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Marriott Purchases San Diego's 57-Year-Old Welk Resorts Company

January 26, 2021 

Marriott Vacations Worldwide announced today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Welk Resorts, which was founded in San Diego in 1964 and is now one of the largest independent timeshare companies in North America.

Marriott Vacations is purchasing Welk for approximately $430 million, including approximately 1.4 million in MVW common shares. The acquisition is anticipated to close early in the second quarter of 2021. Marriott intends to rebrand all Welk resorts to become Hyatt Residence Club resorts.

Welk Resorts started in 1964 when musician Lawrence Welk bought 900 acres of mostly undeveloped land near San Diego's North County community of Escondido. Welk opened its first vacation ownership resort in 1984 and the company now operates a portfolio of eight upscale vacation ownership resorts located mostly in highly sought-after West Coast United Stated vacation markets. Ownership of the business has remained mostly with the Welk family, with seven family members and a former company president sharing 88% of ownership, along with 12% owned by employees through an employee stock ownership plan. Lawrence Welk's grandson, Jon Fredericks, is currently CEO of the company.

"Welk's premier resorts are in highly desirable vacation markets, including San Diego, Breckenridge, Lake Tahoe and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and will be a nice addition to our footprint," said CEO of Marriott Vacations Worldwide Stephen P. Weisz. "The acquisition will expand Hyatt Residence Club's geographic presence while providing substantial future growth opportunities. By leveraging our high-value marketing and sales channels and leveraging more efficient rental distribution channels, we expect to be able to drive higher contract sales and expand margins."

The original San Diego Welk Resort is located on a 450 acre property at 8860 Lawrence Welk Drive in the hills of Escondido. For more information, visit welkresorts.com.