Fractional Ownership Market Booming

Fractional ownership is appealing to a growing number of vacationers who want
an exclusive home environment where their every need and desire is met—and
The Ritz-Carlton Club is establishing itself as the industry leader in this
niche.“Instead of paying $5 million or more for a home in Aspen, Colo., for
example, this new breed of vacation home owner is purchasing luxury
condominiums at the base of Aspen Highlands for about $300,000 and using it
for four weeks or more a year,” said Bob Phillips, senior vice president of
The Ritz-Carlton Club. “With The Ritz-Carlton Club they also gain the
signature services of a five-star hotel in the comfort of their own
residence.”

Luxury amenities, ease of use, deeded ownership and the backing of major
hotel companies are the primary reasons for the strong growth, according to
industry analysts. At least 158 resort properties worldwide now offer
fractional interests with sales growing to $624.7 million in 2004, as noted by
Ragatz Associates. Mountain resorts are seeing the biggest impact of this
trend. In Aspen alone, there are now 12 fractional properties and these
accounted for nearly 20 percent of all area home sales in 2004.
  The four Ritz-Carlton Club properties led the industry with more than
$140 million in contract sales in 2004 (roughly 23 percent of the industry).
  “Approximately 50 percent of our business results from Members buying
additional interests and referring friends and family,” continued Phillips.
“This indicates an exceptionally high level of satisfaction.”
  Vacationers are drawn to the value of fractional ownership based on actual
usage (typically three to four weeks per year) as well as the “hassle-free”
aspect of owning a second home without having to maintain it. Amenities at
Colorado’s Ritz-Carlton Clubs at Aspen Highlands and Bachelor Gulch include a
personal concierge, twice-daily housekeeping services, ski valet, Ritz Kids
program and a health club and spa. The Clubs will also store Members’ personal
items, and Members enjoy reciprocal use privileges at other Ritz-Carlton Club
locations.
  Jerry McCarthy of Boulder, Colo., a Member of The Ritz-Carlton Club,
Bachelor Gulch sums up the lifestyle, “I enjoy owning a vacation residence
where I don’t have to lift a finger.”


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