COMMERCIAL TRAVEL

Vacatia Acquires Virginia Beach-Based VSA Resorts

Vacatia | January 04, 2022

Vacatia Acquires Virginia Beach-Based VSA Resorts
Vacatia Inc., a leading provider of innovative, customer-centric solutions for timeshare owners, property management and vacation rentals, has acquired Virginia Beach, Virginia-based VSA Resorts, a hospitality and vacation ownership company. With the addition of VSA's three resorts and association management business, Vacatia now manages 21 timeshare and 42 whole-ownership homeowners associations with 4,750 units and 50,000 owners.

"The addition of VSA Resorts to our nationwide network reflects Vacatia's dedication to providing owners and guests with high-quality, hassle-free vacations in the most in-demand destinations,We are committed to enhancing owner and guest experiences by delivering new benefits and expanding the customer base at our resorts across eight states."

-Caroline Shin, Vacatia's CEO and co-founder

VSA Resorts' properties include Ocean Key Resort, Atrium Resort and Ocean Sands Resort, all located in Virginia Beach. VSA also manages wholly owned condominium associations in the area. They employ nearly 100 people and have an owner base of more than 18,000.

"In considering this sale, we were impressed by Vacatia's new ideas for independent timeshare resorts, customer-centric perspective and highly capable management team,Our owners will be well served by Vacatia's ability to enhance their existing ownerships, and our team will have increased opportunities for advancement as part of a larger, fast-growing company."

-Lori Overholt, president of VSA.

As Vacatia-managed properties, VSA resorts will be featured on the Vacatia.com website and offered through third-party booking platforms. Owners at these resorts will be able to participate in OwnerPLUS, which easily enables travel to Vacatia's managed and affiliated resorts. In addition, these resorts will be available through VacatiaPLUS, Vacatia's innovative subscription-based membership model, which invites a new generation of travelers to independent timeshare resorts.

About Vacatia
It has rapidly grown its property management services to 4,750 units in eight states. Management services are just one of the fresh solutions offered by Vacatia, which has 750 industry partners, including some of the largest timeshare companies, relying on it for rental and resale services. Their products drive owner engagement, improve cash flow, attract new members and even finance needed property renovations. Vacatia Partner Services (VPS) is the division of Vacatia that works with property management companies and independently managed associations across the country to help timeshare resorts to thrive in the modern era. To learn more about VPS's rental, resale, subscription membership products and property management services, and how they are reinventing the timeshare experience across discovery, booking, and stay, call (720) 449-6738 or visit vacatiapartnerservices.com.

Spotlight

There has been a lot of talks recently about Marriott’s proposed acquisition of Starwood and what it would mean for guests, competitors, intermediaries, and the companies’ loyalty members if the transaction ultimately happens. Would SPG members see the value of their points diminish over time? Would SPG members’ loyalty wane if and when they’re integrated into the Marriott system? To inform the answers to these questions, it’s helpful to understand what’s happening with loyalty more broadly in the travel industry right now.

Related News

Florida Health Department Protocols for Travelers

Florida Health Department | July 07, 2020

Florida’s perennial popularity as a vacation destination has contributed to its emergence as one of the nation’s top states for new COVID-19 cases since America began its reopening process. But, with folks desperate for a domestic summer escape, many coming from nearby states and some from across the U.S. won’t be deterred from flocking to its beaches and other attractions. The Florida Health Department reports that Governor Ron DeSantis’ executive order from back in March is still in effect, requiring those entering Florida from New York, New Jersey or Connecticut to self-quarantine for fourteen days or the length of their visit, whichever is shorter. Others coming from areas with “substantial community spread” of the virus may also be told to quarantine, with airport and roadside checkpoints in place to screen for potential inbound cases.

Read More

TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

New Travel Startup Upaway Launches First On-Demand Travel Support Concierge to Tackle Trip Chaos for Holiday Travelers

Upaway | December 24, 2021

New travel company Upaway is setting out to tackle Trip Chaos with the official launch of its on-demand support in time to service holiday travelers. Founded by Twitter alumna and DE&I thought leader Kayla Glanville, Upaway aims to disrupt the outdated consumer travel industry and make typically out-of-reach, premium travel support accessible and affordable to tackle travel stress. To help people navigate today's uncertain travel landscape and avoid Trip Chaos, the company offers free travel advice and on-demand (human) trip support — without the high prices or hidden fees — available directly via +1 (213) 545-0903 (text or call) or Direct Message (DM) on Twitter and Instagram. App (iOS) is expected to launch in early 2022. Upaway Concierge is a team of travel professionals who go above and beyond traditional booking services to make every trip a stress-free experience. From assisting travelers with bulky items (like gifts and carseats) and temperature-sensitive items (like medications or breast milk) to handling flight cancellations or re-bookings, Upaway Concierge offers travelers an on-demand alternative to waiting on hold with their hotels' or airlines' customer service lines. Upaway saves travelers time, money, and energy by tackling the Trip Chaos facing so many travelers every day — and securing credits and refunds for things like flights and accommodations when things go awry. With an uptick in impacted holiday travel and COVID-19 variants on the rise, Upaway is supporting travelers who have historically been stuck to handle issues on their own and provides them with peace of mind as well as real-time Travel Risk Intelligence data for their destination, powered by Riskline. "Between being a mom and working full time, planning a family trip wasn't in the cards. With one text, Upaway stepped in and took the stress of planning off my plate and now we have two family trips booked for 2022," -Upaway customer Katie P. of Portland, Oregon Upaway's goal is to revolutionize the consumer travel industry by providing genuine, helpful customer service that large travel corporations have lacked for years. "While working on a consumer product like Twitter and helping airlines, hotels, and destination marketing organizations (DMOs) create relationships with their customers, it became clear that stellar service is often reserved for frequent business travelers," founder Kayla Glanville says of her time working at Twitter with the world's largest travel brands. She was particularly struck by the stark inequity between the business and everyday traveler experiences. "The result is dismal service, stress, and chaos for everyday folks. With Upaway, we're aiming to change that. About Upaway Upaway is travel app and SaaS platform based in California, founded by a queer woman, with an intersectional team working remotely around the world. Founded by former tech executive Kayla Glanville, Upaway offers free travel organization tools and connects travelers with on-demand (human!) travel concierge when they need it. It is currently in service via phone and text at +1 (213) 545-0903 and through Direct Message on Twitter and Instagram with a projected general launch of early 2021.

Read More

HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Certares Acquires The Embassy Suites Atlanta Midtown In Partnership With Highlands Investments And Monomoy Property Ventures

Certares | October 26, 2021

Certares Management LLC a leading investment specialist dedicated to the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors (together with its affiliates, "Certares"), in partnership with Highlands Investments LLC ("Highlands") and Monomoy Property Ventures LLC ("MPV"), today announced the acquisition of the 181 key, new-build Embassy Suites Atlanta Midtown located at 290 17th Street NW in Midtown Atlanta, Georgia. The deal also included the acquisition of an adjacent land parcel and an income-producing parking component.Located in the Atlantic Station area of Midtown, the all-suites property features a lobby bar, restaurant, large fitness area and pool, along with 2,600 square feet of meeting space. The rooms average approximately 500 square feet, and each has a private kitchenette and separate living room area. The hotel sits adjacent to Microsoft's new eastern U.S. headquarters and near Georgia Tech's main Atlanta campus. HEI Hotels & Resorts ("HEI"), a leading hospitality management company that owns and/or operates 84 hotels and resorts throughout the United States, has been selected to operate the property. "We are thrilled to acquire this brand-new asset in the heart of Atlantic Station. Midtown Atlanta is the city's preeminent submarket for technology and healthcare talent recruitment and is seeing an array of corporate relocations and expansions. We look forward to working closely with Highlands, MPV and HEI to ensure the property delivers a great experience to its guests." -Nolan Hecht, Senior Managing Director & Head of Real Estate at Certares Jordan Kary, Founder and Principal of Highlands, added, "We are big believers in both Atlanta and, more specifically, the Midtown Atlanta submarket, and we are excited to acquire this high-quality hotel together with Certares, MPV and HEI. The property's location together with its all-suites rooms and amenity offerings makes the asset well-positioned for outsized growth. We look forward to continuing to identify opportunities to acquire great pieces of real estate at attractive values and working to ensure best-in-class operations and oversight." "High-quality real estate structured off-market from a motivated seller, in an excellent location within a growth MSA, the Embassy Suites Atlanta Midtown is illustrative of the types of investments MPV is successfully targeting as we establish our business,We look forward to building on a close relationship with Certares, Highlands, HEI and Hilton as we execute on our business plan at this asset, and to participating in the substantial ongoing growth in the midtown Atlanta business community." -Kevin Vaughan, Founder of MPV. About Certares Management LLC Established in 2012, Certares focuses on direct investments in proprietary transactions, leveraging deep sector experience in the travel and hospitality industries, and with a consistent emphasis on partnership with management teams to drive growth. Certares brings together a team with decades of both operational and investment experience in private equity, travel, tourism, hospitality and travel-related business and consumer services. For more information, please visit www.certares.com. About Highlands Investments LLC Founded in 2020, Highlands Investments LLC is a New York-based real estate investment and asset management company that employs a value approach to investing and targets select product types and geographic regions across the United States and Canada. Prompted by the shifting dynamics in the global real estate industry, the company's primary objectives include sourcing and negotiating target driven acquisition opportunities and managing investments throughout their lifecycle. Highlands focuses on identifying opportunistic acquisitions at attractive values with the potential to enhance returns at the asset level through operational improvements and through long-term economic recovery. To learn more, visit https://www.highlandsinv.com/. About Monomoy Property Ventures LLC Monomoy Property Ventures (MPV) is a New York-based real estate investment, development and management firm with an extensive track record sourcing, acquiring and redeveloping lodging assets. MPV purchases land parcels and existing buildings in enduring, high-barrier locations in select resort and urban markets in the United States. Through physical and operational repositioning or ground-up construction, MPV seeks to improve buildings, destinations, neighborhoods and the built environment while providing attractive financial returns to our company and investment partners. Through current and prior ventures, Principals of MPV have executed on over $1.4 billion of lodging investments across 23 hotels. For further information, please visit www.MonomoyPropertyVentures.com. About HEI Hotels & Resorts HEI Hotels & Resorts, headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., is a leading hospitality investment and management company that owns and/or operates over 80 luxury, upper-upscale and upscale independent and branded hotels and resorts throughout the United States. HEI's branding partners include Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG and Accor. Taking a holistic approach to creating value for its investors and employees, HEI sets the highest standards across all aspects of hotel management and operation and focuses on central principles of excellence and continuous improvement. HEI prides itself on some of the highest employee satisfaction scores in the hospitality industry, fuels local economic prosperity by investing in communities and is committed to environmental stewardship and sustainability. To learn more about HEI, please visit www.heihotels.com

Read More

Spotlight

There has been a lot of talks recently about Marriott’s proposed acquisition of Starwood and what it would mean for guests, competitors, intermediaries, and the companies’ loyalty members if the transaction ultimately happens. Would SPG members see the value of their points diminish over time? Would SPG members’ loyalty wane if and when they’re integrated into the Marriott system? To inform the answers to these questions, it’s helpful to understand what’s happening with loyalty more broadly in the travel industry right now.