ResortQuest International, Inc. (NYSE: RZT), the first brand name and online booking service (ResortQuest.com) in vacation condominium and home rentals, sales and property management services, today announced that the company has agreed to acquire Bluebill Companies and certain of its subsidiaries (“Bluebill”), a well-established vacation property management and brokerage company with more than 1,300 managed properties along the southwest coast of Florida, primarily in Bonita Springs, Naples, Ft. Myers Beach and Marco Island.
The acquisition, which is expected to close in October, will be one of ResortQuest`s largest since going public in May 1998. Upon completion of the transaction, ResortQuest will have acquired 18 vacation property management companies since its IPO, aggregating approximately 7,100 units, which represents a 70 percent increase in ResortQuest`s portfolio to more than 17,000 vacation rentals in the U.S. and in Canada.
“Bluebill will substantially increase our reach in the southwest Florida coastal region and complement our existing properties in nearby Sanibel and Captiva,” said David Sullivan, ResortQuest chairman and chief executive officer. “Our total Florida portfolio, which also includes properties in Orlando, Destin, Ft. Myers, Ft. Walton Beach and Okaloosa Island, now comprises approximately 5,000 units. Florida`s Gulf Coast is one of the fastest growing regions in the state and an increasingly popular destination for international travelers.”
Established in 1978, Bluebill is one of the largest and best-known full-service rental property management companies in southwest Florida. Its 1,300 short- and long-term rental units include privately owned homes, beachfront condominiums and golf resort townhomes. In addition to management services, Bluebill has a substantial real estate affiliate.
“Tourism is the number one industry in southwest Florida, generating nearly $3 billion last year in Collier and Lee Counties, where all of these properties are located,” said David Levine, president and chief operating officer. “Bluebill is a well-known and highly regarded company with a strong identity and experienced management team. Our increased penetration in Florida affords us significant opportunities for cost savings, operating synergies and cross-selling, and we`re delighted to add Bluebill to our portfolio.”
“With ResortQuest`s additional resources and national marketing programs, we expect to significantly broaden our customer base and attract increasing numbers of international vacationers looking for a more personal lodging alternative to a hotel,” said Donald Corcelli, Bluebill president.