(Acquisition by Apollo Global Management pending)
|Industry||Vacation Ownership, Timeshare|
|Headquarters||Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.|
Stephen J. Cloobeck, (Founder) |
Michael Flaskey, (CEO),
|Products||Vacation Ownership, Timeshare|
|Revenue||$230.7 million (EBITDA, 2013)|
Diamond Resorts is a timeshare company headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, with regional offices in Orlando, Florida, Lancaster, United Kingdom. The company has a network of more than 379 vacation destinations in 35 countries around the world and sells vacation ownership points. The company sponsors numerous celebrities, including LPGA professional Brittany Lincicome, PGA Tour professional Brian Gay and MLB Hall of Famers Gaylord Perry and Reggie Jackson. The company also pairs with country music artists, including Cole Swindell, Lauren Alaina and Jana Kramer to host private concerts for its members.
Diamond Resorts announced in March 2018 that the company was partnering with the LPGA to launch the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions. The tournament begins the LPGA's 2019 season and features tournament winners from the previous two LPGA seasons, along with celebrity participants. The Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions replaces the golf tournament the company previously sponsored, the Diamond Resorts Invitational.
On January 18, 2018, the company underwent a brand refresh, updating its logo and officially dropping International from its name to be known as Diamond Resorts.
On December 23, 2016 Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced a settlement of $800,000 with Diamond Resorts. As part of the settlement, customers who bought their timeshares under false pretenses could relinquish them.
In October 2015 DRI bought out Gold Key Resorts for $167.5 million. This acquisition added five vacation ownership resorts in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and one in the Outer Banks, North Carolina.
Diamond Resorts acquired Intrawest Resort Club Group in November 2015, adding nine resorts and 22,000 members. After the acquisition, Diamond Resorts re-branded the Intrawest Resort Club Group as Embarc Resorts.
Diamond Resorts acquired Amber Vacation Club in March 2018 and will assume operations at Amber’s managed resorts, Sunrise Ridge Resort in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and Alhambra Villas and Alhambra at Poinciana in Kissimmee, Florida.
Diamond Resorts launched the Diamond Resorts Invitational in 2013 to benefit Florida Hospital for Children. Through the golf tournament, the company has raised a total of more than $3.1 million to the children's hospital. In March 2018, the company announced it was sponsoring a new golf tournament, the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions, with the LPGA as an official season event. The company has said charity will continue to be a piece of the tournament.
In October 2015, Diamond Resorts pledged to match all new donations made to the Diamond Resorts International Foundation, a recognized 501(c)(3) organization, in 2017 up to $1 million to support Hurricane Irma relief efforts.
The founder, Stephen J. Cloobeck, was featured in the fourth season premiere of the American reality television series Undercover Boss on January 15, 2012, marking the first time the head of a company previously featured in an earlier episode went undercover a second time.
Criticism and controversy
Diamond Resorts is notable for high-pressure sales tactics used to close sales and generate fees for consumers. Club members are charged yearly maintenance fees (including management fees), which are set by Diamond Resorts and which the FTC warns are likely to rise every year. Diamond Resorts's official 2014 SEC filing states that club members do not have the right to terminate membership, except in certain areas where consumers are protected by state law. Jeff Weir, a Diamond timeshare owner and journalist covering the timeshare industry, told the New York Times: "In my experience, Diamond is much more ambitious, aggressive and downright nasty in their sales presentations compared to Marriott and Westin. Diamond just has an amazing reputation of being tough on people."
To help improve customer transparency, the company launched Diamond Clarity, a program that ensures customers understand their rights and improves many operational issues that previously arose during the sales process.
Settlement with State of Arizona over Allegations of Consumer Fraud
On December 23, 2016 Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced a settlement of $800,000 with Diamond Resorts over accusations that Diamond Resorts had violated the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act. Of the settlement funds, $650,00 were used for customer restitution. Under the settlement, customers who had purchased timeshares in Arizona between January 1, 2011 and July 23, 2017 could be released from their timeshare, provided they gave a detailed description of deceptive statements or false promises made by Diamond Resorts employees during the sale.
The Attorney General's website states that alleged misrepresentations were related to:
- The amounts maintenance fees could increase annually (in some cases up to 25% each year);
- Consumers' ability to resell timeshares to the public;
- The existence of Diamond buy-back programs;
- Consumers' ability to rent out their timeshares for a profit; and
- Discounts on other travel needs.— Attorney General Press Release
In response to the settlement, Diamond Resorts launched a relinquishment program in fall 2017 called Transitions. The program allows eligible owners to give back their timeshare to Diamond Resorts.
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