The Re-Making of an Industry


The recent economic downturn resulted in a serious struggle for survival for many companies in our industry. In addition to developers, some of those hardest hit were firms that specialize in architecture, construction, and design.

We asked a few ARDA members how the current situation impacted their businesses, what creative measures they have taken to “reinvent” themselves, and what their vision for the future was. Each did something different to stay afloat as they navigated their companies through the turbulence.

Almost all of the supplier members predict that new development for the nearly starved construction industry will continue to remain slow, due to lack of financing, excess inventory, and economic uncertainty. During this time, renovations and refurbishments will be critical to ill the space until new construction returns.

Winter Park Construction
With little new timeshare construction in the past two years, general contractor Winter Park Construction (WPC) refocused their sales and marketing efforts on renovations, completing over $7 million in timeshare resort renovations during 2010. hey also formed a strategic alliance with other general contractors around the country to geographically broaden their capabilities.

“While new timeshare construction is barely moving, we continue to do significant multi-unit projects, breaking ground on four of them in the first quarter of this year alone,” explains WPC President Jeff Forrest. “Our conservative culture has kept us financially sound in good and bad times. When the slowdown came, we had money in the bank and zero debt.”

Forrest believes the last thing to fade in any situation is hope.

“It’s a natural instinct. I believe people feel better now about the economy but are not acting on those feelings, so we will have to maintain our conservative mentality a little longer.”

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