The Concepts & History of Timeshare...
The multiple ownership of individual weeks brought with it the guarantee of reservations for those who wanted to ski in the area. It was an immediate
success. By the 1970's some faltering condominium projects in St. Thomas, Fort Lauderdale and Puerto Rico were converted over to vacation
ownership and thereafter timesharing became a viable vacation alternative.
Once the United States embraced the concept of vacation ownership it began to gain wide acceptance by the public. Sales jumped to over 50 million
by the mid 1970's and has climbed to more than 2 billion annually today. Vacation ownership has enjoyed substantial growth over the years with
approximately 3.3 million timeshares sold since 1980. Currently there are over 5,000-vacation ownership resorts in over 75 countries around the world.
Exchanging a vacation ownership week in one resort for that of another resort was introduced in 1974 and thereafter timesharing offered variety and
flexibility in the vacation experience. Although there are many exchange companies available, which provide excellent service, the two major forces
are Resort Condominiums International (RCI) which has approximately 3,250 member resorts and Interval International (II) with approximately 1,600
member resorts. Combined, these two companies provided over 1,600,000 exchanges last year.
During a 30 year span, the industry has grown from small (15-20 unit ) hotel conversions to the high quality condominium resorts of today. The
evolution of the industry from scattered entrepreneurs to well managed professional development companies has brought with it a noticeable change
for the better. Definitive leaders have emerged and created standards and ethics for management, marketing and sales practices. One such
organization is the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) who's members are required to comply with the established "Code of Ethics."
The recent entrance into the marketplace by major hospitality chains such as Disney, Hilton, Ramada, and