June 6, 2006 – Overland Park, KS | Published in Resorts Trade Newpaper
Global Connections, Inc., one of the nation’s most respected travel clubs, has recently announced the acquisition of property in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, where it intends to develop a whole-ownership resort with vacation log cabin homes. Global Connections has previously developed vacation properties in several locations in California, Florida, Hawaii and Colorado. Many of these were existing buildings or units that Global renovated prior to placing them in their travel club network.
“After nearly 20 years of serving the traveling public, we think we know what people want in vacation accommodations,” explained Dave Dawson, Global’s VP of Acquisitions/Development, “and we’ve applied this to the design of the White Oak Lodge and Resort.” Tom Lyons, President of Global Connections, is at the helm of White Oak LLC, where he will oversee the development of the 60 log cabin homes. Completion of construction and investor sell out of the resort is expected in 2007.
With almost 1,500 square feet of space, each fully furnished two- or three-bedroom log home will feature a master suite with a whirlpool bath; loft game room complete with pool table; covered front porch and screened-in back porch with hot tub; custom cabinets; stone fireplace; and flat-screen televisions with DVD players. The White Oak Lodge and Resort will have a 66’ long by 37’ wide pool and will include two grottos, one which features a sunken lounge with concrete couch and a central fire pit, providing year round usage. A 1,000 square foot deck will be accessible by a stepping stone path through a water garden.
The property’s “back yard” is steps away from the 800-square mile Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which welcomes nine million annual visitors.
Headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas, the 19-year old travel club is a credit-based club product that offers value added enhancements, which includes a buying service, and enjoys a membership base of over 100,000. During 2005, GVC members used over 25,000 weeks in almost 700 resorts located from the Midwest to the Caribbean. Reservations for 2006 are on pace to exceed last year by 30 percent.
Much more than a travel club that handles vacation reservations, Global Connections provides the total fulfillment of each membership. Global owns condominium resorts and individual units in several states with property management divisions to oversee them. Partner alliances with timeshare resort developers, exchange and cruise organizations provide on-demand locations for its member base. Global Connections’ 17 sales centers are located in 15 states and are distributors of its travel club product, Global Discovery Vacations (GDV). Global provides specialized training on the GDV product and its services and maintains close relationships with each sales distributor.
Above and beyond our expectations! The cabin was a 5 star, very clean and well cared for. Really appreciate that the furnishings are all the same in every cabin. The manage team was terrific and really take pride in the resort.David F. | 4.24.2009