Weekly Wisecrack: October 7, 2017

sullen man
 

Bad Training

When the former butcher started on the sales line 3 weeks ago he was taught to never prejudge his ‘tours’.

Well, Bob still can’t figure out how a 26-year-old woman with her new-found 22-year-old cohabitating boyfriend will want and can afford a timeshare. Nonetheless he keeps on keeping on because his sales manager assures him every morning that “Either you sell them or they sell you because an up is an up…”



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

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Timeshare Odds and Ends: October 7, 2017

happyhourgatehouse 
They said it couldn’t be done… When trains were introduced in the U.S, many people believed that “women’s bodies were not designed to go at 50 miles an hour,” and that their uteruses would fly out of their bodies if they were accelerated to that speed.

A Boston paper once declared there was no need to transmit a human voice over wires and anyhow it couldn’t be done.

“Not within a thousand years will man ever fly,” declared Wilbur Wright, who later conducted the first successful flight at Kitty Hawk.

In 1943 Thomas J. Watson, chairman of the board of International Business Machines (IBM), said, “I think there is a world market for about five computers.”

And then there’s this quote from Amelia Earhart: “Never interrupt someone doing something you said couldn’t be done.”

So what’s the Scoop? Today you can travel the world on The World, which naysayers in the beginning of this century said was doomed to fail. What does The World have to do with shared ownership, marketing and sales? Plenty, actually. Scoop du Jour: Psst, Ya Lookin For A Good Time?



Hurricane Nate Heads up! In a hurricane season that is already one for the record book, Tropical Storm Nate, which killed more than 20 people on its way past/through Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Cozumel/Cancun, MX., has now intensified into Hurricane Nate and has set its eye on a Gulf Coast landing to the east of New Orleans. Even if Nate doesn’t intensify beyond a Category 1 storm it will remain very dangerous; the Gulf coast from New Orleans to Lake Pontchartrain and Grand Island, Louisiana, eastward to the Alabama-Florida border is under a hurricane warning and somewhere along that line someone is going to take a direct hit.

Fortunately the storm is moving very fast, which means it won’t be lingering as it drops its rain, which is somewhat of a saving grace. By the time you read this we’ll probably already know where it landed and how bad it looks.

We’ll keep our eyes on you. Good luck and keep your powder dry!



Have you heard? Diamond Resorts International® has announced that the company will match all new donations made in 2017 to the Diamond Resorts International Foundation, a recognized 501(c)(3) organization, up to $1 million. Funds raised will provide assistance to those affected by the recent violence in Las Vegas, and to team members and communities impacted by hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Donations can be made via check and sent to the attention of Keri Serrano at the Diamond Resorts International Foundation at 10600 West Charleston Boulevard, Las Vegas, Nevada 89135. If desired, donors can identify which relief effort they would like funds to be designated to in the memo section of the check. Diamond Resorts team members in the U.S. can also choose to donate via a one-time or reoccurring payroll deduction.

Diamond Resorts International Foundation is a 501(c)(3) exempt public charity. The Foundation has raised more than $2.3 million for Florida Hospital for Children since 2013, with help from the company’s signature golf tournament, the Diamond Resorts Invitational™. In 2014, the Foundation was also able to provide disaster relief to distressed employees in the Los Cabos, Mexico, area following widespread destruction caused by Hurricane Odile, and more recently to those affected along the east coast of Florida by Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

As I mentioned last week, Stephen Cloobeck, the company’s founder and former owner, pledged $400 thousand of his own money to a GoFundMe account to help support the victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas and their families. The donation was originally made anonymously but things like that have a tendency to get out and ultimately Cloobeck’s identity was made public.

So KUDOS to DRI and Mr. Cloobeck for their generosity in a terrible time.

It’s a GOOD thing!



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/2017/10/timeshare-odds-and-ends-october-7-2017/

Weekly Jukebox: October 7, 2017

Blue mic 

This is in memory of Tom Petty, singer, songwriter, philosopher and all around amazing guy, who has left us way too soon.

He gave us so much in his short 66 years of life; we owe him big time.

Maybe he’s “Learning to Fly” around the clouds somewhere even now, and this time he doesn’t have to come down.

“Let’s get to the point, and roll another joint and turn the radio loud,” he sang in “You Don’t Know How it Feels”. Yeah…

R.I.P. Tom. Thanks for everything.

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: http://www.insidethegate.com/gatehouse/2017/10/weekly-jukebox-october-7-2017/

Timeshare Financial News: October 7, 2017

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse 

Did you hear the news? Word on TheStreet.com is that Marriott Vacations Worldwide has made a takeover bid for ILG, offering $30 per share.

You may recall that recent events had a majority shareholder of ILG basically threatening the company with a hostile takeover if ILG didn’t make itself BIGGER by acquiring a company such as Marriott Vacations. ILG said it was thinking about its options, and I’ve been halfway expecting an announcement that ILG would take the big gulp and swallow Marriott.

Silly me, it didn’t occur to me that the swallowing might be the other way around.

Marriott Vacations is already the world’s leading pure-play public timeshare company. And did you know that once upon a time Marriott Intl. was one of the owners of Interval International? Is that ironical? But I digress.

If such a merger should succeed (in either scenario – ILG gets Marriott or Marriott gets ILG), imagine the implications for the shared ownership industry. Either way you’d end up with all of Marriott Vacations’ assets, as well as ILG’s operating companies which include:

  • Aqua-Aston Hospitality
  • Hyatt Vacation Ownership
  • Interval International
  • Trading Places International
  • Vacation Resorts International
  • VRI Europe
  • Vistana Signature Experiences

Also, through its subsidiaries, ILG independently owns and manages the Hyatt Residence Club program and uses the Hyatt Vacation Ownership name and other Hyatt marks under license from affiliates of Hyatt Hotels Corporation. In addition, ILG’s Vistana Signature Experiences, Inc. is the exclusive provider of vacation ownership for the Westin and Sheraton brands and uses related trademarks under license from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, LLC.

So which way do you think it’s most likely to go, if it goes at all? Marriott Vacations takes over ILG or ILG takes over Marriott? Either way the consolidation would be humongous and frankly, my dear, I don’t like it one bit.

Not that they care. pondering



Wyndham Worldwide Corporation will report third quarter 2017 results on Wednesday, October 25, 2017. Stephen P. Holmes, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and David B. Wyshner, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, will host a conference call with investors to discuss the results and business outlook at 8:30 a.m. ET that morning.

Listeners can access the webcast live through the Company’s website at www.wyndhamworldwide.com/investors/. The conference call may also be accessed by dialing 800-862-9098 and providing the passcode “WYNDHAM.” Listeners are urged to call at least 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start time. An archive of this webcast will be available on the website for approximately 90 days beginning at 12:00 p.m. ET on October 25, 2017. A telephone replay will be available for approximately 10 days beginning at 12:00 p.m. ET on October 25, 2017 at 800-688-7036.

Do you suppose they’ll address the speculation that the company will divide itself into two separate, stand-alone companies, with the timeshare/exchange/rental division as one entity and the hotel division as another? I’ll bet a nickel they will.



The Marcus Corporation will report results for the third quarter of fiscal 2017 prior to the stock market open on Thursday, October 26, 2017. The release will be followed by a conference call at 10:00 a.m. Central/11:00 a.m. Eastern time.

Participants may listen to the call live on the Internet through the investor relations section of the company’s website: www.marcuscorp.com, or by dialing 1-574-990-3059 and entering the passcode 95445737. Listeners should dial in to the call at least 5-10 minutes prior to the start of the call or should go to the website at least 15 minutes prior to the call to download and install any necessary audio software.

A telephone replay of the conference call will be available through Thursday, November 2, 2017, by dialing 1-855-859-2056 and entering passcode 95445737. The webcast will be archived on the company’s website until its next earnings release.



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: http://www.insidethegate.com/gatehouse/2017/10/timeshare-financial-news-october-7-2017/

Florida USA Timeshare News: October 7, 2017

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

ORLANDO: Have you heard? Bluegreen Vacations has announced plans to get BIGGER, and in a fairly BIG way.

The company plans to add 97 units to its signature resort The Fountains in Orlando, FL., which is located on 54 acres on International Drive. The new units will consist of two-bedroom accommodations, as well as three-bedroom Presidential suites. Once completed, the expanded Fountains campus is planned to encompass a total of 842 vacation ownership units.

Completion and initial occupancy of the additional units is anticipated to occur in winter 2018.

The Fountains is already a pretty impressive property. It’s rightfully renowned for Wakoola Springs, a 75,000 square-foot tropical water park that includes two twisting water slides, a zero-entry pool, interactive water fountains, two hot tubs and Wakoola Grill, an on-site bar and grill. If that isn’t enough for you, Lake Eve offers fishing, paddleboats, and a boardwalk and pier.

Want more? A 6,000 square-foot indoor/outdoor pool area, two hot tubs, a convenient pool bar and a playground for children is also offered. Further, a 20,000 square-foot clubhouse is contains a gift shop, lounge area and children’s activity center with video games, air hockey and billiard tables.

If they’re adding an additional 5,044 weeks worth of time, their sales must be more than adequate wouldn’t you think?



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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Texas USA Timeshare News: October 7, 2017

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

FORT WORTH: Remember the outfit called America’s Trains, Inc. that I told you about last March that’s offering all-inclusive Journey by Rail vacations on luxurious rebuilt passenger railroad cars?

Well they’re getting ready to roll!

There are three ways to enjoy Journeys by Rail: Individual Journeys; Train’Shares (timeshares); Fractional Interest ownership. And one of the cool things, IMO, is their term conditions. Train’Share ownership is for a 10 year ‘Initial Term’ or can be ‘Perpetual’. Owners have annual, biennial, or more frequent rights to individual Journeys by Rail. Currently, according to their website, the total per person per day cost of Initial Term Train’Share Journeys over 10 years is about $376, including the annualized retail purchase price of $19,800 plus Fees. The cost for a Perpetual Train’Share Journey is around $308, compared to around $800 for individual Journey by Rail fares.

The company is affiliated with RCI for exchange purposes.

Now, don’t think you can ride this train wearing any old raggedy clothes you find most comfortable. You will be expected to look and act like respectable adults. Check out their requirements for proper attire:

Daytime attire is ‘resort casual’. Typical woman’s wear may include a sundress, long or short skirt, casual slacks or nice jeans, walking shorts, t-shirt without controversial slogans, polo shirt, casual button-down blouse and equivalent attire. Men’s attire should be casual slacks or good jeans without holes, cargo or Bermuda shorts, plain t-shirt without controversial slogans, polo shirt, casual button-down shirt, sweater or equivalent attire. Flipflops, worn looking tennis shoes and ‘tired’ sandals should be avoided. – Typical evening attire is ‘dressy casual’ . Apart from events immediately following off-car and normal extended on board daytime activities when daytime attire is still being worn, dress casual attired is suggested. Woman’s wear can include a skirt and attractive top, stylish pants outfit, nice jeans with dressy top, suitable matching footwear, or equivalent attire. Men’s shirts should be dress, casual button-down, open-collar or ‘spiffy’ polo style, with slacks or nice jeans; a sport coat or blazer is optional. Non dressy tennis or very casual shoes and sandals should be avoided. – ‘Sophisticated casual’, a step up from dressy casual, is suitable for a ‘white glove’ dinner night, ‘Rail Baron’s Reception’, special off Car restaurant dining, or other more formal affairs. Women can wear chic, spiffy cocktail attire. Men’s clothing should include dress pants and button down or stylish shirts, with or without a sport coat or blazer. Both women and men may want to improvise to feature individual personalities. Footwear should match selected attire. – ‘Outdoor clothing’ should be suitable for expected activities and climates on different routes. Comfortable walking shoes are normally needed. Sun lotion and hats may be desirable. – Not permitted attire while on board Cars includes swimming suits or excessively revealing womens wear. Men must wear tops in rail Car public areas.

Ten years of romancing the rails throughout the USA and Canada, all-inclusive, in luxuriously upgraded retro rail cars. Won’t you feel like you’ve arrived in a more nostalgic past? Inspector Poirot, anyone?

I think they’ll make it, what do you think?



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: October 7, 2017

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse
QUOTABLE QUOTES: “Television is chewing gum for the eyes.” —Frank Lloyd Wright



WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

Way back in 2000, damn near two decades ago, Australia-based Accor Hotels first launched its Accor Premiere Vacation Club (APCV), known today as Accor Vacation Club. If you didn’t know such an entity exists it’s likely because you aren’t a resident of Australasia and/or because the company has never seemed to put much importance on the concept of promoting itself outside of its own perimeters.

Regardless, the company still exists and has been quietly growing, with destinations across Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia.

Looking back to its beginning, the following people were appointed to run things. Of course we know that Marty Kandel, who headed up APVC for several years, is now General Counsel at National Timeshare Owners Association (NTOA) and President of Shinbone Ventures LLC, but are any of these other folks still with APVC? If not, where did they go? And who replaced them?

  • Joe Sita, original CEO of Accor Première Vacation Club
  • Mark Stephenson, General Manager of Operations
  • Susan Nelson, General Manager of Sales
  • Mark Carriere, General Manager of Marketing
  • Dave Emblem, Regional Marketing Manager – Queensland
  • Kevin Sands, Promotions Manager
  • Ron Harrison, Sales Manager
  • John Rohman, Sales Manager

And while we’re at it, what happened to Accor’s big plans to enter the United States timeshare industry???



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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Getting BIGGER: October 7, 2017

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse 

RCI has affiliated six new resorts in Japan to its vacation exchange network through an affiliation agreement with Sundance Resort Club Japan. The six properties are located across the country in popular tourist destinations including the Kanagawa Prefecture, the Yamanashi Prefecture, the Chiba Prefecture, the Shizuoka Prefecture and the Nagano Prefecture.

The six resorts are: Sundance Resort Hakone Gora in Hakone; Sundance Resort Izukogen in the Izukogen Highlands in the city of Ito; Sundance Resort Karuizawa in Nagano Prefecture; Sundance Resort Kawaguchiko next to Lake Kawaguchi; Sundance Resort Onjuku in the Isumi District of Chiba; and Sundance Resort Yamanakako on Lake Yamanakako at the Yamanashi Prefecture.

The Japanese government has set an aspirational target to double the number of annual inbound tourists from 19.7 million in 2015 to 40 million in 2020. By comparison, Orlando, FL welcomed 68 million visitors in 2016. But all things are relative, right? 😉



Grupo Vidanta is getting BIGGER via its golf courses. On September 22 Vidanta Golf and KemperSports – the leading golf management company in North America – celebrated the opening of The Lakes Course, the third golf experience in Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta.

Vidanta Golf teamed up with Chet Williams, a member of the Jack Nicklaus Design group, to develop the unique ten-hole, lighted, par 3 The Lakes Course. It joins the Norman Signature Course and the Nicklaus Design Course as the third golf course at the destination, offering guests the option of enjoying a shorter course during their stay, whether day or night.

The course was inspired by some of the finest short courses in world class destinations such as Augusta National and Bandon Dunes, and includes spectacular obstacles over small lakes and sand traps at almost every hole. Vidanta The Lakes Golf course

Designed to walk you along and with the longest tee at 146m, the course offers guests the option of using portable golf club bags available at the golf store for easy handling. The illuminated design also offers a great entertainment option for guests who prefer a round of game at night.

It’s just the cutest darned thing, almost like miniature golf but not really. Here’s a picture. Anyone up for a short round? golf



El Cid Resorts is getting seriously BIGGER. Next month they will officially open their newest all-inclusive property, Ventus at Marina El Cid Spa & Beach Resort Cancún Riviera Maya, which is actually located in Puerto Morelos about halfway between Cancun and Playa del Carmen.

El Cid’s seventh property in México, Ventus boasts 290 suites with private balconies, each ranging from 575 to 2,854 sq. ft., plus full-service spa, a 2,088 sq. ft fitness center, two infinity pools, a 3,675 sq. ft. main pool with children areas, two adult-only jacuzzis, gourmet eateries, state-of-the-art convention centers and five wedding venue options.

The company made no effort to replicate an “old Mexico” ambiance (and why should they?), choosing instead to build an ultra modern resort in both style and function. With its architecture visually reminiscent of an ocean liner, it is sleek, sophisticated, unique and best of all it is located next to its sister property, Hotel Marina El Cid Spa & Beach Resort, so guests are welcome to enjoy both resorts’ amenities, allowing access to each property’s pools, restaurants, bars and more.



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: http://www.insidethegate.com/gatehouse/2017/10/getting-bigger-october-7-2017/

Timeshare Kudos: October 7, 2017

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse 

Orange Lake Resorts, home to Holiday Inn Club Vacations, has earned a big ol’ KUDOS recently, having been recognized by The Orlando Business Journal as the second largest privately held company in Central Florida as part of the publication’s Golden 100 Awards ceremony.

Not just the second biggest privately owned timeshare company, mind you, but the second biggest privately owned COMPANY period!

Kemmons Wilson began the company in 1982 when he opened Orange Lake Resort in Kissimmee. Today the company has grown to 26 resorts in 12 states with more than 7,600 villas and 4,600 employees.

I think they’ve got their eyes set on the Number 1 slot. Watch their dust! 🙂
Applause



If you have a KUDOS you’d like to share with the timeshare community, send it to gatekeeper@insidethegate.com I’d love to include it!

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Timeshare People on the Move: October 7, 2017

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

If you’re going to have an unusual name it’s a good thing to have a really good one, according to my late grandmother. With that in mind, Famous Rhodes has been named as Chief Marketing Officer of Bluegreen Vacations Corporation. The goal is to “elevate Bluegreen’s market profile, its marketing and branding elements, and growing market penetration in digital marketing, social media, public relations and product development, according to Shawn B. Pearson, CEO of Bluegreen Vacations.

Famous Rhodes, serving as Vice President, Digital & Customer Experience, was responsible for the online and store experience for AutoNation.com and over 300 store sites. Mr. Rhodes joined AutoNation in 2012, bringing over 15 years of expertise in the retail ecommerce and automotive industry. Prior to joining AutoNation, he was Head of Yahoo! Auto, North America. Prior to this, he worked for eBay, as the North America Head of eBay Motors, Car.com and KMPG Consulting in roles of increasing responsibility in various retail ecommerce, product development, marketing and general management capacities. Famous has been awarded numerous patents for his work evolving the online automotive retail experience.

I’ll bet he didn’t come cheap.



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!

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59 Dead, 527 Injured in Las Vegas

In Memoriam 

I don’t know what to say about the tragic massacre in Las Vegas. There are no words to express my personal horror and sorrow. At least 59 dead and 527 wounded because one man with an arsenal of some 42 guns and countless ammunition decided to do it. Does it even matter why?

If the slaughter of twenty 6- and 7-year-old children in Newtowne, CT in 2012 – and all the massacres since – didn’t lead to the most basic, common sense regulations for background checks for gun purchases, let alone a ban on assault weapons, then there is little reason to believe this one will make any difference. There will be another massacre one day, and another, and it will become so ordinary that we’ll hardly notice.

What’s wrong with that picture?

Condolences, prayers and sympathy are insufficient but it’s all I can offer. Residents of Las Vegas line up to give blood, bring sandwiches to nursing stations, donate to a GoFundMe account to help support the victims and their families (Stephen Cloobeck, the founder of Diamond Resorts International, donated $400,000), do everything/anything they can think of to help. God bless them all.

When will enough be enough? 😧

Permanent link to this article: http://www.insidethegate.com/gatehouse/2017/10/59-dead-527-injured-in-las-vegas/

Weekly Wisecrack: Sept. 30, 2017

x-ray
 

Would I Lie?

The podium speaker for a new Vacation Club reassures his audience that with as little as a 24-hour request and with no blackout dates they can reserve any time of the year they want, that there are no annual maintenance or exchange fees and each year they can use as many weeks as they want.

He then tells them they also have their choice for every vacation of a fully appointed 1- or 2-bedroom Villa at thousands of resorts around the world for for a low members-only cost of just $275 adding “…and folks, the best part is that is not per night and not per person either; that is for the entire week, includes all taxes and fees regardless of the size Villa you use…”



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-30-2017/

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