to trust with our recipients,” says Victoria Acquistapace. “The inn is known for their exceptional personal service and authentic beauty.”

Affiliated with St. Helena’s Martin-O’Neil Cancer Center, the group is able to send patients from the Napa Valley on dream vacations when treatment is completed. “Colleen Winters, Patient Care Navigator, was instrumental in guiding us through the process of aligning the cancer center with Send Me On Vacation. She is an amazing woman who cares for every patient in extraordinary ways,” says Cathy Backus, Founder and President of SMOV. “Colleen doesn’t just look after patients; she cares for her employees as well.” Two nurses at St. Helena Hospital were battling breast cancer themselves and still working daily to take care of dozens of cancer patients. Through Colleen’s efforts, SMOV was able to award both women a dream vacation. “Working with the nurses elevated the program to a new level. One of the nurses and her husband had battled cancer at different times during their lives and the thought of going on a vacation was a distant dream. After learning that she and her husband never had a honeymoon, SMOV reached out to Trade Winds Yacht Charter and the couple received a vacation of a lifetime. It’s generous vacation partners like Trade Winds that make the difference,” says Backus.

Vacations like these, and many more, are possible because of local sponsors throughout the country. Hunter III Wines, Charles Krug Winery, Delectus Winery and Annadel Winery are four dedicated partners who support community health and wellness through the efforts of Send Me On Vacation. Yearly events attended by local residents have been instrumental in making SMOV an important part of the community.

Inspired by women like Victoria Acquistapace from Hunter III Wines, Linda Reisacher from Delectus Winery and Alycia Mondavi from Charles Krug Winery, the charity has taken fundraising to new heights. This October 2, 2014, SMOV has partnered with the Napa Valley Wine Train to “Crush-Out the Effects of Cancer” with four winemaker dinners aboard the train. From 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., vintners will be pouring their unique wines to compliment specially prepared meals. The cost of the benefit dinner ranges from $159-$199 per person. Reservations can be made by calling the Napa Valley Wine Train at 707-253-0920 (extension 221) or by registering online at www.sendmeonvacation.org.