Thursday, September 10, 2009

Destination club Ultimate Escapes to be acquired by public company

In the latest news from the sometimes troubled luxury destination club market, the leading club in terms of properties -- Ultimate Escapes -- is getting a big new public partner.

Secure America Acquisition Corp. has announced it is about to invest a minimum of $20-million in Ultimate Escapes, which itself is in the process of absorbing Private Escapes, another destination club. Ultimate is the second largest club in terms of number of members, with more than 1300 members. (Number One is Exclusive Resorts, with more than 3,000 members.) The club has handsome homes in desirable locations such as Nevis, pictured above.

The deal means that Ultimate Escapes not only gets a cash infusion but becomes a public company. Time will tell if that is good for members. In the short run, it undoubtedly is good for Ultimate Escapes, which lost over $15-million last year,according to the Washington Business Journal. As for Secure America, its previous acquisitions have been in the field of homeland security. Guess you could call this one "vacation homeland security."

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