ESCAPE: White glove
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These include a one-bedroom or two-bedroom villa or a condominium.
“It is really the opposite of time share,” says Mann.
“This is like belonging to a private country club or a private tennis club. You just decide where you want to go and we take care of you with our white glove concierge service. “We will even stock your fridge with food and rent your car — you just book it all online.”
A lifetime membership includes accommodations in a one-bedroom condo that sleeps two to four for seven days per year.
It costs $11,980 US, plus an annual hospitality and maintenance fee of $796 US that Mann says will not increase beyond the cost of living index.
Calgarians Nichole Menard and Phil Farrion are intrigued with this concept. “We spend at least 10 days in the winter every year in Arizona visiting my parents and we have had some challenging experiences with accommodations,” says Menard.
The couple has two boys ages 9 and 11 and for the most part, the family always rents a condo.
“You look online at the condos and they look fine — and then you get there and they are not in great shape, and there is always a problem,” she says. “The last one we rented, although it was pretty — the pool was gorgeous -— it had a termite problem and there were wasps in the fireplace.”
The couple started investigating alternatives and came across Escapes, which launched in early November.
“It was very exciting. The resort in Scottsdale — Toscana — is beautiful and everything is really well taken care of; and you are part of a club, so you get perks on everything. So, that was very appealing,” says Farrion.
The family is also excited about the new Pine Ridge Resort in Invermere, B.C.
“We can ski at Panorama,” he says. “That is something that we haven’t yet done as a family.”
A trip to Disney World in Orlando, Fla., is also on the agenda if they decide to go ahead with membership.
Statesman has purchased several three-, four- and fivebedroom townhomes in the park close to the Magic Kingdom and beside the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Legoland theme parks.
“We wanted them to be large to accommodate the whole family, grandparents etc.,” says Mann, adding that the Escapes concept builds on a theme of creating affordable, seamless vacations in beautiful locales.
“If you have a family of four and are renting hotel rooms, you have to rent at least two rooms and all of a sudden the cost for one trip is close to $10,000 — that is almost the cost for a lifetime membership in Escapes.” Menard agrees. “This is just such a good idea,” she says. “I often think: ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to just go somewhere on vacation knowing that you weren’t going to have any issues?’”
Vistas like these of the Pacific Ocean will be plentiful from Escapes Resort Club’s property in Puget Sound, Wash.