‘Anti-timeshare’ developers create buzz for the project | Business Observer

Almost two years after announcing plans to build villas and a resort at the Heritage Harbor Golf Club and Eatery in eastern Manatee County, the club owners identified ResClubs as a development partner in the construction of the Heritage Harbor Golf Resort and Lodge.

Mark Bruce, the club manager in charge of the development project, recently joined ResClubs CEO Craig Williamson to host an open house to explain how people can own or rent time in villas in furnished vacation and lodge suites on property.

Bruce says the construction of the 76 villas and a resort will allow Heritage Harbor to inject much-needed funds into a course in need of improvement. The partnership with ResClubs isn’t much of a change from the original plan, he says.

“We originally thought there would be a number of villas, and we would sell them for people to occupy,” says Bruce. “The hotel would be the hotel.

Jay Heater. ResClubs CEO Craig Williamson said Heritage Harbor Golf Resort and Lodge would be a flagship site for his business.

After Palm Beach Gardens-based ResClubs launched their format at the Reunion Resort and Golf Club in Kissimmee in January 2020, Bruce saw the concept on a social media site and researched the platform. “We wanted to find a development partner that matched our vision,” said Bruce, who contacted Williamson. “They were open to the idea. They were relatively new and wanted to develop their platform in Florida. It will become a Southeast flagship for them.”

One aspect of the project that Bruce insists on? It is not a timeshare.

“Timeshare is a form of fractional ownership,” says Bruce. “It’s predatory with a tough sales pitch. The ResClubs program is the exact opposite, villas being part of a resort. Members invest money into a vacation home subscription. then there are no more fees or dues. They can pre-book their time, come and go, and the other weeks they don’t use create income to offset their cost. “

Heritage Harbor Golf Course opened in 2001 as Stoneybrook and changed its current name in 2018. Since its inception, it has been operated as a public course and semi-private club.

“We’re bringing it into the resort / private world,” says Bruce. “This will include opportunities for the people who live in Stoneybrook and Heritage Harbor. The reason for carrying out the whole project is to put money back into the property. “

Construction of the infrastructure is expected to begin next summer, when the golf course will be closed for a major renovation. Bruce expects the course to be closed for about five months and says it will be the first of a three-level renovation project. He says the plan is to upgrade “everything”.

Construction is expected to go vertical in the fourth quarter of 2022, and the villas are expected to be ready from the first or second quarter of 2023. The resort, which will have between 76 and 90 suites (depending on rights), is expected to be completed approximately one year after the villas.

Courtesy. A rendering of the exterior of one of the resort villas planned for Heritage Harbor Golf Resort and Lodge.

The first and second holes of the course will be removed and replaced by the villas and the lodge. Two holes will be added to the existing course, which will remain a par-72.

Williamson, involved in the timeshare and vacation resort industry since 2003, wanted to “build a better mousetrap.”

“We are the anti-timeshare people,” he adds. “This industry is always predatory. I had a lot of sleepless nights because we were putting a lot of people in this industry and it wasn’t good management of their money.

“This is the evolution of it.”

Williamson says that participation in ResClubs also leads to a source of income. He says an explosion in the number of vacation rental properties like VRBO and Airbnb has made the market ripe for ResClubs.

Another plus: Heritage Harbor ticked all the boxes – features like growth, big box stores, and being pinched on all sides by development – when Williamson sought out a flagship property.

Besides the Heritage Harbor project, Williamson has other projects in Costa Rica and Mexico, as well as a similar project with townhouses in Las Vegas.

He says the fact that Heritage Harbor Golf Resort and Lodge will be developed in one phase is important. He says multi-phased projects, which sometimes leave previous phases obsolete, are “absolute disasters”.

Bruce, meanwhile, says the station’s time has come – in part because of the pandemic.

“People want to be in their own little bubble,” he says. “The landscape has changed and has been magnified by the pandemic. We saw this as a perfect solution for us. People will be tied to the property and will call it home.”

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