Assisting with the ribbon-cutting for the newly re-branded Flamingo Beach as a Hilton Vacation Club were (from left) Minister Omar Ottley, Flamingo Area Manager Mervin Leblanc, Minister Ardwell Irion and Deputy Prime Minister Egbert Doran. Looking on at the rear were (from left) HGV Area VP Tim Loughman, Senior VP Neil Hutchinson (partly hidden), Minister Anna Richardson, Senior VP Sales and Marketing Lisa Dusart and Senior VP Architectural Design Michael Hilton. (Robert Luckock photo)
PELICAN--Hilton Grand Vacations (HGV), the industry-leading global vacation ownership company, celebrated the re-branding of Flamingo Beach as a Hilton Vacation Club at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the resort Wednesday afternoon.
It will be Royal Palm’s turn for the ribbon-cutting today, making both Flamingo and Royal Palm the first re-branded properties and locations in St. Maarten for HGV following HGV’s acquisition of Diamond Resorts in August 2021.
The key HGV figures who spoke at the ceremony included Area Vice President for Resort Operations Tim Loughman; Senior Vice President for Association Management Services and Brand Operations Neil Hutchinson; HGV Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing International, who covers Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean and Europe, Lisa Dusart; and Michael Hilton (the grandson of Conrad Hilton) who is Senior Vice President for Architectural Design and in charge of re-doing sales centres.
Flamingo Beach Area Manager Mervin Leblanc and all of the Flamingo staff were present, as well as an HGV re-branding team.
“The team is teaching the resort staff how to manage the property to keep things consistent from a brand standards perspective, from a systems perspective, guest services perspective, etc.,” explained Hutchinson.
“HGV is celebrating our 30th anniversary. We primarily build and sell new projects. We purchased Diamond Resorts in 2021 so we are in the process of re-branding several of those resorts now from Diamond to HGV. We are rebranding 20 properties in 2022. Flamingo is our 12th and Royal Palm will be the 13th out of 20.”
In addition to the re-branding of properties, HGV is rolling out new programmes such as HGV Max, which allows Diamond Club members and Hilton Grand Vacation Club members to transfer back and forth between the two clubs, and HGV Ultimate Access which is about premier events and privileges for owners.
“We’re bringing the best of both companies together and we’re very excited about it,” Hutchinson said. “I have to say, out of 74 Diamond Resorts I have visited, these two, Flamingo especially, are among the very best of what we will re-brand as HGV. We have a whole new chapter ahead of us. Together we are positioned to offer more options across more destinations with greater flexibility forever.”
The invited government officials included Justice Minister Anna Richardson, Finance Minister Ardwell Irion, Interim Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication Omar Ottley and Egbert Doran, who was deputising for the absent Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs.
Ottley and Egbert Doran both made congratulatory remarks.
Flamingo Beach opened as a timeshare resort in 1990 with 240 units. It was destroyed by Hurricane Irma in 2017 and, following a complete renovation, re-opened in 2020.
The ceremony opened with a prayer from Pastor James Irish followed by the playing of the “St. Martin Song”. A drum band from Funtopia performed for guests after the ribbon cutting.