Many visitors to Playa Viva have brought up concerns about co-ownership vs. whole-ownership. The romanticism of owning your own vacation home still resonates even to the most sustainably minded. Much of this surrounds the notion of not letting go of the concept of “mine” and really adopting the concept of “ours” that is necessary to be truly sustainable. When you finally agree to let go of “mine” and adopt “ours”, the next concern is who is the community that forms this “ours”. In short, the community are people just like you, a group that is self-selecting around the same principals that attracted you to this place. Travel is changing and you are part of the vanguard that will define that change.
The New York Times recently ran an article about the growing trend of “hotel residents”, travelers that skip owning their own vacation home and stay in a hotel for an extended period of time. The article starts by describing the troubles that particular owners of second homes are having in dealing with repairs and maintenance, spending more time fixing and less time relaxing.
“I hear all that, and I’m so glad we did this,” said Mrs. Fishman, who for the last six years, with her husband close to retirement from the building supply business, has checked into the Breakers in Palm Beach just after Thanksgiving and checked out in early May.
“We have three children and 10 grandchildren who come here to visit, and we can get as many rooms as we want for them,” she said. “We don’t have to tell them, ‘You can’t come because the other ones are coming and there isn’t enough space.’ ”
“To our way of thinking, it’s ideal,” continued Mrs. Fishman, 68, whose accommodations at the beachfront hotel include a small sitting area attached to the bedroom but no kitchen. “You have people helping with things. If something goes wrong with the lights or the phone, they’re up right away to fix it.”
The story continues, “A century ago or so, in the age of steamships and trains, travel was so complicated and arduous that when people ventured far for a vacation, they tended to stay put for a while.” Travel is more arduous today than it was a few years ago and with rising energy costs it will continue in this direction. Co-ownership is like having your own hotel where you take an extended stay, leave the repairs and maintenance to the staff. As for extra-room, just book more space. No kitchen, just arrange with the staff to help you throw that dinner party you wanted to have with those two other couples. No refrigerator, the kitchens in the common area are yours. Someone might grab “my skim milk”, no problem there is more milk, yogurt, fruit and food for all, it is all “ours”. The nature of travel is changing and you are on the vanguard of that change – escape the myth.