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 Chief Operating Officer James S. Olin had been promoted to the additional title of executive vice president. The company also announced that Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Frederick L. Farmer had been promoted to executive vice president and named president of ResortQuest Technologies, the company`s newly formed e-commerce division.
“These promotions recognize the outstanding efforts of both executives over the past year,” said David Levine, ResortQuest chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Both have played key roles in our strong internal growth in 2000, which has allowed us to meet consensus analyst expectations year-to-date, and exceed them in the last two quarters.”
Olin is responsible for overseeing the company`s 42 vacation rental and real estate locations across North America, as well as further integrating and enhancing the company`s operations. “Jim`s leadership and expertise played a key role in our achieving record third quarter results, as same-store, company-wide gross lodging revenues grew 10.2 percent,” Levine said.
Previously, Olin was president of ResortQuest`s Abbott Resorts, based in Destin, Fla., and also served as regional vice president for ResortQuest`s Gulf Coast region, covering 14 resort areas along Florida`s Gulf Coast. He holds a bachelor`s degree from Florida International University in Miami and a master`s degree from Florida State in Tallahassee. He is a member of the national Vacation Rental Managers Association and a founding board member of the Florida Vacation Rental Managers Association.
Farmer, who joined ResortQuest in 1998 as senior vice president and chief information officer, has led the company`s technology efforts, including the development of the company`s state-of-the-art web site, www.resortquest.com. The web site generated more than 30 million page visits in 2000, up 61 percent from the previous year, and currently accounts for approximately 10 percent of the brand`s vacation rental bookings, which is approximately four times the lodging industry average.
“We now plan to enhance our technology leadership role by expanding our technology products and services to the rest of the vacation rental industry,” Levine said. “To that end, we have formed ResortQuest Technologies, a new division.
“Fred currently is overseeing development of two new products,” Levine noted. “We are developing a new state-of-the-art platform for First Resort Software, the industry`s leading vacation rental property management software package. First Resort Software is used by more than 800 vacation rental companies today. We will roll out the first major phase of the new product in March 2001.”
Levine said that Farmer also is creating the first seamless, real-time booking engine, capable of working with all the industry`s major inventory management software and the major travel portals on the Internet. This booking engine will be the cornerstone of the industry`s first “central reservation” system. “There currently is no other company or technology in a position to aggregate the national vacation rental inventory. ResortQuest is the only company in the industry with such a broad-based real-time booking capability and the technological capability to deliver this inventory to the major travel portals. Working with on-line portals, we intend to use alliances with other vacation rental companies to provide them the expertise, technology and distribution reach. Our goal is to create a one-stop shopping location for vacation resorts across North America, which we believe will have a major impact on the demand side of our industry.”
Farmer`s background includes both technical support and application development for Fortune 500 companies. Prior to joining ResortQuest, he was vice president of Internet services for Marriott International. Farmer, who specialized in creating large on-line systems, worked on demand deposit accounting systems for Bank of America, which became the foundation for their ATM network. At Fireman`s Fund Insurance Co., he helped develop the industry`s first on-line commercial insurance quote/rate/ policy issuance system. He holds a BA in mathematics from LaSalle University in Philadelphia.