Demeure Founder Peter Schwartz Compares His Model To Destination Clubs
By: Destination Club News
Date: September 23, 2010
While just a decade old, the destination club space has been reforged time after time after time. Today, the model is predicated on financial vigilance, lean operational structures, and continual interaction and disclosure with members. Despite the changes in the sector, many of the "old world" philosophies have again come to the forefront with the recent Ultimate Escapes bankruptcy filing and their continual dependence on new membership sales, extensive and well paid executive team, and crippling debt obligation.
Because of the bankruptcies at Ultimate Escapes, High Country Club, LUSSO Collection, and others, some are reconsidering if they want to be grouped in the rather broad category of destination clubs. Equity Estates refers to themselves as a "Luxury Residence Fund." Others have thrown around the generic "Experience Club" title. The Demeure Club has been in the works for three years and they continue to look to accurately define their concept. We spoke to Demeure Founder Peter Schwartz to ask, if you aren't a destination club, how do you compare to them?
"The Demeure Club is positioned as a smarter alternative to destination clubs because Demeure doesn’t have a membership deposit and is a more predictable alternative to the many vacation home rental-listing services," said Schwartz. "The bonus that Demeure adds that further separates it from listing services and local property managers is access to boutique resorts and a real estate portfolio that spans North America, South America, Europe and Caribbean."
"Where the interesting twist to Demeure comes into clear focus is our innovative property exchange program. Demeure members who have excess time in their property are encouraged to add their home, villa, or flat into the program to offset their costs of travel to other Demeure locations. With many second home owners seeking creative ways to travel while alleviating some of costs of ownership, the Demeure approach seems like a rational alternative to satisfying that growing market."
The facts would seem to support Demeure's supposition as the typical second home owner uses their vacation property just a handful of days each year. Schwartz touched on a wide array of points about the inner workings of how they capitalize on this opportunity in an interview with our dear friend Susan Kime last week.
We have spoken to Schwartz and the rest of the Demeure team repeatedly over the last several weeks and can testify to the enthusiasm that each team member brings to the club, with Peter serving as the biggest cheerleader of them all.
"Our motto is 'Travel Confidently' for a reason," Schwartz concluded. "We believe Demeure could be the next logical step forward in a crowded and confusing marketplace that could benefit from a better sense of direction at the moment."
The past several weeks have seen that direction shift from moment to moment as the entire industry monitors, and often is a part of, the Ultimate Escapes bankruptcy story. Check back frequently for up to the minute details about this developing story and about how it impacts clubs like Demeure.