Weekly Wisecrack: April 15, 2017

heading for contracts

The Power of Spiffs

During the morning meeting it was announced that the heydays of being able to “live off the spiffs and bank your weekly checks” were back and a $250 cash spiff, to be paid the next morning, was tossed out for the first deal of the day.

Ecstatic and highly motivated, Bob (the T/O) hit his 1st table with overwhelming professionalism, enthusiasm and confidence. Artfully, he closed the deal and wanting to make sure he’d get that cash spiff Bob called the Liner back in, bypassed protocol and personally dashed off to contracts to get the docs processed.

The moral of the story (and food for thought for “management”): There is nothing more motivating to sales reps in the biz than next-morning cash spiffs!



The Weekly Wisecrack is an often snarky look inside the workings of the timeshare industry, usually but not always 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: ClipartBest.com

Permanent link to this article: http://www.insidethegate.com/gatehouse/2017/04/weekly-wisecrack-april-15-2017/

Timeshare Odds and Ends: April 15, 2017

happyhourgatehouse 

Rent or Buy? Which way is best? Or is the debate actually pointless?

In full ownership as well as in the land of vacation trends the argument is raging: Rent or Buy? The sellers of timeshare, of course, are full of solid reasons why purchasing a timeshare interest is far superior to renting and they’ll show you all of those reasons enthusiastically in 90 minutes (or more), given half a chance. They’re right, of course — but not all of the time.

Those on the renting side of the argument have equally solid ways of proving their point of view — a view that seems to be catching on pretty rapidly these days with the aid of various rental brokers to be found at a click of the keyboard in the comfort of your home.

In the end, smart marketing and the vacationers themselves will determine which way wins out or whether they can coexist. And the times they are a’changing, as the song goes.

So what’s the Scoop? As the man said, “Change is just part of the human experience.” So is there danger ahead for the timeshare industry? Find out more at Scoop du Jour: The New Kid on the Block




For your consideration this week here are some excerpts from the Harper’s Index:

  • Number of U.S. states that include cursive writing in their educational standards: 24
  • Portion of Americans who believe The Onion is a credible news source: 1/5
  • Factor by which the number of U.S. anti-Muslim hate groups has increased this year : 3
  • Estimated minimum combined net worth of Donald Trump’s Cabinet members and advisers : $61,380,600,000
  • Number of countries whose GDP is lower than that figure : 114
  • Total estimated value of free media coverage Donald Trump received in February : $681,531,302
  • That the next fifty most frequently mentioned public figures received : $625,643,071
  • Average percentage change in suicide rates among gay and bisexual teens after their states legalized same-sex marriage: –14
  • Percentage change since 2005 in the volume of the global arms trade: +44
  • Portion of married Japanese men under age 49 who say that work makes them too tired for intercourse: 1/3
  • Length, in minutes, of a weekly break during which employees of a Swedish town are encouraged to have sex: 60




ATTENTION! ATTENTION! Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation (VAC) will report financial results for the first quarter of 2017 before the market opens on May 4, 2017. A conference call is scheduled to follow at 10:00 a.m. ET to discuss the company’s results. Participants may access the call by dialing (877) 407-8289 or (201) 689-8341 for international callers. A live webcast of the call will also be available in the Investor Relations section of the company’s website at www.marriottvacationsworldwide.com

Mark it on your calendar.

That is all.




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/2017/04/timeshare-odds-and-ends-april-15-2017/

Weekly Jukebox: April 15, 2017

Blue mic 

Goofy alert! Because sometimes you just need to have fun with music!

The B-52s are an American new wave band, formed in Athens, GA in 1976 and one of the only quintessential 1980s bands that have survived to date. Their best selling songs have been “Love Shack” and the Grammy-nominated “Roam” while “Rock Lobster” also remains a popular hit.

Here they are performing Roam for all you timeshare schleps out there — though the lyrics might not mean what you think they mean. 😉

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/2017/04/weekly-jukebox-april-15-2017/

Florida USA Timeshare News: April 15, 2017

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

CAPE CANAVERAL: Holiday Inn Club
Vacations
, a subsidiary of Orange Lake Resorts, is getting BIGGER. The company has broken ground on a $16 Million expansion of its Cape Canaveral Beach Resort, a new 42-villa, five-story Signature Collection building and pool.

The expansion adds eight four-bedroom villas at 2,212 square feet and 34 two-bedroom villas at 1,100 square feet in size. The project also features a new pool area to be placed to the west side of the building. With the addition of the 42 Signature Collection villas, Cape Canaveral Resort will grow to 193 total villas.

Construction is expected to be completed by summer 2018.



ORLANDO: Let’s see, what’s the date today? April 15? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Tax day, 4 months into the year, Spring flowers and all that jazz.

So WHY ARE WE TALKING ABOUT CHRISTMAS ALREADY? Oh. Sorry for yelling, but good grief!

No, I’m not crazy. Universal Orlando Resort is promoting its brand-new Holiday Experiences coming in November, 2017 – including a “New and Magical Celebration of Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and All-New Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s”.

The holiday festivities will run daily from November 18, 2017 to January 6, 2018.

Yeah, I understand the need to book early for such events — I’d bet that there isn’t a room to spare in Disney World timeshare resorts.

But still, CHRISTMAS?!?! In APRIL?!?!

Heaven help us. slap forehead



“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/2017/04/florida-usa-timeshare-news-april-15-2017/

Georgia USA Timeshare News: April 15, 2017

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

ATLANTA: If you are a victim of the Fractional Property Services resale fraud, orchestrated by owners Matthew Delatorre and Joshua A. Wright, you have until the end of December 2018 to file a claim for restitution.

It’s an old story, unfortunately. FPS offered to market vacation properties for consumers to rent their timeshares. Consumers stated that the business claimed to have a renter for their timeshare, but required the consumer to pay an upfront fee. The business failed to rent or sell their timeshare as agreed and refused to refund the paid fee.

ANYhow on March 31, 2017, FPS, Delatorre and Wright entered into a Consent Judgment and Injunction in which they have agreed to cease operations, and to pay $118,429 in restitution to consumers who purchased services and $305,000 in fees and penalties.

To be eligible for restitution:

  • Your contract with FPS must have been entered between August 1, 2014 and March 31, 2017;
  • The claim must be based upon a complaint that FPS did not provide or perform services as represented or promised by FPS; and
  • You must have suffered a verifiable out-of-pocket (monetary) loss.

To be considered for a refund, you will need to complete this claim form and submit it to the Georgia Department of Law

Good luck!



“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/2017/04/georgia-usa-timeshare-news-april-15-2017/

New Jersey USA Timeshare News: April 15, 2017

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

PARSIPPANY: Did you know that RCI presents an annual award celebrating the most environmentally-conscious resorts within the company’s exchange network? Well they do, and 2017 marks the awards’ 6th annual anniversary. They take it very seriously.

“Hospitality properties have great potential – and great responsibility – to reduce the impact their operations have on the environment,” said Brian Bruno, vice president of content and brand marketing for RCI and head of the brand’s sustainability program.

The application process includes an audit of green practices in areas including energy and water conservation, waste management and community outreach. The evaluation process, winner selection and verification system is completed by third-party eco-certification expert GreenCircle Certified, LLC.

This year’s big winners are:

  • Wyndham Branson at the Meadows in Missouri earned the Platinum RCI Green Award for its multi-faceted approach to sustainability.
  • The Gold RCI Green Award recognized Wyndham Royal Sea Cliff on The Big Island of Hawaii.
  • The Silver RCI Green Award went to the Wyndham Vacation Resorts Great Smokies Lodge in Sevierville, Tennessee

While I throw a big sloppy air kiss their way for all they are doing to help the environment, I couldn’t help but notice that all three resorts are owned by the same company that owns RCI.

Considering how many affiliated resorts RCI has in its portfolio, resorts that have the opportunity to take home those awards for themselves but apparently haven’t tried(?) (at least not this year), one would think that someone besides Wyndham could git ‘er done. Amirite?

Step up, guys and gals. Give Wyndham some competition fer cryin’ out loud! Groucho



“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/2017/04/new-jersey-usa-timeshare-news-april-15-2017/

Ya Burnt! April 15, 2017

happyhourgatehouse

There’s a thing called “puffery” that’s defined, in law, as advertising or promotional material that makes broad exaggerated or boastful statements about a product or service that are subjective (or a matter of opinion), rather than objective (something that is measurable), and that which no reasonable person would presume to be literally true.

What’s the difference between puffery and false advertising, then? Well, puffery depends on your point of view, while false advertising depends on actual facts.

Legally speaking, the Lanham Act establishes a distinct, two-part standard with respect to false advertising practices. This standard includes: 1) whether or not the manufacturer has made a false or misleading representation of fact, and 2) whether the misrepresentation of fact is likely to confuse and/or deceive the general public. The false or misleading representation of fact may either be literally false or implicitly conveying a false impression.

So, here’s my question and my evidence. Here’s what McDonald’s advertising says its McDouble burger looks like.

McDouble Burger

Here’s what its McDouble burger looked like when I unwrapped it (credit for the photo belongs to DapperDan at Wikimedia Commons, but it’s just like what I got):

real McDouble Burger
Yeah, I know; whaddaya expect for a buck, amirite? For starters, I want what McDonald’s ads show me I should be getting! They shouldn’t tempt me with pictures of a fluffy, juicy looking product and then deliver a flattened, rubbery product that looks like someone sat on it on its way to my waiting hands.

So is it puffery or false advertising? annoyed


McDonald’s,


YA BURNT!

 
Tip Jar Do you have a burn you’d like to share in this category? Help fill up the Tips Jar so I can share it with the whole world! CONTACT: [email protected]

Permanent link to this article: http://www.insidethegate.com/gatehouse/2017/04/ya-burnt-april-15-2017/

Idle Timeshare Thoughts: April 15, 2017

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse

QUOTABLE QUOTES: “I put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power. I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.” —Thomas A. Edison, 1931



About a year ago ITG published a press release from the Florida Attorney General’s office titled “Attorney General Bondi Seeks Consumer Relief from Timeshare Resale Scam“. The AG had filed a lawsuit against Prime Resorts International, a central Florida-based timeshare resale company, and its President and owner, John Piccione for alleged violations of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act and the Florida Timeshare Resale Accountability Act.

At the time Richard Marquette, founder of VacationTimes.org, left a comment on the site that I think was dead on and in fact applies to an awful lot of press releases and other writings by people who don’t really know what they’re talking about when it comes to timeshare. His comment is follows:

I have great respect for the AG’s office and their efforts to fight these con artists, but I wish the press releases about these investigations would be more accurate in describing the businesses under investigation. These companies are not timeshare resale businesses. They are simply rogue telemarketing boiler rooms, that purchase illegal call lists and then steal money through any scheme that works for that particular list.

We see versions of similar telemarketing scams which target credit card brands, business google rankings, mortgage rate reductions, lottery promises, and the famous “grandma it’s me and I need money” scam.

Calling these cons timeshare resale businesses is just incorrect.

I don’t think the Prime Resorts International case has been settled yet, but I do think Marquette hit the nail on the head, don’t you?




“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/2017/04/idle-timeshare-thoughts-april-15-2017/

Getting BIGGER: April 15, 2017

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse

ClubCorp has purchased its fourth resort so far this year, this time folding Oakhurst Golf & Country Club into its portfolio. Oakhurst is a premier private club in Clarkston, Michigan, just northwest of Detroit.

Located in Oakland County, Oakhurst Country Club features an 18-hole Arthur Hills-designed golf course that winds through forests of oak, maple, beech, hickory and ash and past some of Michigan’s most beautiful marshlands. The three-level, 42,000-square-foot clubhouse offers upscale and casual dining, lounges and meeting rooms, private event space, pro shop, and new locker rooms. Additional amenities include an Olympic-size pool and six tennis courts.

ClubCorp plans to spend more than $1 million to reinvent the club, bringing new dining and social features to the clubhouse and patio, plus improvements to the golf course and aquatics center.

ClubCorp owns or operates a portfolio of over 200 golf and country clubs, business clubs, sports clubs, and alumni clubs in 27 states, the District of Columbia and two foreign countries that serve over 430,000 members, with approximately 20,000 peak-season employees.



Tip JarDo you have tips or rumors you’d like to share? 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/2017/04/getting-bigger-april-15-2017/

Weekly Wisecrack: April 8, 2017

60s_hippie3
Floor Duty

Stuck on floor-duty once again at a timeshare resort in the Dominican Republic, Ed is finally starting to question the assurances he was given when he was hired about how visitors from nearby hotels as well as guests staying at his resort would walk into the lobby of their own free will and insist on a tour of the property, the timeshare accommodations and a full explanation of the developer’s timeshare plan.

So far, after 18 months of not being paid one lousy Peso for all the 3-hour shifts he’s pulled, Ed is thinking there’s got to be a better way to spend his afternoons — especially during the off-season.



The Weekly Wisecrack is an often snarky look inside the workings of the timeshare industry, usually but not always 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: Hassle Free Clipart

Permanent link to this article: http://www.insidethegate.com/gatehouse/2017/04/weekly-wisecrack-april-8-2017/

Timeshare Odds and Ends: April 8, 2017

happyhourgatehouse 

Imagine a world with no Big Macs in it. I know; impossible, right?

Ignore for a moment the actual quality of a Big Mac in terms of taste and what you get as opposed to what is displayed in its marketing. Forget (if you can) that even Dairy Queen and Jack in the Box make a better burger, and concentrate on the novelty of the Big Mac itself: Bun, burger, cheese, bun, burger, lettuce, tomato, pickles and of course the special sauce. Wow! TWO (paper thin) burgers on 1 1/2 buns, why it was freakin’ ingenious for its time!

Regardless of how you feel about it, for better or worse the Big Mac symbolizes American fast food all around the world. Oh! Those golden arches!

But it almost didn’t get made because the “suits” were agin’ it.

So what’s the Scoop? Well, it wasn’t the first time “suits” hated a good idea, and it won’t be the last. And what does that have to do with business in the Land of Time? Find out at Scoop du Jour: Called “the Big Mac”




Wyndham Worldwide Corp. will report first quarter 2017 results on Wednesday, April 26, 2017. Steve Holmes, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and Tom Conforti, 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.

You’ll want to pay attention, since that earnings report will cover Wyndham Vacation Ownership and RCI (et al) as well as Wyndham’s non-timeshare-related subsidiaries. Mark your calendar!




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/2017/04/timeshare-odds-and-ends-april-8-2017/

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