Holiday Inn Club Vacations Marks One Year Anniversary
Strategic alliance between IHG and Orange Lake Resorts is bright spot in timeshare industry
November 11, 2009 // Franchising.com // ATLANTA - Holiday Inn Club Vacations, launched in 2008 at IHG's Annual Investors' and Leadership Conference, is now, just one year later, proving to be a successful "tale of two systems." The new timeshare brand, formed as a strategic alliance between IHG and Orange Lake Resorts, operates using a fresh business model previously unseen among major players in the timeshare industry that allowed Holiday Inn Club Vacations to enter the industry at an advantage.
"This is the tale of two systems coming together to create a better timeshare business model," said Christian Hempell, vice president, New Business Delivery, the Americas, IHG. "The unique nature of the two-system alliance means that we at IHG can concentrate on promoting the timeshare resorts through the power of Priority Club Rewards and our world-class distribution channels. Orange Lake can capitalize on their 30 years of proven timeshare success in the top leisure market in the U.S., one of the strongest management teams in the timeshare industry, and their strong balance sheet with existing capital to invest in growth. By focusing on the strengths of publicly-traded IHG and privately-held Orange Lake Resorts, we've made Holiday Inn Club Vacations an industry success story."
As some timeshare companies are forced to temporarily halt growth and reduce sales staff in a challenging time for the industry, Holiday Inn Club Vacations remains a bright spot. Several success measures point to the strength of the alliance, including a new call transfer system introduced by IHG that has delivered approximately 1,000 phone calls per day to Orange Lake Resorts from guests interested in learning more about vacation ownership. An additional 5,000 guests are expected to tour Holiday Inn Club Vacations resorts in 2010, representing a new pool of potential timeshare owners. As the primary method for garnering sales, these tours provide an opportunity for prospective owners to truly gain an understanding of the value and benefits of Holiday Inn Club Vacations timeshare ownership. Orange Lake Resorts has seen a 14% increase in tours since the launch of Holiday Inn Club Vacations, more than half of which is attributed to IHG channels. Additionally, instead of making staff cuts, Orange Lake Resorts has hired an impressive 700 employees year to date.
"It's been an exciting year for us, and we've not even seen the full impact that we expect as a result of our alliance," said Don Harrill, president and CEO, Orange Lake Resorts. "Next year, we'll welcome thousands more guests to our resort destinations who are being introduced to Holiday Inn Club Vacations-and for some, timeshare-for the very first time. We are proud to present a product that can enhance vacation lifestyles for more families, with a brand that's known and trusted worldwide."
Contributing to the success of Holiday Inn Club Vacations is the global brand relaunch currently underway for Holiday Inn. As the global relaunch, the largest in the history of the hospitality industry, improves the consistency of the more than 3,200 Holiday Inn hotels across the globe, Holiday Inn Club Vacations stands to benefit from an even bigger boost in consumer confidence from its association with the Holiday Inn brand family.
Holiday Inn Club Vacations grew from one resort to six in just over three months, and Orange Lake's acquisition in April 2009 of resorts in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Gatlinburg, Tenn., serves as a testament to the solid foundation of the alliance. The unique structure of the alliance allowed IHG to enter the timeshare industry purely through an exclusive licensing and marketing agreement with no capital investment. Orange Lake will continue to own and operate these resorts as a privately held company.
The Holiday Inn Club Vacations brand is built upon both companies' shared vision for growth. The brand is seeking opportunities to expand in top North American destinations like Las Vegas and Hawaii, in order to build a strong presence in the Western half of the U.S. Orange Lake also has the potential to develop up to 2,500 more timeshare villas at the Orlando location.
About Holiday Inn Club Vacations
Holiday Inn Club Vacations was created in September 2008 as a strategic alliance between IHG, the world's largest hotel company, and Orange Lake Resorts, a leader within the timeshare industry with more than 25 years of proven success. Holiday Inn Club Vacation's flagship property in Orlando, located next to Walt Disney World® Resort, was established in 1982 by Holiday Inn founder Kemmons Wilson. A 1,450-acre golf, water park and sports resort, Holiday Inn Club Vacations at Orange Lake Resort includes 2,478 villas and plans for expansion to 4,500 villas. Other member resort locations include Lake Geneva, Wis., Panama City, Fla. Brownsville, Vt., Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Gatlinburg, Tenn.
Through IHG's guest loyalty program, Priority Club® Rewards, guests renting villas will earn Priority Club points during their stays at Holiday Inn Club Vacations, which they can redeem for free nights at IHG properties or exchange for merchandise and special experiences. Holiday Inn Club members enjoy access to Holiday Inn Club Vacations resorts and IHG's network of more than 4,300 hotels worldwide. Holiday Inn Club Vacations will continue to expand their Member Resorts to top North American destination locations.
Caroline Sanfilippo, IHG, email@example.com, +1(770) 604-2495 Stacey Sutherland, Orange Lake Resorts, firstname.lastname@example.org, +1(407) 905-1914
Notes to Editors:
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is the world's largest hotel group by number of rooms. IHG owns, manages, leases or franchises, through various subsidiaries, nearly 4,400 hotels and over 640,000 guest rooms in 100 countries and territories around the world. The Group owns a portfolio of well recognized and respected hotel brands including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites® and Candlewood Suites® and also manages the world's largest hotel loyalty program, Priority Club® Rewards with 47 million members worldwide.
IHG has 1,500 hotels in its development pipeline, which will create 140,000 jobs worldwide over the next few years.
InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group's holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales.