Making the Leap from Hotel to Fractional Resort Management

By Tom LaTour Principal, LaTour Signature Group | October 28, 2008

In today's rapidly changing and highly competitive hospitality industry, there are many different roads that can lead top managers to new career heights and greater achievements. One increasingly popular route paving the way to expanded personal growth and professional success is via fractional resort management.

One of the fastest growing and most fascinating segments of the lodging industry is shared-ownership vacation resorts, including fractional interest, private residence clubs and destination clubs.

According to the latest figures released by Ragatz Associates, this segment grew 8.3 percent in 2007 with sales volume estimated at $2.3 billion -- this despite the dramatic decrease in the country's overall residential resort industry.

In its most recent report, the research firm also noted that there now are more than 300 such developments throughout North America, in desirable destinations such as Aspen, Maui, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and the Caribbean. Most often built alongside a golf, beach or ski resort, the owners get use of the many five-star facilities and amenities, as well as other luxury hotel-like perks, including concierge services, in-villa dining and daily housekeeping.

Marriott, Disney, Hyatt, Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons are among the big companies that have embraced the emerging concept, although most fractional resorts are small private developments with no big brand flag or corporate infrastructure. And this is why management opportunities exist.

Management role changes at fractionals

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Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.