Need to Know Basis Choose Vendors Who Understand Timeshare Resorts

Rick Gursky

Rick Gursky, principal of Indon International, has recently been given the opportunity to make a big sale. “A resort called us because it had to replace almost all its furniture just three years after a major renovation,” he recalls. Humidity at the resort’s oceanfront location had caused particle board used in the furniture to swell, ruining its appearance and functionality. If the resort had relied on Indon three years before, they would have avoided a catastrophe. “Our furniture is made of contract-grade wood materials,” Gursky says. “As a manufacturer dedicated to the resort and timeshare hospitality industry, we provide furnishings with a residential feel but contract quality. We know what’s required to meet resort’s needs, and particle board simply doesn’t hold up.”

In speaking with suppliers that specialize in the resort timeshare industry, Resort Trades has found that managers who try to save a few cents by shopping local often end up costing themselves more in the long run. Here are a few
reasons why suppliers who know our industry are the real value.

Suzanne Owens
Suzanne Owens

Expert Advice
Regulations and voltages vary, but Suzanne Owens, vice president sales and marketing for Kenyon International Inc., knows what questions to ask. “We can help you make sure you’re getting the cooktop you need,” she says. “It isn’t as simple as it may sound.”

From voltage to the correct countertop cut-outs, Owens can help select the right product so kitchen projects stay on track.

Kenyon, the largest manufacturer in North America of one- and two-burner ceramic glass cooktops and stainless steel electric grills, started out in 1931 in marine applications, but its products have long since found a home on shore, too. “Our electric grills allow guests to grill safely on balconies and terraces,” Owens says. “There’s no mess from charcoal or danger from propane gas.”

Gary Moorhead, vice president of Essential Amenities, makes a similar case. “When you deal with a company that’s in tune with the trends, you’ll find someone who can guide you to products that wow customers,” he says. Essential Amenities designs, produces, and markets a broad range of personal care products, toiletries and accessories, including designer brands such as Hermès and Joseph Abboud. They can even supply in-room marketing materials to support the perceived value of the shampoos and soaps.

In addition to brands not available at your local Costco, Moorhead supplies advice on sizing and environmental concerns. “When guests stay at a timeshare resort for seven nights, it makes sense to provide larger sized bottles,” he says. Resorts that want to “go green” may want to consider refillable dispensers in showers, but there are important considerations before going that route. “The quality has to be there so guests don’t feel that it’s simply a cost-saving measure,” he advises.
Custom Creations
The décor at timeshare resorts differs from what’s found at hotel properties, so it’s important to find a supplier that understands the difference. “Resorts want to go with the latest high-end designs to provide a luxurious residential feel,” Gursky says. But buying directly off a showroom floor can be a costly mistake. “Timeshare resorts attract the family market, and families are rough on furniture,” he says. In addition to bouncing children, wet swimsuits and dropped pizza slices, resort sofas must withstand being opened into sleepers much more often than the ones in residential dens.

Indon can replicate a designer look but may change up the materials to provide longer life expectancy at a lower cost. “We thoroughly enjoy discovering and proposing successful alternatives,” Gursky says. “On one recent project, we were able to save a client considerable money by sourcing a glass that matched the fingerprint- and scratch-resistant qualities of the specified product, and it came without the usual green edge that clashed with their blue and grey color scheme.”

Another consideration may be regulations that affect commercial properties. Indon, for example, uses flame-retardant foam in its furniture; a residential supplier may not.

Just-In-Time Delivery
Once your resort commits to a designer amenity brand not available locally, what happens when you run low? Essential Amenities, for example, keeps 100 percent of its products in inventory so there’s never a lag time before shipping. “Resort properties usually need a new supply right away,” Moorhead says. “It’s a designer line, but it’s specifically manufactured for the hospitality industry.”

When resorts are in the midst of a major renovation, delivery windows are a crucial concern. “A major timeshare company told me that if a unit is out of service, that costs them $200 to a $1,000 a day,” Gursky says. “They can’t wait nine months for a coffee table that’s been delayed. That’s why we have long-term relationships with not just our manufacturers but also our logistics providers.”

Indon’s representatives supervise every step from delivery of raw materials through final inspection. “It’s an active process,” Gursky says. “We may have a quality control engineer measuring to ensure that the moisture level in the wood is right. If there are any issues, we can step in and solve them right away instead finding out weeks later that dressers have been sitting waiting for knobs.”

Although a local furniture store may get excited at the idea of furnishing several three-bedroom units at once, their “lower” price can come with costly repercussions. “They don’t understand all the demands that come into play,” he says. “They don’t have a clue what it takes to do a successful project.”