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Marriott to Purchase Starwood Hotels

The travel industry is abuzz with the news today of a merger between two vacation titans and rivals. Marriott International is purchasing Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide creating the largest hotel chain in the world.
Marriott brands include The Ritz Carlton, Courtyard, Residence Inn and Fairfield Inn and Suites, just to name a few. Swimming PoolMarriott currently has over 4,300 properties in 85 countries. Acquiring the 1,270 properties that Starwood manages in over 100 countries will increase Marriott’s worldwide presence. Starwood property brands include Sheraton, Westin, and St. Regis.
Already announced earlier this year, Starwood is moving forward with plans to separate their vacation ownership business into a separate entity known as Vistana Vacation LandscapeSignature Experiences, so their timeshare resorts will not be included as part of the deal with Marriott. At the end of October, plans were revealed for Interval Leisure Group to acquire Vistana, with the transaction expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2016. Interval Leisure Group operates Interval International and Trading Places International.

We will be watching for updates and further details for both of these Starwood sales. And we can’t help but think that this news is a good reminder that the only constant in life is change!

New Timeshares at Steamboat Sheraton Resort

Sheraton SteamboatNew timeshare units might be on their way in Steamboat Springs at Sheraton’s resort in Colorado. Starwood Hotels and Resorts, who owns Steamboat Sheraton, announced that the company is deciding whether to dedicate the new units at Steamboat to being timeshare villas.

In the same announcement, Starwood said they are also looking at turning five other properties into timeshares. The move to vacation ownership comes from the high revenues produced by Starwood’s other timeshare properties. If the trend continues, new timeshare resorts could prove to be very lucrative for the company.

The timeshare resorts are ran by Starwood Vacation Ownership, which already manages 22 timeshare hotels internationally. In 2014, Starwood Vacation Ownership made $640 million in revenue. That number has enticed Starwood to look at expanding their timeshare reach.

construction craneSteamboat Sheraton seems like a great place to start. Steamboat Springs is already a popular tourist town, well built for timeshare owners. Since Starwood’s acquisition of the property in 2007, they have already expanded the two- and three-bedroom villas, and put another $16 million into resort renovations in 2013, presumably preparing to expand the resort’s timeshare offerings.

Currently, Steamboat Sheraton contains 287 units, including 22 condominiums and 21 timeshare units. Word on how many new units will be at the resort has yet to be revealed.

Starwood Hotels is serious about expanding their timeshare options. They have recently built new units at their Mexico and Kauai, Hawaii resorts, and have discussed building new resorts across the country, but nothing official has been released yet.

colorado mountainThe evolution of luxury resorts into timeshare villas is a trend that has become more and more prevalent across the country as demand for vacation ownership properties grow. Although not all timeshare resorts are created equal, a smart timeshare resale purchase can be a long-term investment as desire for timeshare properties grows.

This is exciting news for the timeshare industry. We will follow Steamboat Sheraton closely, as well as other Starwood resorts for new updates on their timeshare exploits.