Returning a Rescued Turtle…With Timeshare

Starwood Vacation Ownership Family is ARDA’s August “Timeshare Fan of the Month”

August 6, 2012

WASHINGTON – August 6, 2012 – The Gelman Family of Philadelphia had a once-in-a-lifetime experience when Starwood Vacation Ownership and SeaWorld Orlando teamed up to create a unique vacation experience for them…saving a sea turtle.  This touching story is the August feature for the American Resort Development Association’s (ARDA) ongoing Timeshare Fan series.

As Owners at the Orlando-based villa resort since 2007, Kenneth and Lisa Gelman, along with their two kids, are excited each year to visit Central Florida and experience the area’s theme parks and attractions, as well as enjoy the world-class amenities at their timeshare resort. Earlier this year, however, proved to be just a notch above their typical vacation experience.

“When Starwood called us a few days before our vacation to see if we wanted to participate in this unique experience with SeaWorld, we jumped at the chance,” said Lisa Gelman.  “This was truly one of the greatest experiences our family has ever had.  We will never forget returning that sea turtle into the ocean!”

This unique Starwood Vacation Ownership profile is the tenth in a monthly series showcasing the passion of timeshare owners.

With more than 8 million owners, a satisfaction rate of 85 percent, and an occupancy rate that outpaced hotel occupancy by more than 20 percent*, it is clear that this segment of the travel industry is faring well.  Take the time to find out why. Visit for more information.

Next month, look for vacation memories from Diamond Resorts International owners who are passionate about their timeshare.  All timeshare fans are invited to tell their story here.

About Timeshare

Timeshare and vacation ownership are often used as interchangeable terms. Timeshare may be purchased through deeded property ownership, right-to-use, or a points-based program. Owners purchase a villa, usually in one-week increments, within a fixed (same week each year) or “floating” system. Floating time allows the owner to schedule each year’s vacation for the desired week within a specified season. Vacation ownership may also be used to describe the three main options of shared use: timeshare, fractionals, and private residence clubs.

*State of the Vacation Timeshare Industry Study 2011, conducted by Ernst & Young LLP.

The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) is the Washington D.C.-based professional association representing the vacation ownership and resort development industries.  Established in 1969, ARDA today has almost 1,000 members ranging from privately held firms to publicly traded companies and international corporations with expertise in shared ownership interests in leisure real estate.  The membership also includes timeshare owner associations (HOAs), resort management companies, and owners through the ARDA Resort Owners Coalition (ARDA-ROC). For more information, visit or ARDA’s consumer website at

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