Weekly Wisecrack: June 17, 2017

overload

The Bureaucracy
 
“To prevent possible future misunderstandings among our members down the road, beginning this week a new “Verification & Acknowledgement” form was introduced that includes supporting attachments, exhibits, declarations and other relevant documents specifically designed to…



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-17-2017/

Timeshare Odds and Ends: June 17, 2017

happyhourgatehouse 

Is there a lawyer in the house?

If I own an apartment building and I know that the structure is unsound but I don’t notify my renters, well I’m pretty sure I could be in big legal trouble if the building fell down. Right?

Or, if I owned a hotel and knew for a fact that staff members were stealing from the guests but I took no steps to stop it or alert the guests, well that could be problematical, too, right?

So what’s the Scoop? What if I own a timeshare resort and I know for a fact that thieves are targeting my owners/members and stealing thousands of dollars from them but I take no steps to warn those owners/guests so they won’t become victims? Am I liable for their losses? Am I at least a little bit morally/ethically responsible? Could a good attorney make a case? See Scoop du Jour: Can an HOA or Developer Be Held Liable?



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-17-2017/

Weekly Jukebox: June 17, 2017

Blue mic 

Obscenity alert for the delicate among you…

Keeping the introduction short, here is the fabulous Eddie Izzard, an English stand-up comedian, actor, writer and political activist, in a clip from his stand-up comedy special “Dress to Kill”. “Cake or Death?” he asks, and answers.

And by the way, that special earned him a Primetime Emmy Award for Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program in 2000.

If John Cleese and George Carlin had a kid, it would be Eddie Izzard… 😉

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-17-2017/

Timeshare Financial News: June 17, 2017

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse

 
What’s going on in the world of timeshare financial news this week? Well, let’s start with Bluegreen Corporation, which recently completed a securitization involving the issuance of $120.2 million of investment-grade vacation ownership loan-backed notes.

The issuance was made through BXG Receivables Note Trust 2017-A and is comprised of $88.8 million of A rated vacation ownership loan-backed notes and $31.4 million of BBB-/BBB rated vacation ownership loan-backed notes. The Class A and Class B notes have interest rates of 2.95% and 3.59% respectively, for an overall weighted average interest rate of approximately 3.12%. The gross advance rate for this transaction was 88%. KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc. served as joint book runner, structuring agent and co-lead manager on the transaction. Barclays Capital Inc. also served as joint book runner and co-lead manager. KeyBanc Capital Markets and Barclays Capital were also the initial purchasers of the notes.

This was was Bluegreen’s twelfth securitization of vacation ownership receivables. They didn’t mention what the money would be used for.

Hilton Grand Vacations has announced that “certain selling stockholders” affiliated with The Blackstone Group L.P., which used to own HGV when it was still part of Hilton Worldwide, have commenced a secondary offering of 9,650,000 shares of HGV common stock. The offering is expected to close on June 20, 2017, subject to customary closing conditions.

Note that this is a purely Blackstone deal. HGV is not offering any shares of common stock in the offering and will not receive any proceeds from the sale of shares in this offering. In addition, none of HGV’s officers or directors are selling any shares of common stock beneficially owned by them in the offering.

J.P. Morgan is serving as underwriter for the offering and a copy of the prospectus relating to these securities may be obtained, when available, from: J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Attention: Broadridge Financial Solutions, 1155 Long Island Avenue, Edgewood, NY 11717, telephone: 1-866-803-9204.

And ILG, parent company to Aqua-Aston Hospitality, Hyatt Vacation Ownership, Interval International, Trading Places International, Vacation Resorts International, VRI Europe, and Vistana Signature Experiences apparently is not big enough to suit hedge fund FrontFour Capital Group Llc, according to sources such as CNBC. FrontFour owns 2% of ILG stock, which makes it powerful enough to make ILG’s board sit up and take notice when contacted by them.

What does FrontFour want? In an open letter to ILG they urged ILG to get BIGGER in order to increase stock value for shareholders by merging with Marriott Vacations, which has a market value of $3.4 billion, though maybe Hilton Grand Vacations would do in a pinch. And they threatened ILG with disquiet if they don’t get their way.

No publicly owned company wants disquiet in the ranks.

As a result, ILG is said to be in the beginning stages of merger talks with more than one company, working with investment bank Moelis & Co to help them out.

ILG, Marriott, et al are not talking at this point. Stay tuned?

ALSO: In less exciting news, ILG will participate in the Oppenheimer Consumer Conference and SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Vacation Ownership & Exchange Conference to be held in Boston on June 20 and New York City on June 21, respectively. Craig M. Nash, chairman, president and CEO; William Harvey, CFO; and Lily Arteaga, vice president of investor relations, are scheduled to attend the conference.

Nash will participate in a Fireside Chat at 11:05 a.m. at the Oppenheimer conference on June 20. The event will be webcast and will be accessible from the Company’s website at www.ilg.com. The webcast replay will be available after the live event and will remain available on the website for 180 days following the conferences.

That’s all for this week. bye-bye $$$



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 with us, you can safely email the Gatekeeper. We will never reveal your identity without your permission. CONTACT: [email protected]

Permanent link to this article: http://www.insidethegate.com/gatehouse/2017/06/timeshare-financial-news-june-16-2017/

Florida USA Timeshare News: June 17, 2017

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

ORLANDO: At least two timeshare companies — Westgate Resorts and Orange Lake — have filed federal lawsuits against several businesses and businessmen for allegedly orchestrating a nationwide timeshare cancellation fraud scheme. Since the two lawsuits are very similar, and because I happen to have a copy of the Orange Lake complaint in front of me, I’m going to concentrate on that one. It is was filed in the District Court, Middle District of Florida, Orlando Division on June 8, 2017. For the record, it is Orange Lake Country Club, Inc. et al v. Castle Law Group, P.C. et al, flmdce 6:2017-cv-01044.

The entities being sued by Orange Lake (and Wilson Resort Finance, LLC) are as follows (you might recognize some of these names):

  • Castle Law Group, PC
  • Judson Phillips, ESQ,
  • Castle Marketing Group LLC
  • Castle Venture Group, LLC
  • Resort Relief, LLC
  • William Michael Keever
  • Kevin Hanson
  • Sean Austin

Among other things, the lawsuit specifically accuses Judson Phillips, a well known Tennessee attorney who is the founder of Tea Party Nation and senior partner of Castle Law Group, of orchestrating a nationwide timeshare cancellation fraud scheme along with the other named businessmen.

According to the complaint, Castle blanketed timeshare owners around the U.S.A. with pitches on how Castle would help them to cancel their timeshare contracts; the advice generally involved telling them to stop payment on their contracts and that Castle would sue the company on their behalf. In cases where a client was “accepted” an upfront fee was charged, some as high as $7,500, and in many cases lawsuits were never filed on behalf of those clients, according to the complaint.

The complaint also says that between 2015 and 2016 the defendants’ marketing campaign culminated in an average of 300 clients per month for Castle Law. Do the math. 😐

As a side note, a company is mentioned in the complaint that is not named as a defendant but is of particular interest to those of you who keep tabs on this kind of thing. That company is Aston Business Solutions or Aston Marketing Group, hired to send postcards advertising timeshare relief services to Florida residents via direct mail. According to the complaint, these postcards are made to appear as if they are coming directly from Castle Law, who allowed Aston to sell its services as authorized representatives of Castle Marketing. You know who “Aston” is, right? That would be David MacMillan, who has been facing legal issues of his own in recent times related to several of his own timeshare relief companies.

What are the actual official charges? Well, so far Orange Lake alleges that “the defendants solicited via postings on various websites and direct mailings, Florida residents who owned timeshare interests with Orange Lake (many of which are in Florida). Through the false and deceptive advertisements, Defendants lure the timeshare owners to retain their services which underlie Orange Lake’s claims for tortious interference with contracts, tortious interference with advantageous business relationships, and violations of Section 721.121, Florida Statutes.

Orange lake is demanding a temporary and permanent injunction to be entered against all the defendants, their agents, representatives, employees, affiliates and anyone else who might be involved, from publishing false and misleading misrepresentations on their website or in any other electronic or print media or materials regarding their owners’ cancellation of their timeshare interest without any legal basis; and from contacting and/or otherwise interfering with Plaintiffs’ contractual and business relationships with their owners.

They are also asking for compensatory damages, special damages, interest, attorney’s fees and costs, and “such additional and further relief this Court deems just and proper”.

Timeshare transfer, cancellation, relief, rescue, disposal — call it what you want. We all know by now, or should know, that many of those companies are costing timeshare resorts/HOA’s, etc. big money and even threatening to force some legacy resorts into bankruptcy as they leave owners’ associations with unpaid annual assessments and expensive foreclosure actions, meaning more debt for the association and a larger burden on remaining owners. All too often the less ethical cancellation/transfer companies also end up harming the credit worthiness of their clients and failing to hold up their end of the bargain. It’s a serious issue.

popcornYou’ll need to read the complaint to get all the grimy details (and I do mean grimy) of how Castle et al have allegedly been operating their business. It’s a darn good read, but you’ll need to snuggle down into a comfy chair with some popcorn and a beverage and your reading glasses because it’s 31 pages long.

Have at it!



“If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.” -Alice Roosevelt Longworth

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/florida-usa-timeshare-news-june-17-2017/

California USA Timeshare News: June 17, 2017

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

LOMPOC: Don’t look now, but convicted grifter John Aurelio Cuda, aka Antonio Copella (variant spellings of Capela, Coppela, Capel and Cupel) was released from prison on June 6, 2017 and heaven only knows where he is now.

Cuda was serving the remainder of a sentence for mail fraud, bank larceny, and conspiracy to commit bank larceny that dated back to the 1990s, when he and his younger brother Richard were remanded to prison. Richard served his time and was released on May 4, 1996. John, who got a longer sentence of 70 months (with a projected release date of Sept. 30, 1999), decided NOT to serve out his sentence and escaped on the same day his brother was released.

Having made their way to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, using fake papers they became the masterminds of the Belair, Hotel U, grand Miramar and other timeshare frauds. Cuda was discovered by Immigration via his fingerprints in Mexico and was extradited to the USA in early 2014 to finish serving that sentence.

Unfortunately, he has apparently not been charged for any of the crimes he is accused of committing while in Mexico, and as far as I know his family is living there still, probably working similar frauds. Or maybe Mexico will finally do their job, since they know full well what he and his family were up to there, having arrested him and his brother on charges of real estate fraud but freed them on $1 Million bail prior to shipping John off to the States. You can read the story of that arrest in this 2013 article in PrensaGlocal.com (in Spanish).

Where are they now? Will they ever answer for the crimes they’ve allegedly committed in Mexico? Considering their past “indiscretions” it’s difficult to imagine them doing anything on the straight and narrow to make a living.

If you want the down and dirty on this bunch, visit this link. You might want to have a vomit bag available… You stink And you can get an idea of what John Cuda looks like at this link (he’s the guy on the right).



“If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.” -Alice Roosevelt Longworth

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/california-usa-timeshare-news-june-17-2017/

Idle Timeshare Thoughts: June 17, 2017

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse  QUOTABLE QUOTES: “We believe that to err is human. To blame it on someone else is politics.” —President Hubert H Humphrey



Jeff Weir, Redweek.com’s Chief Correspondent, recently responded to a question about the state of the timeshare resale market with a rundown of some marketplace trends per the company’s research, and the information posted on the website is encouraging.

For instance The following trends were noticed for the first five months of 2017, as compared to the same period of 2016:

  • Timeshare resale closings, overall, are up 46 percent
  • Resales of timeshare weeks rose 47 percent, while points resales increased 35 percent
  • Ninety percent of all resales involved timeshare weeks

He also noted that according to the brokers they interviewed, “…buyers are willing to pay higher prices for timeshare resales from owners who are members of the most well-known clubs (brands) and have intervals at outstanding vacation spots. Disney is the runaway leader among favored clubs, followed by Marriott, Westin (Vistana), Hyatt, and a slew of other brand names. The most popular destinations are predictable: Hawaii, Aruba, California, and Mexico.”

That is not really a surprise, right? But their tracking system is showing something interesting going on recently. According to the article, on the West Coast many buyers are purchasing legacy timeshares in California’s northern San Diego County (Carlsbad), likely due to its popularity among California residents who want to drive to their seaside timeshare. If only all legacy resorts in the country were that popular (and well managed), amirite?

On the other side of the country buyers are flocking to timeshare resales on the Caribbean island of Aruba, which is also easy to get to, has well-managed resorts and is one happy island besides.

There’s a lot of valuable information in that article that goes way beyond what I’ve quoted here. You should read it and take heed: What’s happening in the timeshare resale market?



“If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.” -Alice Roosevelt Longworth

Tip JarDo you have tips or rumors you’d like to share ANONYMOUSLY? Something you’d like us to investigate or follow up on? Help fill up the Tips Jar so we can share it with the whole Timeshare World! CONTACT: [email protected]

Permanent link to this article: http://www.insidethegate.com/gatehouse/2017/06/idle-timeshare-thoughts-june-17-2017/

Timeshare People on the Move: June 17, 2017

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse>> TIMESHARE PEOPLE ON THE MOVE:

Liz Collinson has been appointed to the executive role of Senior Vice President Legal and Compliance for Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific. She will be based at the company’s Gold Coast corporate office in Australia.

Reporting to President and Managing Director Barry Robinson, as well as the US-based Wyndham Vacation Ownership General Counsel, Ms Collinson will be responsible for providing strategic legal advice in respect of compliance with applicable securities and managed investment legislation, property and corporate acquisitions, consumer financing, commercial contracts and leases, hotel management and franchise agreements, dispute resolution, and employment and industrial relations matters.

The position oversees Wyndham’s Legal and Compliance team, which is domiciled across offices on the Gold Coast and Singapore.



Jesus Michael Martinez, who represents Cyria Group, Inc. and serves as the company’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, was recently elected by his peers to the C.A.R.E. (Cooperative Association of Resort Exchangers) Board of Directors at the recent Spring Conference in Virginia Beach, VA.

Jesus Martinez’s role as a new board member will focus on advising the C.A.R.E. committees for MarketPlace, Strategic Planning, and New Members. Mr. Martinez has worked in the vacation ownership industry for the past seven years and is currently the President and Owner of JMM Sales & Consulting, Ltd., as well as the V.P. of Cyria Group, Inc.

Cyria Group is a marketing and sales support company focused on the fulfillment of timeshare trade-ins with complete commitment to retention on behalf of its resort partners and developers.



Have you been promoted or moved to a new company/location? Do you know of someone who has? Has someone been fired or demoted? Tell us about it! Send the information to The GateHouse to be included in People on the Move!
CONTACT: [email protected]

Permanent link to this article: http://www.insidethegate.com/gatehouse/2017/06/timeshare-people-on-the-move-june-17-2017/

Getting BIGGER: June 17, 2017

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse

Solmar Group will be opening two new luxury resorts along Cabo San Lucas’ Pacific coast this year. The hotels will be part of Rancho San Lucas, an 834-acre oceanfront Real Estate and Resort development, also under the umbrella of the hospitality group. Grand Solmar at Rancho San Lucas Resort and Grand Solmar the Residences at Rancho San Lucas will be the newest additions to a collection of five existing properties.

Grand Solmar at Rancho San Lucas will be modeled after the award-winning, Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort & Spa in Cabo San Lucas. It is slated to receive its first visitors December 20, 2017.

Within Grand Solmar at Rancho San Lucas, guests will also have access to the Residences at Rancho San Lucas, another resort offering complete with two, three and four-bedroom Penthouse style suites distributed among various levels ideal for families and groups.

Guests of the resorts will also have access to other offerings in the Rancho San Lucas community including Greg Norman’s first 18-hole golf course in the Pacific side of Los Cabos slated for spring 2018, a Mexican-style shopping village, tennis courts, hiking and biking trails.



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-17-2017/

Weekly Wisecrack: June 10, 2017

suggestions
 
The Sacrificial Lamb

Bob, the new guy, suspiciously drew the short straw and was last seen trembling profusely as he approached and cowered before the Throne with suggestions the sales line deemed critical to immediately lower rescissions, improve sales, increase closing ratios and VPGs etc.

Poor Bob, had he only known…



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-10-2017/

Timeshare Odds and Ends: June 10, 2017

happyhourgatehouse 

Once upon a time in a galaxy far far away, many of the executive management folks in the hospitality companies that are timeshare ‘giants’ (‘Brands’) today absolutely loathed the timeshare industry and eagerly voiced their disdain for ‘the biz’ at every opportunity. Should I name names?

Mmmmm, after some judicious considerations, in the interest of personal safety, I probably better not. Suffice it to say that they are many and well known today. 😉

So what’s the Scoop? What happened to bring them into the fold? And what has changed in the Land of Time in the interim? And what IS “Collaborative Consumption” anyhow? Follow the money at Scoop du Jour: Collaborative Consumption



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-10-2017/

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