The Beginnings of Bluegreen Vacations
Bluegreen Vacations traces its lineage to a small company founded by Harry Patten in the Berkshires of Massachusetts in 1966. Known as Patten Realty, Inc., its core business was acquiring, improving, selling and financing residential land. Many of Harry Patten’s early customers were city dwellers looking to escape the urban setting, making them analogous to vacation-seeking Bluegreen Vacations resort owners today.
In 1986, the company was renamed Patten Corporation and listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and in 1991, it relocated its headquarters from Stamford, Vermont to its present home, Boca Raton, Florida. The company branched into vacation ownership in 1994 and two years later changed its name to Bluegreen Corporation. The company maintained the separate community development division until that business was sold to a third party in 2012. And in 2013, Bluegreen Corporation became a wholly owned subsidiary of BFC Financial Corporation.
Bluegreen and the Vacation Ownership Industry
The company developed its first timeshare resort in the Smoky Mountains in 1994. Other resorts soon followed. In 1997, the company acquired RDI Group, a privately held vacation ownership developer and operator of a points-based vacation club with resorts in Florida and Wisconsin plus management contracts with resorts across the Southeast. This acquisition positioned Bluegreen as one of the largest property managers of vacation ownership resorts in the United States. The Bluegreen Vacation Club was born.
Bluegreen Corporation established one of the timeshare industry’s first national retail alliances in 2000 by entering an exclusive marketing agreement with Bass Pro Shops® Inc., a privately held retailer of fishing, marine, hunting, camping and sports gear. This agreement allows Bluegreen Vacations to market vacation opportunities at Bass Pro national retail locations, in Bass Pro catalogs and on the Bass Pro Shops® website. Bluegreen also entered into a joint venture agreement with Big Cedar, LLC, an affiliate of Bass Pro Shops®, to develop, market and sell the Bluegreen Wilderness Club™ at Big Cedar®, which became a trio of Bluegreen Vacation Club resorts located near the majestic Table Rock Lake in Missouri. This relationship was recently extended for another 10 years.
The company’s growth continued. In 2006, Bluegreen announced the development of a resort in one of the world’s premier vacation destinations, Las Vegas. In 2008, the first Presidential Suite was built at Daytona Seabreeze, signaling a new wave of diverse accommodation options. In 2011 and 2012, New York City, Big Bear and St. Pete Beach became major exciting additions to a growing list of resorts and destinations.
In 2013, Bluegreen Vacations was named the Official Vacation Ownership provider of Choice Hotels®, one of the largest and most successful lodging companies in the world.
Bluegreen Vacations Today and Tomorrow
Today, Bluegreen Vacations continues its history of offering choice, flexibility and quality. Vacations are where our heart is, and more than 4,500 associates are passionate about delivering extraordinary experiences for our owners, travelers and business partners. Our flexible points-based vacation ownership plan, backed by real estate, boasts over 175,000 owners, more than 60 resorts and access to more than 4,000 resorts worldwide through third-party exchange companies. Simply stated, Bluegreen Vacations exists to share happiness, to create opportunities for people to share time together, smiles and memories through the power of vacation.