Caribbean resorts trade stays for stocks
In a bid to turn financial lemons into umbrella drinks, eight upscale Caribbean resorts are pitching depressed investors to pay for vacations with depressed stocks. The new Elite Island Resorts promotion lets customers purchase a stay of up to $5,000 with a choice of 100 S&P stocks, their share values rolled back to pre-collapse, July 1 levels. So, for example, instead of coughing up $3,750 for a week-long January stay for four at Antigua's all-inclusive St. James's Club, would-be vacationers could transfer 94 shares of their Aetna stock. Worth $40 a share on July 1, it closed at a measly $21.39 on Thursday — effectively giving guests a nearly 50% discount.