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It's always Happy Hour at The GateHouse 

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What do you know that you’d like to anonymously pass along? Did we get something right or wrong? Got gossip, rumors or bitches & moans, obituaries, kudos, anything you’d like to share? Send it to [email protected] it’s anonymous… (Your identity is always protected so use any ‘handle’ you want!)


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And for all the news that’s fit to print (or not) you’ll find all the CURRENT NEWS HEADLINES here.

EMAIL: [email protected]


Permanent link to this article: http://www.insidethegate.com/gatehouse/2017/08/welcome-to-the-gatehouse-3/

Careers

Who’s HIRING?

HILTON GRAND VACATIONS is looking for Direct Sales—Inside Sales Executives in Orlando, FL with a FL Real Estate license and timeshare experience. Start cashing in on the opportunity of a lifetime!


DIAMOND RESORTS INTERNATIONAL: National and International opportunities. Now hiring in multiple locations. Earn what you deserve selling Vacations for Life!


HILTON GRAND VACATIONS: Hilton Grand Vacations offers endless career opportunities in the most sought-after vacation destinations around the world. If you are ready to be your best self while making unforgettable memories for our Club Member families, join our more than 7,500 Team Members today. Your journey awaits.


Are you looking for timeshare professionals? Sales reps? Marketing pros? ADVERTISE HERE! Or Email Bill Curtis for a media kit. [email protected]

Permanent link to this article: http://www.insidethegate.com/gatehouse/2017/08/whos-hiring/

Weekly Wisecrack: Sept. 23, 2017

CENSORSHIP?

“…and lastly, before you receive your paychecks this afternoon you will first sign a statement acknowledging your understanding that the online posting of any comments anywhere about the company or those running the company – regardless of the nature of those comments – is strictly forbidden.

Any violation of this company policy will result in…”



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

Permanent link to this article: http://www.insidethegate.com/gatehouse/2017/09/weekly-wisecrack-sept-23-2017/

Timeshare Odds and Ends: Sept. 23, 2017

happyhourgatehouse 
What was your introduction to timesharing? Mine was via a glossy, seductive postcard delivered by the US Mail nearly 40 years ago. It guaranteed me that I would be given either 1) a brand new car or 2) a brand new television set or 3) a half-carat genuine diamond if only I would drive up into the mountains to tour a new lakeside resort and give them my opinion. And to top it off, they’d even pay for my gas with a crisp new ten-dollar bill for good measure.

Yeah, I can hear you laughing all the way over here. But timesharing was new at the time and I’d never heard of it. I drove, I toured, I listened to the pitch, I collected my $10 and my prize – which turned out to be a genuine uncut commercial grade diamond. I laughed all the way home. But I did not buy.

Instead I joined the parade of sales professionals who sold the dream to others. I know a good thing when I see it. Oh, sure, eventually I did become the proud owner of a timeshare interval and I used that puppy hard, too. So I’m one of those people who fits the numbers on both sides of the equation in Scoop’s latest column.

So what’s the Scoop? What numbers am I talking about and what’s the math Scoop so enjoys presenting to us? And what’s all that talk about millions and billions? Find out at Scoop du Jour: 9.2 Million Owning Households



Here is an official update from St. Thomas, USVI, on Irma and Maria hurricanes. It updates the status on the following resorts:

Point Pleasant Resort; Sugar Bay Resort & Spa; Windward Passage; Margaritaville Vacation Club; Bluebeard’s Beach Club; WorldMark St. Thomas; Elysian Beach Resort; Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas; Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort; Bolongo Bay Beach Resort. I still have not seen any information on the status of the former Magen’s Point resort, now called Flamboyan on the Bay.

It’s mostly not very good news, I’m afraid.



On Sept. 20, 1985, Walt Disney World in Florida welcomed its 200-millionth guest. That was an astounding figure since the park had only been open since 1971.

From 1985 it took another half-dozen years for the first Disney Vacation Club property, known as the Disney Vacation Club Resort (later renamed Disney’s Old Key West Resort), to open on December 20, 1991 – two decades after Disney World opened.

What took them so long? Scratching Head



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/2017/09/timeshare-odds-and-ends-sept-23-2017/

Weekly Jukebox: Sept. 23, 2017

Blue mic 

Considering all the hurricanes and tropical storms and earthquakes that have laid waste to Texas, the Caribbean, Mexico and Florida recently; considering the hardship and angst they have caused for millions of people; considering the uselessness felt when all you can do to help is send money…

I’m so discombobulated, this is the most appropriate song I could come up with for you this week.

Harve Presnell sings “They Call the Wind Mariah” from the movie Paint Your Wagon.

I can’t think of another song that carries such a sense of loss and yearning and sorrow.

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/2017/09/weekly-jukebox-sept-23-2017/

Timeshare Financial News: Sept. 23, 2017

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse 

ILG has completed a term securitization transaction involving the issuance of $325 million of asset-backed notes. VSE 2017-A VOI Mortgage LLC, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Vistana Signature Experiences, Inc. (“Vistana”) issued these notes in three tranches: $240 million of Class A notes rated AAA/AAA with an interest rate of 2.33%; $59 million of Class B notes rated A/A with an interest rate of 2.63%; and $26 million of Class C notes rated BBB/BBB with an interest rate of 2.93%. The notes are backed by vacation ownership loans from both Vistana Signature Experiences and Hyatt Vacation Ownership and had an overall weighted average coupon of 2.43%. The advance rate for this transaction was approximately 97%.

Of the $325 million in proceeds from the transaction, $65 million will be held in escrow to purchase additional vacation ownership loans, including the redemption of the outstanding balance on Vistana’s 2011 securitization or, if not used for said purpose, returned to the investors. The remainder will be used to pay transaction expenses, fund required reserves, pay down a portion of the borrowings outstanding under ILG’s $600 million revolving credit facility and for general corporate purposes.

On another matter of importance, Scott Deveau, writing for Bloomberg, is reporting that ILG is likely to face a proxy fight early next year if it doesn’t strike a deal to merge with Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corp. or one of its competitors. That is at the behest of a major shareholder that does not think ILG is a big as it ought to be, by which it means ILG is not providing optimum profits to its shareholders.

According to Bloomberg, “Activist investor FrontFour Capital Group disclosed a 2 percent position in Miami-based ILG in May and urged the company to merge its operations with Marriott Vacations at a meaningful premium. FrontFour is expected to run a dissident slate of board nominees at ILG’s annual general meeting early next year if a deal with Marriott or another competitor isn’t reached by then, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the details are private.”

You should probably read the entire article: ILG Is Said to Face Activist Pressure to Strike Merger



BBX Capital Corporation’s Board of Directors has declared a cash dividend payment of $0.0075 per share on its Class A and Class B Common Stock, with a payment date of October 20, 2017, to all shareholders of record at the close of trading on September 29, 2017. The Company previously indicated its intention, subject to declaration by its Board, to pay regular quarterly cash dividends of $.0075 per share on its Class A and Class B Common Stock (an aggregate of $0.03 per share annually).




Marriott Vacations Worldwide has announced pricing for a private offering of $200 Million aggregate principal amount of convertible senior notes due 2022. The notes were offered only to qualified institutional buyers in accordance with Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”). The Company also granted to the initial purchasers of the notes an option to purchase up to an additional $30 million aggregate principal amount of notes within a 13-day period beginning on, and including, the initial closing date. The offering of the notes and the convertible hedge and warrant transactions described below are expected to close on September 25, 2017, subject to customary closing conditions.

The Company expects to use (i) up to approximately $40 million of the net proceeds from the offering to repurchase shares of the Company’s common stock, approximately $11.2 million of the net proceeds from the offering to pay the cost of convertible note hedge transactions and the remaining net proceeds for general corporate purposes, which may include repayment of debt, acquisitions, working capital, inventory, share repurchases and capital expenditures.

The notes will be the Company’s senior unsecured obligations. The notes will mature on September 15, 2022, unless earlier repurchased or converted.

For more information click here.



Hilton Grand Vacations has also announced pricing for a stock sale, but this is different from Marriott’s deal in that it centers on certain selling stockholders affiliated with The Blackstone Group L.P.. Blackstone informed HGV that they have agreed to sell 5,110,000 shares of HGV common stock to certain investors at a price per share of $35.91. The shares were offered in privately negotiated transactions pursuant to HGV’s effective shelf registration statement. The offering is expected to close on or prior to September 25, 2017.

Note that HGV did not offer any shares of common stock and will not receive any proceeds from the sale of shares pursuant to this transaction. In addition, none of HGV’s officers or directors sold any shares of common stock beneficially owned by them in this transaction.

Following the closing of the offering and related distributions of the remaining 20,165 shares of HGV common stock by funds affiliated with The Blackstone Group L.P. to their respective partners, The Blackstone Group L.P. and its affiliated funds will no longer beneficially own any shares of HGV common stock. Click for more details.



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/2017/09/timeshare-financial-news-sept-23-2017/

Florida USA Timeshare News: Sept. 23, 2017

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

How much do you know or think you know about the resale issue for specific timeshare properties/programs? Probably not very much if you aren’t connected in some way with them. I was recently asked for my opinion about DVC resales vs other companies, and I didn’t know the answer so I had to look it up.

Therefore, let’s take a look at what I learned this week about Disney Vacation Club’s rules and regs on the subject. (With linked references.) How different or how similar are they compared to other major developers’ way of dealing with the resale market?

All DVC ownerships are a deeded interest in real estate, and each interest equates to a specific number of Disney Vacation Club points, which are awarded each year on the first day of the anniversary month. All memberships at DVC resorts are sold as either a ground lease or a term-for-years. This means that the timeshare ownerships have a specific expiration date, at which point the usage rights will revert back to Disney Vacation Development, Inc.

Disney includes a Right of first refusal clause (ROFR) in their membership contracts and uses a nonjudicial foreclosure process, which forces auction bidders to be present instead of allowing online bid submissions with the Orange County Clerk of Court’s office. The company has only two approved resale companies, Fidelity Resales and Vacatia. In addition, licensed brokers can sell Disney Vacation Club contracts. Disney also provides timeshare loans for the purchaser.

In May 2016, Sharket issued a 2015 resale value list (having a score based on resale volume and prices) which saw memberships in DVC locations crowd out its competitors. Saratoga Springs, Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary, and Animal Kingdom Villas were the company’s timeshares near the top of the list.

When a contract is sold on the resale market, Disney retains the right of first refusal, meaning they have an opportunity to review each sale and if they choose, to step in as the purchaser for the price listed on the sale. In 2016, the buyback rate was around 4.4%, meaning Disney chose to purchase the resale accounts 4.4% of the time. However, in the month of January 2017, Disney exercised their ROFR on 23 contracts sold through the DVC Resale Market, representing roughly 9.5% of the contracts sold in that same month.

According to a 2016 article in the Orlando Sentinel the company announced in 2011 that it would no longer allow secondary market DVC points purchasers to use their points on Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, or the Concierge Collection luxury hotel group. In April 2016, Disney Vacation Development also ended the extension of Membership Extras benefits to those who purchase DVC contracts through secondary markets. ARDA says Disney was one of the last major timeshare companies to eliminate these benefits, and I don’t see any reason to doubt them.

Essentially Disney’s resale regulations don’t seem very different from most others so I assume the higher number of resales – and at higher prices – must be due to other factors. Amirite?

What am I missing?



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/2017/09/florida-usa-timeshare-news-sept-23-2017/

Colorado USA Timeshare News: Sept. 23, 2017

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

DENVER: Back in 2013 the Colorado Attorney General sued Sea to Ski Vacations, Traditions Travel Group, and four members of the Wunder family who own and operate those travel clubs for being dishonest about the travel deals they sell. Yeah, I know, quelle suprise, right? roll eyes

You can get the details of the lawsuit at this link; then hurry back for the rest of the story.

Back already? OK, then here we go. Colorado came out on top in that case and that’s when Stephen Wunder made the mistake of appealing. It was a mistake because in its most recent Order the Court not only increased the amount of its original judgment and ordered the Wunders to cease all business activities, it also permanently barred them from owning or working for any company that sells timeshares, condominium reservations, hotel reservations, airline tickets, or cruise line reservations.

So Andrew Wunder (aka Mark Dutell), his wife Bethany, Stephen Wunder (aka Stephen Andrews or Andrew Stephens) and Christian Wunder are now on the hook for a whopping $7 Million for defrauding consumers.

But hang tight because it might not be over yet. Attorney General Cynthia Coffman is concerned that the defendants may be continuing to operate in other states. She believes the Wunders are continuing to charge consumers’ credit cards using a web of LLCs and aliases to mask their business activities. The Wunders registered and operated businesses in Arizona, California, Colorado, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming to hide their identities and squeeze as much money from unwitting consumers as they could. In one recent instance, the Wunders charged a New York couple’s credit card without their permission using an Austin-based business called Member Club Services and a Los Angeles-based business called Top of the Line Productions. In another instance, the Wunders registered a Park City business called Condos and Cruises Worldwide with the Utah Secretary of State under the name of their incapacitated mother.

Coffman believes Christian Wunder left Colorado for Chandler, Arizona, and Andrew and Bethany Wunder left Colorado for Austin, Texas. Stephen Wunder lives in Midway, Utah.

If you have any information about any of these individuals or any companies they may be operating, or to report any other possible fraudulent activity, please file a complaint with the Colorado Attorney General at www.stopfraudcolorado.gov , or call 1-800-222-4444.

As an aside, John Wunder, who lives in the Phoenix, AZ area, had his own brush with the law in 2015 when Delta Airlines won a default judgment against him and Bridgewater Marketing, LLC, Travel Club Marketing et al for using the Delta logo without permission in concert with a travel club John was operating. It seems to run in the family, doesn’t it.



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/2017/09/colorado-usa-timeshare-news-sept-23-2017/

Idle Timeshare Thoughts: Sept. 23, 2017

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse
QUOTABLE QUOTES: “I like coffee because it gives me the illusion that I might be awake.” –Lewis Black



This is about Marriott International, not Marriott Vacations Worldwide — but it’s pretty interesting anyway so I thought I’d share it.

A national legal advocacy and educational organization called Muslim Advocates has released a letter previously sent to Marriott International President and CEO Arne Sorenson urging him to cancel the hotel chain’s scheduled commitment to host an October 2 -3, 2017 national convention at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, VA for the nation’s largest alleged anti-Muslim hate group, Act for America (which describes itself as “the NRA of national security”).

As the letter states, “Marriott clearly and proudly states on its website that ‘diversity and inclusion is fundamental to our core values and strategic business goals.’ We believe that hosting this anti-Muslim convention is antithetical to this otherwise clear commitment. Act for America’s held almost 30 anti-Muslim protests during Ramadan—some of the protesters were armed and marched directly in front of mosques. The official Facebook page of this event was filled with repeated calls to kill and commit acts of violence against Muslims…. Declining to host ACT for America would help to ensure that Marriott International does not fall behind other companies and would be true to your company’s stated commitment to inclusivity.”

According to Scott Simpson, Public Advocacy Director of Muslim Advocates, “There should be no room for hate at Marriott hotels. Marriott’s glossy ‘golden rule’ campaign trumpets its commitment to dignity for all people, so why is it hosting the nation’s largest anti-Muslim gathering? This is clearly incompatible with the values of our nation, of Marriott’s customers, and of Marriott’s own stated commitment to inclusion. Marriott should cancel this event immediately.”

Of course this raises a lot of First Amendment concerns, but that’s not what’s on my mind.

What IS on my mind is this: If the convention goes forward at the Marriott property you can rest assured that there will be protesters outside. Loud protesters, and possibly a lot of them. It could easily attract the attention of local (and national) news sources, especially considering the current political climate and the fact that the location is in the Washington DC area. I wonder if the possible negative publicity might spill over to anything with Marriott’s brand on it? Not far away from the Crystal is where you’ll find the Marriott Vacation Club Pulse at The Mayflower, you see.

Marriott. Get my drift?



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/2017/09/idle-timeshare-thoughts-sept-23-2017/

Getting BIGGER: Sept. 23, 2017

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse 

The Club at Crested Butte in Colorado is getting bigger via an expansion project that is set to be complete by the 2017/2018 ski-season. That’s right around the corner, if you’re interested.

Now at three stories, new features and services include:

  • Over 10,000 total square feet of private club
  • Multiple social, lounge and dining areas
  • A new 30-foot Member bar
  • An expanded heated deck overlooking the ski hill for après ski
  • An outdoor built-in gourmet grill
  • Private secured entries
  • A new ski valet system operated from a slope-side ski valet storage room
  • New meeting space/conference services overlooking Warming House Hill
  • Expanded food services
  • Complimentary wine tastings
  • A full social calendar of private events and activities
  • First Tracks and Member Ski Programs
  • Discounted lift tickets, lessons and ski tuning services
  • Ski Instructor consultation
  • Lockers for accompanied guests
  • Private parking
  • Outdoor fire pit

That’s a lot.

The Lifestyle Membership at the Club at Crested Butte offers exclusive access to the Ski Club, Robert Trent Jones Jr. golf course, Health and Wellness Center, Tennis facilities, Nordic Track, Member Events and much more. Memberships are currently available. 😉

For those not in the know, Crested Butte – a former coal mining town now called “the last great Colorado ski town” – is in Gunnison County, CO; population around 1,600; elevation at 8,909′; and the Colorado General Assembly has designated the town the Wildflower Capital of Colorado.

The chair lifts are now open; go check it out for its famed fall colors and then stay awhile…



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/2017/09/getting-bigger-sept-23-2017/

Weekly Wisecrack: Sept. 16, 2017

angry baby

The Inheritance Pitch

“Now Betsy & Clyde what young families just like yours value the most is that this becomes part of your Estate. So, for example, when little Clyde Jr. here is all grown up you folks can ensure that your son, your future daughter in-law, your grandchildren and indeed your great grandchildren will have vacations throughout their lives, too.

“Why, 120 years from now…”



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

Permanent link to this article: http://www.insidethegate.com/gatehouse/2017/09/weekly-wisecrack-sept-16-2017/

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