Catching up with Carl -notes from Star Resort Group CEO Carl Berry

News from Star Resort Group - 03/12/2012

A breath of fresh air—finally! After three-plus years in the doldrums of recession, there appears to be hope.

I just returned from the Ragatz Conference held this year in Scottsdale. Some highlights: glorious weather and good hotel meeting rooms; a first-class outdoor reception replete with a golf contest to benefit Christel House and, afterward, an elegant and fun dinner courtesy of Gregg Anderson, who heads up the Registry Collection; and, for the second year, the socko business card exchange roundup managed by Rob Webb and Howard Nussbaum. I first saw the business card exchange at Fractional Life in London thanks to Piers Brown, who, by the way, will host his U.S. Fractional Life Conference this October in Denver.

Now, on to the substance: Dick Ragatz and his seasoned team put on an excellent conference this year. I think the best innovation was to have a panel with three researchers, all good by the way, moderated by the talented Michele Combs of the Registry Collection, and then followed by my panel with four users of research, Pat Hanes, Sean Zimmerman, Gary Moore and Gregg Anderson. So, we had the theory followed by the practical.

Later in the day, Gregg moderated the first of two panels on marketing resort real estate with Dick moderating the second one. Gregg’s was on new media, and it was riveting!

It was good catching up with others in the industry: Jim Chaffin, a powerhouse developer and ULI leader, is doing a Maryland coastal project with fractional units. Meanwhile, Keith Cox of Resort Equities is on a super tear, adding staff and businesses, all while continuing to represent Ragatz Realty and turning consulting clients into business partners. He’s become a formidable conglomerate in the business, and is aided by the ever-talented Greg Traxler and others too numerous to mention.

And, wonderful to see old friends, especially Stuart Woolley, late of the Running Y and Eagle Crest, who is now semi-retired and selling ski hills with Jerry Andres, former ARDA Chair and ECO of Eagle Crest and founder of Trend West.

The overall feeling of the attendees was that 2012 would be better than the previous years (we hope so!) with many believing that it would be materially better. To exhibit the general sophistication of the attendees, no one thought 2012 would be just terrific. So, a pretty realistic group, with lots of talent, experience and energy.

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