Reunion Security Officer Saves a Life!

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As owners at Reunion, we have been long standing fans of the Reunion Resort security team.

The Reunion team’s ‘light but firm touch’ is a hallmark of a great security department, and especially in an upscale community like ours.
Today though, I was delighted to read the latest security bulletin from our HOA.
A life was literally saved this weekend.
A very fast acting mother, and an incredibly cool response from Officers Rogers and Cruz, gave a family their son’s life back, following an incident in the Terraces pool.

PRESS RELEASE – FROM ORAINE WILLIAMS – AEGIS HOA AUG 24th 2016

On August 20, 2016, at approx. 19:55 Security Officer Isai Cruz was on patrol at the Terraces swimming pool when he was alerted that an unconscious and unresponsive 3-year-old Napoleon Alexander had just been pulled from the bottom of the Terraces pool by his mother, Napoleon was not breathing.
Officer Tom Rodgers who was also the scene immediately called 911 and went to his vehicle to retrieve the units AED in hopes of reviving the child. Officer Cruz began CPR on Napoleon and after a short period of time was able to revive him, Napoleon was able to cough up the water in his lungs and began to breath on his own.
EMS arrived and transported the Napoleon to the hospital where he remained for 2 days.
Napoleon was released from the hospital Tuesday with no long term injuries and in good health.
Officer Cruz was commended for his quick actions and will be recognized by CWS for his life savings actions.

Pool safety is absolutely crucial of course, and we can only hope that Officer Cruz and his team don’t need to be called upon in the future again at Reunion.
We always advise guests to follow great pool safety advice when in Florida.
For some great tips on pool safety, this article will be of great help.

TOP TIPS FOR POOL SAFETY – Totalorlando Blog

Essential Occupancy Tips From McNally Homes – Reunion Resort Master Builders

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In a climate of change, more and more investors are turning to the vacation rental industry for a return on their investment.
We sat down with one of the construction industry’s long standing leaders for some tips on how to maximize the opportunity for great occupancy and guest satisfaction.
EJ McNally’s 10 year presence as a leading builder at Reunion Resort is a tribute to his experience and willingness to continually evolve his designs, materials and detailing.
“Traditional skills, are essential, but old school methodology is long gone!”

EJ can comfortably make such bold claims.  His family business, began way back in the UK in 1850 and still thrives today in both residential and rental communities such as Keene’s Pointe, Celebration and Reunion.

Over dinner at Reunion Resort’s Eleven rooftop restaurant, we could literally see examples of his finest homes nestled around the 3 PGA courses and his pride is clearly visible!

In no particular order, I scratched out a combination of my and EJ’s best advice and thoughts on what makes a luxury vacation home a rental success story, in no particular order of course.
Our collective thoughts are gathered through years of experience and close working relationships alongside the industry’s most successful property managers and interior designers.
Feel free to add your own comments at the foot of this blog post!

  1. Kerb appeal drives guests to book!
    In an era of social media, a vacation is one of the strongest opportunities for a Facebook frenzy of photographs.  A stunning driveway, with an impressive doorway can make an irresistible backdrop to your next profile picture.  Bragging is a playful way of getting friends to interact, and nobody needs to know that the cost of staying in one of our luxury homes is more affordable than a hotel!
  2. Pick an efficient floor-plan with lots of inherent interest
    We love building huge showpiece mansions, but we often get a lot of personal satisfaction by working on a limited size lot and making a big impression.
    To pull that off, it’s all about effective use of space, while at the same time, avoiding compression.
    Guests want the impression of space in a luxury home and a great builder can achieve that in any sized lot.
  3. Be innovative with pool decks
    We are working on some amazing new concepts that take the pool decks to a whole new level and all without blowing the budget wide open.  Pools are everything in Florida’s vacation home industry and visually appealing designs with well thought out features, create appeal for guests of all ages.
  4. Traditional has worn itself out, but read more…
    Good builders love and respect traditional materials, details and techniques, but owners, and guests in particular, have moved on.  Those rather grand, French farmhouse designs, with beautiful, elegant lines, are far less popular for rental guests than their peak 10 years ago.
    Clean modern contemporary is hot right now and you only have to check in to a luxury boutique hotel like Disney’s Four Seasons to see that it’s likely to be around for many years to come!  Fortunately owners of those more elegant homes, can catch up with the modern style with far less fuss and cost than they’d probably expect. But for now, our advice is to stay with bright contemporary styles with a strong element of quality.
  5. Bedrooms on both floors
    Rather than separate in-laws off from the home, the modern trend seems to suggest that families are heading to Orlando in larger, multi family,multi generational groups. With our modern home design techniques we can accommodate fabulous ground floor master suites that offer easy access for older guests.  Most importantly, the added privacy from being on the lower level is a big winner.
  6. All en-suite bathrooms
    Thanks to improved floor plans, modern en suite bathrooms can steal very little floor space from a home, but they are increasingly ‘expected’ by rental guests.  Build them in right from the start where possible.  It’s a costly add on at a later date!
  7. Themed kids rooms
    We love the direction that kids’ rooms are going in.  The imagination from owners, our designers, and rental managers is so much fun to bring to life in a home.  When mom books a vacation, it’s often with excited kids gathered around an iPad and well crafted themed rooms really sell occupancy.  Be bold, be different, and the rewards will be great.  We’ve had great success with both simple and way out designs, so don’t worry about budget.  It can be successful whatever you spend, if it’s done well.  Always of course, use licensed decals for copyright materials and lay them over your custom artwork.
  8. Wow factor kitchens
    Second to the pool deck, kitchens probably get more exposure on social media than any other room in the vacation home.  Sizes have to be right for the home’s guest count, but thoughtful layouts, breakfast bars, irresistible lighting and material selections can turn this into a key image for your online presence.  Great pictures of kitchens sell homes.
  9. Unique entertainment features
    For larger homes it has long been the guest’s expectation that a home should have a games room and a home theatre.  We are also seeing requests for more innovative features to be installed.   Indoor putting areas, bowling alleys are just an example, but so too are more affordable concepts.  We have plenty of options to offer.
  10. Simple but effective electronics packages
    Our love affair with technology continues to grow and our connected world is even know known as ‘the Internet of things’, with smart refrigerators and centralized control points for lighting and entertainment centres.  Our advice is simple; keep up with the times for sure, but don’t let the latest fad steer you too much.  Not all guests can be bothered to ‘learn’ how to dim the lights at 11pm after a long transatlantic flight.  Keep the basics simple but use upgradable tech wisely, and only if guests can figure it out intuitively!
    Don’t short cut on equipment capacities (AC etc). Cost cutting on AC can lead to a number of things; warm homes, angry guests and bad, bad reviews on social media.  One angry rant on Homeaway can deter guests to book your home. That cost of missed opportunity will soon rack up into tens of thousands!
  11. Warm neutral tones with delicious accent colors
    Perhaps the most notable occupancies are found in professionally designed homes.  Under the guidance of a good builder, the property manager and interior designer, a team effort will ensure that the home can draw in those reservations right from the outset.  Most importantly, designs that will stand the test of time, will not only attain the best occupancy, they will save you tens of thousands in remodel costs down the line.  One thing is clear though; high quality, bright, neutral tones with carefully selected and subtle accents are big winners in the vacation industry.  Stick with that timeless advice and you can’t lose, even if designs move on!
  12. Photography is EVERYTHING!
    The final tip is so easy to overlook. Having invested hundreds of thousands or maybe several million into your dream investment, the biggest oversight would be to not show it off in the best possible light.  Literally!
    Set aside a few hundred dollars for top flight photography and you will reap the rewards.  If the guest can’t quite make out the home from your realtor’s cell phone shots, or your own point and shoot snaps, you have probably written off 75% of your reservation opportunities.  Great photography sells a home, videos and 3D tours are growing in importance, but it all starts with great photos.
    360 Degree virtual tours using systems like Matterport are also a big route to success!

Confident that home owners will appreciate the additional insight from McNally, we look forward to a great 2016 Holiday season at Reunion Resort and a rewarding 2017!
If you’d like to check out McNally’s portfolio as a long established luxury home builder within Central Florida, you will be impressed by the long track record of experience in signature communities such as Windermere, Keene’s Pointe, Celebration and Reunion Resort!

Visit www.McNallyBuilds.com for some amazing examples of their rich history creating signature homes in the Orlando area and beyond!

As always, please feel free to comment below with your own thoughts, tips and experiences on how best to achieve the best possible occupancy!

McNally Construction’s Latest Dream Home at Reunion Resort, Orlando!  Coming soon.

 

Site Preparation Begins For Clubhouse on Nicklaus Course!

The area surrounding the 18th fairway of the Nicklaus course appears to be getting ready for further development this week.  

During a brief drive by, sewers are going in, marking the first real steps towards the long awaited Nicklaus clubhouse for Reunion Golfers.  

Details on the separate Bear’s Den Club are still scarce, but that private gated community is expected to have its own pool and clubhouse has no commercial connection to the upcoming Nicklaus course clubhouse that is expected to become available to all Reunion members and guests. 

Read more about this project with the Orlando Business Journal  

Encore Club’s Sports Areas Almost Complete. 

On a quick tour around the Encore Club this morning, we saw the new lawned area, tennis courts, volley ball courts and basketball areas well under way to completion. 

As summer visitors are beginning to enjoy the resort, Encore owners will be heartened by the fact that resort construction is approaching the end in phase 1.  All that remains to be completed is the square of homes to the east of the clubhouse.  

Phase 2, towards the east side of Old Lake Wilson Rd is still mid progress and phase 3 is still in preparation.  

As with the Encore clubhouse, Aqua Park and restaurant, owners and members at Reunion can not get access to the new amenities.  

July 4th Celebrations at Reunion Resort

Reunion Resort & Club is pleased to present a Star Spangled Celebration over the upcoming July 4th holiday weekend! Please see below for an outline of all the exciting and patriotic events we have planned:

Saturday, July 2
Water Park Bounce House Party with several inflatable rides and games, DJ entertainment, hourly contests such as Hot Potato and Cannon Ball competitions, chair massages and a lunchtime AllAmerican BBQ. The Cove Family lawn games, a hot dog eating contest, and a lunchtime All-American BBQ during the day, followed by “Light Up the Cove” in the evening with DJ entertainment from 6:30 to 9pm with a dive-in movie at 9:30pm. Glow bundles will be available for purchase!

Sunday, July 3
Fireworks Display 9pm at Palmer/Watson Driving Range Water Park Bounce House Party with several inflatable rides and games, DJ entertainment, hourly contests such as Hula Hoop and Tug of War competitions, chair massages, a lunchtime All-American BBQ, and the popular Gatorland Florida Wildlife Show at 3pm. The Cove Family lawn games, a pie eating contest, and a lunchtime All-American BBQ. Grande Pavilion Independence Day Celebration Cookout from 6-8:30pm, with DJ entertainment, Kid’s Crew to entertain children and golf games and activities at the driving range. Fireworks Display 9pm Fireworks Display will be shot from center of Palmer/Watson driving range. Clubhouse Terrace Live band after fireworks until midnight, more Kid’s Crew activities to entertain children after the fireworks, with golf games at the Clubhouse putting green.

Monday, July 4
Clubhouse Build Your Own Burger Bar at lunchtime View at Eleven Open for drinks and dessert as usual from 6-11pm with a great view of nearby community and theme park fireworks displays.

‘Bear’s Den Club’ Brand Makes A Sudden Appearance All Over The Resort

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Wednesday May 11th 2016, some very prominent signs began to appear all over Reunion Resort, including entrance ways, the Nicklaus Tent area and many of the side walks within the resort.
The most noticeable feature of the ad boards, was a nod to the Jack Nicklaus ‘Golden Bear’ icon.

The signs ‘bear’ the http://www.bearsdenclub.com web address, but one over at the Heritage Crossing building, located by the main entrance, was marked ‘Information Center’ with further contact details.  888.2TheDen and info@bearsdenclub.com

The website then redirects to a new page www.cityhomes-us.com depicting the Jack Nicklaus brand artwork and further details about new homes in a privately gated Enclave around the 17th and 18th fairways.

Residences at the Bear’s Den Club

WELCOME TO THE NEXT LEVEL OF LUXURY. A PRIVATELY GATED ENCLAVE OF HOMES NESTLED AROUND THE 17TH AND 18TH HOLES OF THE JACK NICKLAUS COURSE IN THE AWARD WINNING REUNION RESORT.  RESIDENCES AT THE BEAR’S DEN CLUB WILL FEATURE INNOVATIVE DESIGNS, ELEGANT FEATURES AND BREATHTAKING PANORAMIC VIEWS THAT WILL CHALLENGE YOUR IMAGINATION. THE BEAR’S DEN CLUB WILL BE A PRIVATE, MEMBERS ONLY FACILITY WHERE YOU CAN KICK BACK WITH FRIENDS, ENJOY YOUR FAVORITE BEVERAGE, SMOKE A FINE CIGAR OR JUST SWAP STORIES OF YOUR PLAY FROM THIS MAGNIFICENT COURSE.

There’s a registration form for further updates, but for now, that single page is all I can get any information from.

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Encore Water Park Now Open

Great news for Encore Club home owners!
The club amenities are finally open and are well received by initial guests.
Reunion Resort homeowners shouldn’t get too excited though, the clubhouse and aqua park is for Encore Resort owners and guests, or owners that bought Encore built homes over in Reunion Resort.  (Membership is required at a cost of $100pcm to Encore Club owners)

Caution to Reunion Drivers

We’ve seen a lot of attention from the Osceola Sheriff over the last few weeks as the busier resort experiences a much needed clamp down on bad driving practices within Reunion Resort. 

Whether drivers run a stop sign or exceed the 25mph limits, they definitely stand to face the consequences more than ever before!

As I drove through the resort this week at a safe speed of 25mph, a driver behind, was clearly angry that I was sticking to the limit.  Arms flailing, he made it clear that he was angry at having to shed around 20mph+ from his car. 

Also, I’ve heard that it’s wise to make sure that any ‘on street’ parking is made with your vehicle pointing in the direction of traffic flow if you want to avoid a ticket. 

It’s not just speeding tickets being handed out within the resort!

On a final note, it’s not just human lives at stake within the resort.  Look closely below at these Sandhill Cranes from this morning, you will see two little ones camouflaged in that brown mulched area.   It would be great to see the four of them survive the year out in an even safer Reunion Resort!

Happy and safe driving everyone!!

  

Annika Sörenstam Leaves Reunion

After almost a decade, the most famous woman in golf is moving on from Reunion Resort!
From her website, she writes about moving on to focus on her family and other business interests.
Of course, we wish her the best of luck and will greatly miss her and her association with Reunion.

Going forward, we have heard that the academy will be rebranded as a Reunion Resort product and will continue to operate.

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Seven Eagles Cove – Fitness Suite Access

From the latest membership email;

The Reunion Fitness Center at the Cove now has controlled access! An electronic push button lock has been installed so that only Club Members and residents who pay CDD fees, along with official Reunion Resort guests, will have access to the fitness center. The code will be changed monthly and will be available via the Member’s website posted online. The initial code is #### (code removed by me for security)