Posted on November 12, 2021
Timeshare vacations have been promoted for years as a way to escape, disconnect and relax, but life can sometimes intrude on your plans for a getaway. Because of technology, it can be tough to completely disconnect if your vacation collides with that big deal you’re working on. So, is it reasonable to be able to mix business with pleasure at a timeshare resort?
That same technology which makes it difficult to disconnect also makes it easy to parachute in for a quick update or upload if you need to, as timeshare resorts migrate to a more technology-friendly environment.
It was only a few years ago that timeshare management personnel were still debating whether they should provide high speed Wi-Fi, not to mention making it free to guests. Granted, many of these managers were looking after older legacy resorts with tight budgets and the need to generate onsite revenue.
Now, with resorts emerging from the effects of the COVID shutdowns, meeting the technology needs of vacationers has never been more important.
Getting Americans to use their allotted vacation days has been a challenge for years, even though COVID has led people to reevaluate their need for a getaway.
Prior to the pandemic in 2019, only 30 percent of Americans used all of their vacation days according to a recent Priceline survey. Even during last year’s shutdowns, it only dropped to 21 percent. Many felt they needed to save their time in case they got sick or that they were too busy to take time off.
A promising trend from the survey was that regret for not taking more vacation time leaped from 21 percent of respondents in 2019 to 54 percent in 2020.
So, while COVID has been a disaster for the tourism industry, the short-term effect coming out of the pandemic is pointing to a resurgence in leisure travel. This should provide a big boost to accommodation operators as we head into the holidays.
One look at the Q3 earnings reports from timeshare companies supports the bounce back of the timeshare sector. Bluegreen Vacations’ third quarter timeshare sales exceeded its pre-pandemic 2019 sales for the same quarter. Hilton came very close even though its acquisition of Diamond Resorts pushed them over the top. Wyndham has reported that “bookings at our vacation ownership resorts for the remainder of the year are ahead of 2019 levels.”
Vacationers are clearly traveling to timeshares, but can they mix business with pleasure while at the resort?
Even though business travel shut down last year and workers zoomed into their meetings, there seems to be a move back toward face-to-face encounters as people missed the interactions.
We have witnessed this at the annual convention of the American Resort Development Association in June in Orlando, and again last week as ARDA members gathered for its Fall Conference in Washington, D.C.
Timeshare executives were excited to get together again and work on ways to grow and improve the industry. But this comes amid a backdrop of reduced business travel, as travel for the overall business community is not expected to return to normal until 2024. A good article on Forbes.com outlines the factors pinning down business travel.
So, what is a worker to do?
Fortunately for the timeshare industry, there has been an emphasis on expanding into urban destinations. Places like New York City, Boston, Washington, D.C., Miami, New Orleans, Austin, Chicago, Phoenix, San Diego and San Francisco all have accommodation options as part of timeshare programs.
Exchange companies also have accommodations in their networks beyond timeshare, so members can often access hotels in areas where they may need to conduct business during vacation.
Assess where your business requirements may take you and whether you need to schedule a meeting in a certain location. Then check the vacation activities in the area and if you want to invest vacation time. COVID restrictions may come into play, but look at the overall experience and check on the availability of a timeshare in your destination.
As we’ve seen over the past two years, technology has allowed us to work from just about anywhere. Not sure if I’d test this theory on an African safari, but you get the idea.
Some of our most popular timeshare resorts which support business activities are:
Wyndham Nashville – in the heart of this Country Music capital and down the road from the Grand Ol’ Opry, Wyndham Nashville offers complimentary Wi-Fi in suites as well as public areas, 24/7 front desk service and a business center with computer stations.
Marriott's Grand Chateau – had to mention Las Vegas in here somewhere, especially with the city’s emphasis on resurrecting its conference industry. Wi-Fi is complimentary in suites and public areas, as is the valet parking – a nice touch for visiting clients. Business center has copy and fax service, overnight delivery service and even a notary.
Marriott's Newport Coast Villas – one of the Grande Dames of the Marriott timeshare network, the resort is near Los Angeles but with easy access to San Diego. Have your business “meeting” at the Pelican Hill Golf Club about a mile away. Provides complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the resort as well as onsite parking at no charge. Business center has copy and fax service.
Wyndham Midtown 45 at New York City – just a few blocks from the Chrysler Building and Grand Central Station, you will be perfectly positioned for business in any part of the City. Wi-Fi is complimentary for its basic service, but Enhanced Wi-Fi comes with a cost. Business center has copy and fax service and the property offers private meeting spaces.
Wyndham Canterbury at San Francisco – a great downtown location just a couple of blocks from Union Square, this classic property has been a fixture in town for over 70 years. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available but there is a cost for Enhanced High-Speed Wi-Fi. Business Center is available with computer stations, printer, fax and copy service. Property has 24/7 front desk service.
While everyone has a different view on how much business is appropriate during a vacation, there are areas of agreement and aspects to plan for when preparing a trip.
Because timeshares are so vacation focused, you may own one or be a member of a vacation club and not even make the connection that you can use it during business.
Points or vacation club members have flexibility where they can break up their allotment of points to use in shorter stays, giving you the option of long weekend getaways that can be planned around a business meeting.
Some programs let you use points beyond their timeshares. Hilton Grand Vacations is one, letting you use your Hilton timeshare points in its Hilton Honors program so you can expand your accommodation choices to Hilton hotels.
If you have trouble taking time off because of business responsibilities, think outside the box on this one. If you have questions about how to use your ownership, you can leave us a message by clicking here or by calling 877-624-6889 and one of our licensed agents can help.