The worlds largest destination club has really upped the ante with its series of member events for next year. The club is even starting to describe itself as a private club for luxury travel experiences.
"Our members look to us to provide them with a choice of truly special luxury experiences that can be found nowhere else," noted Andy Irvine, Director of Events and Family Activities for Exclusive Resorts. "Our comprehensive line-up of VIP Member Events for 2012, each combining privileged access with customized, members-only programming, is an integral part of our how we deliver on that promise."
Andy joined Exclusive Resorts (ER) over 7 years ago and has been running the events program for the last 5 years. When SherpaReport caught up with him he was in Orlando for the start of the clubs "Kids take Walt Disney" event. "This is the largest event yet for the program, with 52 kids and 52 adults on a four day trip to Walt Disney World," he explained. "On Friday and Saturday of this trip each family will have their own private guide to the park, which means there's no waiting in lines. And then we've organized for one of the parks to be open solely for club members for a night." he continued.
Exclusive Resorts is starting to expand this aspect of their membership offer. To date about 1,300 (of their more than 3,000) memberships have enjoyed the various experiences in the program, which have included about 60 events in total. The plan is to offer 25-30 events next year, so really enlarging the program and also increasing the quality and caliber of the events.
The club's initial collection of 2012 events features something to suit every member's taste, from sports enthusiasts to fashionistas, wine connoisseurs to athletes, and includes:
- Exclusive Resorts at Super Bowl XLVI : Members will enjoy a fun-filled weekend of pre-game tailgating and game-day festivities in Indianapolis, culminating with privileged access to the main event.
- High Style: New York City Fashion Week : This stylish event will feature excellent seats at daily couture shows, access to private Exclusive Resorts hair, make-up, and swag suites, and a private dinner with a show-featured designer.
- Adrenaline: Exclusive Resorts at the Daytona 500 : (pictured below) Pre-event festivities will include members-only meet-and-greets with professional NASCAR drivers and a private tour of the garage. On race day, members will enjoy President's Row seating for the main event and privileged access to the Gatorade Victory Lane.
- Broadway, Behind the Scenes: This unforgettable weekend in the Big Apple combines VIP seating at several of the hottest Broadway shows, private showcases starring current and up-and-coming Broadway performers, and a members-only cabaret hosted by a Broadway legend.
- The NCAA Final Four with Exclusive Resorts : Members will experience the thrill of March Madness firsthand in New Orleans with private parties and events, combined with in-stadium hospitality and suite seating for each game during the tournament's intense final weekend of play (including the championship game!).
- The Masters Tournament with Exclusive Resorts : Back by popular demand, Exclusive Resorts is returning to The Masters Tournament in 2012, offering an unforgettable golf experience that features access to the tournament, privileges at the historic Double Eagle Club, a private session with a PGA professional, and more.
- Triathlon Training Camp : Members will gather in Scottsdale, AZ for an intensive three-day training session complete with expert on-site coaching and nutritional guidance from four-time world triathlon champion Simon Lessing.
- Escape from Alcatraz: the Ultimate Club Challenge : Members will participate in one of the most prestigious race competitions in the United States as members of the Exclusive Resorts team. Throughout the event, four-time Escape Champion (and course record holder) Simon Lessing will provide pre-race preparation and guidance, including a guided practice swim and a personal tour of the bike course.
- The Kentucky Derby, Club Style : (pictured above) Members will experience the rush and glamour of one of America's most time-honored traditions from the luxury of a fully catered private infield suite, along with special members-only programming throughout the weekend.
- California Wine Tour : Exclusive Resorts will return to California's wine country for intimate expert-led tours highlighting only the absolute finest of wines-those that have scored 100 points in ratings by Robert Parker and Wine Spectator-exposing members to some of the most noteworthy (and rarest) vintages from the region.
Some of the other 2012 events that are in the works include a trip to the Tour de France in which members can cycle along part of the course. There's also a visit to Austin, TX for the return of Formula 1 racing to the USA, at a new purpose built track - pictured at the bottom of this article.
Plan Nights & Costs
Exclusive Resorts members pay for these events through a combination of using their membership plan nights and paying an additional per diem charge. Generally, if the events are not based at or close to a club residence there is just a per diem charge that varies by event. As an example, the wineries tour, in which the club takes over 4 wineries for 4 days has a cost of $1,700.
Exclusive Resorts brought in Philippe Bourguignon as CEO earlier this year. He has an incredibly strong hospitality background and this is clearly having an influence. "Phillipe really wants it to be a true club and not just about luxury vacation homes," said Andy. "Our 2012 Member Events program exemplifies how the variety of luxury experiences we now offer is broader and more unique than ever before," commented Todd Harris, the company's Senior Vice President of Hospitality and Member Services.
Destination clubs started by offering fully serviced luxury vacation homes, with full concierge support for travel planning and local events. With its "Once in a Lifetime" bespoke tours and this events program, Exclusive Resorts is looking to be a full service provider for all the vacation needs of its members. Other clubs such as Quintess and Abercrombie & Kent Residence Club also offer tours and/or events.