Central Florida Timeshare Developer Thrives in National Tourism Market Despite Slow Economy

Jun 23, 2008, 01:00 ET from Westgate Resorts

    ORLANDO, Fla., June 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Across the country resort
 developers are putting new projects on hold and trying to figure out how to
 salvage sales of projects already under construction. But a timeshare
 developer from Florida, David Siegel, CEO of Westgate Resorts, is setting
 record sales in what others would consider a down market.
     "If I did not read the paper I would think our economy is booming,"
 said Siegel. "Our occupancy is up and sales continue to surpass the records
 we set in 2007 when we exceeded $1.1 billion in revenue."
     The past 30 year history of the timeshare industry is ripe with
 examples of how resilient this business is during periods of economic or
 domestic uncertainly, and Westgate has consistently led the industry in
 growth each year. In fact, after the September 11th attacks virtually
 crashed the tourism market in destinations like Orlando and Las Vegas, the
 timeshare industry showed solid improvements in both occupancy rates and
 sales. Many industry experts credit timeshare for buoying the local
 tourism-related businesses in a period when hotel occupancy rates dipped
 below 20% at these destinations.
     "Gas prices are at an inflation-adjusted high and food prices have
 skyrocketed. But people still want to vacation; they're just looking for
 someone to make it affordable," explains Siegel. "The fact that we can
 offer them five-star luxury at a price they can afford is the thing that
 sets us apart."
     As the visionary founder and CEO of Westgate Resorts, David Siegel has
 spent the last 25 years developing high-end family resorts in vacation
 destinations across the nation, growing his company from one resort in
 Kissimmee, Florida to 28 resorts across the United States. "The best
 memories I had growing up were vacationing with my family; it has always
 been my mission to replicate the great memories I had for the over 400,000
 families that visit our resorts each year."
     Next month Siegel will celebrate the topping off of his $1.2 billion
 Las Vegas property-PH Towers by Westgate. Much of the celebration, however,
 will be had by the local businesses and individuals who have benefited from
 Siegel's success. A project of this magnitude has a tremendous impact on
 the local economy. When Westgate develops a project, it translates into
 hundreds of jobs for the local community and millions of dollars in
 additional revenue for area businesses. "In places like Orlando and Las
 Vegas, we buy a significant amount of attraction tickets, hotel rooms, and
 other local goods," explains Siegel. "More importantly, we create thousands
 of permanent annual visitors who will return each year and spend their
 vacation dollars. We value our local partners and the communities in which
 we live and work."
     About Westgate Resorts:
     With 28 resorts and over 400,000 owners worldwide, Westgate Resorts is
 the largest privately owned timeshare company in the world and one of the
 largest resort developers in the United States. The company, founded in
 1970 by David A. Siegel, provides affordable luxury vacation accommodations
 and exchange opportunities through exclusive affiliation with Interval
 International, which offers worldwide travel solutions at over 2,000
 resorts in over 65 countries. More information is available at
 www.westgateresorts.com .

SOURCE Westgate Resorts