NAVIGATION

January 23, 2018

Timeshare giants: Marriott's evolution

The company, which has its timeshare roots in Florida, is tweaking its strategy

Jason Garcia | 1/26/2017

In the mid-1970s, two friends and businessmen in Lakeland accidentally stumbled across the idea of something called “timesharing.” One, Ed McMullen Sr., an executive at an insurance brokerage, made a loan to a company involved in timesharing. McMullen, who thought it was a payroll-servicing business, was surprised to learn that it actually sold weekly increments of vacation time at some condos on Sanibel.

McMullen and his friend, Bob Miller, a former Arthur Young accountant, soon learned enough about timeshares to see opportunity.

McMullen and Miller thought they could succeed as credible businessmen from outside the real estate industry. They envisioned constructing purpose-built resorts — as opposed to converting old condos and motels — and selling timeshares to more affluent consumers.

The duo founded a company called American Resorts in 1978. In 1984, their company was bought by Marriott, which has gone on to become the biggest timeshare company.

Meanwhile, “exchange companies” began emerging. They wove together networks of timeshares from different locations and allowed owners to swap their week in one place for a week somewhere else.

The first big exchange appeared in Indianapolis in 1974. Founded as a network for condo owners called Resort Condominiums International, it is known today as RCI and is part of the Wyndham Worldwide empire.

The second big exchange firm — Interval International — surfaced two years later in Miami, founded by a pair of late businessman: Attorney Tom Davis and real estate developer Mario Rodriguez.

Over 20 years, Interval International passed through half a dozen owners, eventually becoming a division of Barry Diller’s USA Networks and getting spun off in 2008 as a stand-alone company called Interval Leisure Group (ILG). ...

ALSO IN THIS ARTICLE: Stephen P. Weisz; Howard Nusbaum; Craig Nash; Ian Zaffino

 

Want to read the whole article?

Select from the following options:

EXISTING
DIGITAL
SUBSCRIBERS

Access Article Now!

DIGITAL
SINGLE
ISSUE

Get a single DIGITAL copy of this issue

$4.95

PRINT
SINGLE
ISSUE

Get a single PRINT copy of this issue

$4.95
plus $3 postage & handling

PRINT SUBSCRIPTION

One year in PRINT

$14.98*
plus a FREE gift!

DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTION

One year DIGITAL

$14.98*
plus a FREE gift!

ALL ACCESS SUBSCRIPTION

One year Combo
PRINT + DIGITAL

$24.95*
plus a FREE gift!


CURRENT  PRINT  SUBSCRIBERS

If you are already a print subscriber,
ADD DIGITAL EDITION ACCESS
to your existing subscription here!
(or call our office at 727-892-2643)

* offer valid for new subscribers only

Tags: Real Estate, Timeshare Giants

Digital Access

DIRECT DIGITAL ACCESS
Add digital to your current subscription, purchase a single digital issue, or start a new subscription to Florida Trend.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
An overview of the features and articles in this month's issue of Florida Trend.

ACCESS THIS ISSUE »

Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick

Crystal Lagoon is full, forever changing the landscape in Pasco County
Crystal Lagoon is full, forever changing the landscape in Pasco County

Pasco County can now boast the first full Crystal Lagoon amenity in the nation with 7.5 acres of crystal-clear water.

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

Should Florida reexamine voting rights for ex-felons, to allow an easier path to reinstate voting rights?

  • Yes
  • Maybe
  • No

See Results

Ballot Box
Subscribe