Hotel time shares gain popularity

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Hotel time shares gain popularity
« on: April 21, 2004, 14:49:10 »

The hotel industry is filling rooms as fast as it can build them - in time shares, that is.

Major hotel companies are experiencing sizzling sales success with time shares in vacation hot spots such as Hawaii and Florida, and now in places in between.

Ed Kinney, vice president of corporate affairs and brand awareness for Marriott Vacation Club International in Orlando, Fla., said timeshare sales are the healthiest segment of Marriott International Inc.'s business.

Twenty years ago, the company did $5.4 million in timeshare sales in a year. Now it logs that much every 36 to 37 hours, he said. Last year marked the division's eighth consecutive year of 21 percent revenue growth.

Rose Anne Oberheide from Park Ridge, Ill., is an accountant who crunched the numbers carefully before buying a Marriott Canyon Villa in Phoenix with her husband, Bill.

The Oberheides enjoy traveling, but they like the flexibility and affordability associated with a timeshare over owning a second home somewhere. "It does make sense," Oberheide said, relaxing in one of the hot tubs as her two children played nearby.

Five years ago, 75 percent of the time shares were sold by independent operators. Today, 75 percent are sold by brand-related companies.