The Hideaways Club 2009 International Destination Club of the Year
By: Destination Club News
Date: January 19, 2010
With the destination club industry reeling from the bankruptcies of LUSSO Collection, High Country Club, and The Solstice Collection during the early part of 2009, The Hideaways Club would quietly bring in new capital to their up and coming London based destination club by selling a portion of the ownership to two investors, Jonathan Feuer and Nick Bettany. With the newfound capital, the foundation for the club's year had been put in place.
"Feuer and Bettany‘s purchase of a stake in the club is not thought of as a partial sale by the founders but rather it was always part of our plan to raise additional funding when we started planning on opening up operations outside of Europe," said Stephen Wise, CEO of The Hideaways Club. "We are particularly pleased that Jonathan Feuer decided to invest in the management company. He was one of our original founder Club members and is renown within the world of private equity for his shrewd investments. We saw it as a major 'stamp of approval' for our business model."
Wise's plan bore fruit in 2009 as the club nearly doubled their membership totals, leading to our recognition of The Hideaways Club as our 2009 International Destination Club of the Year honor for their growth in one of the most turbulent economic climates in history. "The fund’s audited accounts for 2009 will show an increase in the number of shareholders of 85%, up to 120 total members," Wise told us. "Given the current economic uncertainties and difficulties many of the other clubs are seeing, a near doubling in number of investors is very encouraging."
Once dedicated to the London region, The Hideaways Club has been so encouraged by their growth that they have expanded their vision to Asia. By the end of 2009, The Hideaways Club opened offices in Singapore and Hong Kong to reach a growingly affluent Asian market.
"We are well aware of the number of high net worth individuals that reside in both Singapore and Hong Kong," Mike Lamb, The Hideaway Club's Managing Director in Asia, told us late last year. "Naturally for The Hideaways Club, these type of individuals fit the profile of our members - namely Chairmen, CEO's, FD's, Investment Bankers, partners of Law Firms and Medical Practices, Entrepreneurs, etc. For those who are looking to place funds into a global property portfolio with sensible returns and can see the value of subsidized luxury vacations, The Hideaways Club represents a unique investment opportunity."
Courting a new audience, The Hideaways Club would also expand their property portfolio during the year, adding residences in South Africa, Phuket, and Bali while pursuing destinations such as Sri Lanka, Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Western Australia. With real estate values still low, the club plans on continuing the growth of their property collection in 2010. "In 2010, we plan to take as much advantage of the fantastic property buying opportunities," Wise would state. "And to continue growing the membership base as well."
When we asked Wise what the club's greatest achievement was in 2009, his answer was virtually identical to the sentiments we have heard at the other leading destination clubs in the sector. "To continue our impressive growth rate despite the difficult economic circumstances and maintaining the excellent feedback from members was our greatest accomplishment."
Late last week, The Hideaways Club and Equity Estates announced a new strategic alliance that will allow members of both clubs access to the other's collection of vacation properties. We are told that The Hideaways Club is planning on announcing another exciting benefit to members in the coming days. With two announcements in the first month, The Hideaways Club is making a strong case for the 2010 International Destination Club of the Year honor. Let's see if their leading competitors at Rocksure Property and The Oyster Circle can follow suit and close the early gap the club has gained.