SILVER SPRING, Md., Jan. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH), one of the world's largest lodging franchisors, announced today that it will add 21 Bluegreen Vacation Club® Resorts to its upscale Ascend Hotel Collection as part of a multi-faceted strategic marketing alliance with Bluegreen Vacations and Bluegreen Resorts Management, Inc., subsidiaries of Bluegreen Corporation (NYSE: BXG), a leader in the vacation ownership industry. The new alliance with Bluegreen marks the first time Choice Hotels has entered into such a relationship with a timeshare company.
The agreement makes Bluegreen Vacations the official vacation ownership provider for Choice Hotels. In addition, Choice Hotels adds 21 new Ascend Hotel Collection resorts in top vacation destinations, such as Aruba, Las Vegas, Miami, Orlando, Cape Cod, Phoenix, Savannah, Ga. and Myrtle Beach, S.C. In turn, Bluegreen Vacations' TravelerPlus™ participants will be eligible to enroll as members of Choice Privileges® and will be upgraded to Elite Gold status and receive special benefits. This will provide TravelerPlus™ members with access to all of the Choice hotels worldwide including the more than 75 hotels in the Ascend Hotel Collection. Additionally, all Bluegreen Vacations' owners will be eligible to access discounted rates at all 6,200 Choice hotels, subject to availability.
"This strategic marketing alliance leverages the unique core strengths of each of our companies – the unsurpassed power of Choice Hotels' international distribution platform and globally recognized brands and Bluegreen Vacations' exceptional vacation spots and loyal owner base," said Steve Joyce, president and chief executive officer for Choice Hotels International. "It allows Choice Hotels to pursue alternative business and marketing opportunities in a new leisure segment and advances one of our key corporate priorities to further expand in the upscale market through the addition of these premier resort destinations to our portfolio. It also gives us the opportunity to tap into Bluegreen Vacations' 170,000 vacation club owners and extend the marketing reach of our brands and award-winning Choice Privileges® program to them."This alliance will bring the total number of properties open for the Ascend Hotel Collection to approximately 100 worldwide by the end of the first quarter of 2013, with signed membership agreements for an additional 24 member properties. Ascend Hotel Collection offers guests an authentic, local experience in premier destinations. The portfolio of independent hotels has grown from approximately 17 properties in the United States four years ago to 95 worldwide today, including seven in Canada and others in Latin America and Scandinavia. Recent additions to the portfolio include boutique hotels in major cities, including: New York, Boston, Miami, New Orleans, Ottawa and Calgary as well as signed membership agreements for new properties in Las Vegas, Philadelphia, British Anguilla and the Dominican Republic. Other premier destinations coming down the line include: Carmel, Calif., Napa, Calif., Sedona, Ariz., and recent signings in North Carolina and South Carolina. Guests at the newly added Ascend Hotel Collection resorts will choose from beach, golf, city, family, gaming, culinary, historical and eco experiences. The properties house vacation villas, many with multiple bedrooms, fully equipped kitchens and private balconies with striking city or water views. These resorts offer the full gamut of amenities, from private beaches, championship golf courses, state-of-the-art fitness centers and spa services to on-site restaurants, lounges, shops, children's activity centers and more.