Mr. Hefler

Sales & Marketing

What Can You Learn from a Private Residence Club?

By Lawrence Hefler, Principal, Hefler International

What are the ingredients for a successful Private Residence Club? Many would suggest that it starts with location...a resort setting where there is a strong demand for luxury vacation homes or luxury hotel offerings. A location with mountains, rivers, golf courses, spectacular views, and multiple seasons is preferable. Resort areas with land scarcity and a difficult entitlement process are also particularly attractive.

Let's take a look at Jackson Hole, Wyoming - a remarkable place that includes all those ingredients and then some. Jackson Hole is a valley located in west-central Wyoming, and gets the name "hole" from early trappers or mountain men, who primarily entered the valley from the north and east and had to descend into the valley along relatively steep slopes, giving the sensation of entering a hole. These low-lying valleys surrounded by mountains contain rivers and streams that are good habitat for various fur-bearing animals.

The price of quality real estate in Jackson Hole has skyrocketed over the past decade due to the limited amount of developable land. The ever-growing demand to own a piece of paradise here created the need for alternative leisure real estate choices. In 2001 the first Private Residence Club in the area was sold as fractional ownership.

After the location, the next ingredient would be the experience. Jackson Hole was recently rated number 11 in the Top 25 Destinations in the USA by In their words, "The longest and steepest vertical slope in the United States attracts hordes of serious skiers and snowboarders to Jackson Hole each year. The resort includes the mountain and Teton Village - a lively community of shops, restaurants, hotels and condominiums.

While skiing is certainly a major winter pastime, Jackson's unique location, at the base of the majestic Grand Tetons and close to both Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park, offers natural splendor and outdoor adventure all year long. From hiking, biking and rafting to fly fishing and golfing, where to start is the hardest part."

With a private residence club as a base camp each year, the summer experiences are endless.

And yet as popular as summer time is to be there, winter season activities have probably put Jackson Hole on the map.

Beyond the many extraordinary experiences, a Residence Club is still a second or third home away from home. To indulge in these countless experiences, base camp and retreat is needed to start and end each day. For example, The Teton Club in Jackson Hole consists of 37 rustically elegant two and three bedroom condominiums. It personifies the West in all its glory and grandeur. The design and ambience of captures the nostalgic flavor of the grand old lodges of America's National Parks. The one-of-a-kind location at the base of the mountain offers true ski-in & ski-out access. The Great Room, featuring a Members' only lounge, cozy fireplace and Snake River Valley view is warm and inviting.

Members can fractionally own a luxurious, fully-furnished residence with gourmet kitchens, nine-foot ceilings, stone fireplaces, claw foot tubs, and slate flooring. There are complete kitchen and dining areas and the most modern amenities. Bedrooms boast the finest linens, warm colors and big, comfortable beds, plus a spacious master bath. Each home also features a large balcony linking to the never-ending vistas of Wyoming.

Fractional ownership in a private residence club and the experiences are intertwined. As part of their fractional ownership, Teton Club Members enjoy member status at Teton Pines Resort and Country Club whose golf course. Members have priority for those coveted early morning tee times and pay no greens fees. Also while in residence, Members receive two ski passes, per residence, per day at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.

For all these components that create the lifestyle, the amenities are another ingredient that makes for a successful residence club. Starting with a slope side location that includes large ski/boot lockers for equipment, fitness center facilities, hot tubs, indoor heated garage parking, valet service, 24 hour concierge service, members only lounge and bar, and daily housekeeping services. A rock-garden spa offers four cascading and soothing hot tubs set in the natural fauna of the resort gardens.

Then there's that one special ingredient among the amenities - the in house Spa that offers Eastern ancient healing arts and western state of the art services to nurture, restore, and maintain a perfect balance of mind, body, and soul. As a special benefit, members receive a discount on spa treatments.

While all these features and benefits do make for a great residence club, there is a secret ingredient that will make or break the perfect mountain residence club and lifestyle. That secret ingredient is the service. How is an owner or guest treated before, during, and after they are in residence? At Teton Club, service is perhaps best measured by the guest testimonials. This excerpt is from a recent letter to them.

"Thank you all for making our recent visit such an amazing one. The staff there was probably the best staff we have ever encountered in our travels. They were extremely helpful, knowledgeable, attentive, and most importantly they were friendly. The property is an amazing property but would not have been so without such nice people. We hope to make the Teton Club an annual trip now, and knowing the hospitality of what is awaiting us is of extreme comfort..."

At the end of the stay, what we can learn from a private residence club and lifestyle is really that it's the ideal place to hang your hat for a week.

Lawrence Hefler is Principal of BrandShares International – a marketing and branding consultancy that helps hospitality, leisure real estate, and shared ownership companies find, keep, and grow customers worldwide. His brand heritage includes Hilton Hotels, Walt Disney, BellSouth, American Express, and Sol Meliá. Throughout his career, he has been an early practitioner and leader in the fields of database marketing, Internet, and new media. Mr. Hefler is an internationally recognized speaker, writer and industry advisor. Mr. Hefler can be contacted at 407-644-7840 or Extended Bio... retains the copyright to the articles published in the Hotel Business Review. Articles cannot be republished without prior written consent by

Receive our daily newsletter with the latest breaking news and hotel management best practices.
Hotel Business Review on Facebook
General Search:

MAY: Eco-Friendly Practices: The Value of Sustainability

Eric Ricaurte

In 2011, we visited the 10 hotels contracted in the room block for the Greenbuild conference in Toronto. As part of their award-winning sustainable event program, the conference organizers embedded green practices into the contract language for these hotels, who either had to comply with the requirements, explain their reason why they couldn’t implement them, or pay a $1,000 fine. Part of our consulting work was to gather the data and confirm some of the practices on-site. READ MORE

Susan Tinnish

Hotels brands have actively engaged in large-scale efforts to become more environmentally friendly. Individual hotels have made great strides on property. Many significant large-scale eco-initiatives s are most easily built initially into the infrastructure and design of the building and surrounding areas. Given that the adaptation of these large-scale changes into the existing asset base is expensive and disruptive, hotels seek different ways to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and eco-friendly practices. One way to do so is to shift the focus from large-scale change to “small wins.” Small wins can help a hotel create a culture of sustainability. READ MORE

Shannon Sentman

Utility costs are the second largest operating expense for most hotels. Successfully reducing these expenses can be a huge value-add strategy for executives. Doing this effectively requires more than just a one-time investment in efficiency upgrades. It requires ongoing visibility into a building’s performance and effectively leveraging this visibility to take action. Too often, efficiency strategies center on a one-time effort to identify opportunities with little consideration for establishing ongoing practices to better manage a building’s performance ongoing. READ MORE

Joshua Zinder, AIA

Discussions of sustainability in the hospitality industry have focused mainly on strategies at the level of energy-efficient and eco-friendly adjustments to operations and maintenance. These "tweaks" can include programs to reduce water usage, updating lighting to LEDs, campaigns to increase guest participation in recycling, and similar innovative industry initiatives. Often overlooked—not only by industry experts but even by hotel operators and designers—are possibilities for hotel design and construction that can make a property truly sustainable from the get-go. READ MORE

Coming Up In The June Online Hotel Business Review

Feature Focus
Sales & Marketing: Who Owns the Guest?
Hotels and OTAs are, by necessity, joined at the hip and locked in a symbiotic relationship that is uneasy at best. Hotels require the marketing presence that OTAs offer and of course, OTAs guest’s email when it sends guest information to a hotel, effectively allowing OTAs to maintain “ownership” of the guest. Without ready access to guest need hotel product to offer their online customers. But recently, several OTAs have decided to no longer share a data, hotels are severely constrained from marketing directly to a guest which allows them to capture repeat business – the lowest cost and highest value travelers. Hotels also require this data to effectively market to previous guests, so ownership of this data will be a significant factor as hotels and OTAs move forward. Another issue is the increasing shift to mobile travel bookings. Mobile will account for more than half of all online travel bookings next year, and 78.6% of them will use their smartphone to make those reservations. As a result, hotels must have a robust mobile marketing plan in place, which means responsive design, one-click booking, and location technology. Another important mobile marketing element is a “Click-to-Call” feature. According to a recent Google survey, 68% of hotel guests report that it is extremely/very important to be able to call a hotel during the purchase phase, and 58% are very likely to call a hotel if the capability is available in a smartphone search. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.