Wyndham Hotel Group President and CEO Eric Danziger got the first all-brand Wyndham Global Conference off to an exciting start when he “landed” on stage at the opening general assembly. In front of 5,700 attendees at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Danziger staged a lunar theme to his address to rouse franchisees to think in terms of accomplishing what might have been previously thought to be impossible. He also used several movie references, and some nifty cinematography, to address the crowd as several movie characters.
During his address, Danziger also gave attendees the initial announcement about Wyndham’s agreement with Planet Hollywood in which Wyndham will franchise, develop, and manage future Planet Hollywood hotels. Planet Hollywood’s flagship hotel and casino in Las Vegas is not part of the deal, nor is its extensive restaurant business.
“I think [Planet Hollywood] is one of the most exciting brands around,” Danziger said. He and Robert Earl, founder and CEO of Planet Hollywood, said that the deal was the culmination of long negotiations and that Planet Hollywood and Wyndham are a “great fit” for each other. Earl said that he had been approached numerous times in the past about making such a deal but it was never ideal.
At the conference, Wyndham Worldwide also announced that its Exchange & Rentals business unit has agreed to acquire ResortQuest. The acquisition price is approximately $56 million, subject to adjustments. The all-cash transaction was expected to close by the end of the third quarter, subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions. With the acquisition, Wyndham Worldwide becomes the world’s largest full service vacation rental business, providing access to more than 85,000 vacation properties in approximately 100 countries. Meanwhile, ResortQuest will provide a platform for the company’s expansion into the U.S.-serviced vacation rentals market.
The conference was a first for the company. In previous years, it had separated its brands into separate conferences.