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» Featured Columnists | By Scott Kauffman | August 28, 2009 8:00 AM ET



Troon Golf Picked to Manage Prince's Golf Club in England


(SANDWICH, ENGLAND) -- Troon Golf, the world's largest operator of upscale golf course properties, recently announced it was adding Prince's Golf Club to its portfolio of managed courses. Situated on the southern coast of England in the village of Sandwich, Prince's Golf Club is one of Europe's most recognized names on the golf course circuit. The treasured golf club has long been considered one of the finest of its kind and is steeped in history and traditions of the game.  The established links course hosted the Open Championship in 1932 and has since welcomed some of Europe's leading golf events.

The recently lengthened championship course will also host the final qualifying round for the Open when it returns to the neighboring Royal St. Georges Golf Club in 2011.

Following the devastation of the course during World War II, Sir Guy Campbell and John Morrison were commissioned to restore Prince's Golf Club. Amazingly, 17 of the original greens were saved and a new 27-hole facility was created.

The three nine-hole loops called the Shore, Dunes and Himalayas, combine to offer an authentic, classic links course. Naturally sculpted with deep bunkers, undulating fairways and tricky greens, the course is one of the most complete and true tests of golf anywhere in the world.   

Troon Golf has been working with a wealth of championship courses in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and North America for several years. Troon already manages The Grove, another prestigious course located outside of London.

"Prince's Golf Club is one of the most traditional and esteemed golf clubs in England whose impressive history is hard to surpass," said Bruce Glasco, Troon Golf's managing director, Europe, Middle East & Africa. "We are thrilled to be working with such an established name in golf and look forward to forging strong partnerships with the team there."

Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, Troon Golf EMA is committed to developing Troon Golf's presence in Europe, Middle East and Africa. This rapidly expanding division now oversees operations at 39 courses in 14 countries including Dubai, Portugal, Spain and England with further expansion planned across all regions.

Headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., Troon Golf is the world's largest golf management company, overseeing golf operations at properties located in 31 states and 26 countries.




Timeshare Owners Gain Tax Protection on Timeshare Exchange Transactions

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) -- Owners of timeshare properties received some valuable tax relief in Florida, thanks to the strong and successful lobbying efforts of the American Resort Development Association. According to ARDA, Florida legislators recently passed tax-related measures that ensure important protections remain in place for timeshare owners.

In addition to ensuring timeshare owners will not pay tax on timeshare exchange transactions, the bill, HB 61, codifies a common industry practice regarding the taxation of transient stays at timeshare resorts. Additionally, it allows timeshare developers to offer "Debt-Cancellation" products to purchasers.

Though no state or jurisdiction currently collects a tax on timeshare exchange, it has become an increasing concern as state and local governments seek new revenue to fill ever growing budget shortfalls. Florida becomes the third state to pass legislation specifically protecting timeshare owners from taxes on exchange, one of the major attractions for timeshare buyers in recent years.

HB 61 protects the competitive position of Florida timeshares and the ability of Florida timeshare owners to effectively use the exchange process by preventing taxes that could raise the cost and lower the desirability of exchanges into the state.

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Howard Nusbaum

"For 40 years, ARDA has worked with federal and state government officials in support of legislation to protect consumers," said Howard Nusbaum, ARDA president and CEO. "The value of our industry rests in the continued trust of our owners and members."

ARDA, along with its Resort Owner's Coalition, has advocated for state legislation guaranteeing that timeshare owners are protected from such taxes.

"Without the consistent and strong support from sponsors, Sen. Mike Haridopolos (R-Melbourne), and Rep. Steve Precourt (R-Winter Garden), HB 61 could not have been enacted," said Jason Gamel, Vice President of State Government Affairs of ARDA. "This ARDA-backed measure clarified the existing tax status of exchange which had been questioned by some jurisdictions as they searched for revenue in a down economy."

HB 61 also cleared the way for timeshare developers to offer "Debt Cancellation" products. Much like products previously offered by auto manufacturers, these arrangements would allow purchasers to return a timeshare to the developer if hit with the loss of a job or the occurrence of other specified events without negatively impacting the consumer's credit score.

The legislation also delineates the tax status of transient stays at timeshare properties. The common industry practice in such cases has been to remit tax in the same manner as a traditional hotel, but a recent court decision in South Florida called into question the taxability of these transactions. HB 61 updated Florida tax statutes to clarify that transient stays are taxable codifying the long-time practice.




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