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Citing a Lack of Potential Buyers, Starwood Vacation Ownership Closes its Sales Department at Sheraton's 
Vistana Resort at the World Golf Village 
By Earl Daniels, The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News 

Aug. 25--Citing a lack of potential buyers, the owner of the time-share complex at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine recently closed its sales and marketing department, according to Dave Matheson, a spokesman for Starwood Vacation Ownership, owner of Sheraton's Vistana Resort at the World Golf Village. 

As a result, 22 Vistana Resort employees were laid off. 

"There were just not enough people for us to keep a sales team there," Matheson said. 

He said the closure of the sales and marketing department does not impact the operations of the 102-unit Vistana resort. 

Matheson said the company is assisting employees with getting jobs at other resort properties that the company owns. He said it is uncertain how long the sales and marketing department will remain closed. 

Sheraton's Vistana Resort at 
World Golf Village 
St. Augustine, Florida 
Vistana Resort is one of several components at the World Golf Village located at Interstate 95 and International Golf Parkway in St. Johns County. 

Bruce Lucker, chief operating officer of the village, said the time-share is just one product offered by the World Golf Village and the closing of one marketing department will be inconsequential to its other operations. 

"No one will notice," he said. 

Lucker said the resort hotel has enjoyed 90 percent occupancy and July was the best sales month for homes there since the World Golf Village opened in May 1998. 

The village is also the site of the World Golf Hall of Fame and Museum, an IMAX theater, retail center, hotel and the St. Johns County Convention Center. Two golf courses, the King & the Bear and the Slammer & Squire, have opened there. Also, there has been the construction of residential development, such as townhouses and single-family houses. 

Vistana had plans to build 408 time-share units that would consist of 12 buildings. Now, there are four buildings that make up the portfolio of buildings, which represents 25 percent of the company's initial plans at the World Golf Village. 

The Vistana units, which are rented on a nightly basis, maintain an 85 percent occupancy, according to Matheson. 

He said about 35 percent of the units have been sold as time-shares. 

-----To see more of The Florida Times-Union, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to 

(c) 2001, The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, Fla. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News. HOT, IMAX, 


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