Orlando, FL (March 19, 2013) — Wyndham Vacation Ownership (WVO), the world’s largest vacation ownership company and a member of the Wyndham Worldwide family of companies (NYSE:WYN), and Margaritaville Hospitality Group broadly recognized as the hospitality industry leader in delivering fun and escapism, have jointly announced plans to redevelop the former Grand Beach Palace Resort, located on the northeast side of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Wyndham St. Thomas, a Margaritaville Vacation Club resort, is anticipated to open in late 2014 and will be the first resort of its kind in the world.
“There’s no lifestyle brand in the world that better represents what happens on vacation than Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville,” said Wyndham Vacation Ownership’s president and chief executive officer, Franz Hanning. “We’re excited to partner with Jimmy in creating an experience like no other, in a place that offers the perfect setting for the ultimate vacation escape.”
The 25-acre property, situated on a thousand-foot stretch of palm-fringed white sand beaches, will be the flagship property of the newly announced Margaritaville Vacation Club by Wyndham. “The lights of St. Thomas are no longer twenty miles west. I am back,” said Jimmy Buffett. “Like many sailors, I have at one time called Charlotte Amalie homeport. The Virgin Islands, and the waters that surround them, netted me many memories that became songs and stories, and those memories are still with me today. That is why I am thrilled with the vision of Franz Hanning and the people of Wyndham who have brought Margaritaville Vacation Club full circle to St. Thomas. Now I really have a great excuse to get here more often. I look forward to working with Wyndham and our friends on the island to make this project not only succeed, but be a landmark in the Virgin Islands – Let the fin begin.”The beachfront property will undergo renovations in phases throughout the next three years, including the conversion of its 290 existing hotel rooms into 262 fully furnished condominium-style timeshare units. The décor, design and overall vibe of the renovation will reflect the Margaritaville brand. From site amenities, activities and common areas to food and beverage options, the guests of the property will be fully immersed in the brand’s escapism and island lifestyle.
Current plans call for construction to commence this summer. Upon renovation of the property, approximately 125 full-time jobs ranging from front-desk clerks to sales associates will have been created. WVO anticipates that hiring for these positions will begin next year.
About Wyndham Vacation Ownership
Wyndham Vacation Ownership, a member of Wyndham Worldwide’s (NYSE: WYN) family of companies, is the world’s largest vacation ownership business, as measured by the number of vacation ownership resorts, individual vacation ownership units and owners of vacation ownership interests. Wyndham Vacation Ownership develops, markets and sells vacation ownership interests and provides consumer financing to owners through its four primary consumer brands, CLUB WYNDHAM®, WorldMark® by Wyndham, Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific and Shell Vacations. As of December 31, 2012, Wyndham Vacation Ownership had developed or acquired 190 vacation ownership resorts throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and the South Pacific that represent more than 23,000 individual vacation ownership units and approximately 915,000 owners of vacation ownership interests. Wyndham Vacation Ownership is headquartered in Orlando, Fla., and is supported by more than 15,000 employees globally.
Inspired by the lyrics and lifestyle of Jimmy Buffett, whose songs evoke a cross-generational yearning for an island adventure, the brand is comprised of restaurants, casinos, hotels, retail stores, consumer products, a national radio station on Sirius/XM, and now vacation ownership. Margaritaville delivers a tropical experience where guests can escape and enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of their favorite destination regardless of their current latitude. Since launching its first location in Key West in 1987, Margaritaville has expanded to some of the most popular U.S. destinations, including: New Orleans, Orlando, Las Vegas, Myrtle Beach, Panama City Beach, Glendale, Pensacola, Nashville and Honolulu. International locations can be found in the Caribbean, Mexico, the Republic of Panama, Canada and Australia. Margaritaville Hospitality Group is headquartered in Orlando, FL and employs more than 2,500 people worldwide.