The crash in real estate prices had a major impact on the hospitality industry. Ultimate Escapes was the fifth major bankruptcy in the non-equity destination club space. For members, industry watchers and many others, this bankruptcy began a serious re-thinking process. The premise on which this model was based seemed to work well as long as the real estate prices were buoyant. It has taken a bad hit post October 2008 and those who survived are fine tuning the model to suit the changing times.
Duo by Quintess has gained directly from the UE’s demise. They offer Duo /UE member options beginning at $12,500 and annual dues starting at $14,500. Ultimate Escapes members also have the ability to receive some or all of the membership deposits paid to other failed destination clubs refunded, if they wish to exit the club
Demeure is another club that gained due to its financial stability. They won the bid for most of the assets of UE when they were liquidated. They have developed a hybrid model to capture UE members. Second Home Destinations is offering members of Ultimate Escapes a one year trial membership with no membership fee. Boundless Journeys is attracting members with a relatively small membership fees. The Abercrombie & Kent Residence Club and Exclusive Resorts are also making special offerings to compete.