The Marquee, the latest innovation offered by Florida-based vacation ownership company Bluegreen Vacations, is a marriage between traditional vacation experience and immersive, interactive technology. The $27 million luxury property in New Orleans is 17 stories and 90-plus villas and suites inspired by New Orleans’s rich intersection of culture, theater, and vaudeville.
Onsite amenities include a rooftop pool, fitness center, and a parking garage. There’s even a Speakeasy Owner’s Lounge and backstage courtyard where guests can make music together with the guitars found in every villa. And then the technology comes in.
Via Bluegreen Vacations’ mobile app, guests are able to point their phones at triggering elements that bring their stays to life. Guests will find their names written across the lobby, paintings and photographs may come to life—all while Val, the hotel’s narrator-in-residence, seeks to suck guests further into the story and majesty of the Crescent City. Story Val, based on Sidney Story, an alderman in the early 1900s, is paid tribute via a 15-by-9-foot mesh sculpture (also named “Story Val”) found inside the lobby.
“The Marquee is truly a testament to Bluegreen’s commitment to pushing the envelope and reinventing the timeshare experience through innovative concepts,” said Shawn B. Pearson, president and CEO of Bluegreen Vacations in a prepared statement. “The Marquee is like no other in the marketplace, and we’re excited that our owners and guests will soon get to start making unforgettable memories at this remarkable property.”
“We wanted to tell that theater district story and tell the history of New Orleans.”
The project was helmed by Bluegreen Vacations’ director of planning and design, Timothy Schwering, in collaboration with SCNZ architects, general contractor Woodward Construction, interior designer Van Dresser, and A/V and design integration firm Electrosonic. “The Marquee has this vibrancy that is just starting to develop in the area,” Schwering told the South Florida Business & Wealth. “Everything we do has to do with the location. We wanted to tell that theater district story and tell the history of New Orleans.”
The Marquee is one of many projects overseen by Schwering, a nearly 13-year veteran of Bluegreen Vacations. Prior to his current employer, Schwering served as vice president of design and engineering at SeaWorld and as a project architect at PGAV Destinations.
At a time when the word “timeshare” has inspired such distaste that the industry has attempted to rename its product, it seems that Bluegreen remains a leader in its field. It’s continued innovation that may play a large part in the company’s substantial stock growth in 2020. From July to August of that year, stock increased by 40 percent—certainly not the numbers of an aging or out-of-touch venture.
In July 2020, Bluegreen Vacations’ parent company, BBX Capital, announced its plan to spin off all non-Bluegreen related businesses and investments into a separate, publicly traded company. Be it an island getaway or the thrill of the Big Easy, it’s full float ahead at Bluegreen.