Fractional Ownership Market Booming

The Ritz-Carlton Club Recognized as Industry Leader

ASPEN HIGHLANDS and BACHELOR GULCH, Colo., Aug. 25 /PRNewswire/ — 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 has established 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.” See http://www.ritzcarltonclub.com/

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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