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