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Ready to Roll: ARDA-WIN to Focus on People with Disabilities in 2017

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 Ready to Roll 

ARDA-WIN to Focus on People with Disabilities in 2017   

By Judy Kenninger 

 benedict of trekkable

Rarely has an ARDA World session stirred its audience like the 2016 Lion’s Den program, when representatives from tech start-ups pitched their ideas a la Shark Tank. One of the entrepreneurs featured, Benedict Jones, was developing a website with property ratings for an audience he’s a part of: travelers with disabilities.

The inspiration for Trekkable.co, Jones’ company, was in the difficulties Jones faced travelling in a wheelchair. At times, he has had to switch properties because the only accessible room was already sold to another guest.

Jones’ story resonated with Sarah King, executive vice president, human resources, Wyndham Vacation Ownership.  “As leader of the ARDA-WIN Committee’s Diversity and Inclusion Content Group, I saw this as an important constituency for our group to reachout to,” said King. “After getting the group’s buy-in, we’ve made this our focus area for 2017.” 

Jones was the keynote speaker at ARDA-WIN’s  Orlando regional meeting (Thursday and Friday, January 26-27, 2017), where the group assisted with a forum on the topic at the upcoming ARDA World convention in New Orleans.

According to King, opening our hearts and doors to people with disabilities is not just the right thing to do from a moral perspective; it’s also the right idea for our businesses.

To learn more about Jones and strategies to help with the inclusion of travelers with disabilities be sure to check out the January edition of Developments Magazine and join us at this year’s ARDA World to learn more about this topic and much more!


ARDA World: What's in it for You

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ARDA World: What's in it for You

Register before February 27th for a Discount!
 early bird 

Another ARDA World Convention is on the horizon – our first one in New Orleans!  Register for this March 26-30 event by February 27th to get a discount.  It will be a great opportunity to dive in head first and take advantage of everything our annual meeting has to offer.  Whether you are with an exchange company, a developer, a management company, a financial institution or a law firm, there is something for everyone during this great event!

What's Happening at ARDA World 2017 

Three innovative and engaging General Sessions

    • Keynote Speaker – Josh Linker: Monday, March 27, 4:00-5:00 pm  
    • Meet the Leaders - CEO Update Panel: Tuesday, March 28, 10:30-11:30 am  
    • Lion’s Den: Wednesday, March 29, 10:00 am-11:30 am 

Dedicated Marketplace hours: Tuesday, 11:30 am-2:30 pm and Wednesday, 11:30 am-2:00 pm 

Over 25 educational sessions covering the latest industry trends and best practices

Evening Sessions 

It just isn’t ARDA Convention without the signature events that make our annual gathering so legendary, it’s also the world-class parties!  Here are a few for you to start thinking about:

Poker Tournament, sponsored by TrackResults Software, with proceeds going to Send Me on Vacation: Sunday, March 26, 8:00-11:30 pm

All-attendee Welcome Party hosted by RCI: Monday, March 27, 7:00-10:00 pm

Interval International’s Party with a cause at The Saenger Theatre, $40 presale/$50 at the door: Tuesday, March 28, 9:00 pm

ARDA Awards Gala & Entertainment: Wednesday, March 29, 7:00-10:00 pm

Why should YOU be there? 

  • Key opportunities to connect with leaders from hundreds of companies
  • Most comprehensive way to stay up on trends and best practices – more than 25 educational sessions spanning the spectrum of our industry’s top products 
  • Because our past attendees from ARDA World 2016 say this: 
    • “There’s no gathering in the world like ARDA. It is the one place that anybody who is a power player in the industry gets together once a year.”  
    • “ARDA World 2016 was refreshingly new and motivating!” 
    • “It is a great opportunity to visit old friends, make new ones and see all of the changes and advancements in our industry.” 

So, make sure you are at ARDA World 2017 this year in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Register here.  

From Where I Sit: Perspectives on the Year Ahead

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From Where I Sit: Perspectives on the Year Ahead

By Geri Bain   

With change comes opportunity. That’s certainly the view of the six industry leaders that we had the chance to talk with for their perspectives on where vacation ownership is headed in 2017. These leaders were selected because of their innovation and ability to change with the times. With each industry titan we discussed successes, challenges and the overall outlook heading into 2017. Here are some key points from our interviews.

Jon P. Fredricks, president & CEO, Welk Resorts says consumer desires are changing more rapidly than ever. Fortunately, the timeshare industry thrives on change and has been meeting the new needs of consumers through diverse product options.

David C. Gilbert, president, Interval International has a positive outlook for the future, saying that the timeshare industry has seen increases in sales in the U.S. for the last several years and, with the addition of new resorts being built, he anticipates that will continue.

Mitchell Imanaka, managing principal, Imanaka Asato had similar sentiments as Gilbert, stating the slow and measured recovery of the economy, coupled with a low interest rate environment, has set the stage for greater demand, which will drive increased development activity.

Gordon Gurnik, president, RCI thinks that the timeshare industry will also grow internationally because, globally, the feeling that vacationing is essential to well-being and success is more pervasive than ever. And timeshare is well-positioned to provide that guaranteed vacation, year after year.

Ken Potrock, senior vice president and general manager, Disney Vacation Club believes the industry needs to continue to push for a higher standard of customer care so that the focus stays on the great benefits that vacation ownership provides.


Find out what else these insightful leaders had to say in our discussion about the upcoming year for the timeshare industry in the recent January edition of Developments

2017 Legislative Outlook

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 2017 Legislative Outlook

From the inauguration of our new president to welcoming a Republication majorityin the U.S. House and Senate, 2017 is set to be an extraordinary year—filled with potential of tremendous impact on not only our nation but also our industry.We spoke with our federal and state government affairs teams to get their take on how the recent historical elections may impact the timeshare industry, as well as any key advocacy efforts they plan to focus on in this new year.  

Let’s take a look at some snippets from what our legislative team had to say about how the timeshare industry as a whole and some of their new advocacy efforts.  

Robert Clements 

Last year I set out to build strong relationships with attorneys general, as well as other regulatory and enforcement agencies in our key states. This year, I intend to continue those outreach and relationship building efforts throughout the country. Through these relationships, I plan to provide these groups with a greater understanding of the current state of timeshare and the positive and negative issues that may affect the industry.  

With the 2017 legislative sessions about to start around the country, we’ll continue to monitor legislation and work with our members to advocate for their legislative needs.   

Chris Stewart 

The 2016 election results were surprising across the country, when compared to expectations set by the polls. Beyond the presidential level, many economists and politically-seasoned forecasters predicted gains by Democrats in several down-ticket races. Clearly, that didn’t happen. However, after the election, the new members of Congress will help to reduce the concerns regarding new taxes. 

Justin Vermuth 

While our 2017 goals are still being finalized, they can fit in two general buckets. Thefirst bucket looks at breaking down the impediments that members have while attempting to do business in a timely and efficient manner. For example, if registration approvals are taking too long in a state, then we brainstorm on what can be done to get the agency the right tools or resources to help expedite the process.  

The second bucket concentrates on timeshare owner protection. This includes utilizing our new staff resources to consult with enforcement officials on implementing some of the great consumer protection tools we have already passed in Massachusetts, Florida, Colorado, to name a few. Also, dealing with the termination dates that are approaching for legacy resorts. And of course, thereare always tax issues to contend with. 

Kevin Riley 

With regard to ARDA’s key legislative priorities in 2017, there is reason to be fairly optimistic that the composition of the incoming administration—as wellas Congress—will be more receptive to the issues plaguing businesses across our nation, including those that affect our industry and its members.  

The ARDA Federal Affairs team will continue its efforts with the new Congress to support legislation that will better align this agency with its governmental counterparts and install much-needed oversight and transparency.   

ARDA’s outreach to legislators will continue in 2017, and we are hopeful that this administration will not hinder our efforts, as we are joined by a broad coalition of businesses from across the nation    

Find out what else our legislative team had to say about how the recent election will impact our industry in this month’s Developments Magazine.