History of WorldMark by Wyndham
As a major player in the Wyndham Vacation Ownership timeshare family, WorldMark by Wyndham has become the third-largest timeshare company in the world with over 270,000 owners subscribing to the points-based vacation ownership club program.
WorldMark by Wyndham is one of four consumer brands coming under the Wyndham Vacation Ownership umbrella - joining Club Wyndham, Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific and Shell Vacations Club. Together, they form the single largest timeshare entity in the world with over 900,000 members and dominate the industry in a way few other companies can match.
The story of WorldMark by Wyndham stretches back to 1983. Through an expansion of Jeld-Wen Inc., a window and door manufacturer based in Klamath Falls, Oregon, Jeld-Wen operated its first resort development property, Eagle Crest Resort, a golf resort in Redmond, Oregon.
Timeshare sales at the resort were very successful, with Jeld-Wen exploring the idea of expanding the program beyond Eagle Crest. In came Bill Peare, who surveyed owners at Eagle Crest and realized that their owners were very satisfied with their product but wanted more flexibility with the concept.
The Worldmark Club Era Begins
The result - a new company called Trendwest, which was created in 1989 by Jeld-Wen to sell a vacation club product through the newly branded Club program first known as Club Esprit. This is thought to be the first company to create a points-based vacation club product for the general public. Otherwise known as a credit-based vacation ownership concept, the thought was that traditional timeshares- where an owner visits a home resort for a fixed week every year-was too limiting. Therefore, the vacation club was created to combine the benefits of timeshare ownership with the flexibility of traveling beyond the home resort on an expanded vacation schedule.
In 1992, the Club Esprit name was changed to WorldMark by Trendwest, with this unique business model actually a relationship between Trendwest, who was the developer partner, and WorldMark, who held title and governed the Club. In this partnership, Trendwest was responsible for building the resorts and the members would benefit from the expanded selection of destinations made available for their use.
The Club was an immediate success, growing from only three units at three separate properties in Oregon to 324 vacation units in 24 resorts by its fifth year of operation - ringing up over $45 million in sales by 1993 and exceeding $100 million by 1996. As Trendwest added resorts to its network, the WorldMark program continued to expand through the 1990s.
In 1998, Trendwest was spun off from Jeld-Wen and became an independent company, with Jeld-Wen owning 80 percent of TrendWest and the rest of the company owned by TrendWest Management.
In Comes Cendant
Trendwest boasted 48 properties by 2002, primarily located in the western United States, British Columbia, Mexico, Hawaii and Fiji. This growth attracted the attention of hospitality conglomerate Cendant Corp, which had acquired companies such as Fairfield and timeshare exchange provider RCI Timeshare. In May 2002, Cendant acquired Jeld-Wen's interest in Trendwest and in July of that year, Trendwest became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cendant, making them the largest timeshare provider in the world.
Cendant would later buy Wyndham International and manage each company as separately branded entities until 2006, when Cendant spun-off the newly created Wyndham Worldwide as a separate company intending to house all of their timeshare and hotel entities under the Wyndham name.
The Re-Branding of WorldMark by Wyndham
The rebranding would continue, with WorldMark by Trendwest becoming WorldMark by Wyndham and operating under the newly-formed brand structure of Wyndham Vacation Ownership. Other entities would undergo a name change, including Fairfield Resorts becoming Wyndham Vacation Resorts (now Club Wyndham), and Trendwest South Pacific now known as Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific.
Following the restructuring, WorldMark By Wyndham achieved several milestones such as:
- September 2006 refurbishment and opening of WorldMark San Diego located in the heart of downtown San Diego.
- October 2006 grand opening of WorldMark Indio, located among the numerous championship golf courses of Indio, California.
- December 2007 opening of its first ski-in, ski-out resort, WorldMark Red River, in New Mexico
- March 2008 opening of WorldMark West Yellowstone in West Yellowstone, Montana
- November 2008 opening of WorldMark Anaheim in southern California.
WorldMark by Wyndham has continued its success under the Wyndham management structure and is widely viewed as one of the best vacation values of any points-based timeshare system available.
Worldmark Looking Ahead
Managing an expanded network of more than 70 resorts in destinations from sea to ski and coast to coast, WorldMark by Wyndham provides a wide range of vacation options with condominium resort-style accommodation featuring living areas, kitchens and dining rooms. Units are available in various sizes as studios, one bedroom, two bedrooms, three bedrooms and penthouse or presidential suites.
Now found in places such as Orlando, New Orleans and Branson in addition to its traditional locations in western Canada, the U.S. West Coast, Hawaii and Mexico, WorldMark by Wyndham continues to expand its offering of vacation destinations.
With the July, 2013 opening of WorldMark Chelan - Lake House, located in Lake Chelan, Washington and just three hours outside of Seattle, the brand now has nine resorts located in the state of Washington. This follows WorldMark's April, 2013 acquisition of the Seventh Mountain Resort in Bend, Oregon - located along the Deschutes River in the heart of Central Oregon and close to the ski and snowboard destination of Mt. Bachelor. Resort renovations are scheduled for the fall of 2013 and due to be completed in early 2014.