Hotel Online Special Report
Former Playboy Resort in Great Gorge, N.J. 
to be Managed by Divi Resorts / 
Hotel Units to be Converted to Time-Share
CHAPEL HILL, N.C - Aug. 13, 1998--On June 1, 1998, the Seasons Resort and Conference Center, formerly known as the Playboy Resort in Great Gorge, N.J., was sold by the Seasons Investment Corp. to a Louisiana investment group. 

Divi Resorts, a Chapel Hill-based owner/operator with nine resorts in the Caribbean, has been retained as the resort manager and timeshare marketing agent.  Divi plans to re-position the resort to appeal to leisure oriented consumers and introduce a program to convert hotel units into timeshare suites over a five year period. The property has been renamed "The Legends Resort  Country Club, A Divi Resort." A multi-million dollar renovation program is in planning stages with construction expected to begin this fall. 

The 562 room resort is located in the center of the Great Gorge resort and golf area, which features a variety of ski hills, a major water park and some of the finest championship golf courses in the Northeast, located one hour's drive from Manhattan.  The Vernon Valley/Great Gorge area has been a significant regional tourism center for the last 15 years, however, area recreation facilities had 
suffered from declining revenues in recent years due to the need for new capital investment. 

Intrawest, a large Canadian ski resort operator, acquired the former Vernon-Great Gorge Ski Area and Action Water Park last summer.  Intrawest has renamed the ski area and water park attraction "Mountain Creek" and has already initiated a significant infrastructure improvement program.  According to Cal Denison, President and CEO of Divi Resorts, "The capital improvements being implemented by Intrawest and Divi Resorts will insure that the Vernon Valley recreational area will now enjoy the revitalization that has been discussed for so many years.  The Seasons Resort has been renamed specifically to keep the resort in step with the dramatic new developments taking place in the area."  Added Ron Thompson, executive director of Timeshare Sales for Divi Resorts, "You can feel the momentum build now that the improved Mountain Creek Water Park has re-opened for the summer and the ski area improvements are well underway to be in place in time for the 1998/99 winter season." 

According to Intrawest Mountain Creek President Robin Smith, "Intrawest is investing more than $50 million in renovations and improvements to the mountain including the addition of four new quad chair lifts and the first eight passenger gondola on the east coast! With our 1040' vertical rise, new snow-making equipment and night lighting on all 40 trails, Mountain Creek is where you'll want to be this winter." 

Divi Resorts has worked closely with investors to develop an ambitious renovation program for the "new" Legends Resort. Acquisition and development financing has been secured from Ansley Associates Inc. in Blue Bell, Pa.  The initial phase of renovation this fall will focus on the landscaping, lobby improvements, exterior facade and a general uplift of common areas.  The timeshare conversion program will create suites by combining multiple guestrooms into studio, one bedroom and two bedroom configurations.  Each unit will include kitchen facilities, and full use of the resort swimming pools, restaurants and amenities along with a spectacular view of the adjacent mountains and golf courses. 

Denison explained that the timeshare phase of the property would be affiliated with Resort Condominiums International (RCI), the world's largest timeshare exchange organization with over 3,200 member resorts.  The resort will be renovated in accordance with RCI Gold Crown standards which is awarded to the top 10% of RCI resorts for exemplary service, amenities and overall design.  Timeshare members at the Legends will also become RCI members and be able to trade their timeshare weeks for accommodations at other RCI resorts worldwide.  Divi Resorts executives indicated that timeshare sales at the Legends will begin this fall. 

The design firm of Omikron/Zimmer Hundley of Santa Fe, New Mexico, has been retained to design and plan the renovation program. The design focus will unite the resort with the natural beauty of the Vernon Valley.  The intent is to connect members and guests with nature using extensive amenities and services; including golf, skiing, tennis, and horseback riding.  Zimmer Hundley's current projects include the Lodge at Vail; Charleston Place Hotel in North Carolina; the Carefree Club at the Boulders in Scottsdale; the Pearls at Telluride; and Robert Redford's Sundance Resort in Park City, Utah. Dolores Hundley, principal, will head the design team for the Legends project. 

Divi Resorts, Chapel Hill 
Jim Flynn, 919/419-3484
Also See:
1997 Resort Timeshare Study / June, 1997 
Interval Resort Companies Get New Receivable Guarantee Product / March 1998 / J.J. Post Company 

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