>> EASTERN USA TIMESHARE NEWS:
ORLANDO: You already knew that Summer Bay Resorts changed its name last May, right? The company is now EXPLORIA RESORTS, and its Orlando property has been rebranded Summer Bay Orlando, By EXPLORIA RESORTS. And they’ve got Gatlinburg Town Square by EXPLORIA RESORTS; Crown Pointe Links by EXPLORIA RESORTS, etc. Get the picture?
Well, Exploria nee Summer Bay has really been on the move, getting BIGGER. They’ve recently purchased two oceanfront resorts in Florida: Ocean Sands Resort, located in New Smyrna Beach, acquired in August and in September the Grand Seas Resort, located in Daytona Beach (they purchased the Grand Seas out of bankruptcy), and they began major renovation and product development plans at Summer Bay Orlando that include:
- A 2-year renovation project scheduled for completion in 2015. All 500+ units will be completely refurbished. Renovations and refurbishments include flooring, furnishings, lighting, kitchen appliances and countertops, bedding, accessories and bath upgrades.
- Buccaneer Bay Adventure Park, a pirate themed outdoor adventure park featuring family-friendly experiences including a floating dock with bumper boats, a rock climbing wall, zip lines, bungee jumping, a “Wipe-Out” style inflatable zone, a food & beverage outlet, shaded seating, and an integrated Kids’ Interactive Water Playground.
- A new state-of-the-art, 10,000 sq. ft. Activities Center is planned to provide activity, gathering and entertainment spaces for every member of vacationing families, scheduled to open in April 2015.
- New Luxury Condo Building – scheduled to open in spring of 2015. Features of this new, 6-story luxury high-rise condo building will include: forty-five units consisting of 1, 2, 3, and 4-bedroom spacious floor plans, 2 top floors designated as Registry Collection, RCI’s highest product offering; All units will feature numerous upgrades; Presidential Lounge with rooftop observation deck; Full Service Spa with Fitness Center
To support the anticipated growth, a new Marketing Call Center and new Sales Centers are being established to support the existing sales and marketing operations based in both Orlando and Gatlinburg.
And now for the pièce de résistance. Exploria has introduced its newest vacation product, Club Exploria which company executives say provides members direct access to a growing portfolio of resort destinations numbering more than 25 at the time of launch with an additional 4000+ offered through RCI.
At the heart of Club Exploria is the EXPO, the “multidimensional currency” of the Club. Club Exploria members will use their EXPOs for resort stays at resort and hotel destinations throughout the world, in addition to other vacation and travel related benefits including car rentals, cruises, airline tickets, local attractions, excursions, golf, shopping, gift cards and other benefits. It sounds like instead of spending “points” in this club, members will be spending “Expos” — a kind of digital “scrip”?
So what we’re talking about here at its core appears to be the opportunity for Exploria to make a ton more money by upgrading current owners/members into a pure Club product that carries extra perks. Is that what it sounds like to you?
Ownership smownership! It’s membership in a club with no real estate ownership interests involved that’s going to carry them forward to glory!
In case anyone is interested, here is the leadership team for EXPLORIA RESORTS: Paul Caldwell, President/CEO; Juan Barillas, Executive VP/COO; Mary Kay Racher, Developer Controller; Santiago Creus, Director, Business Development; Santa Barillas, Director, Sales; Karen Kraftchick, Director Club Operations; Phil Brewer, Director Marketing; Bill Edmonds, Director, Financial Services & Compliance; Pat Cox, HOA Controller; Mario Plasencia, Director, Resort Operations; Celina Hallman, Director, HR.
“If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.” -Alice Roosevelt Longworth
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