Fla., Jan. 25, 2007 - Wyndham Vacation Ownership, the world's largest vacation
ownership company and a member of the Wyndham Worldwide family of companies
(NYSE: WYN), today announced that it has acquired the Grand Beach Palace
resort (formerly the Renaissance Grand Hotel) located on the northeast
side of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, with plans to convert the
property into its flagship Caribbean timeshare resort. Terms of the acquisition
were not disclosed.
The beachfront property, which has remained vacant for more than two
years, will undergo a $40 million renovation including the conversion of
its 290 existing hotel rooms into 143 fully furnished condominium-styled
timeshare units. The resort is expected to welcome its first guests in
late 2008 and will operate within Wyndham Vacation Ownership's FairShare
Plus portfolio of resort properties.
"Wyndham timeshare owners consistently rank St. Thomas among their
top locations for vacationing, and we're tremendously pleased to expand
our presence in the Caribbean with the acquisition and repositioning of
this property as an upscale vacation ownership resort," said Franz Hanning,
Wyndham Vacation Ownership president and chief executive officer. "We look
forward to working closely with Governor deJongh, local planning and development
officials and other leaders throughout the community to complete this exciting
"The reopening of this beachfront property on the East End of St. Thomas
and the planned multi-million dollar renovation is a significant boon for
not only the hospitality industry but for local contractors and development
firms that will likely be called into service as this project takes shape,"
said U.S. Virgin Islands Governor John deJongh. "We welcome the Wyndham
Vacation Ownership brand to the Virgin Islands and look forward to the
high level of service presently provided at another Wyndham brand on St.
Thomas, The Sugar Bay Resort."
newly acquired resort is situated within six hillside and seven poolside
buildings that will be converted into a combination of studio, one-, two-,
and three bedroom condominium-styled units, as well as a select number
of presidential suites. Other amenities include two on-site restaurants,
boat dock, conference area and a nearly 5,000-square-foot beachfront pool
overlooking the picturesque Water Bay harbor. The 25-acre property, which
boasts a thousand-foot stretch of palm-fringed white sand beaches, is located
approximately one mile from the highly popular 300-room Wyndham Sugar Bay
Resort & Spa.
"The upscale design, planned amenities and guest services we envision
for this property will fully complement the neighboring Wyndham Sugar Bay
Resort and Spa," Hanning continued. "Adding a world-class vacation ownership
resort in close proximity to the island's most spectacular resort hotel
will dramatically increase our ability to showcase both properties and
share all that St. Thomas has to offer with thousands of Wyndham hotel
clients and timeshare owners from around the world."
Steven A. Rudnitsky, Wyndham Hotel Group president and chief executive
officer, said the purchase "leverages Wyndham Worldwide's dual competencies
in lodging and vacation ownership" and exemplifies how development of an
upscale vacation ownership property can benefit a nearby hotel under the
"The conversion of the Grand Beach Palace hotel into a first-class
vacation ownership resort will benefit the nearby Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort
and Spa by offering travelers the best of both worlds: a resort hotel for
casual visitors and an upscale vacation ownership destination for those
who chose to make a long-term investment in family getaways," he said.
About Wyndham Vacation Ownership
Wyndham Vacation Ownership is the world's largest vacation ownership
business as measured by the number of vacation ownership resorts, vacation
ownership units and vacation ownership interests. Wyndham Vacation Ownership
includes marketing and sales of vacation ownership interests, property
management services to property owners' associations and development and
acquisition of vacation ownership resorts.
Through its three primary consumer brands, Wyndham Vacation Resorts,
WorldMark by Wyndham and Trendwest South Pacific, Wyndham Vacation Ownership
has developed or acquired more than 140 resort properties throughout North
America and the South Pacific that represent more than 18,000 fully furnished,
condominium-style units and more than 750,000 owners of vacation ownership
and other real estate interests. Wyndham Vacation Ownership, headquartered
in Orlando, Fla., is a member of the Wyndham Worldwide family (NYSE: WYN)
and is supported by more than 14,000 employees globally.
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the
meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended,
conveying management's expectations as to the future based on plans, estimates
and projections at the time the Company makes the statements.