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A marketing and equity financing concept which permits participants to enjoy vacation accommodation for a fixed, one time amount for life, or shorter contracted period. According to the American Resort Development Association (ARDA), timeshare consumers make a one-time purchase of furnished resort accommodations, at a fraction of whole ownership costs, and pay an annual maintenance fee. Each condominium, or unit, of a vacation ownership resort is divided into intervals, either by the week or points equivalent, which are sold separately. The accommodations are priced according to a variety of factors, including size of the unit, resort amenities, location, and season. The purchaser owns the vacation accommodations, but only for the amount of time he or she plans to use it - typically one or two weeks each year. With time-share, the owner has all the benefits of a vacation home without the year-round costs. From its origin, the idea behind time-sharing was to give people the ability to purchase their future vacation - at current prices. Fractionals are a variation of timeshare in which the purchaser owns longer intervals, from four to 12 weeks a year. Costs of fractionals are significantly higher, ranging to more than $600,000. Major branded hotel companies participate in fractional timeshare, though not to the extent of independent operators.

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