Vacationers can resort to Starwood Vacation Ownership for a little rest and relaxation. The company operates about 15 time-share properties in the US, the Bahamas, and Mexico. Its resorts are located in prime vacation destination areas, such as central Florida, Colorado, and Hawaii, offering various activities for upscale travelers. Owners pay for a share of their unit with other owners and have use of the resort for certain intervals. They can also exchange their intervals for time at other resorts. Most of its properties are branded under the Sheraton and Westin brands. Starwood Vacation Ownership is a subsidiary of Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Starwood acquired the company (then known as Vistana) in 1999.
Time-share and residential properties acount for little more than 10% of Starwood Hotels & Resorts' revenues. As the economy continues to show signs of a recovery, in 2010 Starwood Vacation Ownership posted a slight increase in revenues and operating income thanks to higher consumer confidence. The previous year the company responded to the economic downturn by deciding not to initiate any new vacation ownership projects. Starwood also decided to stop development of three vacation ownership sites and halt future phases of certain existing projects. Additionally, the company reduced the pricing of certain time-share properties.
This reduction in development comes as Starwood invested approximately $151 million and $145 million during 2010 and 2009, respectively, in a few other time-share properties. Investment activities included construction at the Westin Desert Willow Villas in Palm Desert, California; the Westin Lagunamar Ocean Resort in Cancun; and the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort in Miami Beach, Florida.
Longtime Starwood executive Sergio Rivera replaced the retiring Raymond Gellein, Jr., as CEO in 2008. Gellein had led the company since 1980.
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