Silverleaf Resorts helps vacationers get away without going far away. The company owns and operates more than a dozen time-share resorts in six states (Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, and Texas). Its resorts feature amenities such as golf, clubhouses, and indoor water parks. Silverleaf's portfolio of properties include six "destination resorts" located near national tourist areas, and seven affordable "getaway resorts" located near major metropolitan markets. The company also owns and operates a hotel near the Winter Park recreational area in Colorado. Previously a public company, in 2011 SL Resort Holdings, an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management, purchased Silverleaf for $94 million.
Cerberus -- one of many private equity firms searching for deals in the real estate sector -- acquired Silverleaf because the timing was ripe for purchasing the company as an investment. Cerberus is speculating that the market has finally hit bottom, and may be bouncing back. It stated that Silverleaf is an attractive asset with a proven track record and a successful management team. After the deal closed, Robert Mead resigned as CEO and Thomas Morris (previously the company's EVP for capital markets and strategic development) was named chief executive.
After experiencing steep declines in net income in 2008 and 2009 as a result of difficult market conditions, in 2010 the company managed to reverse its negative trajectory and hold steady as the economy began to improve. Nearly all of Silverleaf's revenues come from Vacation Interval sales, interest income, and management fees. Sales to existing customers accounts for about 60% of total Vacation Interval sales. The company focuses on these customers because they require lower related sales and marketing costs compared to new customer sales.
Silverleaf's "getaway resorts" are located near major cities such as Chicago, Dallas, and St. Louis, and are designed to attract short-stay vacationers -- a vacation trend that Silverleaf believes is growing in popularity. The company is focusing on long term expansion goals of developing new resorts. It has purchased some 15 acres of undeveloped land in Grand County, Colorado with plans to develop about 130 Vacation Interval units on the property. The company also has a tract of land in the Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts that it plans to develop, as well as about 60 acres to develop in Wisconsin. – less