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The resorts that we all know and love as part of Macdonald Resorts Ltd started life at the very forefront of timeshare in the United Kingdom. It all started when entrepreneur by the name Frank Chapman bought two countryside hotels at Loch Rannoch and Forrest Hills in Scotland in the 1970s, and built in their grounds a series of luxurious holiday homes. Chapman’s idea was to split each unit into weekly fragments and attach a Holiday Certificate to each. The certificate entitled the owner to the absolute right of occupancy of that holiday home for that particular week, for ever. The certificate also gave membership of a not-for- profit club that was set up to manage the resort. The club would be run by a committee elected from owners who would ensure the good management, maintenance and financing of each resort. A Constitution was issued to direct how the club would be run, how the maintenance of the resort’s properties would be funded, and how the certificates could be reassigned.
To safeguard the owner’s investment, the freehold of all the properties in the resort was held by a separate holding company whose shares were held in trust by an independent trustee for the joint benefit of all the owners. The business model was pure genius. It gave hard- working people the right to own a holiday home for the weeks that were convenient to them, without the cost of maintaining it for the rest of the year. The model was so successful that Chapman added another resort to the original two in Scotland at this resort is the Plas Talgarth Country Club in Snowdonia, Wales.  In 1982, Frank Chapman sold the business to Barratts Developments plc and they extended the group of resorts by taking over a former school at Lymington in Hampshire and developing the Elmers Court Country Club.  Capitalising on the Spanish property boom, Barratts built three resorts on the Costa del Sol, Doña Lola, Leila Playa and Villacana, as well as building two new resorts at Dalfaber and Lochanhully in Scotland.
Barratts realised that although they were highly competent property developers and builders, they did not really have the skills to operate a network of holiday resorts, so in 1991 they sought the help of a Scottish hotels group, Macdonald’s, and in exchange for taking on the management responsibilities of the resorts, Barratts sold Macdonald’s 50% of the business. When, in 1996, Macdonald’s floated on the stock market, they bought the remaining 50% shareholding from Barratts, which was a controversial move and not welcomed by many of the clubs. Owners complained that their holiday homes were run down and the maintenance fees shot up to allow Macdonald’s to refurbish the properties. In 2003, a group of angry owners took over the committee at Loch Rannoch resort and ousted Macdonald’s and there followed an extremely bitter conflict between the resort and Macdonald’s, in which they prevented the owners from accessing the resort amenities. This dispute dragged on until 2009 when the timeshare owners won the battle, and although the costs of the dispute have been astronomical, the resort has managed to substantially reduce the management fees that are paid by the club’s owners.

The History of our Resorts

Exploring Alternative “Ways Forward”

History