If blue-green makes you think of sunny breezes and tropical waters, then Bluegreen has a time-share for you. Through its Bluegreen Vacation Club, members use points to stay in one of nearly 30 Bluegreen Club Resorts, or at some 30 other affiliated resorts (called "Club Associate Resorts"). Locations include such popular vacation spots as Florida, the Smoky Mountains, and Branson, Missouri. The Bluegreen Vacation Club has more than 160,000 owners. Bluegreen also provides financing for land and time-share purchases. Holding company BFC Financial acquired Bluegreen in 2013.
In addition to its nearly owned or managed 60 resorts, Bluegreen Resort owners have access to a third-party vacation exchange network of more than 4,000 resorts offered through Group RCI. Members also have access to about 20 resorts from Shell Vacation Club through through the company's Select Connections joint venture with Shell.
The company formerly operated Bluegreen Communities, which developed upscale residential subdivisions and golf communities in Texas, Georgia, and North Carolina. In 2012 the company sold Bluegreen Communities to Southstar Development Partners for some $29 million in cash and certain other fees. In it divested the business in order to focus on its core Resort operations, as Bluegreen Resorts accounted for more than 95% of the company's real estate sales, while Bluegreen Communities represented less than 5%.
Bluegreen continues to be negatively affected by the weak vacation and residential real estate market. The company's net income dropped in 2010 to a loss of $44 million, down from a loss of $3.5 million in 2009. The results were mostly due to charges relating to an increase in the allowance for loan losses (or money lost from a loan not being fully repaid), as well as impairment charges related to the decrease in value of Bluegreen Communities' assets. In response, in 2011 the company announced that it was exploring strategic alternatives for Bluegreen Communities, including a possible sale of the business.
Previously, Bluegreen implemented cost-cutting measures such as closing about 10 of its nearly 30 sales offices; eliminating less effective marketing programs; laying off more than 3,000 staff members (about half of its workforce); and reducing overall spending. In addition, in the area of financing, Bluegreen increased interest rates, limited sales to borrowers who are less likely to default, and began relying more on cash sales and higher cash down payments.
In 2011 BFC agreed to acquire the company in a stock deal that values Bluegreen at about $143.1 million. (BFC currently owns about 52% of Bluegreen's common stock.) Bluegreen does not expect the deal to have any material impact on its day-to-day operations.
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