With the 963-acre Encore Resort near Orlando, Nick Falcone, the Managing Principal of NDM Hospitality, has created a vacation rental product that consistently lives up to luxury standards, and has changed group travel in the process
Encore has become a favorite destination for families, which makes it appropriate that it’s a family-run business. How did you and your brothers decide to establish NDM Hospitality?
Hospitality runs in the family DNA. My father and his brother started their careers in restaurants. I grew up hearing my father preach that everything you need to learn in business can be learned in the hospitality industry. Because of their influences, my brothers and I followed in the family footsteps.
When my brother Daniel and I had saved up some money, we searched for franchises to invest in and eventually negotiated a deal to open a number of franchised restaurants. We have never looked back and NDM Hospitality, which has now been around for six years, now owns and operates seven restaurants. At the same time, we are establishing businesses and brands in the vacation home and club management spaces.
What trends do you think are most interesting in travel today?
Large group travel. We see families and groups of friends interested in spending time together on vacation. Specific to family travel, individuals are living longer and families are more spread out then ever throughout the country. Because of this we’ve seen a growing demand for large-group accommodations which have been popping up in greater frequency. We want to compliment this trend by establishing branded vacation home resort accommodations that travelers can trust while providing them with an enhanced experience.
What was the inspiration for Encore?
We were surprised that no developers or hospitality companies had collaborated to do better in the vacation home space. There is a major opportunity to remove some stigmas such as inconsistent accommodations and issues with safety and security.
The first time I ever stayed in a vacation home, I arrived and was told the hosts were down the street and would be there in 15 minutes with my key. There was no check-in desk. There were trash bags outside and the inside of the unit was even worse—it was so dirty that I ended up going to a hotel. I’ve stayed in other vacation homes where the experience was spectacular. The goal with Encore is to make sure we exceed expectations every time while offering the services and amenities of a world-class resort. We are determined to change this entire industry by creating a consistently amazing product.
How does the Encore model differ from hotels and other home rental options?
We are offering a new way to travel for families and groups. We have brand standards, and the resort incorporates our trademark services, amenities, dining, and more. The homes are built with rental in mind and take into account all of the luxuries and efficiencies that guests would desire and the resort is centrally operated by a dedicated staff. Our incredible 10-acre water park is the main feature of Encore and includes a 60-foot slide tower with three amazing slides, a surfing safari splash area for kids, private cabanas, an arcade, and outdoor dining with a full bar.
We also have a three-meal restaurant, Finn’s Café, and our full bar at Shark’s Lounge. If you want to celebrate a family milestone or have any other private party, we have you covered with dedicated spaces to meet your needs a group and catering team assigned to your event. We also have a full concierge desk and complimentary transportation to the major theme parks—Disney, Universal, and Sea World; we even sell tickets in advance. We can offer services in your home, from spa treatments to in-room dining. Beyond that, if you want one of our chefs or bartenders for a private event in your home, we can arrange that service for you. Our front desk is staffed by ambassadors who will check you in, give you a tour of your home, and be there for any needs.
Compared to a traditional hotel we offer much more spacious accommodations, a much better value, and more services and amenities. Our 4- to 13-bedroom homes include full kitchens, multiple rooms with en-suite bathrooms, full laundry rooms, garages, and smart home technology. Every unit has a pool and spa. You can check our website to see available homes and book.
What types of travelers are drawn to Encore?
Families, and other groups too—we are able to bring people together under one roof at a fraction of the price of renting multiple hotel rooms. If your group will need at least two hotel rooms, then Encore is the perfect choice. Even for individuals and couples, we offer more space for less money.
Can you share any updates on the football-themed Dan Marino House?
The final touches are being put on it as we speak and it will be ready for rental over the summer. Guests will be able to stay in a home decorated with memorabilia hand-picked by Dan, an NFL Hall of Famer and Miami Dolphins quarterback. We are extremely excited to be associated with this legend of the NFL—Dan is the perfect brand ambassador.