RISMEDIA, March 19, 2008-Woodstock. The great “space race.” Women’s liberation. The baby boomer generation changed the way we see the world. Now with 78.2 million boomers looking to retire in the next 15 years, they are changing the way people view their “Golden Years” – specifically the second home market.
A 2007 National Association of Realtors (NAR) study indicates baby boomers will drive second home purchases over the next decade. In fact, the NAR found 57% of all vacation homes are currently boomer-owned and the rate of second home ownership has risen by nearly five percent over the previous year. With this generation’s $1 trillion in disposable income, as well as the growth in the vacation home market and the desire to have luxury hotel services in one’s home, The Ritz-Carlton’s fractional and wholly-owned residences are firmly positioned for tremendous growth opportunities.
A premier and diverse portfolio of Ritz-Carlton-managed residential properties allow boomers to indulge in any passion. Whether it’s skiing in Aspen or Bachelor Gulch, Colo., playing golf in Jupiter, Fla., lounging on the beaches of Grand Cayman or Abaco in The Bahamas, or visiting an urban pied-à-terre in San Francisco or New York City, there’s something for everyone. Additionally, exciting new developments will emerge in some of the world’s most idyllic locations such as North Lake Tahoe, Calif.; Kapalua Bay and Kauai Lagoons in Hawaii; Miami’s South Beach; Chicago; and the Turks and Caicos.
“Baby boomers have revolutionized the term ‘retirement,'” said John Cottrill, senior vice president, The Ritz-Carlton Club and Residences operations. “Many work well into their golden years, while increasing leisure time and activities such as traveling, spending time with their families and seeking new and one-of-a-kind experiences. Their incomes and expectations lead them to seek the lifestyle and amenities that can only be offered by The Ritz-Carlton.”
Most second homes are only utilized on average between two and four weeks out of the year. Therefore, boomers can opt for deeded, fractional ownership at a Ritz-Carlton Club property where Members and their families stay at The Club for a fraction of the time – ranging from 14-35 days per year. By owning a fractional residence at The Ritz-Carlton Club, Members are afforded all of the benefits of a luxury vacation home without the maintenance responsibilities, and only for the time they intend to use it.
For Members, the company says this lifestyle is ideal. Members take pleasure in airport pick-up, pre-arrival provisioning of their residence, twice-daily housekeeping and in-residence dining prepared by a Ritz-Carlton chef. Additionally, for the ski enthusiast, the ski valet at The Ritz-Carlton Club, Aspen Highlands and The Ritz-Carlton Club, Bachelor Gulch has their skis tuned and boots warmed when a Member is ready to head to the slopes. No need to carry skis, as they’ve been placed on the snow, steps away from the lift for the Member. Once their day on the mountain comes to a close, the valet hands them a cup of cocoa or coffee and carries their skis back to the lodge. Boomers who prefer golf enjoy The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club & Spa, Jupiter’s caddie concierge where every player is accompanied by their choice of a traditional walking caddy or a forecaddie, assuring a golf experience worthy of The Ritz-Carlton name. Whether the player is walking or riding, the expertly trained caddies assist with the playing of each hole, offering solicited information including a description of the hole, strategy, exact yardage and knowledge of the putting surfaces, while keeping playing equipment clean and organized. The caddies also help maintain the golf course to the highest standards by properly raking bunkers and repairing pitch marks on the greens.
“The flexibility of options with The Ritz-Carlton, from the hotels, to the Club and the wholly-owned Residences offers us alternatives in the way we vacation and live,” said Donny Askin, boomer and Member of The Ritz-Carlton Club, Aspen Highlands. “With the different choices offered by The Ritz-Carlton, we know Ritz-Carlton will fit somewhere in our evolving lifestyle.”
“The Ritz-Carlton employees are very well trained, and they treat us like family with just the right amount of respect,” said Chris Lynch, Owner and boomer at The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, Coconut Grove. “Our comfort and safety are always top of mind with the employees. From housekeepers to managers, the employees are all very professional.”
Services such as the Ritz Kids program are a perfect complement to The Ritz-Carlton Club and Residences’ baby boomers who enjoy visits with their grandchildren. The Ritz Kids program provides a host of fun and creative activities designed for children ages five to 12. For example, it can be a daunting task trying to dress the kids, rent skis and enroll them in lessons. However, the ski nanny at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch provides a convenient service for grandparents so they too can enjoy their morning and hit the slopes. The ski nanny meets children at their residence and escorts them through the rental process and ski school. After a fun day of lessons and activities, the ski nanny meets the children and shepherds them back to Ritz Kids for a “pint size” après ski party, to later be met by their parents and grandparents.
For information, please visit www.ritzcarlton.com.