LAS VEGAS—April 4, 2003—Marriott Vacation Club International (MVCI), the recognized worldwide leader in the vacation ownership industry and a division of Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE:MAR), and vacation ownership pioneer, Diamond Resorts International (DRI) announced today the formation of a development and sales and marketing alliance for timeshare resorts in Las Vegas.
The initial focus of this relationship is to market and sell the remaining inventory within Polo Towers which will remain under the Diamond Resorts brand, in addition to a joint venture to develop DRI`s previously announced, “Chateau” resort. This vacation ownership property will be a Marriott Vacation Club-branded resort offering 840 currently approved one-, two- and three-bedroom villas in four 33-story towers. The “Chateau” will be located adjacent to Polo Towers and nestled between the Aladdin and MGM Grand hotels. In concert with the growing trend of Las Vegas themed-resorts, the “Chateau” will exude the Art Nouveau grandeur of late nineteenth century Europe, and will establish a new level of luxury not only within Las Vegas, but within the vacation ownership industry.
“We have long viewed Las Vegas as a dynamic destination and one that will be a complement to our extensive portfolio. Recognizing the interest expressed by many of our owners, Las Vegas is already established as a high demand choice for both purchasers and exchangers”, said Stephen P. Weisz, president of Marriott Vacation Club International. “By combining the talents and resources of both companies, we will have a significant advantage in this competitive market.”
“As one of the most successful independent developers for nearly 25 years, we see Las Vegas approaching a period of consolidation, combined with an ever increasing presence of branded developers. Although we have enjoyed phenomenal success, we see this alliance as the catalyst to power forward our dominant position in the Southern Nevada market for years to come” stated Stephen J. Cloobeck, RRP, chairman and CEO, DRI.
“We have worked diligently for many years to grow a company from a few employees to a family that now numbers over 800. We have witnessed first hand and in fact have been an integral part of the transformation of Las Vegas from a sleepy desert vacation spot, into a world class resort destination. This alliance provides for the perfect marriage of the Las Vegas entrepreneurial spirit of the past, with the distinct advantages associated with one of the worlds most recognizable and respected brands, for the future,” stated Robert C. Wengel, RRP - President / COO, DRI.
“Additionally, we are pleased to have Bob Wengel join Marriott Vacation Club International to oversee our Southern Nevada operations. His involvement in DRI from its genesis is an invaluable asset,” continued Weisz.
Under the terms of the alliance, MVCI will assume control of certain DRI assets including some fixed assets and the current marketing and sales platforms. Both resort companies will continue their membership with the global exchange company, Interval International.
The relationship will continue to actively pursue future development opportunities. Furthermore, the alliance will not affect other Diamond Resorts properties in Las Vegas, Hawaii and other locations where DRI operates.
Diamond Resorts International has been involved in developing, marketing and managing vacation ownership resorts, primarily in Las Vegas, for nearly 25 years. Over 40,000 families have purchased ownership intervals at DRI resorts. Long recognized as the vacation ownership pioneer, DRI began in the late 1970s with the conversion to timeshare of the Jockey Club, a 348-unit high-rise condominium complex on the Las Vegas Strip. In the early 1990s, after successfully converting and selling out the Jockey Club, the company began developing Polo Towers the first purpose-built vacation ownership resort on the Strip. Polo Towers boasts 512 luxury vacation ownership suites and villas, located right in the heart of the “Miracle Mile” of the fabulous Las Vegas Strip. In 1999, DRI purchased 23 units in the 130-unit Kona Reef Resort on the Big Island of Hawaii. In 2002, DRI announced plans to develop the Chateau, a $300-million 33 story 4 tower purpose-built vacation ownership resort with approximately 868 one, two and three bedroom villas. It is also a developer of record for the 175-unit Carriage House, located one block off the Strip in Las Vegas.
Based in Orlando, Fla., MVCI has more than 215,000 families in the United States and 143 countries who own their vacations “the Marriott way” through a program which is well regarded for its quality management and unique flexibility. Marriott vacation owners enjoy usage options to exchange with priority to other MVCI resorts, trade for Marriott Rewards points redeemable for diverse travel awards or exchange within Interval International’s system of nearly 1,900 resorts in more than 75 countries. For more information, please call (800) 332-1333 or visit www.marriottvacationclub.com.