Most people are aware of the big names in the Hotel industry, or at least would recognize the names if they see them like Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, and Holiday Inn but what less people know is that almost every major hotel chain has broken into the timeshare industry. They most often create wholly owned subsidiaries that keep their distinguished name like Marriott Vacations Worldwide, or Hilton Grand Vacations, but these subsidiaries work primarily in the timeshare industry. Thus, some brand-name hotels morph into timeshares, while some powerful names in the timeshare industry are born from it like Wyndham and Diamond Resorts. While they often also dabble in hotels or renting out resorts as hotels their primary foot is in the timeshare industry. Most of the big names in the timeshare industry are conglomerates of a series of smaller resorts that are purchased by the parent company and assumed under the parents’ name. With Hilton Grand Vacations recent acquisition of Diamond Resorts, there now stand to be three major timeshare conglomerates Wyndham, Hilton Grand Vacations and Marriott Vacations Worldwide. It is valuable to know the names of the major conglomerates because chances are your timeshare company is probably owned by a much larger corporation.
Wyndham: Wyndham is the largest corporation in the timeshare industry with over 500,000 owners with 100 different resorts in North America. It includes 20 major brand names including Club Wyndham, Worldmark, Shell Vacations Club and notably they also own Resort Condominiums International (“RCI”) one of the two primary booking companies (sometimes called “exchange” companies but this is a bit of a misnomer in today’s point-based system) used across all timeshares. It has gone under a series of name changes for the parent corporation from Wyndham Destinations, Wyndham Worldwide, to its current “Travel + Leisure Co.”, but is generally known as Wyndham.
Hilton Grand Vacations (HGV): With its recent acquisition of Diamond Resorts International, Hilton Grand Vacations has now thrust itself into the fold as one of the largest timeshare conglomerates. Its acquisition more than doubled its owners now totaling over 700,000 with 154 resorts nationwide. While representing a larger North American share of the timeshare industry than Wyndham, Wyndham maintains a stronger hand in the global timeshare market.
Marriott Vacations Worldwide: Marriott Vacations Worldwide is the parent timeshare company to the more commonly known Marriott Vacation Clubs. Interestingly Marriott Worldwide includes ownership of the Ritz-Carlton Destination Club and the Hyatt Residence Club. It has about 60 resort destinations with about 13,000 rooms. Marriott vacation club was formerly wholly a part of the hotel chain Marriott International, but eventually established itself as a separate public entity while retaining the Marriott name.
What this means for owners is that more than likely-no matter how small your timeshare may seem-it is at least associated if not wholly owned by a much larger well-known organization. These organizations try to dilute this connection when it comes to owners’ use rights. While you might own a “Hilton” it gives you few, if any, rights to stay at an actual Hilton hotel. Many complaints online address the issue that “owners” are not able to access the hotels of that same corporation, but unfortunately, they will say they are different companies even if they are wholly owned. It is entirely up to the individual resort how much they want to share rights between their hotel chains and timeshares.
If you are an owner and are concerned about your rights as an owner or want to get out of your timeshare entirely, contact our law firm (TheTimeshareLawFirm.com) to set up an appointment with one of our timeshare attorneys at 360-918-8196 or get started. We offer pro-bono consultations to evaluate your legal options regarding your timeshare.