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Pull up a stool, order your poison and join the conversation!

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 gatekeeper@insidethegate.com it’s anonymous… (Your identity is always protected so use any ‘handle’ you want!)

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

EMAIL: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com


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

Careers

Who’s HIRING?

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. billcurtis@insidethegate.com

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Weekly Wisecrack: November 18, 2017

elf

Thievery Comes in Many Forms

“…and as there will be no marketing costs involved be advised that until further notice the developer will generously pay any rep that self-gens and closes their own deals an extra 1/4 of 1% on each sale and that additional bonus will be paid to the reps once the timely payment provisions have been fulfilled.

“Are there any questions?”



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: https://www.insidethegate.com/gatehouse/2017/11/weekly-wisecrack-november-18-2017/

Timeshare Odds and Ends: November 18, 2017

happyhourgatehouse 
Oh that weenie, Scoop, who wants everyone from the bottom up in the biz to make more money in 2018! What a wuss! Whatever happened to the I-got-mine-so-too-bad-for-you mentality? Whatever happened to Gordon Gecko? Whatever happened to the “Burn, baby, burn!” Enron traders who sang “It’s a beautiful thing” down the wires to each other even as the company was, er, burning its employees’ and shareholders’ lives to the ground.

Ah, those were the good ol’ days. /s

So what’s the Scoop? Assuming the name of the game continues to be generating as much revenue as possible from the same number of sales guests and, hopefully, at lower marketing & selling costs, etc., and without screwing your members/owners/guests over — Scoop has an idea y’all might want to consider. Wanna know what it is? See Scoop du Jour: Three Core Reasons



It’s Thanksgiving time in the USA, which means FOOD! Yeah, it’s that time of the year when our thoughts turn to feasting until we can barely stand up. Do you prepare the family feast or share a relative’s dinner on the big day? Have it catered? Do you travel far? Do you go to a restaurant instead?

InsideTheGate has a Holiday section in case you didn’t know. In it we have information and articles about Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa, as well as a few online games for you to play, special holiday travel deals, and — best of all — beaucoup RECIPES to whet your cooking skills and appetites.

Kwanzaa browniesThis is a picture from one of my favorite recipes, Decadent Kwanzaa Brownies, contributed by Joyce Brown. She covered them with chocolate cream and fruit slices instead of pecans, but I’d take them any way I could get them. It isn’t as hard to make these as you might think, and I’d bet the airlines would let you carry them on if you’re heading for a reunion or your timeshare — or a reunion IN your timeshare. Think they’d be a big hit? You betcha!

Of course if your timeshare is a drive-to, then there’s no problem. Make a double batch and eat half of them along the way! 😀

Here’s a direct link to that recipe. Try it, you’ll like it!

Do you have something you’d like to share with us? A recipe, maybe, or a memory or helpful tips? Please send them/it via email either in the body of the email or as a Word or PDF attachment. Send it to info@insidethegate.com and put the word Holidays in the subject line so we’ll know what it is.



TWEET OF THE WEEK:

Have you seen the world yet?

Where are YOU going this year?

Permanent link to this article: https://www.insidethegate.com/gatehouse/2017/11/timeshare-odds-and-ends-november-18-2017/

Weekly Jukebox: November 18, 2017

Blue mic 

I’m thankful this year for the opportunities I’ve had to travel all over the globe, primarily due to the glories of timeshare ownership and the selling thereof.

I’ve yet to make it to Ireland, though, so when I stumbled across this video of some Irish folks taste-testing foods typical of an American Thanksgiving dinner, well, how could I resist? (Spoiler alert: “It’s a season in your mouth!” They liked it, though they weren’t particularly impressed by the carrots.)

Some of you not accustomed to listening to the Irish brogue might have to play this a couple of times to fully enjoy their comments, but you can get the general idea just by watching their body language. 😉

Thanksgiving dinnerI’ll tell you one thing for sure, though; the food at my house this Thursday, Nov. 23, will look and taste much better than what these guinea pigs were offered. I guarantee it! Come on over, we’ll be eating at about 1:00 p.m., after which there will be much napping. You’re all welcome to join us. Bring your own pillow…
 

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? gatekeeper@insidethegate.com

Permanent link to this article: https://www.insidethegate.com/gatehouse/2017/11/weekly-jukebox-november-18-2017/

Timeshare Financial News: November 18, 2017

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse

Bluegreen Vacations Corporation’s Common Stock has commenced trading on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) under the ticker symbol “BXG”. Boy that was a fast IPO, wasn’t it?

Formerly named Bluegreen Corporation, the company has priced its initial public offering of 6,498,648 shares of its common stock at a price to the public of $14.00 per share. Bluegreen Vacations is offering 3,736,723 shares, and a wholly-owned subsidiary of BBX Capital is offering 2,761,925 shares as a selling shareholder. The offering is expected to close on November 21, 2017, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.

In addition, BBX Capital’s wholly-owned subsidiary has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to 974,797 additional shares of Bluegreen Vacations’ common stock. After completion of the offering, BBX Capital Corporation will continue to own approximately 90% of Bluegreen Vacations’ outstanding common stock.

Stifel and Credit Suisse are acting as joint lead book-running managers and as representatives of the underwriters for the proposed offering. BofA Merrill Lynch and SunTrust Robinson Humphrey are also acting as joint book-running managers.

A registration statement relating to these securities has been filed with, and declared effective by, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The offering is being made only by means of a prospectus. Copies of the prospectus relating to the offering may be obtained by contacting: Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated, Attn: Syndicate, One Montgomery Street, Suite 3700, San Francisco, CA 94104, (415) 364‐2720, syndprospectus@stifel.com; or Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, Attn: Prospectus Dept., One Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010, (800) 221-1037, newyork.prospectus@credit-suisse.com.

Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. Group, which owns Sterling Holiday Resorts, recently released its earning report for the quarter ending Sept. 30, 2017.

The company said it is seeking to improve its margins in the timeshare segment of its company. While it has reduced its losses, there has been a slowdown this quarter in the vacation ownership business. It has now completed refurbishing the resorts and will be relaunching the brand in the third quarter so by next year they should have better margins for Sterling Resorts and should be headed towards break-even. They also make special mention of the fact that they have never given discounted prices. “There will be an ATL (above the line) and digital campaign and we are seeking substantial growth in the coming quarters,” said Debasis Nandy, President – Commercial and Chief Financial Officer of Thomas Cook (India).

Thomas Cook hired Accenture last year for a cost optimisation exercise, and is now extending it for sales optimisation.

Sterling Holiday Resorts Limited, a leading holiday lifestyle company in India, was incorporated in 1986 with the vision of delivering great holiday experiences to Indian families. To achieve this vision, the company pioneered Vacation Ownership in India and set about building a network of leisure resorts at some of the best holiday destinations in India. Currently, Sterling Holidays has an inventory of 2124 rooms across 32 resorts.

In March 2016, Sterling Holidays acquired ‘Nature Trails Resorts Private Limited’ – an adventure holiday company that operates resorts at four unique destinations in Maharashtra. For more information, please visit www.sterlingholidays.com



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: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com

Permanent link to this article: https://www.insidethegate.com/gatehouse/2017/11/timeshare-financial-news-november-18-2017/

Florida USA Timeshare News: November 18, 2017

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

ORLANDO: This last August, 2017, Westgate Resorts et al filed a big ol’ lawsuit in the Middle District of Florida against the law firm of Mitchell Reed Sussman and Associates and Mitchell Reed Sussman individually (a Palm Springs, CA attorney) for interfering with their business.

I say “Westgate Resorts et al” because the list of plaintiffs is as follows:

    Blue Tree LBV, LLC, Blue Tree Resort at Lake Buena Vista Condominium Association, Inc., Cedar Ridge at the Woods Condominium Owners Association, Inc., Central Florida Investments, Inc., Club Orlando Vacation Resort Owners Association, Inc., Grand Vista at Emerald Point Condominium Owner’s Association, Inc., Logger’s Pointe at the Woods Condominium Property Owners Association, Inc., Painted Mountain Golf Villas Condominium Association, Inc., RVS-Orlando A Condominium Association, Inc., RVS-Orlando II Condominium Association, Inc., Westgate Blue Tree Orlando, Ltd., Westgate Blue Tree Resort Owners Association, Inc., Westgate Branson Woods Owners Association, Inc., Westgate Flamingo Bay, L.L.C., Westgate Flamingo Bay, Las Vegas Owners Association, Inc., Westgate GV at Emerald Pointe, LLC, Westgate GV at Painted Mountain, LLC, Westgate GV at the Woods, LLC, Westgate Historic Williamsburg, Owners Association, Inc., Westgate Lakes Owners Association, Inc., Westgate Lakes, LLC, Westgate Las Vegas Resort Owners Association, Inc., Westgate Las Vegas Resort, LLC, Westgate Myrtle Beach Ocean Front Owners Association, Inc., Westgate Myrtle Beach, LLC, Westgate Palace Owners Association, Inc., Westgate Palace, LLC, Westgate Park City Resort & Spa, Owners Association, Inc., Westgate RVS Orlando, LLC, Westgate Resorts, Inc., Westgate Resorts, Ltd., Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort at Gatlinburg, Owners Association, Inc., Westgate South Beach Owners Association, Inc., Westgate South Beach, LLC, Westgate Towers North Owners Association, Inc., Westgate Towers Owners Association, Inc., Westgate Towers, LLC, Westgate Town Center Owners Association, Inc., Westgate Vacation Villas Owners Association, Inc., Westgate Vacation Villas, LLC (Backman, Jeffrey). shocked

Among the many things Westgate accuses Sussman et al of doing are these:

    58. Upon information and belief, Defendants continuously violate Florida Bar Rules prohibiting, among other things, misleading and incomplete advertising and the unlicensed practice of law, by using timeshare exit companies to directly solicit/contact timeshare owners to convince the timeshare owners to retain their services and then refer the timeshare owners to Defendants in return for a fee paid by Defendants.

    59. Defendants’ advertising and promises to owners are false. Defendants’ use of false and misleading advertising to sell their services, and then deceptive and unfair trade practices once they have been employed, have played a material and substantial part in inducing existing members to cease doing business with Plaintiffs and others not to deal with Plaintiffs at all

The complaint also states, among other things, “Additionally, Defendants post on Sussman Law’s Facebook page (“Facebook Page”) that “[t]o date we have cancelled 10,000+ timeshares for disgruntled owners no longer interested in the burdens of timeshare ownership.” See Exhibit “B.” Defendants provide the service for “the all-inclusive fee [of] $950.” Id.”

GrouchoIf those figures are current (which seems unlikely since “10,000+ seems like a pretty ambiguous figure), then Sussman et al have grossed nearly $10 million. Do you now understand why so many people have jumped into the timeshare transfer/relief business?

Westgate is demanding a temporary and permanent injunction be entered against the Defendants, and their agents, representatives, employees, affiliates, and any others acting in concert or participating with Defendants and prohibiting them from: (1) publishing false and misleading misrepresentations on their website or in any other electronic or print media or materials regarding Plaintiffs’ owners’ cancellation of their timeshare interest without any legal basis; (2) contacting and/or otherwise interfering with Plaintiffs’ contractual and business relationships with their owners; and (3) recording or soliciting attorneys to record the fraudulent deeds. Westgate is also seeking an award of monetary damages as well their costs and attorney’s fees pursuant to Sections 501.211(2) and 501.2105, Florida Statutes, authorizing for remedies at law in addition to equitable relief as provided for pursuant to Section 501.211(1), Florida Statutes, “and for all other relief this Court deems just and proper.”

Note that Westgate originally asked for a jury trial but the case has now been referred to Mediation. But if you want to see all of the charges contained in the complaint, which details the way the company allegedly operates, pull up a chair, get some popcorn and settle in for a big long read! Westgate et al vs Sussman et al (PDF)

Stay tuned.



ALSO IN ORLANDO: In the getting BIGGER category this week you need look no further than Orange Lake Resorts, the parent company of Holiday Inn Club Vacations. Primarily due to its purchase of Silverleaf Resorts in 2015, all of which have since been rebranded as HICV resorts, Orange Lake has gotten way too big for its britches. A s a result they’ll be breaking ground this coming week on a new 125,000 sq. ft. corporate headquarters. The price tag: $30 Million.

The new headquarters, expected to be completed in 2019, will provide additional space for the company, which has doubled in size since 2015. Holiday Inn Club Vacations currently occupies a 115,000 square foot call center on the location. With the addition of the new headquarters building, the company will now have 240,000 square feet of office space at one campus location for its more than 1,300 Orlando corporate team members.

Today the Holiday Inn Club Vacations brand includes 26 resorts across 13 states and 7,400 villas in the U.S., with more than 340,000 timeshare owners and 4,500 employees. And growing.



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: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com

Permanent link to this article: https://www.insidethegate.com/gatehouse/2017/11/florida-usa-timeshare-news-november-18-2017/

United Kingdom Timeshare News: November 18, 2017

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse >> INTERNATIONAL TIMESHARE NEWS

KENT, England: There’s been an ongoing dispute in the English courts that centered on whether a timeshare owner at the 268-acre Broome Park estate in Kent had ‘recreational’ rights to use the outdoor sports facilities at the site or whether the rights should be regarded as ‘easements’ – rights that would continue to benefit future owners even if the timeshare were sold on.

According to the law firm of Furley Page, the recent court case, known as the Regency Villas case, expanded the types of right capable of being an easement.

The Broome Park Mansion House, which is a Diamond Resorts (Europe) Limited property surrounded by a private championship-length golf course and other extensive recreational facilities was at the core of the dispute. And the right for timeshare owners to use those outdoor facilities as an easement, as opposed to the contractual personal rights of the indoor rights (billiard room, television room, restaurant, bar and gym, etc.) was what was at stake.

Diamond made a number of arguments trying to establish that the outdoor rights were not easements and in particular that those rights were merely personal rights to the original parties to a legal transfer of the timeshare property, according to Liz Brady, a partner at Furley Page.

But the High Court disagreed with Diamond’s arguments and decided that the rights to use the outside communal facilities on Broome Park estate are easements which benefit the succeeding owners of the land concerned, and not just the person who was owner at the time the right was created.

Again according to Ms. Brady, the consequences of the court’s decision could have far reaching consequences for landowners. “The decision will impose expensive on-going maintenance costs on the freehold estate landowner of any outdoor facilities,” she said. “An easement to use an outdoor swimming pool, for example, places an obligation on the freeholder to keep the pool capable of being used as a swimming pool and, likewise, keep a golf course in a condition capable of being used as a golf course.

“Landowners could also experience difficulties with any redevelopment plans they may have for any outside communal areas as they would have to accommodate the rights of the beneficiaries of existing easements.”

How do you suppose this will affect timeshare members at Broome Park and other UK timeshare properties?

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: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com

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Idle Timeshare Thoughts: November 18, 2017

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse
QUOTABLE QUOTES: “The more loudly he proclaimed his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson



 

I’ve just been pondering a couple of things this week to share with you.

1) Has a timeshare developer/resort/company ever sponsored a float or entered a balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? If not, why not? And who will be the first to do so?

2) Thinking about the massive consolidation within the timeshare industry, I came up with the following list of timeshare companies/resorts that no longer exist as independent entities (in no particular order).

  1. Shell Vacations Club
  2. Escapes!
  3. Silverleaf Resorts
  4. Gold Key Resorts
  5. Sunterra
  6. ILX/Premier Vacation Club
  7. Island One/Club Navigo
  8. Club Intrawest
  9. Tempus Resorts Intl.
  10. Pacific Monarch Resorts
  11. Embassy Vacation Resorts
  12. Coconut Mallory Resort and Marina
  13. Fairfield Resorts
  14. Plaza Las Glorias/Sun Club
  15. Ron Jon Resorts
  16. Point to Point Destinations
  17. Peppertree Resorts
  18. Sun Club/Plaza Las Glorias

I know there are more but that’s as many as my brain can come up with right now. Add to the list via the comments if you think of one (or more).

I think the loss of that much diversity in the timeshare industry is not a good thing. What do you think?

PS: Happy Thanksgiving everyone!



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: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com

Permanent link to this article: https://www.insidethegate.com/gatehouse/2017/11/idle-timeshare-thoughts-november-18-2017/

Getting BIGGER: November 18, 2017

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse 

CVOA, the Canadian Vacation Ownership Association, has welcomed CPNA (Contract Partners of North America) as its 57th member.

CPNA is an expert in assisting Vacation Resort owners with the procurement process of all Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment (FF&E). The company calls itself a “One Stop FF&E CPNA-Wine MansfieldSolution” for resort owners, managers and operators and is proud of its ability to procure whatever their clients need by way of FF&E’s whether it’s new flooring, lighting, art work, soft seating for rooms or suites, seating for common areas and dining, office chairs or bar stools, case goods, tables, beds, desks, armoires, top of bed or window dressing and more.

Wine Mansfield, pictured above, is the President of CPNA.

CVOA’s membership includes development companies, management firms, single resorts, exchange companies and suppliers.



Hilton Grand Vacations has a big surprise for everyone. The company has inked a deal for a purpose-built resort in Japan, its first announced dedicated timeshare resort in the Japanese market as well as Asia.

The 132-unit resort will be part of a new mixed-use development on Sesokojima Island, Okinawa; a Hilton-managed hotel with approximately 300 rooms will also be part of the development. The suites will offer ocean and sunset views for each of its luxury one-, two- and three-bedroom units, along with private balconies and full kitchens. HGV owners and guests will have full use of the facilities at the rest of the development, as well as the use of a private pool within the building.

According to Mark Wang, President and CEO of HGV, the company has more than 56,000 Club Member families in Japan, with Okinawa being a top requested domestic destination, and they believe there will be strong demand for this resort from both existing and prospective owners. I suspect it will be very attractive to Club Members from outside of Japan, too.

Under HGV’s timeshare system, ownership of the resort is sold on a weekly basis; ownership styles range from “fixed week” and “flex week,” and on-season and off-season, and can be changed according to preference.

Hilton Okinawa Sesoko Resort is set to open in 2020, while the HGV timeshare resort is expected to commence operations in 2021. So don’t pack your bags yet, but I’ll keep an eye on their progress and report back to you from time to time.



Accor Vacation Club is adding apartments within the Mercure Gold Coast Resort this month, bringing the number of their properties to 24.

The company’s refurbishment team is currently redesigning a block of accommodation on the Mercure site, designed with the travel needs of Club members in mind. Club members will officially be able to book and stay at the resort from 25 November 2017.

The Mercure represents Accor Vacation Club’s fourth hotel location on the Gold Coast. Located at Palm Meadows in close proximity to five premiership golf courses that comprise the destination’s ‘Green Belt’, it joins AVC’s existing addresses – Turtle Beach Resort on Mermaid Beach, Legends Hotel in Surfers Paradise and Freshwater Point Resort at Broadbeach.



Holiday Club Resorts Oy has entered into a co-operation agreement with Vierumäki Country Club Oy by which Vierumäki became a Holiday Club timeshare resort at the beginning of November. In addition, Holiday Club will construct up to 108 high-quality Villas holiday homes at Vierumäki in phases.

The sales and marketing of the Golf Resort timeshares owned by Vierumäki Country Club were transferred to Holiday Club as of November this year. At the same time, the name of the resort was changed to Holiday Club Vierumäki Golf Resort. The Golf Resort timeshares are already a part of the RCI holiday exchange system. With the current change, the resort will join the Points system tailored for Holiday Club by RCI, giving timeshare owners higher point and exchange values for their weeks.



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: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com

Permanent link to this article: https://www.insidethegate.com/gatehouse/2017/11/getting-bigger-november-18-2017/

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