Sports Illustrated Resorts and Travel + Leisure Co. Launch the Ultimate Sports-Themed and Active Lifestyle Resort Network in Leading U.S. College Towns and Leisure Destinations
Travel + Leisure Co. and Sports Hospitality Ventures, LLC Plan Resort Campuses with Hotel, Residential, and Vacation Club Offerings
- Travel + Leisure Co. acquired the rights to the vacation ownership business of Sports Hospitality Ventures, LLC
- The most celebrated name in sports to deliver a tailored, sports-centric environment, with immersive experiences, exciting entertainment and cuisine, and unique accommodations, integrating nearly 70 years of legendary content from Sports Illustrated
- Tuscaloosa, Ala., home to the University of Alabama, chosen as the first location for Sports Illustrated’s line of college town resorts with plans to open in late 2025
Travel + Leisure Co. (NYSE:TNL), the world’s leading membership and leisure travel company, and Sports Hospitality Ventures, LLC, hotel and resorts licensee for the Sports Illustrated brand across North America and the Caribbean, introduced a new concept for a network of future sports-themed resort and lifestyle complexes located in popular college towns near universities with devoted fan bases.
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Every Sports Illustrated Resorts campus is expected to feature a full-service hotel, a vacation club, and residential condominiums – all of which will share a unique, cohesive design that immerses guests and owners in iconic moments from nearly 70 years of Sports Illustrated content. (Photo: Business Wire)
Every Sports Illustrated Resorts campus is expected to feature a full-service hotel, a vacation club, and residential condominiums – all of which will share a unique, cohesive design that immerses guests and owners in iconic moments from nearly 70 years of Sports Illustrated content. All resort campuses will also include a host of branded, one-of-a-kind attractions from live action sports and entertainment to quality dining, wellness, and relaxation. In addition to the planned university locations, the broader portfolio of properties is expected to include chic beach clubs and experience parks located in leading leisure destinations.
“Sports Illustrated Resorts are about hospitality, lifestyle, leisure and entertainment where we celebrate not only the legacy of Sports Illustrated, but the path it is on now, by immersing our guests in sports culture and providing the best entertainment, cuisine, fitness, health and wellness to our guests,” said Christopher Schroeder, CEO of Sports Hospitality Ventures, LLC. “People are seeking differentiated experiences that allow them to be more active and participatory, and Sports Illustrated Resorts are delivering the ultimate experiences for guests through the hospitality destinations we are creating.”
Sports Illustrated Resorts
Sports Illustrated Resorts is developing a vibrant, exciting, and interactive experience that celebrates the legacy of 70 years of Sports Illustrated through several different product types to meet a vast array of market interests. From its larger format resorts complete with interactive experience parks, to college town resorts, to chic, boutique beach clubs, Sports Illustrated Resorts is focused on opening properties in major leisure destinations, high traffic urban centers, university towns, and sports and entertainment districts.
The first Sports Illustrated Resorts property opened in 2022 in Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic. Cap Cana is located in one of the largest and most exclusive resort developments in the Western Hemisphere, offering an array of activities and area amenities, including golf, sportfishing, scuba diving, snorkeling, horseback riding, water sports, ziplining, biking, hiking and more.
The first major Sports Illustrated Resorts college town destination will be in Tuscaloosa, the home of the University of Alabama. This property will capture the essence of sports and active lifestyle, complete with a full-service hotel, vacation ownership club, signature SI Fit Health/Wellness Center, world-class dining, entertainment and more.
Sports Illustrated Resorts vacation club
A brand-new product, the vacation club will bring loyal fans and their friends and families together by elevating their accommodation experience even further. For the cost of an initial membership, Sports Illustrated vacation club members will receive flexible points-based currency to make repeat resort reservations and utilize offerings from across the growing Sports Illustrated Resorts portfolio.
Travel + Leisure Co. is leveraging its expertise in managing multiple brand partnerships for the development, distribution, and management for the new Sports Illustrated vacation club product.
“We’re excited to be working with the Sports Hospitality Ventures team to create a custom club experience for passionate sports fans,” said Geoff Richards, chief operating officer of vacation ownership at Travel + Leisure Co. “Our vision for this entirely new vacation club is to provide members a unique opportunity to totally immerse themselves in gameday life with a piece of their favorite college town, plus flexibility to travel away with their team and beyond.”
Through the assistance of Wolfson Partners LLC, and in partnership with Sports Hospitality Ventures and Authentic Brands Group, a brand development, marketing and entertainment company and owner of the Sports Illustrated brand, Travel + Leisure Co. acquired the rights to the vacation ownership business for Sports Illustrated and will develop and operate the sales and marketing of the new Sports Illustrated vacation club, as well as certain Sports Illustrated residential condominiums.
Sports Illustrated residences
Sports Illustrated residences will be fractional and wholly owned condominiums professionally managed through a partnership between Travel + Leisure Co. and Sports Hospitality Ventures, to deliver the signature services and amenities offered by Sports Illustrated Resorts to owners designed to support an active lifestyle.
First resort planned at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa
The companies also announced that the first location for the line of planned college town resorts in the Sports Illustrated Resorts network will be in Tuscaloosa, Ala., situated across the Black Warrior River from the University of Alabama.
As an institution steeped in rich sports history and tradition, the University of Alabama has been featured on the Sports Illustrated cover more than any other university. This year, Tuscaloosa was named by Travel + Leisure as one of the 25 best college towns in the U.S.
Leveraging strong partnerships as the resort network grows
Sports Hospitality Ventures, under license from Authentic Brands Group (Authentic), launched Sports Illustrated Resorts in 2022 to create new premium, lifestyle resort and entertainment destinations.
Kituwah LLC, the business entity of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, a federally recognized tribe, bring a wealth of hospitality, development, and market knowledge as partners of Sports Hospitality Ventures, in addition to a capital commitment of $320 million to expand the Sports Illustrated Resorts brand.
“The Cherokee cultural values have been at the core of our mission at Kituwah LLC since the beginning of this exciting partnership,” said Mark Hubble, CEO of Kituwah LLC. “We look forward to sharing the concepts that have existed in harmony for millennia to the world through the support of the experienced partners we have assembled in this endeavor.”
As the companies begin work on the planned Tuscaloosa resort campus, additional college town destinations are expected to be announced in the future.
“This project is a tangible demonstration of our multi-brand strategy to grow our business with new exciting partnerships,” said Michael D. Brown, president and CEO of Travel + Leisure Co. “As the world’s leading membership and leisure travel company, we are uniquely positioned to be able to partner with brands and hospitality companies to develop customized vacation club products for their customers.”
The new resorts are anticipated to be developed using an asset-light development financing model. It is expected that the Tuscaloosa resort will open in late 2025. There is no immediate earnings impact for Travel + Leisure Co., but the company expects this business to drive incremental growth starting in the second half of 2025.
To learn more about the Sports Illustrated Resorts portfolio, visit https://travelandleisureco.com/si.
About Sports Hospitality Ventures
Sports Hospitality Ventures is a partnership including Experiential Ventures Hospitality, Authentic Brands Group, and Kituwah, LLC, and is focused on expanding the Sports Illustrated Resorts brand through sublicensing, rebranding, joint ventures and development. Presently, Sports Hospitality Ventures has multiple projects throughout the United States and the Caribbean.
About Travel + Leisure Co.
As the world’s leading membership and leisure travel company, Travel + Leisure Co. (NYSE:TNL) transformed the way families vacation with the introduction of the most dynamic points-based vacation ownership program at Club Wyndham, and the first vacation exchange network, RCI. The company delivers more than six million vacations each year at 245+ timeshare resorts worldwide, through tailored travel and membership products, and via Travel + Leisure GO - the signature subscription travel club inspired by the pages of Travel + Leisure magazine. With hospitality and responsible tourism at the heart of all we do, our 19,500+ dedicated associates bring out the best in people and places around the globe. We put the world on vacation. Learn more at travelandleisureco.com.
About Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated (SI) is an unparalleled and influential leader recognized for shaping modern culture and uniting athletes, teams and fans worldwide. At the intersection of sports, lifestyle and entertainment, Sports Illustrated is a 360-degree enterprise that delivers immersive content, innovative digital experiences, unforgettable events, and original products. Its award-winning media arm brings powerful storytelling to life through probing profiles and up-to-date news on SI.com, across social media platforms and through the monthly print magazine. The most trusted name in sports transcends media through SI Tickets, a fan-first ticketing platform, SI Sportsbook, a digital sports betting platform, SI Studios, the brand’s home for film, TV, and long form audio adaptations of SI’s thought-provoking storytelling, and more. SI brings its unique and authentic perspective to marquee events and captivating brand activations including The Sportsperson of the Year Awards, “The Party”, SI Swimsuit Launch Weekend and the SI Circuit Series.
For more information, visit SI.com.
Forward looking statements
This press release includes “forward-looking statements” as that term is defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Forward-looking statements are any statements other than statements of historical fact, including statements regarding our expectations, beliefs, hopes, intentions or strategies regarding the future. In some cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as “will,” “expects,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “potential,” “future,” or other words of similar meaning. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results of Travel + Leisure Co. and its subsidiaries (“Travel + Leisure Co.” or “we”) to differ materially from those discussed in, or implied by, the forward-looking statements. Factors that might cause such a difference include, but are not limited to, risks associated with: the future prospects and plans for Travel + Leisure Co., including our ability to execute our strategy to successfully identify, develop and finance locations for Sports Illustrated Resorts vacation club and residences on reasonable terms, at a reasonable cost and on the timeline we expect, as well as successfully market and sell the new products to consumers; our ability to compete in the highly competitive timeshare and leisure travel industries, including through Sports Illustrated Resorts vacation club; the health of the travel industry and declines or disruptions caused by adverse economic conditions (including inflation, higher interest rates, and recessionary pressures), terrorism or acts of gun violence, political strife, war (including hostilities in Ukraine), pandemics, and severe weather events and other natural disasters; adverse changes in consumer travel and vacation patterns, consumer preferences and demand for our products; increased or unanticipated operating costs and other inherent business risks; our ability to comply with financial and restrictive covenants under our indebtedness; our ability to access capital and insurance markets on reasonable terms, at a reasonable cost or at all; maintaining the integrity of internal or customer data and protecting our systems from cyber-attacks; uncertainty with respect to potential resurgences of the novel coronavirus global pandemic (“COVID-19”); and those other factors disclosed as risks under “Risk Factors” in documents we have filed with the SEC, including in Part I, Item 1A of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022, filed with the SEC on February 22, 2023. We caution readers that any such statements are based on currently available operational, financial and competitive information, and they should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which reflect management’s opinion only as of the date on which they were made. Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to review or update these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances as they occur.
Media - Travel + Leisure Co.
Sports Hospitality Ventures
Investors - Travel + Leisure Co.
Kituwah Global Marketing & Brand Management
Christopher McCoy, President