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At the time, like many other resort firms, Wyndham cut back on its staff. But ever since, it has been building the business back up. In the past three years, Wyndham employed 350 new workers, and now has a workforce of nearly 1,200.

"We were nervous about what was going to happen, so we downsized," Robinson said. "But we have been in growth mode since 2009."

Robinson added that Wyndham had since been able to continue expanding in this challenging economic climate because the holiday-ownership timeshare model had made it "recession-resistant."

"I think there is some advantage that comes from our business model," he said. "People might have considered buying a holiday apartment before. But they look at their options now and our product gives them more flexibility and is cheaper."

During the same period, Wyndham picked up a string of hotel assets that other financially troubled companies had been forced to offload at a discounted price, and now has 23 resort hotels and several franchises under the Ramada brand in Australia and New Zealand.

In the last six months of 2011, Wyndham announced acquisitions that include two hotels in New Zealand, a resort in Port Douglas and a resort in Torquay in Victoria.

Work also started on the third stage of a Wyndham resort in Fiji, which is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2013 and will represent an investment of $29 million for the company.

Robinson said 63 new apartments and villas would be added to the property as part of the development, which would make it one of the best in the company's stable.

"We have really upped the ante with the property," he said. "The reception area will be bulldozed and rebuilt. We are adding presidential suites with plunge pools that front on to the ocean and there will be an adult-only pool and pool-bar area."

Robinson said he was on the verge of signing a deal for another hotel in Australia, which should be finalized early in the new year.

Wyndham's vacation ownership club gives resort access to 44,000 timeshare members around the world, as well as vacation ownership participants across the United States. Robinson said Wyndham also has its eye on growing overseas markets.

Locally, Robinson said Florida’s Gold Coast tourism economy got a boost in 2011 by the company’s 750 timeshare apartments, thanks to Wyndham and others, because their occupancy averaged 80 per cent.

"People using vacation ownership usually spend more, too, because they come without the burden of accommodation cost," he said.

Next: Port St. Lucie Man Sentenced in Timeshare Fraud case

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