ARDA Insights Blog                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

ARDA Spirit

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ARDA Spirit 

By Jenny Davlin

 2017 ty

One of the best parts about being a member of ARDA is our community. Whether you focus on the regulatory and advocacy aspect or find value through AIF research and education, the ARDA community belongs to all members. And there was no better sense of this community spirit than at this year’s ARDA World 2017. 

Everywhere you looked, there was greatness being shown by our members. 

They tirelessly volunteered, attended meetings, and contributed to the core work of task forces, committees, and councils. The Awards Gala recognized and celebrated many of the exceptional people, products, and passion in the industry. And the remarkable speakers and top-notch parties created an environment where every ARDA member in attendance benefited, learned, and laughed.

There is a common belief among our members that change brings positive opportunities for our timeshare owners and our businesses, and there were some significant changes during this ARDA World. We said good-bye to the outstanding leadership of past Chairman Weisz and welcomed Chairman Wang who will guide us for the next two years. Our foundations are strong and growth continues—all positive signs for our members.

We want to thank you for your membership and continued support! Our team continues to value your feedback and appreciates your contributions. We look forward to seeing many of you at our regional meetings, Fall Conference and other events.

Creating Luxury and Beauty

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Creating Luxury and Beauty 

Three Resorts Score Top Awards 

By: Kathryn Mullan 

luxury and beauty 

At this year’s ARDA Awards Gala, three different resorts won the ACE Project of Excellence Award, which recognize some of the front-runners in today’s vacation ownership resorts. Broken into three distinct categories—Domestic, International Large Developer and International Small Developer—each winning resort is truly one of a kind.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these three winners:

Domestic Project Winner: RiverWalk Resort on Loon Mountain (InnSeason Resorts) 

RiverWalk Resort on Loon Mountain sits at the edge of a mountain river, settled around an old New Hampshire paper mill. The land it was developed on encompasses a rich part of the Loon Mountain community history. What has emerged on this land is a luxuriant resort with fractional suites, a penthouse level, a full-service spa, state-of-the-art game room, luxury owners’ club, a shuttle to Loon Mountain, and a short drive to many of White Mountain’s natural wonders and attractions. Every unit features spectacular mountain views. The resort also features several amenities that are firsts in the area: a commercial winery called “7 Birches” on premises, and an indoor/outdoor swimming pool that is engineered to convert to an ice skating rink during the winter. RiverWalk Resort on Loon Mountain is an award-winning lodge that blends history, natural beauty and a vacation experience into one.

International Large Developer Winner: Marriott Vacation Club at Surfer’s Paradise—Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corp. 

Located in Queensland, on the Gold Coast of Australia, Marriott Vacation Club at Surfer’s Paradise has quite the story to tell. To start, the developer acquired a hotel that was not having much success and turned the top eight floors into exquisite timeshare villas—all in only nine months (from conception to opening day). The game plan was simple: to retain eight floors of this beautiful, yet somewhat tired property and convert to 88 Vacation Ownership Villas with top-notch amenities. They re-landscaped the exterior and installed a saltwater lagoon pool that has friendly fish that hang around with the swimmers. They put in floor-to-ceiling glass so the guests may fully view the mountains, the Nerang River, and the Pacific Ocean. The décor throughout reflects the history of the region, while still being simple, crisp, light and playful. They even redesigned the lounge and made it open air. Overall, this Surfer’s Paradise is a true project home-run and has been successful among owners, guests, and shareholders alike.

International Small Developer Winner: Palafitos Overwater Bungalows at El Dorado Maroma, A Beachfront Resort by Karisma 

Located on one of the world’s top 10 beaches, Riviera Maya’s Maroma Beach, Palafitos Overwater Bungalows at El Dorado Maroma offers both beautiful accommodations and innovative touches. These bungalows are Mexico’s first over-the-ocean suites, featuring glass floors over the bright turquoise water. With these 30 bungalows, guests create memories that feel more like dreams. Inside each of these huts is their own private infinity pool, indoor Jacuzzi, glass bottom floors, and a personal ladder right into the Pacific Ocean for when they want to go for a dip. Each guest is also pampered with an on-site spa, world class restaurant, and customized beach picnics creating what feels like a utopia. Personalized services run the gamut from 24-hour room service, exclusive beach beds, customized beach picnics, and full butler service on-demand. The core beauty of this resort is also in its sustainability and eco-friendliness. During development, they used all native materials to construct the units, and the base of each bungalow serves also as an artificial reef to encourage activity and growth of marine life. Overall, it is truly a remarkably beautiful and eco-friendly resort that is well deserving of this ACE Award. Each of these winners have truly remarkable resorts that are bringing new innovations and ideas into the timeshare industry. May they inspire many more great works that we will celebrate at next year’s awards night!


Getting It Right

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Getting It Right 

 getting it right 

By: Howard C. Nusbaum, President

A favorite quote of mine comes from famed management consultant, educator and author Peter Drucker, who said “management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” And ARDA has been blessed with a continuing line of leaders who are all about “doing the right thing.”

Using the excitement and high energy from this year’s ARDA World, we are excited to keep the momentum of strong leadership going with the torch passing to Mark Wang (President and CEO of Hilton Grand Vacation) as our new Chair. One of the great benefits of this rotation of leaders every two years is the ability to bring fresh perspectives while maintaining important continuity—keeping our association and mission lean and relevant for today’s world. 

Mark is the latest in a line of impressive leaders who have held this role, and I am looking forward to working with him as we jump into the various programs and work initiatives.

There will not be one beat missed during this transition time as Mark has already had a head start on several of these programs. In fact, he helped lay the groundwork for many of our programs as the Chair of the ARDA Strategic Taskforce—a group of industry leaders who created our association’s roadmap and plan for the next three years. 

Mark was instrumental in shaping the vision for that group and has a great energy and enthusiasm for the task ahead. I’ve also personally had the privilege of working with Mark for nearly two decades, as he was active in ARDA-Hawaii when I first came to ARDA. His experience at this state committee level (along with his role in a global company) makes Mark the right leader for this crucial time at ARDA.

He has already begun to make his imprint in ARDA under his new role, spending the day with our team in DC in late May. With his drive and leadership, I’d say we are off to an awesome start!

2016 Marks Seventh Straight Year of Growth for the Industry

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 2016 Marks Seventh Straight Year of Growth for the Industry 

2017 SOI 

We are happy to share the latest research from our State of the Vacation Timeshare Industry: United States Study 2017 Edition. It shows the strength and resiliency of the timeshare industry after another year of growth in 2016. Here are a few of the highlights.   

In 2016: 


  •  Sales volume increased nearly seven percent, from $8.6 billion in 2015 to $9.2 billion; 
  •  Rental revenue increased by five percent, going from $1.8 billion in 2015 to $1.9 billion; 
  •  There were 1,558 timeshare resorts in the United States, representing about 206,080 units;  
  •  About 70 percent of these units feature two or more bedrooms; 
  •  Average unit size was over 1,000 square feet; 
  •  The average sales price was $20,940; and 
  •  Average occupancy was about 79 percent (compared to a 65.51 percent hotel occupancy rate).  


There were some other interesting facts as well:  


  •  Beach resorts are the most common type of resort; 
  •  Island resorts have the highest occupancy; 
  •  Florida has the most resorts of any region in the country; 
  •  Nevada has the largest average resort size—230 units on average; and 
  •  35 percent of resorts are now offering a mobile application to resort owners, up from just 12 percent last year.  


For more details, check out our infographic and for a copy of the full State of the Industry Study, visit

The International Timeshare Industry Has Steady Rising Ownership and an Optimistic Future

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 The International Timeshare Industry Has Steady Rising Ownership and an Optimistic Future 

 2016 World Wide Study 

According to the newly released 2016 Worldwide Shared Vacation Ownership Report from the ARDA International Foundation (AIF) conducted by Oxford Economics and Leger, the international timeshare industry is a dynamic industry that spans the globe, and this extensive survey of shared vacation ownership resorts worldwide has once again revealed the industry to be formidable in size, diverse in makeup and optimistic about its future.

With over 5,300 shared vacation ownership resorts in 121 different countries around the world and comprised of more than 527,000 units, the global timeshare industry has become an economic force that is diverse and steadily rising in ownership:

An Economic Force: 


  • Supports nearly 1.3 million jobs; 577,000 direct and 702,000 indirect 
  • Generates $146 billion in economic output; $57 billion directly and $89 billion indirectly 
  • Generates almost $17 billion in taxes 


Steadily Rising Ownership: 


  • Between 2014 and 2015, global sales increased 11.5% from $17.7 billion to $19.7 billion.
  • Average worldwide shared vacation ownership sales price was $18,626 per interval in 2015, representing a 0.5% compound annual worldwide growth rate between 2013 and 2015
  • Global shared vacation ownership occupancy registered 79.4% in 2015, up from 76.4% in 2014


The success of the shared vacation ownership resorts around the world have led to an even more promising future.  The shared vacation industry is on pace to add 91 new properties in 2017 and beyond, which will add nearly 7,300 total units for new investors to enjoy the timeshare industry, no matter where they are located.

 For more details, see ARDA’s infographic and for a copy of the full study, visit


ARDA and ARDA-ROC Celebrate Victories in Florida and South Carolina

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ARDA and ARDA-ROC Celebrate Victories in Florida and South Carolina 


Since its inception, ARDA has been well-known for its tremendous advocacy efforts for the timeshare industry and consumers. These efforts stem from ARDA’s foundation of legislative and regulatory procedures that protect consumers, which were established in the early 1980s. Even before those laws and regulations took effect, the industry saw the importance of having rules and standards to govern themselves by, and took appropriate steps to regulate their own business endeavors. By laying that groundwork, the industry created a product in which consumers are protected and a competitive industry platform was established. This consumer-led approach has built a loyal customer base of more than nine million timeshare owners in the United States alone.

To provide even more consumer focus, the ARDA-Resort Owners’ Coalition (ARDA-ROC) – an alliance of more than 1.6 million timeshare owners, developers and resort managers – was established to advocate for public policy positions that protect the interests of individual timeshare owners, preserve the integrity of vacation products, and enhance the vacation purchase. This alliance has enabled ARDA-ROC to unite owners in support of legislative and regulatory policies that empower the timeshare industry to continue to provide high-quality vacation products that remain accessible and affordable to consumers.

Over the years, ARDA and ARDA-ROC have worked together on numerous pieces of legislation that help protect the consumer, as well as allow the vacation ownership industry to flourish. Recently, the ARDA and ARDA-ROC Government Affairs team has experienced a couple of “big wins” with Florida and South Carolina legislation.


Florida has been a leader in the development of timeshare as a vacation option since the industry’s earliest days. The state has been a bellwether for advancements to the industry’s product, structure and regulation, especially when dealing with lifecycle issues for older resorts.

Dozens of legacy resorts in Florida, and a corresponding estimated 300,000 owners, have timeshare plans that are set to expire within the next few years. In many cases, little or no guidance has been made available to these resorts to continue operation, or simply transition into the next phase of their lifecycle.

The ARDA and ARDA-ROC Government Affairs team worked with government leaders in the state to provide legislation that supports sustainable tools for legacy resorts and their owners. Signed into law on May 23, 2017, the new legislation will allow timeshare Homeowners’ Associations (HOAs) to effectively manage terminated resorts, provide reasonable processes for older resorts to continue to thrive, and clarify the property rights of timeshare owners.

South Carolina 

Timeshare owners in South Carolina felt the need for better consumer protections against deceptive companies, especially within the secondary market. Owners that have fallen victim to these companies are defrauded out of thousands of dollars for services that were never completed. Scams in the timeshare secondary market not only hurt owners, but owners’ associations and damage the credibility of the entire industry as well.

The ARDA-ROC Government Affairs team won the battle for greater protections for South Carolina timeshare owners on May 22, 2017. The new law addresses the deceptive business practices of fraudulent companies by creating a clear standard of business conduct for resale companies in the state, as well as establishing increased contract requirements, escrow protections, and enforcement provisions for offenders.

This win adds to ARDA-ROC’s history of success in resale and transfer legislation. ARDA-ROC has also introduced, passed, or supported resale and transfer company legislation in Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Continued Advocacy 

ARDA and ARDA-ROC continue to make advocacy for owners and the industry a top priority and work tirelessly to ensure that the vacation ownership product and the competitive landscape it is within remain protected.

For more information on ARDA and ARDA-ROC’s Government Affairs wins, visit

The Timeshare Industry: Sharing Economy Trendsetter

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 The Timeshare Industry: Sharing Economy Trendsetter 

 In the quest for younger buyers, let’s remind them that timeshare was the original sharing economy product.  

sharing economy blog image 

As the market opportunity for new buyers shifts to younger millennials, it may be time to capitalize on what they already know and embrace: the sharing economy. Timeshare is the original product in today’s popular sharing economy. This phenomenon is defined as an economic model in which individuals are able to borrow or rent assets owned by someone else. Some of the sharing economy brands that might pop into your head right away are Uber, Lyft or Airbnb – but none of these businesses can say they were the first.

Not only was the timeshare industry the first but it also remains the best shared economy product in the hospitality industry. According to Gail Mandel, president and CEO of Wyndham Destination Network, “Travelers booking through peer-to-peer listing sites (like Airbnb or HomeAway) have virtually no guarantees about what they will find upon arrival, who their hosts are, and if the properties meet safety and cleanliness standards”

In fact, a recent study by Hotel News Now revealed that 67.6% of users don't trust renting a room in someone else's house. Of course, this isn’t the case with timeshare—our resorts pride themselves on providing guests the highest quality services and luxurious amenities. Timeshare brands have built strong reputations through reviews, photos, complete information, responsive platforms and a coherent and steady on-line presence.

And now with timeshare owners becoming younger (30% of new owners are millennials), a sharing economy is something they can relate to, helping change the perception of what a “normal” timeshare owner may look like. The timeshare and exchange model is actually quite appealing to millennials, which makes sense when you think about the fact that they are more interested in travel and experiences than past generations and are already so comfortable with different sharing economy businesses, according to Mandel.

Focusing on the new generation of timeshare owners through something that they are already very familiar with can help to attract new, younger families to invest in timeshare. And with using the clear advantages the industry has over peer-to-peer rentals timeshare can capitalize even further on being in the shared economy – which it has been doing ever since the beginning.


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