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'Business is booming'

Welk Resort Group's timeshare intervals continue to expand

San Marcos-based Welk Resort Group is projecting revenues of $190 million in 2015, compared with $147 million in 2014, and the numbers are only expected to get stronger next year.

The Welk Resorts added 4,700 new timeshare ownership intervals during the first half of the year, compared with 6,800 such ownerships in all of 2014.

The company has developed and/or operated more than 1,100 luxury vacation units, villas and hotel rooms since its inception in 1984, and continues to grow by expanding current properties as well as constructing new ones in high-demand locations.

Jon Fredricks, Welk Resorts president and CEO and a grandson of the late bandleader, couldn’t be reached for comment but said in a statement how pleased he was with the company’s progress.

“Business is booming at Welk Resorts. Our timeshare sales were up 40 percent in 2014. We are up another 30 percent in 2015 and our guest and owner service and net promoter scores are the highest in the company’s history,” Fredricks said.

At its home resort of Lawrence Welk Village north of Escondido, Welk has completed development of three new buildings in Mountain Villas phase, adding 60 additional keys for a total of 284. It also launched its first three-bedroom configuration with this phase.

In addition, Welk is building a multi-million dollar fitness center expansion at its flagship facility. The new space will feature a spin room, yoga room, rock climbing wall, outdoor weightlifting area, new cardio equipment, sauna steam room and Jacuzzi.

The work at the home resort will also include an upgrade of the sport court. In this case the sport court consists of a full size outdoor basketball court, an outdoor amphitheater, horseshoes, shuffleboard, a life size chess set, barbecue grill stations and a fire pit.

New food and beverage kiosks are also under construction in the resort’s Mountain and Boulder Springs pool areas, and new landscaping and hardscape is being installed in the Downtown Village area as well.

Glen Clinton, Welk Resorts senior vice president of resort operations, said the offerings will include craft beers, frozen drinks, sandwiches, snacks and desserts.

At Sirena del Mar in Cabo San Lucas, which had to recover from a hurricane that damaged portions of the property last year, a third building with 40 additional units has just been added for a total of 108. The property will have 222 units at build-out.

This year Welk Resorts also opened a new indoor restaurant called Estrella and expanded the existing pool area at Sirena.

At Welk’s Northstar Lodge property in Lake Tahoe, construction on a second building with 35 units is slated for completion in October.

Plans also call for the development of a third building beginning later this year that will have 32 keys, along with an option to expand to as many as five-bedrooms if needed. Northstar will have 122 units upon completion.

In Branson, Mo., Welk Resorts has broken ground on 47 units (with two and three-bedroom options), which is more than double what is there today, but this is just the beginning.

“At buildout, the resort will have 726 timeshare units,” Clinton said.

In Colorado, Welk Resorts is gearing up for groundbreaking next year on its newest timeshare resort in Breckenridge. Those 123-unit villas on 6.5 acres on the Blue River are slated for opening in 2017.

The Breckenridge project will feature an owners’ lounge, a state-of-the-art fitness center, game room, media room, indoor and outdoor pool, spa, fire pits, and barbecue areas.

As explained by Sean O’Connor, Welk Resorts’s director of creative services, Hawaii is the next stop for the resort operator.

“We purchased about 22 acres in beautiful Poipu Beach in Kauai with plans for six plantation-style buildings with 164 luxurious villas scheduled for construction in late 2018,” O’Connor said.

The Kauai development, which is slated for completion in 2020, will include a fitness center, spas, and a white sand beach pool with waterslides, tropical foliage and lava rock formations.

“The decision to expand into Hawaii was a strategic one, as the location is the most sought-after timeshare destination, according to the America Resort Development Association,” the company stated.

The company said "with $1 billion in sales annually and the highest occupancy in the industry at 85.2 percent, Kauai was a logical choice for its new property.”

Welk Resorts reported that as roughly 70 percent of its timeshare owners reside in California, Hawaii is a logical place for them to vacation.

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