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Permanent link to this article: http://www.insidethegate.com/gatehouse/2010/10/welcome-to-the-gatehouse-3/

Weekly Wisecrack: June 24, 2017

man walks dog

Tempus Fugit
 
After a long run as an Expat the formerly young, dashing, debonair and smooth-talking top-producing closer realized that time was no longer on his side. Not having much in savings, no company benefits and lacking a retirement plan he decided to return to the U.S. and at least get a slot as a T/O with a timeshare developer who provided basic medical insurance to cover the inevitable.

But once back “home” it didn’t take him long to realize that age discrimination in the U.S. was rampant and the hoped-for slot with a timeshare company was not a likely reality.

Fortunately, and in the nick of time, he did finally land part-time work outside the timeshare business with a dog walking and pet service company that pays $10 per hour. He’s glad for the job, but his lifestyle is not quite as sweet as it once was.

Welcome to life in the slow lane, pal…



The Weekly Wisecrack is primarily (but not always) a snarky look inside the workings of the timeshare industry, usually from the viewpoint of sales and marketing representatives. Do you have a different point of view? Leave your own caption in the Comments if you’re so inclined…
Image Source: HassleFreeClipart.com

Permanent link to this article: http://www.insidethegate.com/gatehouse/2017/06/weekly-wisecrack-june-24-2017/

Timeshare Odds and Ends: June 24, 2017

happyhourgatehouse 

Mention Ronald Reagan’s name in a crowd and you’re likely to experience three primary reactions. Conservatives will smile nostalgically and bob their heads in the affirmative; centrists will shrug and go “meh”; liberals will cross their eyes and grunt.

No matter the political/personal reactions, though, it can’t be denied that “the great communicator” coined some adages that have withstood the test of time. There was this quote, for instance: “The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

And, “No matter what time it is, wake me, even if it’s in the middle of a Cabinet meeting.”

And, “Protecting the rights of even the least individual among us is basically the only excuse the government has for even existing.”

So what’s the Scoop? Well, he also said, “A recession is when a neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose yours.” And therein lies Scoop’s advice to you this week. See: Scoop du Jour: The Late Ronald Reagan



Once again, for no particular reason, here are some intriguing factoids from the upcoming Harper’s Index, this time from the July 2017 issue:

    Estimated payload, in pounds of military-grade explosives, of fireworks purchased annually in the United States : 5,900,000

    Of the MOAB, the U.S. military’s most powerful non-nuclear bomb : 18,000

    Minimum number of wildlife rangers killed in the line of duty worldwide since 2009 : 595

    Portion of UNESCO natural World Heritage Sites in which wildlife criminals operate : 1/2

    Portion of U.S. Border Patrol applicants who fail their polygraph tests: 3/4

    Value of food stamps used at U.S. military commissaries last year : $66,978,704

    Chances a child in school on a U.S. military base is eligible for free or reduced-cost meals : 2 in 5

    Percentage of Mississippi families applying for welfare in 2016 who were accepted : 1.4

    Estimated amount of U.S. public funds that have been invested in N.F.L. stadiums since 1996: $6,700,000,000

Figures cited are the latest available as of May 2017. “Harper’s Index” is a registered trademark.

See the rest at Harpers.org



TWEET OF THE WEEK:

Have you seen the world yet?

Where are YOU going this year?

Permanent link to this article: http://www.insidethegate.com/gatehouse/2017/06/timeshare-odds-and-ends-june-24-2017/

Weekly Jukebox: June 24, 2017

Blue mic 

I’ve always enjoyed R&B band New Edition, in all its iterations, from 1978 to the present. They’re so full of life, and they still have the moves all these years later – fluid as mercury!

A few days ago, searching Youtube.com, I ran across an old favorite that I think even youngsters will enjoy watching and listening to today. The first single from their fifth studio album, Heart Break, the song and its video garnered the quintet their first nomination for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals at the 31st Grammy Awards in February 1989. I speak, of course, of If it isn’t Love.

Yeah, it might be an oldie but it’s also a goodie – and it’s been watched 40,441,288 times.

What are YOU listening to tonight? And what would you like to see here?



The Weekly Juke Box aims to feature good music/good fun regardless of era or genre. Send in your own favorite and if I can find a good version on YouTube I’ll post it for you! What would you like to see or hear? [email protected]

Permanent link to this article: http://www.insidethegate.com/gatehouse/2017/06/weekly-jukebox-june-24-2017/

Timeshare Financial News: June 24, 2017

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse
 

The ARDA International Foundation (AIF) has released a new study detailing the global economic impact of the shared ownership industry, and the news looks good. Or, as AIF puts it, the study “reveals the international timeshare industry to be formidable in size, diverse in makeup and ready for future growth.”

Hot damn!

Here are highlights of some of the stats the study revealed:

  • Between 2014 and 2015, global sales increased 11.5% from $17.7 billion to $19.7 billion
  • Occupancy rates in the shared vacation ownership industry have remained strong, registering 79.4% in 2015, up slightly from 76.4% in 2014.
  • There are nearly 5,400 shared vacation ownership resorts with properties in 121 countries.

Worldwide, the shared vacation ownership industry supported nearly 1.3 million jobs in 2015. Of those jobs:

  • Industry operations, off-resort vacation expenditures, and capital expenditures generated more than 577,000 direct jobs.
  • Another 702,000 jobs were sustained through the supply chain.
  • The industry also generated $57 billion in direct economic output, totaling the impact of the shared vacation ownership industry to nearly $146 billion when including indirect spending and other induced impacts on the economy.
  • And nearly $17 billion in taxes were generated by the shared vacation ownership industry.

What about the future? Well, the survey respondents indicate they will complete 91 new properties with more than 7,300 total units worldwide in 2017 and beyond – a strong sign.

The newly released 2016 Worldwide Shared Vacation Ownership Report was conducted by Oxford Economics and Leger. For more details, see ARDA’s infographic and for a copy of the full study, visit www.arda.org/foundation.



Tip JarTip us off! Share news and info with us securely and confidentially. Some of the most important stories published by the GateHouse have come from anonymous or confidential tipoffs. If you have something sensitive to share, you can safely email the Gatekeeper. We will never reveal your identity without your permission. As well, if you have something positive to share, we’d like to hear that, too! CONTACT: [email protected]

Permanent link to this article: http://www.insidethegate.com/gatehouse/2017/06/timeshare-financial-news-june-24-2017/

Virginia USA Timeshare News: June 24, 2017

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse >> EASTERN USA TIMESHARE NEWS:

WILLIAMSBURG: Is Williamsburg the most overbuilt region for timeshare resorts in the USA as some people claim, or is there still room for more?

Westgate Resorts is still betting on the “room for more” scenario, or so it would seem. The company is expanding its Westgate Historic Williamsburg Resort to include a new wing of period-specific colonial-styled rooms and suites, hoping to “to further the guest experience” with accommodations that kind of seem like the real thing.

Some of it actually consists of the refurbishment of existing rooms: 168-square feet of space with one king-size bed or two queen beds, 42-inch cable TV, table with two chairs and kitchenette with mini refrigerator, microwave and coffee maker.

But Westgate is also building two new accommodation choices: Grand King Guestroom and Colonial Family Suite. The Colonial King Guestroom will sleep up to six guests, while the Colonial Family Suite will sleep up to four guests. And they’ll all look very colonial inside in spite of being thoroughly modern.

The rest of the resort, the parts that are already in operation and welcoming owners and guests, features Studios, One-Bedroom Villas and Two-Bedroom Villas.

I guess you could say the resort is getting BIGGER?



Tip JarTip us off! Share news and info with us securely and confidentially. Some of the most important stories published by the GateHouse have come from anonymous or confidential tipoffs. If you have something sensitive to share, you can safely email the Gatekeeper. We will never reveal your identity without your permission. As well, if you have something positive to share, we’d like to hear that, too! CONTACT: [email protected]

Permanent link to this article: http://www.insidethegate.com/gatehouse/2017/06/virginia-usa-timeshare-news-june-24-2017/

Washington DC USA Timeshare News: June 24, 2017

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse >> Eastern USA Timeshare News

WASHINGTON, DC: If I told you that some fellow apparently made 96,758,223 spoofed robocalls during a three-month period (between October 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016), would you believe me? That’s more than a million calls a day, Bubba.

If you said “yes” you might be more familiar with robocalls than an innocent person should be. 🙂

Well, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) alleges that it’s true, and they say a guy named Adrian Abramovich of Miami, FL was the party behind it all. To that point, the FCC has proposed a $120 million fine(!) against Abramovich for violating the Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009 and the Commission’s rules AND they’ve issued a citation to Abramovich for apparent violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act’s robocall limits and the federal wire fraud statute. The 96+ million robocalls were uncovered via the use of specialized software. The proposed fine is based on 80,000 spoofed calls that the Commission has hand verified.

What Abramovich allegedly did was to falsify the caller ID to match the area code and first three digits of the recipient’s phone numbers, instead of the caller’s real number or the number where the call was actually originating. This is called “neighbor spoofing”, used in hopes of gaining the trust of those receiving the call and increasing the likelihood of their answering the phone. When someone did answer they were encouraged to “Press 1” to hear about “exclusive” vacation deals from well-known travel and hospitality companies such as Marriott, Expedia, Hilton and TripAdvisor.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a meeting that the scheme preyed on the elderly, many of whom spent from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars on “exclusive” vacation packages.

What were they selling? Consumers who did press the button were then transferred to foreign call centers where live operators attempted to sell vacation packages often involving timeshares. Those call centers were actually fronts for one or more Mexican-based call centers engaged in selling timeshares and vacation packages to various timeshare facilities, according to the FCC. The agencies contracted with Abramovich to receive calls generated by his robocall operation, and paid him daily for various numbers of phone calls.

Do the math. If 1% of 96 million people pressed the button and 1% of those people bought whatever was being sold for whatever price — well…

Note that this is still a proposed action; the agency will give the alleged perpetrator a chance to respond to the allegations before issuing a final decision.

ALSO IN DC there is some GOOD news. The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) is mailing 338 checks totaling more than $319,000 to people who lost money to Information Management Forum Inc., which also did business as Vacation Property Marketing, and its owner, Edward Lee Windsor.

The defendants lured consumers into paying “registration fees” for their services by making unsolicited telemarketing calls to timeshare owners and falsely claiming to have renters or buyers lined up for the timeshare property. In 2013, they were banned from selling timeshare resale services, and from telemarketing.

Check recipients will receive full refunds based on information they reported to law enforcement. The average amount is $945.

Recipients should deposit or cash checks within 60 days. If they have questions about the case, they should contact the FTC’s refund administrator, Analytics, at 855-907-3187.

To learn more about the FTC’s refund program, visit www.ftc.gov/refunds. cheerleader



Tip JarTip us off! Share news and info with us securely and confidentially. Some of the most important stories published by the GateHouse have come from anonymous or confidential tipoffs. If you have something sensitive to share, you can safely email the Gatekeeper. We will never reveal your identity without your permission. As well, if you have something positive to share, we’d like to hear that, too! CONTACT: [email protected]

Permanent link to this article: http://www.insidethegate.com/gatehouse/2017/06/washington-dc-usa-timeshare-news-june-24-2017/

Utah USA Timeshare News: June 24, 2017

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse >> EASTERN USA TIMESHARE NEWS:

BRIAN HEAD: There’s a wildfire burning up in the Brian Head, UT area, that as of this writing has already destroyed 13 residences, 8 outbuildings and nearly 28,000 acres since it began on June 17.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Areas under evacuation in the region include Panguitch Lake, Horse Valley, Beaver Dam, Blue Springs, Rainbow Meadows, Dry Lakes, Second Left Hand Canyon and the town of Brian Head itself as well as hundreds of cabins in the Mammoth Creek area south of Panguitch Lake.

State Route 143 remains closed between the towns of Parowan and Panguitch. For reference purposes, Panguitch is about 20 miles east of Brian Head while Parowan is about 14 miles to the north. SR 143 runs through Panguitch, then through Brian Head and north to Parowan.

Diamond Resorts’ Cedar Breaks Lodge at Brian Head has been evacuated and closed and remains so as of this writing on Friday afternoon as Fire Fighting agencies continue to fight the fire. Diamond Resorts reports there is no public access allowed in the area until further notice. The resort will remain closed until public access is granted to the Brian Head area, and access roads are reopened.

Reports say that as of Friday morning more than 800 personnel across 23 firefighting crews were on the scene, including 11 helicopters, 34 engines, and several air tankers.

Keep your fingers crossed that no lives are lost and the fire, which is only 5% contained in very rugged country, will soon be controlled and put out.

Further updates regarding access to Cedar Breaks Lodge are available by calling Diamond Resorts at 1.855-624-4392.



Tip JarTip us off! Share news and info with us securely and confidentially. Some of the most important stories published by the GateHouse have come from anonymous or confidential tipoffs. If you have something sensitive to share, you can safely email the Gatekeeper. We will never reveal your identity without your permission. As well, if you have something positive to share, we’d like to hear that, too! CONTACT: [email protected]

Permanent link to this article: http://www.insidethegate.com/gatehouse/2017/06/utah-usa-timeshare-news-june-24-2017/

Colorado USA Timeshare News: June 24, 2017

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse>> WESTERN USA TIMESHARE NEWS:

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS: Vistana’s Sheraton Vacation Club brand is in the process of getting BIGGER. The company is converting the 198 guest rooms in the west tower of the Sheraton Steamboat Resort into 112 timeshare villas. You’ll remember that Vistana inherited the resort from Starwood when it spun off its timeshare division.

The Sheraton Steamboat is the area’s only ski-in/ski-out resort.

Maryland-based full-service general contractor First Finish, Inc. is in charge of the renovations, which cover 94,000 square feet. The project will add new sliding doors, curtain wall windows and Juliet balconies to add more square footage to the units.

The property will remain operational for the 26-week construction period.

The resort’s $29 million makeover is expected to be completed by November 2017, at which time nearly the entire resort will be included in Vistana Signature Experiences’ timeshare portfolio.

The resort is also included in Vistana’s Villa Resorts Collection, in case you didn’t know.



Tip JarTip us off! Share news and info with us securely and confidentially. Some of the most important stories published by the GateHouse have come from anonymous or confidential tipoffs. If you have something sensitive to share, you can safely email the Gatekeeper. We will never reveal your identity without your permission. As well, if you have something positive to share, we’d like to hear that, too! CONTACT: [email protected]

Permanent link to this article: http://www.insidethegate.com/gatehouse/2017/06/colorado-usa-timeshare-news-june-24-2017/

Mexico Timeshare News: June 24, 2017

happyhourgatehouse >> INTERNATIONAL TIMESHARE NEWS

LOS CABOS: Is it getting BIGGER or smaller or staying the same size? Perhaps it depends upon your point of view. I’m speaking of that grand old dame (counting in Cabo years) now known as the Westin Los Cabos Resort Villas & Spa, nestled oceanfront along the corridor between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo.

Remember? It used to be the Hotel Westin Regina. It was one of the properties transferred to Starwood Vacation Ownership when Starwood spun that division off to stand alone, then it promptly became a Vistana Signature Experiences resort when ILG purchased SVO last year and renamed the brand.

(Raintree Vacation Club operates a Club Regina Los Cabo timeshare operation adjacent to the Westin, and has done so for many years, but you mustn’t confuse that with what used to be the hotel.)

ANYhow, back to the subject, the Westin Los Cabos used to boast 243 guest rooms and suites but following extensive renovations has now been transformed into 147 villas and is being “reintroduced” as part of the Westin Vacation Club villa resorts portfolio.

Accommodations include studios and two-bedroom villas. Additionally, the two-bedroom premium villas and two luxury suites feature private balcony Jacuzzis. The villas are equipped with full modern kitchens, balconies, and washers and dryers. And of course it boasts all of the amenities you ever want, including six different dining options.

So I guess you could say that Vistana has gotten BIGGER but not the Westin Los Cabos?



Tip JarTip us off! Share news and info with us securely and confidentially. Some of the most important stories published by the GateHouse have come from anonymous or confidential tipoffs. If you have something sensitive to share, you can safely email the Gatekeeper. We will never reveal your identity without your permission. As well, if you have something positive to share, we’d like to hear that, too! CONTACT: [email protected]

Permanent link to this article: http://www.insidethegate.com/gatehouse/2017/06/mexico-timeshare-news-june-24-2017/

Idle Timeshare Thoughts: June 24, 2017

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse  QUOTABLE QUOTES: “That man is a success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much.” —Robert Louis Stevenson



In this week’s Financial News I mentioned that according to the most recent study on the global economic impact of the shared ownership industry, industry operations, off-resort vacation expenditures, and capital expenditures generated more than 577,000 direct jobs.

What I’d like to know is how many of those 577,000 direct jobs were filled by timeshare sales reps and what their total compensation amounts to. How many active sales lines are there, what is the average size of the lines and what is the average commission per sale (and how hard IS it to reach bonus)?

How many liners are there? How many closers? How many F/B’ers? How many sales managers, PD’s and/or DOS’s? How many work on-site? How many only work in-house? What is the average liner commission, closer commission and F/B’er commission? What about SPIFFS? Are they still being paid and if so, what is the average amount (or percentage)? Are full commissions being paid weekly, every other week or monthly? Is there severance pay and what percentage (U.S. and/or worldwide) of all sales reps are still on a 1099 working with no benefits?

You get the picture. Surely such stats could be compiled if developers et al would cooperate? I think the sales folks play a pretty important part in the health of the industry, after all; that information would be good to have in hand. Right?

It’s probably such a fluid figure that I’ll never get a good answer, though. As a long-time friend from the deep South likes to say, “Don’t mayonnaise your bread while you’re waitin’ for the tomatoes to ripen, son.” shrug



Tip JarTip us off! Share news and info with us securely and confidentially. Some of the most important stories published by the GateHouse have come from anonymous or confidential tipoffs. If you have something sensitive to share, you can safely email the Gatekeeper. We will never reveal your identity without your permission. As well, if you have something positive to share, we’d like to hear that, too! CONTACT: [email protected]

Permanent link to this article: http://www.insidethegate.com/gatehouse/2017/06/idle-timeshare-thoughts-june-24-2017/

Getting BIGGER: June 24, 2017

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse

RCI has added another Palace Resorts property to its global exchange system. Moon Palace Jamaica, an all-inclusive option in Ocho Rios, is RCI’s latest addition in the Caribbean.

Part of the Palace Elite residences, Moon Palace Jamaica boasts more than 700 guestrooms and suites. Amenities include a full range of non-motorized water sports, four pools, including a plunge pool, Whirlpool tubs, a waterslide and children’s pool, an incredible kids club – The Playroom, and the WIRED Teen Lounge. The property also boasts four gourmet restaurants, six bars, private balconies, unlimited beverages and cocktails, nightly entertainment, 24-hour room service and more.



Interval International has affiliated Grand Solmar at Rancho San Lucas, a timeshare property within the exclusive 834-acre master-planned resort community of Rancho San Lucas on the Pacific side of Cabo San Lucas. (Specifically, less than 30 minutes from the Los Cabos International Airport and 20 minutes from downtown Cabo.)

Developed by the Solmar Group, Rancho San Lucas boasts world-class accommodations and many amenities, including more than 1 mile of beach, a pedestrian village with numerous dining, shopping and entertainment options, and a Greg Norman Signature Golf Course and clubhouse. In addition to the timeshare component, the development features fractional condominiums, as well as whole-ownership residences built in partnership with Greg Norman Real Estate.

The resort features a restaurant and free WiFi throughout the property plus a spa center, a private beach area, a 24-hour front desk and a gift shop. Of course the units are all air conditioned and they are also fitted with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels.

Grand Solmar at Rancho San Lucas Resort, Golf & Spa has been welcoming guests since March 2017.




Tip JarTip us off! Share news and info with us securely and confidentially. Some of the most important stories published by the GateHouse have come from anonymous or confidential tipoffs. If you have something sensitive to share, you can safely email the Gatekeeper. We will never reveal your identity without your permission. As well, if you have something positive to share, we’d like to hear that, too! CONTACT: [email protected]
 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.insidethegate.com/gatehouse/2017/06/getting-bigger-june-24-2017/

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