There are three separate entities involved in our vacation owner program: the Developer, WorldMark the Club, and the Manager.
The Developer builds or purchases the resorts and hands them over to the Club debt-free. In exchange, the Developer has the exclusive right to market and sell the Vacation Credits (Memberships) that are generated by the new units. The Developer determines how many Vacation Credits are generated by each new unit by assigning Credit Values (how many credits required to occupy each unit) and Season Calendars (how many red, white, and blue weeks per year for the resort). So in effect the Club"buys" the new resorts from the Developer by giving the Developer those Credits to sell.
WorldMark, the Club is the entity that owns all of the resorts/units, and the entity in which we as individuals hold ownership. We purchase WorldMark, the Club Vacation Credits. Yes, we buy them FROM the Developer, but it is like buying a Ford from ABC Car Dealership or from the guy around the block (if you purchase resale). You are not buying the dealership, you are buying a Ford. Those Credits are the same as buying stock in a publicly traded Corporation. They give us partial ownership of the Club, and the Club owns the units.
The Club has no employees and no way to manage the units directly, so the Club hires a Manager (a management firm) to handle the physical management of the properties as well as the operations of the Club (reservation system, financial records, annual election, etc).
Trendwest was created in March 1989 by Jeld-Wen Inc., a privately held window and door manufacturing company based in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Trendwest began selling WorldMark vacation credits in October 1989.
WorldMark was incorporated in July 1989 (then called Club Esprit). It was created hand-in-hand with Trendwest Resorts. Trendwest was the Developer and the Manager, and WorldMark was the owner. They were created together to support one another. As the WorldMark's Board of Directors has frequently pointed out, the two were inter-dependent; neither could survive without the other. And that was fine; it really was a case of "what is good for one is good for the other".
In August 1997, Trendwest became a publicly traded company. At the time, Jeld-Wen retained 51% of the stock.
In April 2002, Trendwest was acquired by Cendant Corporation (“Cendant”), and became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cendant Timeshare Resort Group, Inc. Cendant was a large conglomerate that owned not only timeshare developers (former Fairfield and Trendwest, among others), but also real estate firms (Century 21, Coldwell Banker, ERA); hotels (Super 8, Days Inn, Ramada, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Baymont Inn & Suites, Wingate by Wyndham, Travelodge, Howard Johnson, AmeriHost Inn, Knights Inn); and travel and car rental companies (RCI, Orbitz, Galileo, Avis, Budget, and more).
In May 2006, Cendant Timeshare Resort Group, Inc. was renamed Wyndham Vacation Ownership, Inc. In August 2006, Cendant split into four separate companies -- Realogy for the real estate firms, Wyndham Worldwide Corp. (which included Trendwest as a part of Wyndham Vacation Ownership, Inc.) for the timeshare and hotel companies, Travelport for the travel distribution companies, and Avis-Budget Group for the car rentals. The official line is that Cendant had become too big to be managed profitably. Scuttlebutt is that it may have had more to do with getting rid of the Cendant name and reputation after convictions on fraudulent accounting practices ( See CNN: Cendant settles for 2.93 BILLIONand USA Today: Cendantex-chairman found guilty).
In January 2007, Trendwest was renamed Wyndham Resort Development Corporation.
So now Wyndham Resort Development Corp. (WRDC), a division of Wyndham Vacation Ownership which is a division of Wyndham Worldwide Corp., is the Developer and Management firm for WorldMark, the Club. It is noteworthy that WRDC has a dba as "WorldMark by Wyndham" and freely uses that name.