Vacationing in Virginia Beach is about to get even better. Gold Key Resorts, part of Gold Key | PHR Hotels & Resorts, plans to open the third phase of the Ocean Beach Club resort complex, OceanAire, in the coming summer. The new US$75 million, 20-story tower will add 106 mixed-use/ timeshare units (23 one-bedroom units, 73 two-bedroom units and 10 three-bedroom penthouses) to Gold Key Resorts’ portfolio. OceanAire (goldkeyresorts.com) will include a floor with conference space and two spacious one-bedroom units that have been set aside as hospitality suites to support the 3,000 square feet of meeting space. Also, an upscale oceanfront lounge will be open to the public on the lobby level.
Successfully striving to create an air of exclusivity, distinction and privilege for owners, exchangers and other guests, Gold Key Resorts commissioned NCG Architects of Atlanta, Georgia, to include in their design a swanky porte-cochère and lobby, as well as a rooftop sun deck lounge that will be reserved for private use. An oceanfront pool right off of the lobby on the first floor will open up the area with natural light and stunningly beautiful views. To ensure the consistency of the upscale feel with the interior design, Gold Key Resorts hired the award-winning, Las Vegas, Nevada-based CLEO Design firm to carry out the vision for the tower’s interiors. Tapping what has been dubbed “coastal chic,” CLEO Design delivered a fresh and modern – yet entirely comfortable and inviting – overall style.
Each unit will be furnished with the finest appointments, including fully-equipped kitchens with stainless steel appliances and solid- surface granite countertops, whirlpool spa tubs, and a private balcony with an unparalleled view of the Atlantic Ocean.
Jim Partin, Gold Key Resorts’ project manager, describes the units as having “a very upscale and sophisticated look,” adding that Gold Key | PHR’s Chief Executive Officer Bruce Thompson, along with the rest of the Gold Key Resorts team, were wowed when they saw the handiwork of CLEO Design at the Hard Rock Hotel in Tampa, Florida.
The OceanAire interiors will soon be ready to impress others, with high-end design attributes and technical features including unique ceramic tiling that resembles wood planks in the kitchen and bath areas (even inside the shower stalls), and vertical climate-control systems that are situated in the corners of the rooms so that the 12-foot-wide, floor-to-ceiling windows can provide amazing oceanfront views in every living space. Obviously, this resort was not done sparing any expense – Gold Key Resorts spent approximately $30,000 per unit on the fixtures, furniture, and equipment.
Jackie Riggs, Gold Key Resorts’ executive director states, “OceanAire has already made its mark, having been nominated for a prestigious award from the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) in the Project of Excellence category.”
It’s not that the Ocean Beach Club wasn’t impressive before, though. The resort setting already is complete with lush landscaping, as well as three oceanfront pools complete with waterfalls and the poolside Tortugas Cafe and Tiki Bar. On the inside, common-area amenities include a family-friendly children’s activity and game room as well as a modern fitness center. Currently existing tower units have fully-equipped kitchens and bathrooms with black-granite countertops and whirlpool tubs. Most balconies in the studios and one-, two-, and three-bedroom units have views of the ocean and boardwalk.
Sales and marketing
Gold Key Resorts is selling the OceanAire units anywhere from $15,000 to $80,000, depending on unit size and season (winter lows dip into the upper 40s, but the long summer season can last well into September). The resort has been awarded the distinguished Premier Resort status by Interval International, signifying the company’s highest level of recognition for resorts that provide “an outstanding vacation experience, with state-of-the-art conveniences, and modern features and appointments.”
Gold Key Resorts reached a milestone this past September and celebrated the topping out of OceanAire. However, interest among Gold Key Resorts’ existing owner base piqued as soon as word broke that a third phase would be constructed. To date, OceanAire is one-third sold out in private offering to current Ocean Beach Club owners with Gold Key Resorts. Some have chosen to upgrade their ownership, while others have splurged and purchased an additional week. Bucky Houser, Gold Key Resorts’ president, says that sales at OceanAire are going so well that they may actually slow them down a bit because they want to start presales of their next project before they sell out of inventory at OceanAire. Houser notes that even with slowing down sales, though, they will probably be sold out at OceanAire before 2015.
So where are these sales coming from? The Virginia Beach market is mostly drive-to, with families flocking to the area each summer season. In addition to the local market, the primary target market for OceanAire is largely north of the resort, extending roughly to Pennsylvania. As such, Gold Key Resorts does a fair share of tours booked with three-day, two-night mini-vacation offers.
Gold Key Resorts also uses four vacation markets, which are OPC (off property contact) sites that use storefronts to offer attraction tickets to prospective tours instead of the typical, smaller kiosks used by many other timeshare developers. These more-refined outposts rely on the value of the volume discount that Gold Key Resorts is able to pass along rather than aggressively flagging down tourists passing by.
Gold Key Resorts is now in the planning stages for future growth. They are in an aggressive expansion mode to move into a market outside of Virginia Beach, with the goal of doubling annual revenues over the next five years.
Gold Key | PHR Hotels & Resorts has changed the Virginia Beach landscape, establishing a destination location that has become the virtual heart of a resort community that attracts more than three million visitors and $1.4 billion in tourism revenue.
The Gold Key Standard in Virginia Beach
Gold Key Resorts, located in Virginia Beach, has more than 20 years of experience providing individuals from all across the East Coast an unforgettable vacation experience. Specializing in impeccable hotel management, cutting-edge restaurant design and one-of-a-kind resort developments, it’s no wonder why Gold Key shines year after year. And it’s even easier to see why Interval International has awarded Gold Key its Chairman’s Club Award as one of the Top 25 Vacation Ownership Companies in the World. In fact, CEO Bruce Thompson was recognised in 2012 by Perspective Magazine as “Best Industry Leader.”
Gold Key Resorts’ portfolio currently includes four elite resorts in Virginia Beach: Villas at the Boardwalk, Beach Quarters Resort, Turtle Cay Resort and their newest property, the Ocean Beach Club Resort – site of the new OceanAire development, which opened in summer 2012. The Ocean Beach Club is the pinnacle of luxury, setting new standards in Virginia Beach for services, amenities and accommodations. The management arm of the company runs the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront, the Ramada on the Beach and the Dolphin Inn; along with its seven restaurants and bars. A new development, the 31Ocean project, is transforming several blocks at the beach into the place to be.
Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront
nce the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront opened, a new standard was set for the entire oceanfront. From the zero-edge rooftop pool and patio atop the 21-story tower, guests and members of the exclusive Sky Bar can enjoy an unparalleled view of dramatic beachfront sunsets and the entire resort district. The Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront defines luxury, with two award-winning restaurants, Salacia and Catch 31 (both managed by Gold Key | PHR’s restaurant group), sumptuous amenities, superior accommodations, and Empyrean level suites, which provide exclusive VIP accommodations.
Balconies overlook the ocean and the adjacent Neptune’s Park, with nightly entertainment throughout the season, including some of the most notable festivals and concert series that occur each year. Hilton Hotels & Resorts recently announced that the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront has been officially designated as a Hilton “Resort.” Hilton Resorts is a specific collection of premier properties within the Hilton Hotels & Resorts portfolio that are designed for travelers seeking relaxation and rejuvenation in the world’s most sought-after destinations, creating memories that last long after checkout. The Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront joins a distinguished group of more than 70 properties located throughout 26 countries, each encompassing specific requirements above and beyond the existing Hilton brand standards. Less than 2 percent of Hilton properties have been designated as Hilton Resorts. Accepting the honor on behalf of Gold Key | PHR, Bruce Thompson, CEO, said, “When we built the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront, we wanted to set a new standard for the entire Virginia Beach oceanfront. We are pleased that our guests, and Hilton Hotels and Resorts, agree that our property is truly world class.”
It began as the resort city’s dream for a new gateway to the oceanfront. Today, 31Ocean includes the aforementioned Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront, a 300-room luxury hotel, as well as 26,000 square feet of boutiques and restaurants, an oceanfront park and more. The next stage of development is underway now, as Gold Key | PHR adds 59,000 square feet of office and 50,000 square feet of retail space, restaurants and outdoor cafes, as well as a year-round community of 178 upscale apartment residents. When completed, the newest phase of 31Ocean will also feature 1,650 on-site parking spaces with valet and on-street convenience parking, a fitness club, and dozens of new dining and shopping experiences – all just steps from the beach.