Home Services Articles Books Photos Contact Us




In my travels to the Caribbean, I'm finding that more and more casino vacationers are opting for the consistency and economic savings of timeshare ownership. I decided to learn more about the industry and highly recommend timeshare purchase for those who want a casino home away from home.


Though it suffered from an image problem in its infant stages, timesharing is now a viable and popular alternative for the vacationer. With the entrance of big-name players like Marriott and Walt Disney World, the image and offerings continue to improve.

"Today's consumers are looking for the most value for their money," says Tom Franks, president of the American Resort and Residential Development Association, the Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing the timeshare industry. "Timesharing in the Caribbean protects casino vacationers from the escalating costs of hotel rooms and assures a first-class vacation year after year."

ARRDA is an excellent resource for the timeshare consumer and they can help with basic or specific information. Among many publications, the booklet "The Time of Your Life" is especially helpful.

For a one-time purchase, consumers vacation each year (usually one week) at a luxurious resort that offers space and amenities for family and friends. More than two million Americans own timeshares at more than 1,000 resorts and more than 75,000 people own timeshares in the Caribbean.

Though each resort varies, the purchase of a week or more at a particular property means years of vacations at that resort. Along with enjoyment and savings, there may even be tax benefits.

But one of the greatest benefits of timeshare ownership is the exchange privilege. Timeshare owners can "swap" their vacations at comparable resorts throughout the world. This is done through several international exchange companies like Resort Condominiums International or Interval International.

This exchange privilege is a large selling point for timesharing, whether you plan to visit some other casino resorts in the Caribbean, head to Las Vegas, or go skiing in Colorado. The options are almost endless.


With so many timeshare resorts on Caribbean casino islands, the variety is great. I've visited timeshare properties on Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, the Dominican Republic, St. Maarten, and, of course, the Bahamas. I highly recommend visiting several before buying.

One of the largest timeshare resorts in the Caribbean is the famed Pelican Resort and Casino on St. Maarten. This large, sprawling, luxurious property is an ideal introduction to how good timesharing can be in the Caribbean.

With more than 650 suites, the resort features Las Vegas-style casino, European health and beauty spa, three pristine beaches, three restaurants, six swimming pools, and much more. This is a casino timeshare mecca.

Marriott's property on Paradise Island is another unique timeshare opportunity for vacationers crazy about casinos. The Marriott Paradise Island Beach Club is part of the popular Marriott Ownership Resorts, Inc. system.

Along with the conveniently-located property near the Bahamas casino mecca, Marriott has several properties on Hilton Head Island, Orlando, Vail, and Palm Desert, California. The Marriott name and reputation, along with excellent facilities, make a visit important next time you're on Paradise Island.

Divi Interval Ownership Resorts offers the Divi name and lots of variety. They have properties on nine islands, but casino vacationers will be especially interested in their properties on Aruba, St. Maarten, Bonaire, and the Bahamas.

Divi owners can vacation each year for up to 40 years--rent free--for the payment of an annual maintenance fee. Divi buyers can also exchange to another Divi property or worldwide through an exchange service.

Of course, this is just a tiny sample of the potential of timeshare ownership. Further information is just a phone call away.


I've provided a list of great contacts that should get you started on finding your casino home away from home:

*American Resort and Residential Development Association (ARRDA), 1220 L Street, N.W., 5th Floor, Washington, DC   20005, 202/371-6700. Be sure to ask for the excellent brochure, "The Time of Your Life."

*Divi Interval Ownership Resorts, 54 Gunderman Road, Ithaca, NY 14850, 607/277-3484.

*Dutch Caribbean Resorts, 100 U.N. Plaza, Suite 11-C, New York, NY 10017, 212/888-4686.

*Marriott Ownership Resorts, P.O. Box 890, Lakeland, FL  33801, 813/688-7700.

*Interval International (II), 6262 Sunset Drive, Penthouse 1, Miami, FL 33143, 305/666-1861.

*Resort Condominiums International (RCI), 3502 Woodview Trace, Indianapolis, IN 46280, 317/876-1692.

There are many other resort possibilities and contacts. If you have any questions, please write to me in care of the magazine.