One very smart resort company is bullish on the economy’s rebound. Elite Island Resorts is offering would-be travellers the chance to pay for a Caribean vacation (up to $5000) at their (very nice, actually) resorts by using stocks. Not at today’s prices either, but rather July 1, 2008 prices.
Elite’s management are no dummies. The stocks in question aren’t for crappy, bankrupt companies but instead for names like Google, Dell, and Boeing. Companies that they think will have a chance of coming back big. Hmm, actually, Citigroup’s on there so, well, you never know…
BOOKING AND REDEMPTION PROCESS
Example: The all-inclusive rate for a family of four starts at $635 per night this December holiday season at The Verandah Resort & Spa, Antigua. If one transferred American Express stock, which closed at approximately $20 on December 1, 2008, toward the purchase of their vacation, Elite Island Resorts will value the stock at $40 per share in resort credit. So a seven-night vacation worth $4,445 can be “purchased” with only 111 shares.
Smart move. If their ploy works in a couple of years they could have quite a portfolio. (Curious list of 100 acceptable stocks they have. Maybe following this is a new investment strategy?) And, in the meantime they’ll have booked rooms with people who—they hope—will spend money on all sorts of things like massages, as well as additional nights, once they’re down there.
The hotels look good—we’ve actually been to one of them, Long Bay Beach Resort & Villas in Tortola, and loved it—and many of them are all-inclusive. The availability is now through next December 20th. (So, that means that they think Xmas travel next year will rebound, huh?)
Management put aside $10 million worth of rooms for this promotion. This could be one of the shrewdest financial moves in a while. Makes us wonder whether other vendors will start taking stock in lieu of cash.
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