RCI recently played host to the Resort Trades team at a ‘Lunch & Learn’ event held in Gatlinburg, TN. These educational events are RCI’s outreach to HOAs throughout the country at the end of which they will have visited 10 locations stretching from Honolulu to Hyannis. The program was started last year and is ‘back by popular demand.’
We joined approximately 30 other attendees who were principally resort managers, resort team members and board members hailing from the local environ. However, one developer and his resort manager had driven up from Athens, Georgia. By the end of the day, we’re sure it was worth his travel time. Between RCI staff Adrian Garrett, Erica Gause, Esther Grisham, Jill Gray and John Horn, plus several partners from the RCI Affiliate Access program, attendees received a ton of information. Best of all, the half-day session was free for resort staff and HOA board members to attend. We all had a very full day (well, half-day) that included information about RCI programs to assist resorts to achieve the “Cycle of Success.” The cycle was used to illustrate how RCI and its industry partners can aid in every area of a resort’s business affairs, including sales, obtaining leads, communicating with owners and handling operations. Plus, there were drawings for prizes held throughout the day and a delicious lunch.
RCI created their Affiliate Access program so that a number of leading service providers and vendors from the timeshare industry have a platform from which they can explain their businesses and what they offer to RCI affiliated resorts. In most cases, RCI has negotiated prices geared especially for RCI® affiliates. Throughout the session, RCI staff and affiliated industry partners took turns providing information about the programs and services available to resorts.
Our team was impressed to see how much industry information was packed into one event. Attendees learned about cost-saving opportunities, were able to network together and share ideas and spent time talking face-to-face with RCI about the best ways to help their owners get the most out of their vacation ownership.
Several industry partners were in attendance to present their offers. Among them was Kevin Mattoni who is, himself, a resort management professional with Cunningham Management LLC. Mattoni spoke about his new company, Cunningham Asset Recovery Services (C.A.R.S.), which helps resorts obtain non-judicial foreclosures at greatly reduced pricing.
“I am very grateful to have the opportunity to raise awareness of our newly created entity by being a preferred affiliate access partner,” says Mattoni. “RCI provides me with the opportunity to address a number of resort operators whether I am there in person or not, in which case RCI’s team can talk about C.A.R.S.’ services.”
Attendees were likewise impressed. Several had attended the previous year’s session. As one GM put it, “I will definitely take a lot of new ideas home with me. It’s really been great to be able to meet several of the vendors in person. It was nice being able to ask them questions without being given a big sales pitch.