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Royal Resorts Looking At Puerto Rico

Largest Cancun timeshare operator in negotiations to expand to Palmas del Mar


February 1, 2001
Copyright © 2001 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

CANCUN, Mexico - Royal Resorts, the largest timeshare operator in Mexico, is negotiating to establish its first resort in Puerto Rico at Palmas del Mar, said Richard D. Sutton, Royal Resorts' general director in Mexico.

Royal operates five five-star quality vacation ownership properties, four in booming Cancun and one in Grand Cayman. It also manages three other resorts in Merida, Mexico, in St. Maarten and another in Grand Cayman. Royal Resorts Vacations are also offered at the Princess Beach Resort & Casino in Curacao.

The second largest employer in Cancun, Royal has more than 3,000 employees. In 1999 its four resorts in Cancun hosted 300,000 guests or 10% of Cancun's total air arrivals. Royal currently has more than 61,000 member families and Sutton said its properties have hosted more than three million visitors over the past 25 years.

"I was recently in Puerto Rico and entered into negotiations with the principals involved in Palmas del Mar," said Sutton. "I've always been in love with Palmas del Mar since the first time I saw it 25 years ago."

A native of Georgia, Sutton said he was a friend and admirer of Charles Frazer, the renowned developer of Hilton Head, S.C. and later Palmas del Mar. "Puerto Rico has come a long way and we want to add this attractive resort and destination to our roster," said Sutton. "Our team is returning to Puerto Rico shortly to meet with Puerto Rico Tourism Co. (PRTC) Director Jorge Pesquera to develop our proposal for Palmas del Mar.

Clarisa Jimenez, PRTC's director of marketing promotions, confirmed that the application for the Royal project has been commenced. Jimenez was in Cancun for the annual Marketplace of the Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA).

Sutton received some CHA delegates at Royal's flagship 174-unit property on Cancun's Kukulcan Blvd. It is enjoying consistently high occupancy and Royal is constructing an identical duplicate complex next door scheduled to open in December 2001.

Good and bad timeshare operators

In a Royal presentation company executives acknowledged up front that the image of the timeshare industry has at times been tarnished by some bad operators. "There's been a lot of bad time share out there over the years," said Mark Carney, Royal's marketing & sales director. "We are proud to be one of the good ones and our over 90% year round occupancy reflects that." Carney also serves as the honorary British consul in Cancun.

Royal Resorts is rated Number One by the Timeshare Users Group, places in the Top 20 of Interval International (II) and has received II's prestigious Five Star Award every year since 1983. II is the world's largest marketer of timeshare.

Carney explained that Royal Resorts is the first ever timeshare group in Mexico to emulate the U.S. fee simple interest via a residual right of ownership, and each member purchases exactly when they want to take a vacation and in which villa they will stay. He said that other timeshare properties only have the "right to use" and do not guarantee a specific unit or dates for vacationing. Royal members have the flexibility to make exchanges both internally or at other properties worldwide.

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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