Star Resort Group
Star Resort Group delivers results. From the Manhattan Club in New York, with sales over $40 million in sales per year until sell out . . . to generating 904 leads in 8 ½ hours that converted to $51 million in sales over 12 months for Utah’s Mt. Superior Club . . . to $100 million in sales at Durango’s multi-use Purgatory Lodge and The Pinnacle, Star Resort Group plans and manages all the key aspects of your destination’s real estate sales and marketing — to produce bottom-line results for our clients and partner developers.
Brockway Springs, Lake Tahoe CA
The first fee-ownership timeshare project in the world.
Bring to market a concept that had a few early entrants, who sold an unregistered lease product, and to do it right.
Innisfree, the Hyatt subsidiary, was a land developer, so moving over chosen sales personnel to sell timeshare was a hit-and-miss process. Marketing, however, was effective, as it was directed to those who chose not to buy a lot, but wanted immediate use. There was no exchange option at that time.
Star’s principal, Carl Berry, set out on a quest of shared ownership in 1969. By 1972 he had joined the resort development subsidiary of Hyatt Corporation, and got them to agree to try shared ownership. Their project at Lake Tahoe was chosen for the launch. During the ramp-up period, the term “timesharing” was taken from shared mainframe computers, and applied to the new product.
Through Hyatt’s law firm, a California Department of Real Estate public report was issued for timesharing; Title Insurance and Trust agreed to issue a title policy; Placer County agreed to record the interest; AVCO finance agreed to provide buyer financing; and Brockway Springs timesharing came to market in late 1972.
Brockway Springs was a mixed-use project. The small, timeshare test was successful, and all the two-week interests, fixed-time, and fixed-unit product were sold. Families who purchased then still own today.
Manhattan Club, NYC
The largest urban timeshare in the world — developed and sold out in midtown Manhattan.
Take a small corner of the timeshare business to the Big Apple. Star’s principals had developed and sold urban projects in San Francisco and New Orleans, but nothing the size of The Manhattan Club. For over two years the search for the right site continued until we found the original Sheraton flagship hotel, then owned by VMS, on Seventh Avenue between 55th and 56th Streets.
The property was still a hotel, 26 stories high, fronting the full block, with over 900 rooms. The purchase was made and the building vertically split into two condominiums — a timeshare and a hotel.
The timeshare side, on 56th Street was entirely rehabbed into 242 luxury one-bedroom, two-bath units and became The Manhattan Club. During this process the top floor was changed from a ballroom to an owners’ lounge, fitness facility, business center, and conference rooms, while a new lobby was created on 56th Street.
Based on the San Francisco experience, an open, year-round use plan was implemented, with nightly use. To the timeshare marketer, world-class cities are appealing as they draw millions of visitors. However, those visitors are not found in defined areas compared to Orlando or Las Vegas. They are all over the place. So city marketing relies on mini-vacations as the leading program.
Again, from San Francisco experiences, we knew that the primary market was in the tri-state area; those people who came to Manhattan to work, for culture, dining, sports, and shopping. The marketing department was built to roll out a 365-day-a-year sustained mini-vac program. The sales facility was carved out of the building, and in hindsight limited the number of customers to be seen each day — so annual sales averaged in the $40-$45 million range.
The Manhattan Club is sold out. The limit on sales turned into an advantage, as efficiencies were very, very high. Subsequent to the main 242-unit development a series of offices on top of the building were converted into timeshare units that were more luxurious than below, and they sold out to the original owners.
Front Four, Stowe VT
The first building of a new village at the base of the Stowe ski mountain. The resort is owned by AIG.
A mixed-use building comprised of fractions and condo-hotel units that was designed from the ground up with Star guiding the fractional component. AIG was the developer and Destination Hotels the manager for the condo-hotel and fractions. AIG had spent many years meeting Vermont’s tough permitting requirements, and the village’s development would be evidence that their 50-year ownership of Stowe could pay off in more than lift ticket sales.
Star and the condo-hotel company put together separate sales teams in a common facility with cross training and ‘turn-over’ financial incentives for the extensive presale period. The project was late in getting registered in key states, so most leads were generated from skiers on site. Star aggressively solicited customers of the resort through the two-day lodges and the town to Stowe some miles away.
Phase one fractional sales exceeded projections and a conversion rate of seventy [70%] percent was achieved from reservation to hard contract.
Meriwether Ranch, Melrose MT
The first Private Residence Club for the outdoorsman, located on the legendary Big Hole River in Southwestern Montana — offering just 34 building sites in a 720-acre development.
Moving forward the frontiers of fractional ownership.
The developer designed this spectacular site to be environmentally friendly, with 690 acres going into a conservation easement. Two specially designed bridges spanned the Big Hole, gaining the support of local and national environmental organizations. By the time Star came to the project all the infrastructure was in at a very substantial cost.
A homesite event sale was not successful, and through a consultant, fractions were recommended. Star was hired to design and implement the fractional program. The market for blue ribbon, Western Montana fishing is national, so a marketing campaign was designed to reach high-income fishermen via numerous small-circulation fishing and outdoor journals. Award-winning collateral materials were designed to bring reality to the opportunity of ownership on the Big Hole River.
Two residence sizes were designed, 3900 and 2000 square feet respectively, to be sold on a 1/8th and a 1/10th interest basis. The share sizes were to appeal to families and sportsmen sans families.
Design a project for fly fishermen, who have a sophisticated psychographic profile; research a truly segmented national market; and formulate a mini-vacation program where the customer pays $750 plus airfare to visit.
A 34% close on mini-vacation prospects in 2007.
Northstar Club, Northstar-at-Tahoe, Lake Tahoe CA
This 18-unit Private Residence Club has been sold out for 14 years. Located steps from the Northstar gondola, it is at the center of the Northstar resort complex.
“Changing the tire on a car while going 60 mph.”
Star purchased the property in the 1990s, very early in the private residence club world. We designed the product, but halfway through construction we determined that the quality of the product being built was less than the reservation holders expected as presales were made. In those days, there were only the Deer Valley Club and Franz Klammer Lodge to follow, and both those were destination resort areas.
Lake Tahoe, conversely, is a regional resort with many destination attributes. However, like all ski resort areas it’s the winter that sets the pricing and use patterns. That’s where “destination attributes” came into play, as buyers, while coming from the San Francisco Bay Area, also skied at the Aspens, Vails, Park Cities, etc. So, as they purchased they wanted more luxurious units.
Star stopped construction, held the reservation holders under contract, re-designed the project, restarted construction, and sold out while making a profit.
This process demonstrated that Star could remain flexible, read the market, and has the smarts to make mid-stream changes, all the while maintaining marketing and sales discipline.
Purgatory Lodge Durango, CO
The first Private Residence Club and Fractional project at base of Durango Mountain Resort village.
Introduce the first mixed-use building made up of fractional suites and a penthouse level Private Residence Club, and generate the required pre-sales to execute the project.
Star Resort Group worked with Durango Mountain Resort to define the fractional and PRC mix along with use plans and the HOA budget and management plan. Star worked hand-in-hand with the sales team at Durango Mountain Resort to train them in the fractional and PRC product, leveraging their real estate expertise, and prospective buyer contact lists. Star provided all of the marketing planning and execution needed to generate the needed lead flow for the sales team, along with marketing follow up and referral programs to move prospective buyers through the sales process and generate new leads.
As planned, the project sold out over a five year period, generating $100,000,000.