At last weeks FractionalSummit in Miami, two members from different destination clubs and two members of private residence clubs answered questions in front of a room of industry professionals.

Elaine Joli, author of the book Vacation Nation, moderated the panel and dug into the motivations and preferences for each of these members.

The four clubs were destination clubs Exclusive Resorts and Equity Estates and residence clubs One Steamboat Place in Steamboat , CO and The Canyons in Park City, UT.

The owners did not disappoint. They were candid in their responses to every question posed to them. Panel members, answered prepared questions covering:

  • Their entry into the shared ownership/use world (most learned of the concept through a friend or associate that was an owner/member);
  • Membership experience (full consensus was very satisfied);
  • What factors triggered their purchasing decision (yes, price was a factor, but surprisingly low on the scale);
  • What services and amenities they liked best (ranged from 24/7 concierge and fitness facility to daily housekeeping);
  • Their sentiments on annual dues (not as bad as some in the audience had feared).

Chip, has been a member of Exclusive Resorts for 3 years and his business partner has been a member for 5 years, so he’d become familiar with the club before he joined. Over the last two years he’d done 11 trips with the club. He joked about a recent “Once in a Lifetime” trip where Exclusive took over a Seabourn Yacht – saying that the average age of passengers must have dropped by about 10 years during that cruise (compared to Seabourn’s own cruises).

Karen had joined Equity Estates in 2008 after starting her research in 2007. She did lots of due diligence, had met the management team and decided she wanted an equity position in her club. Her husband had considered fully owning a vacation home, but in the end they very much preferred the multiple options and locations of joining a club. They also didn’t want to have to go through any exchanges to access those multiple locations, so an equity destination club was the perfect fit for them.

She loved the consistency of the homes. Things like having a Wii games console and an ipod docking station in each one. Or simple things like knowing how to work the standard coffee maker in each home. Before joining she hadn’t realized how much she would appreciate these things, that all lead to relaxing vacations. Having joined on a 15 night membership plan they have already upgraded to 30 nights a year.

One Steamboat Place

Jeff and Maxine are members at One Steamboat Place which just recently opened. Jeff is a property developer, and he appreciated the attention to detail in the construction and finish at One Steamboat. He noted that this attention to detail runs throughout the whole organization. The location was very important for them, right at the base of the mountain in Steamboat Springs. Friends already owned a fractional in steamboat so they were already familiar with the concept and the location.

 

One particularly surprising revelation was the lack of concern about annual dues, which are usually one of the most heavily questioned issues prior to purchase. Maybe this collection of members were unusual, or maybe they just compared this to the much higher cost of fully owning their own property.

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