Skift Take

Hilton Grand Vacations made an acquisition proposal to Bluegreen Vacations, two publicly traded vacation ownership companies.

Welcome to a brand new week, folks! If you’re like me, you’re reading this and going, “what is time?” Well, it’s a thing that flies.

We have a packed bulletin today, let’s hit it. 

On the itinerary: 

  • Hilton Grand Vacations – Bluegreens Vacations merger
  • Martha Vineyard’s tax money
  • Limehome and Timbers expansion

Timeshare Titans

Hilton Grand Vacations made an acquisition proposal to Bluegreen Vacations, two publicly traded vacation ownership companies. Hilton Grand Vacations, a 2017 spin-off from Hilton, said in the announcement it is proposing an all-cash transaction at $75 per share, totaling approximately $1.5 billion, including net debt. The merger aims to enhance Hilton Grand Vacations’ competitive standing within the vacation ownership and experiences industry, Skift Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill wrote. 

Hilton Grand Vacations specializes in marketing and selling vacation ownership intervals and interests. The company operates resorts across the U.S., Europe, and Asia Pacific, featuring the Hilton Grand Vacations Club and Hilton Club brands. 

The company’s strategy includes boosting operating profit margins through acquisitions and to diversify its vacation/timeshare offerings. In 2021, Hilton Grand Vacations acquired Diamond Resorts, which was valued at $840 million. It aimed to attract travelers with a prominent brand. Bluegreen Vacations offers benefits from marketing partnerships with Bass Pro Shops and Choice Hotels. 

If you raised an eyebrow at the deal value, you’re not alone. 

Daily Lodging Report Editor Alan Woinski said, “There had been some rumors that a deal was in the works but the price, purchasing at more than double the stock price close on Friday, is extremely interesting,” Woinski said. “While synergies as well as the lack of liquidity in the stock trading of Bluegreen are what could justify the valuation, as compared with the closing price on Friday, it still is a really big premium for any type of deal.”

Hilton Grand Vacations Seeks $1.5 Billion Merger With Bluegreen Vacations in Timeshare Mashup

Money Flowing in Martha’s Vineyard 

Martha’s Vineyard saw a record-breaking surge in tax revenue from short-term rentals and hotel stays in 2023, with its six Island towns collectively amassing $8.8 million in rooms tax, the Vineyard Gazette reported. 

The island currently has 3,840 registered short-term rental properties, up by over 500 from the previous year. While demand cooled from pandemic highs, a considerable growth in short-term rentals, the tally increased by 1,288 since March 2022. These properties, rented for under 30 days, must register and are subject to a tax expanded to include short-term rentals in 2019, enabling towns to impose up to a 6 percent tax.

Bans in Buffalo

The Buffalo Common Council enacted a temporary suspension on new permits for short-term rentals, effective until the year’s end in some council districts, Buffalo Urban Radio reported. The proliferation of short-term rentals is viewed as a contributor to Buffalo’s record-high rental costs and increased homelessness. During the moratorium, the City of Buffalo’s Department of Permit and Inspection Services is responsible for auditing existing short-term rentals and pending applications to ensure compliance with application requirements. 

Timbers Unveils Andiamo

Florida-based resorts company Timbers has entered the vacation rental market with Andiamo, its global collection of luxury vacation residences. Greg Spencer, Timbers’ CEO, said the company developed Andiamo to bridge the gap between luxury resort experiences and private home rentals. 

What’s on the menu? Professionally designed residences, along with personalized services like pre-arrival grocery delivery and cultural programming. Andiamo offers access to properties in Kauai, Tuscany, Vail, Colorado and more. 

Summit County Stay

Continuing news from Colorado: Remember Summit County homeowners filed a lawsuit against the county’s short-term rental rules? 

A federal judge issued a stay on lawsuit against Summit county by property owners, as county officials moved to dismiss a lawsuit filed by local homeowners, Summit Daily reported. Key points of contention included limits on annual bookings and rental license quotas. These regulations aimed to curtail short-term rental licenses in specific unincorporated areas, with exemptions for “resort overlay zones.” County authorities contended these measures are crucial to tackle a “workforce housing crisis.” The lawsuit raised concerns about potential income loss and exceptions for year-round residents, alleging discrimination against out-of-state residents. County officials asserted that the regulations are reasonable and not in violation of fundamental rights. 

The legal dispute is currently on hold.

Santa Fe Ponders New Rules

Santa Fe County in New Mexico is preparing to implement fresh regulations for short-term rentals. Last year, the county instituted a one-year ban on new short-term rentals, with exceptions for properties where the owners reside. With the initial moratorium set to expire on November 24, county commissioners are considering extending it while they develop a more comprehensive approach to managing short-term rentals, KRQE News reported.

Properties with on-site owners contribute to improved neighborhood conditions by mitigating noise, safety concerns, and issues related to zoning and tax collection. Santa Fe County currently has 246 unregistered short-term rentals, according to the report, and the potential extension of the moratorium would address this issue and determine appropriate penalties for non-compliance.

Limehome’s Euro Expansion

German short-term rental operator limehome is expanding into Italy, Greece, and Switzerland. The Munich-based company, which has over 5,000 apartments in 10 European markets, is focusing on expanding in Italy, including Rome and Milan, as well as the Amalfi Coast. In Greece, it’s establishing properties in Athens and Piraeus, and in Switzerland, Limehome is preparing to open apartments in Zurich’s old town. Guests can make bookings starting mid-2024.

Ireland Housing Minister to Meet With EC

Ireland’s Housing Minister, Darragh O’Brien, has scheduled a meeting with the European Commission in December to address the ongoing delay in implementing regulations aimed at restricting Airbnb and short-term let properties, The Journal reported. 

The Irish government had approved a short-term let register last year, with hopes of reintroducing thousands of properties into the rental market. Under the plan, properties advertised for short-term rentals on platforms like Airbnb must possess a valid registration number from Fáilte Ireland. Hosts offering stays up to 21 nights will need to register, confirming planning permission where necessary. Booking platforms would only be allowed to advertise properties with valid registration numbers, with the register being a key part of the government’s strategy to boost housing supply. Minister O’Brien expressed a desire to expedite the process.

For context: The legislation necessary to establish the new register was sent to the European Commission on December 21, 2023, as mandated by an EU Directive. This submission initiated a three-month waiting period during which the bill cannot be put into effect. Recently, the housing department received a communication from the EU Commission, informing it that the waiting period will be extended until December 22, 2023.

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Tags: hilton grand vacations, sstrr

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