There is no doubt about it: The hottest timeshare destinations in the United States are developing pretty much in lockstep with the hottest vacation destinations from coast to coast.
It just plain makes sense that places where millions of people choose to vacation each year would see the development of more and more timeshare opportunities. Why, some people believe, should you continue to pay hotel and motel rates in the same geographic spot when you can have roomier accommodations where you feel more at home every time you return?
To find the region with the fastest-growing concentration of timeshare opportunities, you simply have to look to the place with the most pulling power in terms of vacation experiences. Let your mind drift to the sunny Southeast, to the land built on the ears of a cartoon named Mickey and the loyal following of his band of Mouseketeers. The words are a siren song unto themselves: Walt Disney World.
The city of Orlando — which has grown into a theme park paradise that now includes the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney-MGM Studios, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, Cypress Gardens, and more — continues to draw upward of 50 million people a year who want to spend their vacation dollars in central Florida, according to the city's Tourist Information Bureau.
Those 50 million people need places to sleep, of course, and timeshares are making more and more inroads into the hotel business that has traditionally dominated the marketplace. In fact, Florida has more timeshares than any other state — at least 350 as of late 2005 — and Orlando, according to several sources, is the location for about half of those.
What are the busiest tourist weeks of the year in Orlando?
When the kids are out of school and the weather is cold up North: The crowds are, well, the most crowded during Spring Break, Easter, Thanksgiving, and the Christmas holidays, according to the Orlando/ Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Hot on the heels of the family-friendly Orlando area, Sin City is quickly becoming a timeshare hot spot of choice. Las Vegas, Nevada, long considered an adults-only playground, has worked hard in recent years to transform its image by marketing vacations the entire family can enjoy.
Posh hotels still revolve around glitzy, noisy casinos, of course, but today, you will also find baby-sitting services, shows you can enjoy with the kids, and family-friendly rates on everything from rooms to tours to meals.
Hotel rooms in Las Vegas, Nevada, run the gamut in pricing from about $50 per night to well over $1,000 per night. When considering a timeshare purchase in a place with such a wide range, you must compare what you would normally pay versus what the timeshare would cost you over time.
Las Vegas, like Orlando, is a bonafide premier U.S. vacation destination — luring some 37 million people to the desert each year. Just think about how much money is being spent on hotel rooms and restaurant meals, and you quickly realize how investments in timeshare properties can begin to look like a long-term bargain.
Another red-hot region for vacations and, thus, timeshare development in the United States is the honeymoon haven of Hawaii. In the last recorded year alone, more than six million people visited the Pacific Ocean islands that lie between California and Japan — and spent upward of $10 billion during their vacations.
No doubt a large percentage of that cash went to hotel rooms, which average around $160 per night but that can be substantially higher on the popular islands of Maui and Kauai, where the natural beauty of the beaches and mountains is legendary.
Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head, South Carolina
When looking to purchase a fixed-week timeshare investment in Hilton Head or Myrtle Beach — or in any coastal location from Maine to Texas — remember to consider when hurricanes typically strike. In South Carolina, for instance, the heaviest hurricane months are typically August and September.
Hawaii can be a good spot for golfers, too, but that sport has actually made South Carolina another burgeoning vacation and timeshare location in the United States. The areas surrounding Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach, in particular, are seeing more and more developers with timeshare projects who want to capitalize on the regions' increasing popularity.
More than two million vacationers spent about $1.5 billion in Hilton Head as of the last recorded year, while nearly 13 million people chose Myrtle Beach as their vacation destination of choice. Again, that's an awful lot of people needing places to lay their heads, which is why timeshare opportunities are beginning to grow as fast as the foundations of local hotels.