“You’ve be amazed at how many people in the military love to play golf,” Crosby said. “We want to facilitate that.”
Crosby is the golf sales manager at Mystic Dunes Resort and Golf Club, the timeshare at 7600 Mystic Dunes Lane in Celebration that rolled out a patriotic new plan at the beginning of the year: to assist members of the armed services who are coming home from the conflicts in the Middle East by giving them an opportunity to relax with their family in a very pleasant, enjoyable setting.
Mystic Dunes is offering a special discount, providing 50 percent off the walk in rate at the golf club for guests who want to play a round of golf there. They also get a sleeve of golf balls while they’re there.
“It’s called the Military Voucher program,” Crosby said. “I’ve actually been on the road promoting that to military bases.”
It was, he said, a successful promotional trip.
“I gave away 330 rounds of free golf in five days,” Crosby said. “Part of the goal was to get people to come out and try our courses.”
Mystic Dunes is a timeshare resort in Celebration that opened nearly a decade ago. The people who either own or rent a vacation villa there get units that are fully furnished. Options for the guests include 986 one, two and three-bedroom villas, each with a breakfast bar and dining area and a kitchen. There’s also a private whirlpool bath in the master bedroom.
The resort is also well known for the par 71 course designed by Champions Tour Player and NBC golf analyst Gary Koch, popular for its 80-foot elevation changes, rolling sand dunes, mature oaks and large wetland areas. The course also includes several signature holes, 36 bunkers, two holes with surrounding water and two designated island holes.
The military voucher program was conceived as the resort’s way of paying tribute to, and thanking, this nation’s members of the armed services.
“It gives them a round of golf at a 50 percent rate,” Crosby said. Anyone who walks in with a military I.D., he said, will be honored.
Mystic Dunes is also introducing a new “All You Can Play for the Day” guest services plan, which is being offered to members of the vacation home industry — and their guests.
Tourists who stay at vacation homes in Central Florida, and who refer their guests to Mystic Dunes’ golf course, will be given a special discounted rate as well, Crosby said. Normally $98 for 18 holes, between now and June 4, guests referred by vacation homes can get the same thing for $69. Between June 5 and Sept. 30, the rate falls even lower, to $59.
“Any of their guests can come play at our golf course all day,” Crosby said. “We started doing the $69 deal on April 16, and it’s All You Can Play For the Day, and that includes green fees and carts.”
It’s part of Mystic Dunes’ efforts to build alliances with other members of the local hospitality industry, he said, and to see if they can work together to bring more visitors to Central Florida.
“I oversee and run this referral program, and it’s geared to the guest services market,” Crosby said. “It’s geared to the people who stay at vacation homes. Ultimately, we want to be able to offer them an amazing rate.”
Vacation homes are fully furnished houses with multiple bedrooms, a kitchen, game room and private pool, rented on a short term basis to tourists and business travelers. It’s become a booming industry in Central Florida, particularly in Polk and Osceola counties. Crosby made his presentation on Thursday to the members of the Central Florida Vacation Rental Managers Association, which represents the managers who oversee short term vacation rentals in this region.
Mystic Dunes is also advertising other special packages available to the general public, including a Bed & Breakfast package that gives accommodations in a one, two or three bedroom villa, complimentary daily breakfast for two at its Kenzie’s Restaurant and Lounge, and a 50 percent discount on greens fees, good for up to two people.
There’s also a Golf Getaway package offering accommodations, providing one round of golf per person each day — including greens fees and a shared golf cart — complimentary range balls, and 25 percent off the club rental.
Kenzie’s Restaurant also hosts “Date Night With Sinatra,” an evening of entertainment in the clubhouse, on Wednesdays from 7-9 p.m.
Last summer, Mystic Dunes was purchased by Diamond Resorts International, a global hospitality and timeshare firm based in Las Vegas. One of the largest hospitality companies in the world, with more than 200 branded and affiliated resorts to offer, Diamond boasts of having more than 27,000 guest beds in 20 countries, and 418,000 owners and members of its timeshare brand.
“Last July we were purchased by Diamond Resort, and we now have half a million vacation owners,” Crosby said. “In Florida alone, we have 19 resorts at Diamond.”
Their success, he added, shows that the timeshare industry is still doing well, particularly in Central Florida, despite the recession.
“It’s a points-based system,” Crosby said, adding that owners can build points and use them for any of the resorts within the Diamond brand.
“That makes it easier that you’re not tied down to that one week,” he said. “We also have renters rates. Someone can make available their unit to be rented out.”
That system has worked well at Mystic Dunes, he added, because the timeshare resort is rarely hurting for guests these days.
“We have been over 90 percent full for months now,” Crosby said.
For more information or to make a reservation, call 1-877-747-4747.