Innovation and Guest Experiences Lead the Way for Welk Resort Group

San Diego-based Welk Resorts recently received two coveted awards at ARDA World 2017, the American Resort Development Association’s annual convention and expo in New Orleans, Louisiana, including an ACE award. The ARDA Awards Program is widely recognized as a gold standard in the vacation ownership industry. The ACE division represents the highest level of excellence within the resort industry. Each of these awards reflects Welk’s culture of delivering unparalleled guest experiences.

ARDA Circle of Excellence (ACE) Innovator Award: Developer: Welk Resorts,

Strategic Solutions

Management & Administration Division: INSPIRED FOR YOU, Welk Resorts

Activities Program

The ACE Innovator Award recognizes outstanding achievement for Innovation. Through the creation of the Strategic Solutions division, led by Ira Kristol, CIO; Kris Jamtaas, SVP; Oskar Diaz de Leon and Erik Goodson, VPs; and Aimee Brandt, Director, Welk strategically created a number of forward-looking products and technologies that were recognized as being on the forefront of innovation within the industry.

After accepting the award Ira Kristol stated, “It was an absolute honor to receive this award on behalf of Welk and my team. To me, this is the most important award an organization can receive and one I have coveted since entering this business. This speaks to the emphasis that Welk has placed in creating products and offerings for all. Everyone wants to add enjoyment and excitement to their lives and our mission is to create an avenue for them to experience it.”

Two notable products released from this division include:

The Experiences by Welk™ platform offers Welk Owners membership to a unique travel platform that opens up a variety of new opportunities, including exclusive wholesale rates on hotels and resorts, car rental, cruises, activities, dining and shopping — as well as low rates on air travel. Every transaction earns Welk Reward Credits that are redeemable to purchase offerings on the site.

The Experiences Collection by Welk Resorts gives Welk Platinum Owners access to a curated assembly of high-quality resorts outside of the Welk family of developments, with nine introduced in Fall 2016 and more in the pipeline for 2017. Some of the notable brands in the collection include the Four Seasons Residence Club, Fairmont, Disney Vacation Club amongst others.

Welk’s activities program, INSPIRED FOR YOU, led by Chief Fun Officer (CFO) Patrick Dolan, offers guests a variety of industry-first activities, both on and off the resorts. Intrepid adventurers work to solve the Victorian-inspired escape room challenge, and adult guests get a guided tasting of San Diego’s thriving craft beer industry. Additional selections include a virtual reality room, and on-demand 3D printing. In Tahoe, our “S­ki with a Local” program pairs advanced skiers and boarders with locals who know the best terrain at Northstar. Guests fall in love with San Jose del Cabo during our tailored tour, which features artisan tequila tasting and a gallery walk.

About Welk Resorts
Independently owned and operated, Welk Resorts has built a foundation on innovation in hospitality — helping to shape vacation memories since 1964. With eight beautiful resorts across five sought-after vacation destinations, all properties have earned top exchange marks from Interval International and Resort Group International. Each Welk property is carefully designed with the needs of our Owners and guests in mind to provide unique, first-class accommodations and experiences.

By Zen Chi

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