How to Reach New Owners Through Smart Expansion
The way one resort reached a whole new demographic of owners and guests.
Sometimes the best way to reach a new demographic is to rethink your offerings. Paradise Point Resort in Hollister, Missouri, noticed that millennials have different desires from those of other owners. “These owners are tech savvy, environmentally conscious, foodies, and thrive on exercise,” says Tim Schwering, vice president of planning and design for Bluegreen Vacations. So it used an expansion to update the property with millennials in mind.
To attract millennials, the resort added 60 villas, an infinity pool and a hot tub. Twelve of the villas are two-story lofts, with double-sided rock fireplaces in the living room and the master suite, which has its own spiral staircase. Modern features include a television inset in the bathroom mirror and an under-the-counter ice maker in the kitchen. A new building holds the lobby, fitness center, owners’ lounge and check-in area with four “pods” that speed up checking in and out.
Despite the scale of the expansion, Paradise Point was able to remain open throughout construction. Keeping owners informed was key, says Howard Kitchen, vice president of Joint Ventures. The resort posted progress reports online and updated owners on the state of the construction before they arrived. Kitchen also recommends strategically staffing up before breaking ground. “There are always going to be issues when you have construction at your resort, but if you have a good team, they can overcome most any problem or complaint and make sure all families have a memorable vacation,” he says. “Make sure you have the best associates you can get prior to expansion.”
Another must: choosing the contractor very carefully. “A first-class contractor can make all the difference in the world,” Schwering says. He credits astute contractors with saving 20 percent on construction costs, partly by repurposing blasted bedrock for a rustic stone facade and using locally grown timber.
In the end, the expansion paid off. “The response has been fantastic,” Kitchen says. “Our Medallia scores, which measure owner satisfaction, have since improved.” Plus, a younger crowd has begun booking stays—which is what Joint Venture set out to achieve in the beginning.
Image credit: Paradise Point Resort