LAS VEGAS, April 16 , 1998 - Cloobeck Enterprises today announced the formation of WorldStar Resorts, LLC, a leading developer, marketer and operator of vacation ownership resort properties in the United States. The new entity was formed through the contributions of certain assets by Cloobeck Enterprises and its affiliates, Starwood Capital Group, LLC and a group of private investors. Cloobeck Enterprises, which through its 100% ownership of Polo Resorts, Inc. and International Resort Group, Inc. has become the leading developer and marketer and operator of vacation ownership resorts in Las Vegas, contributed with its affiliates certain assets, including assets of its Polo Resorts, Inc. and International Resort Group, Inc. and certain of their interests related to its resorts, Polo Towers and Jockey Club, and all related time-share businesses to the newly formed entity. Greenwich-based Starwood Capital is a private real estate investment firm.
Stephen J. Cloobeck R.R.P., Co-Chief Executive Officer, stated, "The emergence of WorldStar Resorts has created a leading organization focused exclusively on the acquisition and development of upscale vacation ownership resorts. The time-share industry's current favorable trends has set an ideal environment for a company as focused and experienced as ours to succeed. These trends include the significant sales growth rates, growing number of owners, exceptional developmental unit economics and the fragmentation of the market. We are pleased to have Starwood Capital as a partner. In addition to the financial and management support, they bring substantial access to time share opportunities and synergies with other Starwood Capital affiliated entities such as Troon Golf, a leading operator of high-end golf courses in the United States."
Jon R. Simon, a former Partner with KPMG in its National Vacation Ownership Consulting Group, will be joining WorldStar Resorts as Co-Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Simon noted, "With a compound annual sales growth rate of approximately 16% since 1980, the time-share business is one of the fastest growing segments of the travel, leisure and entertainment industry. This presents us with a unique opportunity to utilize our management team's operational, financial and industry expertise to establish our company as a premier time-share operation."
WorldStar Resorts is seeking to establish itself as a leader in vacation ownership. The company initially intends to acquire and begin developing a diversified network of high-end, upscale, major destination ownership resorts with a focus on providing owners with access to the highest quality amenities available. The company's initial plans include the development of three to four beach, golf and mountain skiing resorts in the Western and Eastern United States.
WorldStar's management team will be led by Stephen J. Cloobeck, 36, Co- Chief Executive Officer; and Jon R. Simon, 37, Co-Chief Executive Officer. Messrs. Cloobeck and Simon will jointly operate the company with Mr. Cloobeck's emphasis placed on the marketing, sales, construction and operations of the company's time-share activities and Mr. Simon's focus on the acquisition, development, finance and treasury functions of the company.
The company currently employs more than 500 other personnel in various other functions. Mr. Cloobeck, an 18-year veteran of the vacation ownership industry, formerly served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the former Cloobeck Enterprises, Polo Resorts, Inc., and International Resort Group, Inc. prior to its transformation to WorldStar Resorts. Mr. Cloobeck has been involved in the development and operation of both the Jockey Club and the Polo Towers, since their inceptions in 1981 and 1991, respectively. During his tenure in both positions, he was instrumental in the company's extraordinary operational and financial performance as the leading vacation ownership resort in Las Vegas. Mr. Cloobeck is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Nevada Hotel Motel Association, Chairman of the Las Vegas Strip Beautification Committee, is a member of the Chairmen's League of ARDA and is a Registered Resort Professional.
Mr. Simon is recognized as one of the leading authorities in the vacation ownership industry in the country today. In addition to having an intimate knowledge of the vacation ownership industry, Mr. Simon also holds considerable experience in development and structuring acquisition services for the hospitality and resort industry. He is a Trustee and serves as a member of the Board of ARDA.
The company noted that the consulting services of Lexus Capital led by Jim Broughton, Chief Executive Officer, was instrumental in helping to bring Cloobeck Enterprises and Starwood Capital Group together to form WorldStar Resorts.
Las Vegas-based Cloobeck Enterprises, through its 100% ownership of Polo Resorts, Inc. and International Resort Group, Inc. has become the leading developer, marketer and operator of vacation ownership resorts in Las Vegas with more than 42% of the city's market share. WorldStar Resorts is a developer, marketer and operator of vacation ownership resorts in the United States. The company's principal operations consist of marketing and selling vacation ownership intervals, commonly known as time-shares.