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Ritz-Carlton, Aspen, Colorado Fractional Ownership

I'm interested in purchasing a fractional ownership at the Ritz-Carlton Aspen. Can my ownership eventually be re-sold on my own (or more likely through Ritz-Carlton) or be gifted or willed to my beneficiaries?

Yes. It is a "fee simple" real estate purchase in which a deed is filed in the local court house just as it would be for any other real estate purchase. You can sell your fractional ownership whenever you want with or without Ritz-Carlton's help or gift or will it to your beneficiaries.

Would my fractional ownership time be tradable with other Ritz-Carlton fractional properties?

Yes, a unit there would be tradable with other Ritz Clubs but you are only guaranteed a unit in the specific club that you purchase from. For instance, the Aspen Club sells buyers a 1/12th interest, guaranteeing the buyer a 28-day stay at the Aspen property. If someone bought a fractional from the Jupiter, FL Club and wanted to spend a week of his 35 days in Aspen, he could do so, subject to availability, but you and all of the other Aspen owners would get first crack at that available time, if you so desired.

What about financing - how eager are banks, mortgage companies, etc. to write loans on these fractional interests? What is the typical down payment required?

The typical down payment required is 10% to 25%. Ritz-Carlton Aspen has several local banks with whom they have a relationship that will offer loans on their fractionals with down payments of 10% to 75%. They also have a program with Merrill Lynch, which is just about the T-bill rate.

Are there limits or caps on the annual maintenance fees or can the Ritz arbitrarily issue "cash calls" to fix this or build that without any owner influence?

The owners make all the decisions on maintenance fees. This is not a profit center for Ritz-Carlton. If costs go up, for example, you simply vote on decreasing the twice daily maid service to once a day or eliminate one of the five vans that drive you to and from the airport, restaurants, etc.

What happens if the Ritz-Carlton organization has financial trouble or mismanagement, and services decline?

The parent company of the Ritz-Carlton is Marriott. If, for example, bankruptcy were to happen, the homeowners would vote on a private manager who would present management up to the standards that the Ritz-Carlton had established--same as what would happen in any condo association that went bankrupt. Also it's worth noting that Ritz-Carlton is planning to open two residences clubs per year for 10 years. They have to be buyer-responsible to continue their growth in this highly profitable business.

So the owners can take over management of the property? What rights and ongoing powers do the owners actually have?

They control the direction of their asset. Question: Are there any benefits to being a club owner relative to staying at Ritz-Carlton hotels in various places? Yes, club owners get a 30% discount at all Ritz-Carlton hotels along with a collection of other valuable benefits.

For instance, could our club interest be traded for a comparable number of nights in a Ritz-Carlton hotel(s)?

The benefits referenced above do not include points like Marriott club programs.

Are there plans to build more club properties other than St. Thomas, Jupiter FL, Aspen, and Bachelor Gulch Colorado?

As mentioned earlier, Ritz-Carlton plans to open two residents clubs per year for 10 years.  
The above question(s) were submitted via e-mail by a visitor to www.condohotelcenter.com. The answer was prepared by Joel Greene, a licensed real estate broker with Condo Hotel Center which specializes in the sale of condo hotel units and fractional ownerships in private residence clubs.

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