News for the Hospitality Executive
|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,"
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.
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