Developing for Conspicuous Leisure

Principal Consultant , David Allison Inc.
  • Nov. 22, 2010

For our neighbours down to the south, luxury isn’t about goods anymore. It’s about leisure. It’s about experiences and having the time to be able to enjoy those experiences.

The latest research conducted by Resonance Consultancy (RC) and the Luxury Institute highlighted on the RC blog found that although fundamentally unperturbed by the recent economic crisis, affluent U.S. households (households with an average income of $332K and net worth of $3.3 million) have responded by changing the way they consume.

Conspicuous consumption is out, but conspicuous leisure is in.

Extended time off work, exotic vacations and second homes were among the highest ranked aspirations of the rich, which is, of course, very good news for those of us in real estate development. Resorts, high-end hotels, exclusive vacation homes, city penthouses – there is a market eager to purchase them all as long as they afford an experience.

“The exotic vacations taken by the rich aren’t the ‘drop and flop’ getaways the rest of us take in an attempt to recuperate from our exhausting lives,” remarked the RC post. “The rich travel because it presents an opportunity for personal growth and discovery (visiting a rare and unusual landscape such as Antarctica was the fifth most popular dream vacation in our study.) And the trips offer virtually impeccable bragging rights.”

Which begs the question: As a developer, are you actually managing to cater to this wealthy elite? How is your luxury getaway more exclusive? A golf course and a pool, or for that matter a ski hill, are just not enough. What amenities and services can you provide to create a truly unforgettable and valuable experience; something these experience-junkies won’t be able to find anywhere else, and that will provide them with a great story to tell friends when they get home. Don’t just be another resort in a hard to reach place.

Wealthy consumers may be shying away from more visible displays of their affluence, but they’re certainly not above enjoying rich (pun intended) experiences.


David Allison works with executive teams in real estate development and other industries to craft the early-stage vision and brand for projects of all kinds. He crystallizes the most interesting…

Read more

David Allison works with executive teams in real estate development and other industries to craft the early-stage vision and brand for projects of all kinds. He crystallizes the most interesting…

Read more





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