Destination Club Directory
Clubs No Longer In Operation
In the ten plus years since the destination club concept was introduced, over 75 clubs have been introduced to the sector. Below, please find the list of clubs that are no longer in operation. Some were forced into bankruptcy while others merged or were acquired by other clubs to form some of the largest and best clubs in the industry. No matter the case, these are the clubs that are no longer in operation.
If you would like to learn more about new destination clubs currently available, please visit our full Destination Club Directory. If you are interested in some of the clubs that are currently in their pre-launch and launch phases, please visit our Destination Club Launch Directory.
Abercrombie & Kent Destinations
In July of 2003, luxury travel giant A&K agreed to license their name to the club that created the destination club model in Private Retreats, creating Abercrombie & Kent Destinations. After months of non-payment, A&K removed the license, forcing the club to quickly rebrand under the new label of Tanner & Haley Destinations Clubs.
Based out of the United Kingdom, Arcarnus Retreats partnered with luxury hotels and resorts and provided discounted rates to members. A concept before its time, several clubs now use this model, including The Discovery Club and Validus, A Destination Club.
One of the leading equity destination clubs of its time, BelleHavens was acquired by Abercrombie & Kent when they launched their new venture Abercrombie & Kent Residence Club. Acquired along with fellow equity club Crescendo Residences, the vast majority of the club's members continue to travel with the new club.
Competing at the value level within the destination club industry, Choice Escapes offer membership plans at a fraction of the cost of other membership plans. The small club ceased operations in November of 2005, only to reemerge with a new structure that generated little interest within the industry and eventually did close their doors for good.
An ultra-luxury destination club backed by Ameritrade's J. Joseph Ricketts, Ciel's target audience was households with a net worth of over $30 million. Ciel was most known for making a last minute bid to acquire the assets of Tanner & Haley Destination Clubs following their bankruptcy, only to lose out to eventual winner Ultimate Resort. The club then transitioned to function as a conservation trust and the club quietly faded away.
One of the destination club industry's leading equity clubs, Crescendo Residences was structured as a REIT before being acquired along with BelleHavens to help create Abercrombie & Kent Residence Club. The majority of the club's members and all of the club's real estate help establish the new A&K club.
Founded by Joseph Mitchell, who would also be a driving force of Crescendo Residences, The Cresent Club's model functioned where each home within the club co-owned by six members. Mitchell would go on to serve at Crescendo with his experience at Crescent integral in the new club's growth.
Destinations Private Resorts
A small club with a focus on creating "a series of luxuriously appointed and painstakingly crafted single-family vacation homes," Destinations Private Resorts never managed to truly capture a section of the industry, only to be absorbed by Crescendo Residences.
The first attempt at bringing the American destination club concept south of the border, Destinos Exclusivos was undercapitalized and failed to properly launch their club, never generating enough interest to continue before discontinuing their plans just as they were introducing them.
Launched in the summer of 2008, Diamante Residences announced their closure in October of the same year. Calling it a "suspended launching," Diamante Residences targeted a reintroduction to the market, but the club's website was quickly removed with no new news emerging.
The second destination club created by Rob McGrath after the success seen at Private Retreats, Distinctive Retreats offered members unlimited access to a collection of $2.5 million properties. The club and its members were part of the collected Tanner & Haley Destination Clubs that filed for bankruptcy in 2006. The assets of the club were eventually purchased by Ultimate Resort and many of the club's members reside in the new club, Ultimate Escapes.
Dream Catcher Retreats
One of the leading destination clubs throughout its existence, Dream Catcher Retreats merged with Quintess in September of 2006, forming the foundation of what is one of the largest destination clubs in the industry, Quintess, LRW.
Taking a unique approach to the destination club model, Everlands purchased large resort like properties, able to accommodate multiple members. The club would continue letting non-members access the properties in addition to the members until the club reached 100 members. Unfortunately, Lehman Brothers was one of the club's principle investors, and their collapse weighed heavily on the club, who announced that they had scaled back their operations before their website was removed.
Fly Fishing Destinations
The first destination club to be centered around luxury sportsmen, Fly Fishing Destinations provided the foundation for several other clubs that would have a similar focus over the years. Members would have access to "blue ribbon" fly fishing streams across the United States. The club started strong but news out of the club has been non-existant.
Looking to bring the destination club concept to "a broader audience," Gentry Retreats offered members access to homes in the sub-$1 million range. As other destination clubs quickly passed them, the club announced that major news would soon come from the club, but that news never came before the club closed their doors.
Grand Legacy Club
Grand Legacy Club wanted to provide members access to luxurious properties around the world, but also exotic cars, watercraft, and private jets. The club planned on owning each of the assets available to members, but the club never took hold, with litigation filed against the firm calling it a "smoke and mirrors routine to lure investors."
A non-equity destination club based out of New York, Havens saw some initial success during its launch period only to approach bankruptcy. The similarly title BelleHavens made an offer to the club's members with many joining the far more secure club as Havens ceased operations.
High Country Club
One of the fastest growing destination clubs in the industry, High Country Club's low membership costs attracted over 200 members in under a year and a half of operations. The club began to purchase properties outside of their price range and increase executive salaries, just as the recession hit. The club attempted to institute several iterations of a restructuring plan, but none were able to save the club. The club eventually was forced to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Leading Residences of the World
Launching with more than 20 properties and with over 400 hotels and resorts available to members through their affiliation with Leading Hotels of the World, Leading Residences of the World began to generate momentum and was absorbed by Quintess to form the new club Quintess, Leading Residences of the World. Over 95% of the Leading Residences of The World members elected to stay with the new club.
Legacy Destinations brought a new model to the destination club sector. Homeowners would contribute their own property for use by the club in exchange for a complimentary membership, and the club would proactively seek outside club members to join to club. The concept was never fully realized and the club soon ceased operations.
Planning a solid equity structure where members would own the club, Legacy Luxury would place new membership funds in escrow until seven new members joined the club, and then purchase their properties outright. The club built a website with details about the offering, but had no information about the executive team or a contact sheet for more information and eventually pulled their website in the middle of 2009.
The highest club within the Tanner & Haley family, Legendary Retreats provided members $7 million homes with memberships available for $1.5. Just over a year after the club's introduction, Tanner & Haley filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, with their assets purchased by Ultimate Resort. Ultimate Resorts would go on to merge with Private Escapes, creating Ultimate Escapes, one of the destination club industry's largest clubs.
A longtime leader in the destination club sector, LUSSO Collection membership satisfaction scores were routinely rated as world-class and the "boutique" nature of the club was highly touted. By the end of 2008, the club was filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy papers. The club's documents published between $50 and $100 million in debt. The final fate of the club has yet to be determined.
Offering Class B limited partnership interests to members, Mirabella Estates was quickly acquired by a then small club late in 2003, Exclusive Resorts. Exclusive Resorts also acquired another start up destination club called The Odyssey Club and began their accent to the top of the destination club industry.
My Global Playground
With a focus on philanthropy, My Global Playground was founded by a former Private Retreats and Tanner & Haley executive. Launched in 2005, alongside various other clubs, My Global Playgrounds was unable to distance themselves from other clubs. By 2007, the club had ceased operations with only a handful of members.
One of the shortest tenures within the destination club industry, The Odyssey Club didn't even get to see their launch day before Exclusive Resorts acquired the club. Planned to launch in January of 2004, Exclusive Resorts purchased the club in December of 2003, just months after AOL Co-Founder Steve Case became 50% owner.
One Key World
Founded by a Vice President of a fractional jet firm, Jay Sapovits wanted to combine elements of the fractional jet model to the destination club concept. Members pre-purchased nights of travel with nights debited from a club card as they traveled. Just after the club announced their 100th booking, the club announced that they were ceasing operations, citing the "once-in-a-lifetime economic crisis."
Paradise Destination Club
An upstart destination club that failed to ever gain traction, Paradise planned to not lease any properties, have annual dues fully cover operational costs, and own homes outright. The young club never managed to properly convey their benefits and faded out of the industry.
Parallel went after the ultra-affluent market, providing members $4.5 million homes and focused on financial stability. Launched in 2005, Co-Founder Tim Wolff met with Solstice Collection Founder Graham Kos in early 2006. By the end of the year, a formal merger announcement was released, joining the two clubs under the Solstice Collection brand.
One of the longest tenured destination clubs in the industry, Portofino primarily only trailed Private Retreats and Exclusive Resorts as the first clubs to enter the market. As those two clubs went on to have monumental success, Portofino lagged behind and were eventually forced into bankruptcy.
Premier Destinations by Anne Sebastian was founded by Vicki Vorhees in 2006 and had ceased operations by 2007. The young club was unable to compensate for the competitive advantages held by the leading destination clubs in the industry and closed with only a handful of members.
Lead by former member and COO of Private Retreats, Richard Keith founded Private Escapes looking to create a value based club within the young industry. The revolutionary concept took hold and Private Escapes quickly became a market leader. Private Escapes would go on to merge with Ultimate Resort to create the cooperative brand Ultimate Escapes that remains a strong presence within the sector.
The first true destination club, Private Retreats was created by Rob McGrath. The club's model still is evident at virtually every other destination club today. Unfortunately, the first mover position caused several flaws in the market to rapidly canabalize the club's earning and sent the collective Tanner & Haley Destination Club into bankruptcy. The club was acquired by Ultimate Resort and continue to make up a sizeable portion of the Ultimate Escapes membership base.
A 2006 survey identified Signature Destinations as having the best reputation within the destination club industry. The Washington based club focused on regional acquisitions, allowing members the ability to drive to destinations rather than fly. Just after the club's two year anniversary, they were acquired by Portofino. In 2008, Portofino began to crumble and were forced into Chapter 7 bankruptcy, listing no assets.
Launched in early 2005, Simplicity International was originally conceived as a destination club before quickly being acquired by an outside company. The company soon lost interest in the club and suspended the launch. A year and a half later, the club was reacquired by the original partners and transitioned into a resort real estate development firm.
Conceived by the same parties who created Fly Fishing Destinations, Ski Destinations mirrored the model used by their predecessor. Rather than focusing on the fishing component, members had access to ski properties. The club never fully materialized and appears to be out of operation.
The destination club industry's leading ultra-luxury club, Solstice Collection provided members access to homes in the $6.5 million price range. After merging with fellow ultra-luxury club Parallel, the club continued to maintain solid success until voluntarily petitioning for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March of 2009. That final fate of the club has yet to be determined.
A footnote in the destination club annals, Sybaritic Retreats was briefly mentioned in the New York Times, making mention of the clubs aspirational name. The structure of the club was never known and the club faded away before ever fully entering the sector.
Tanner & Haley
Under the Abercrombie & Kent Destinations moniker, Rob McGrath and his three destination clubs saw banner years. After missing multiple payments to the travel giant, A&K pulled their name, forcing the clubs to rebrand as Tanner & Haley, named after McGrath's children. The change in brands contributed to the club's downfall and in 2006 they filed for bankruptcy. Ultimate Resort would acquire the club's assets and the members make up a sizeable percentage of Ultimate Escapes Destination Club.
Introduced to the market as "the most affordable luxury destination club on earth," Ultimate Resort grew organically before acquiring the assets of industry giant Tanner & Haley. The club would go on to acquire the assets of Ventures Equity and merge with Private Escapes to create Ultimate Escapes, one of the destination club industry's largest players.
Launched during the peak of the destination club industry, Vantages West could not overcome the sizeable market share dominance of Exclusive Resorts, Tanner & Haley, and the other growing clubs within the industry. With only a handful of members, the club closed their doors quickly after their launch.
Ventures Equity Vacation Club
Using an equity based structure, Ventures quietly grew to about 20 members by February of 2008. Ultimate Resort would acquire the growing club, bringing the members and six properties into the club. Ultimate Resort would go on to merge with Private Escapes, creating Ultimate Escapes Destination Club.
One of the destination club industry's first themed club, The Vintner's Club was marketed as the club for "wine afficionados." The club's flagship property was a medieval manor in Western Europe. The club never expanded beyond this point and faded out of the industry.
A membership club based out of Florida, Vita Luxury came from the team that introduced Grand Legacy Club. Lightly massaging the model, Vita Luxury would provide members access to luxury residences, exotic automobiles, private jets, and watercraft. Interest in the club never materialized and the young club dropped out of the industry virtually as they entered it.
Worldwide Private Residences
The London based Worldwide Private Residences targeted a hybrid equity model where the club would liquidate the real estate holdings and distribute 70% of the profits to members. The growing competition in the European market and the high costs associated with starting a destination club took their toll and the club failed to create the requisite level of interest needed to continue.
Yellowstone Club World
The offspring of the Yellowstone Club, Yellowstone Club World looked to apply the grandiose level of luxury seen at Yellowstone Club to the destination club model. The club purchased full beach resorts, castles, and other opulent residences, spending hundreds of millions of dollars for the launch portfolio. The exceedingly high membership prices provided only a handful of members and the club ceased operations and is widely considered to be one of the chief reasons that Yellowstone Club was also forced into bankruptcy.