Hotel Online  Special Report


 Orange Lake Resort's Charles K. Swan III Steps Down; Former CEO
of both Trendwest Resorts and Hilton Grand Vacations Company
Don Harrill Named to Succeed


ORLANDO, FL -- September 19, 2005 - Orange Lake Resort & Country Club, the world's largest single-site timeshare resort, has announced the departure of its longtime president, Charles K. "Charlie" Swan III, renowned among his peers for keeping the privately held resort among the industry's top competitors, even as huge hotel chains have entered the field.

Spence Wilson, Chairman of the Board and a member of Orange Lake's Memphis-based founding family, says, "The pending completion of our newest $50 million development project, River Island, culminates years of ambitious growth and expansion, and Charlie has told us that he believes he's accomplished his objectives here and would like to pursue other career goals and new business challenges." 

Stepping in as Orange Lake President and CEO is Don Harrill, former president and CEO of both Trendwest Resorts and Hilton Grand Vacations Company, where he led the company's financial turnaround and developed and implemented their mixed-use hotel-timeshare resort strategy.

Charlie Swan joined Orange Lake in 1991, when Orange Lake had just 740 timeshare villas and suites on its vast acreage in Kissimmee, just four miles west of Walt Disney World® Resort. Today, the resort sweeps across 1,250 acres, with four golf courses, eight pools, seven restaurants, and more than 2,000 villas and suites set in three distinct villages. The resort is a major Central Florida employer, with some 1,500 employees and has more than 96,000 owners from 120 countries.

Wilson says, "Charlie has shown a relentless and unparalleled commitment to excellence and has provided innovative leadership in developing the outstanding amenities we have at Orange Lake today. The master planning, design and completion of our new recreation complex at River Island-the largest of its kind in the industry-is perhaps one of his very finest achievements."

Don Harrill entered the timeshare industry after more than 20 years with Hilton Hotels Corporation. There he rose from general manager of Hilton Franchise Hotels in Florida and Michigan to become regional senior vice president for all Hilton's franchise hotel operations in the Southeastern U.S., then executive vice president of the corporation's $600 million Hilton Inns, Inc. and its 225-hotel franchise network. There he introduced new brand, product and service guidelines that earned his organization the top industry ranking among all hotel franchise systems for four straight years.

A member of board of directors of the 1,000-member American Resort Development Association, Don is also a member of the Urban Land Institute and the American Hotel & Motel Association. He studied Hotel Management at St. Petersburg Community College, Business and Hotel Administration at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and is a graduate of the Executive Management Program at Harvard Business School. 

Wilson says, "Our industry is changing rapidly, and Don's depth and breadth of experience will enable us to ensure that Orange Lake continues to keep pace with those changes and remains a leader."


Candice Miller
Orange Lake Resort & Country Club
Phone: 407-905-1929
Web Site:

Also See: Trendwest Resorts Building $56 million Vacation Ownership Resort in Indio, California / February 2004
Cendant Timeshare Resort Group and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Creating new Timeshare Curriculum at the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration; Available to Students in the Fall of 2006 / September 2005

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