by Diane Sears
Updated 5 yearss ago
Timeshares have dotted Florida's landscape for decades, and their numbers are growing, but until now the industry had no comprehensive measurement of its impact on the state's economy.
Try $7.9 billion a year. That figure comes from a newly released study by PricewaterhouseCoopers that looks at money pumped into the state economy directly and indirectly by timeshare developers and owners. Commissioned by the American Resort Development Association's research foundation, the study tallies money spent on timeshare purchases and maintenance as well as revenue generated statewide and locally through taxes, jobs created, tourism spending and other factors.
The industry supported 99,500 full- and part-time jobs in 2002 in Florida, accounting for $3 billion in paychecks. It generated $1.1 billion in tax revenue, which breaks down to $128 million in property and occupancy taxes, $254 million in employee taxes and $749 million in other areas such as retail sales.
So who's buying timeshares in Florida? Mostly married couples who earn more than $50,000 a year and don't have children living at home. About half are retired or nearing retirement and hold some type of college degree.
Their timeshare purchases totaled about $1.4 billion in 2002, more than one-fourth of the $5.5 billion spent nationwide. And they shell out another $700 million for fixing up, refurbishing and maintaining individual units, resorts and facilities.
"The economic impact of the timeshare industry does not end with the initial purchase," says Scott Berman with PricewaterhouseCoopers. "Timeshare purchases, combined with other expenditures and owner and guest spending during vacation, generate tremendous income as well as a ripple effect through other parts of the state's economy, underscoring the symbiotic relationship between the industry and Florida."
Tops in Timeshares
|State / U.S.||Timeshare
Note: As of Jan. 1, 2003