Weekly Wisecrack: March 18, 2017

stressed out
The Timely Payments Ruse

With the house, car and insurance payments due and knowing that the cupboards and frig were nearly bare and the new baby needed formula and diapers, Tom was totally stressed out.

Unfortunately Tom’s commission check was once again a tad on the short side because of that darn timely payments clause and he wondered how he was going to juggle all those monetary commitments and make it to the next paycheck.

Being a talented, loyal, dedicated, enthusiastic, team-playing and hard-working person Tom, once again, found himself worrying about his family’s financial security and future and wondering if he should look for greener pastures or stick it out where he was…

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

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Timeshare Odds and Ends: March 18, 2017


Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, step right up and tell me where the carnival ends and the presentation begins.

Are we presenting a valuable product and service to potential clients, enticing them to spend a great deal of money now and in the future to guarantee them wonderful vacation accommodations in amazing places all over the globe — or are we entertaining at a child’s birthday party with clowns and pony rides?

So what’s the Scoop? What’s up with the swallowing of balloons at the podium and who decides that it “sells”? I don’t know either but you can decide for yourself at Scoop du Jour: A Circus or Clown Act?



RCI is back again to celebrates its 11th consecutive year as title sponsor of the annual RCI® Christel House Open International Charity Golf Tournament. The tournament is held in several locations around the world and aims to raise awareness and funds for Christel House International, a charity committed to bettering the lives of impoverished children around the world.

The Christel House Open kicks off on Saturday, May 20, 2017, in Palm Beach, Florida, and continues across North America and Europe throughout the following months at these locations:

  • Saturday, June 3 in Boonville, New York
  • Monday, June 5 in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Thursday, June 8 in Branson, Missouri
  • Sunday, June 11 in Daytona, Florida
  • Monday, June 12 in Kissimmee, Florida; Myrtle Beach, SC; Vista, California; Williamsburg, Virginia; and the United Kingdom
  • Friday, November 3 in Scottsdale, Arizona

This is the timeshare industry’s favorite cause. I hope you’re supporting it and I hope you let us know via press releases or other means how glorious your support is!



Bluegreen Corporation’s financial report for the 4th quarter and full year 2016 is out, as part of parent company BBX Capital Corp.’s report. It’s looking pretty good.

Selected highlights for the full year 2016 versus 2015, include:

  • Sales of third party VOIs – sold on a commission basis were $294.8 million vs. $251.4 million and generated sales and marketing commissions of $201.8 million vs. $173.7 million
  • Secondary market sales of VOIs were $165.0 million vs. $138.5 million
  • Just-in-time sales of VOIs were $39.6 million vs. $27.6 million
  • Average sales price per transaction was $13,727 vs. $12,962
  • Sales volume per guest was $2,263 vs. $2,381
  • Tours increased 16.0% compared to the prior year
  • Other fee-based services revenue was $103.4 million vs. $97.5 million

Fee-Based Sales commission revenue was $48.1 million and $42.1 million, respectively, during the three months ended December 31, 2016 and 2015 and $201.8 million and $173.7 million, respectively, during the twelve months ended December 31, 2016 and 2015. The increase in fee-based sales commission revenue during the 2016 periods reflects a higher proportion of system-wide sales of VOI being made on behalf of third-party developers as opposed to VOIs owned by Bluegreen. In addition, Bluegreen earned an average sales and marketing commission of 70% and 68% during the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2016, respectively, as compared to 69% during the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2015.

There’s lots more of interest to see; I strongly suggest you check out the entire report.

Have you seen the world yet?

Where are YOU going this year?


Permanent link to this article: http://www.insidethegate.com/gatehouse/2017/03/timeshare-odds-and-ends-march-18-2017/

Weekly Jukebox: March 18, 2017

Blue mic 

Manny wants to hear some Steely Dan, and who am I to argue? According to Wikipedia (again, who am I to argue?) Steely Dan is an American jazz rock band whose music also blends elements of funk, R&B, and pop. Founded by core members Walter Becker and Donald Fagen in 1972, the band enjoyed great critical and commercial success starting from the early 1970s until breaking up in 1981. Rolling Stone has called them “the perfect musical antiheroes for the Seventies”. Steely Dan reunited in 1993 and has toured steadily ever since.

The 1980 album “Gaucho” took three years to make it to release and was the seventh and last studio album the group recorded by them for two decades. This video, which is audio only – the album version – is the title song, “Gaucho”. It’s very good, very smooth. I hope you enjoy it!

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/2017/03/weekly-jukebox-march-18-2017/

Alabama USA Timeshare News: March 18, 2017


BIRMINGHAM: Heads up, everyone, and not just in Alabama but everywhere you’ll find timeshare owners: BBB Serving Central & South Alabama is issuing an alert for a timeshare scam claiming an address in Mobile, AL. Pinebrook Resorts (pinebrookresorts.wixsite.com/pinebrookresorts) was brought to the attention of BBB by consumers claiming to have been contacted by the business. Consumers report a representative from Pinebrook Resorts contacted them via email with an offer to purchase their timeshare. The Pinebrook representative asked that the consumer provide a fee of a few hundred dollars for “closing costs, etc.”

Said one consumer, “We talked to a [Pinebrook Resorts representative] and he wants us to send $175 via western union to Daytona Beach Florida with a receiver [of another Pinebrook Resorts representative]. The money is supposed to pay for City and County transfer taxes $75.52 and title Search fee $99.48.”

Sound familiar?

These reports mirror those of complaints filed with BBB against a timeshare purchasing website allegedly located in North Carolina with a nearly identical URL. Pinebrook’s website also features matching text and layouts from other timeshare websites with negative online reviews:

Stone Oak Resorts



Gulfdale Resorts



Peachtree Resorts


A BBB investigator went to the Mobile address listed on the business’ website and confirmed that they are not where they claim to be. The real estate company that manages the Pinebrook Shopping Center Property has confirmed that the business is not there and that they have received inquiries on the business similar to those received by BBB. BBB attempted to contact Pinebrook Resorts via the phone number on the business’ website, but only received an automated message for a Google Voice number that went unanswered.

Bottom line: This looks like a classic timeshare resale scam. You can find out more about how such scams operate at this link. Once you recognize the framework you’re unlikely to become a victim.

“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/2017/03/alabama-usa-timeshare-news-march-18-2017/

Missouri USA Timeshare News: March 18, 2017


SPRINGFIELD: According to statements from the Springfield, MO police department, Valerie Lynn Williams, 27, was killed on Wednesday, March 1, during a domestic altercation. She was 16 weeks pregnant at the time and her unborn daughter also died.

Valerie, who sold timeshare in Branson, was in the process of moving to Springfield to live with her boyfriend, Derik Clayton Osborn, who was the baby’s father. It was Osborne who called 911 at around 1:45 AM to report a woman who wasn’t breathing.

When police arrived they performed CPR on Valerie until paramedics took her to a hospital. At the hospital it was discovered that Valerie suffered from severe internal injuries and they could not save her. She was pronounced dead at 2:18 p.m. Wednesday. Her child also could not be saved; she died six hours later.

Police interviewed Osborn at the scene and took an initial statement but took no immediate action against him as they were not able to see any signs of violence on her at the time.

Osborn originally claimed that he had returned home only to find Valerie passed out on the floor. He said he picked her up and put her in bed. His story changed when he spoke to a second officer, however, when he said she had fallen to the floor during an argument in the living room. He said she subsequently did not move and was gasping for breath and he couldn’t rouse her so he eventually moved her to the bedroom and called 911.

But according to the initial report, “After arriving at the hospital, medical staff discovered the victim had sustained serious internal injuries that were consistent with injuries sustained from an assault.” Medical staff discovered a skull fracture with bleeding on the brain, plus a lacerated liver, discoloration and bruises on her body and a superficial scratch on her neck. A bruise on the small of her back may have been caused by being struck with an object or pushed into something.

Once police had that information they returned to the apartment she was sharing with Osborn and found him asleep in bed. They asked him to accompany them to the police station, where his story changed yet again. According to documents he said they argued and at one point Valerie threatened him with pepper spray. When he tried to grab it away from her she pulled back, fell to the floor and hit her head on the carpeted concrete floor. His statement says that she lay on the floor for about 10 minutes, not moving and making gasping, snoring sounds as she fought for breath, until he picked her up and carried her to the bed. Then he noticed her lips and throat were purple and she was still fighting for breath so that’s when he called 911.

That statement was contradicted by a neurosurgeon and a trauma surgeon who attended Valerie, though. According to a Springfield Police Department probable cause statement, which was used in filing charges against Osborn, they told the investigating detective that in their opinion her injuries could not have been sustained by falling on the floor from a standing position and striking her head. The neurosurgeon said her skull fracture would have to have been applied by force, and the trauma surgeon said the liver laceration appeared to be a recent injury caused by blunt force.

Armed with that information police arrested Osborn on Thursday, March 2 and charged him with two counts of second-degree murder. He was incarcerated at the Greene County Jail and is being held on $500,000 bail. If convicted he could get a life prison sentence for each of the two deaths.

An obituary and tribute wall for her can be found online at Vigen Memorial Home.

Our sincere condolences go out to Valerie’s two young sons, her family and friends.

“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]

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Texas USA Timeshare News: March 18, 2017

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

FORT WORTH: Ahhh, romancing the rails… I can almost feel the train wheels rattling beneath me just thinking about it. Are you a lover of train travel, too?

Here’s the thing. There’s an outfit called America’s Trains, Inc. that is offering all-inclusive Journey by Rail vacations on luxurious rebuilt passenger railroad cars. Starting later this year, seven-night Journeys will be available as timeshares throughout the USA and into Canada traveling as part of Amtrak trains and other railroads, with access to over 20,000 miles of track. Average price is about $13,000 per interval week. Journeys are on ‘train sets’ that include a combination of up to five sleeper, dining and lounge cars, and on single self sufficient ‘private cars’. They include extended layovers at intriguing en-route destinations, where cars are dropped off by one and picked up by a subsequent Amtrak or other train, allowing passengers to live on board while enjoying many unique off-car experiences.

Fixed week timeshares called Train’Shares are sold on train sets. Train’Share ownership includes rights to annual or biennial all-inclusive Journeys by Rail for two passengers in a designated room category during a designated time period on a specified rail car. Owners have floating week privileges because they can also travel in any available car at any time on routes of their choice. As members of the Owners Association, Train’Share buyers have rights to rail car assets.

Annual or biennial Train’Shares are for a 10 year ‘initial’ or a ‘perpetual’ term. Initial terms can be converted to perpetual terms. The company is also promising they’ll buy Train’Shares back at a price that provides Owners with valuable considerations at least equal to the amount they paid for their Train’Share.

Train'Share Car 4 BedroomAND they are also offering a 1/12th, 1/8th and 1/6th fractional interest ownership of self sufficient private cars. Among other rights, fractional interest owners can select their own preferred itineraries.

They are affiliated with RCI/Registry Collection for exchange purposes.

If the thought of spending a week or more in the lap of all inclusive luxury on a retro train appeals to you there’s much more to investigate at this link. And just to whet your appetite, here’s a picture of a bedroom in one of the cars. Can you see yourself drifting off to sleep in this bed to the soothing rhythm of the train?

“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/2017/03/texas-usa-timeshare-news-march-18-2017/

Ya Burnt! March 18, 2017


The Ethisphere Institute recently recognized Wyndham Worldwide Corp. as a 2017 World’s Most Ethical Company®. Kudos for that!

Now, I do understand that Wyndham Worldwide is a really BIG company with many parts and thousands of employees, most of whom are A-Okay; but one significant part that appears to lack ethical glory is Wyndham Vacation Ownership, whose sales/marketing division has long been accused of being a welcome mat for sharp practices. You know, the kind of atmosphere where sales reps were encouraged by equally sharp management to do whatever it took to get the sale. Google them if you don’t believe me.

The most recent jaw dropping example of that alleged culture was a jury’s award of $20 million to a former sales rep who was fired for daring to report fraudulent selling techniques by WVO sales reps and management.

Coincidentally(?), shortly following that jury award WVO’s CEO Franz Hanning, who had been with the company or its predecessor Fairfield Resorts since 1982, suddenly felt the need to “spend more time with his family” and abruptly retired. His severance pay, to be paid in full by mid-April, is $3.4 million. It’ll be interesting to see if the reputation of that division improves going forward.

Given all the above you can imagine the reasons for my initial reaction when I recently read the headline:

Wyndham Worldwide Earns World’s Most Ethical Company Distinction – Global hospitality company’s culture of integrity and approach to ethics recognized by Ethisphere Institute for fifth time”

roflmao Say WHAT? HAhahahahahaha-ha ha ha gasp oh man! hahahahahahahaha ha ha stop! yer killin’ me! ha ha ha ha ha… laughing-hysterically


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]

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Idle Timeshare Thoughts: March 18, 2017

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse

QUOTABLE QUOTES: “Spring is Nature’s way of saying ‘Let’s party!'” —Robin Williams

With the first day of Spring falling on Monday, March 20, I’ve got a bad case of Spring fever, filled with ennui that prevents me from delving deeply into thought. So here are some timeshare pieces upon which to ruminate…

Hilton Grand Vacations’ new 38-story Grand Islander resort at Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki, which has quietly been open for a couple of weeks is already at 99% occupancy. The start of sales for The Grand Islander roughly two years ago was the most successful launch of a new timeshare project in the company’s history, according to Mark Wang, president and CEO of HGV. You can see interior and exterior images of the resort at their website, and they’re worth looking at! Check out the slideshow here. It’s a lovely resort inside and out.

Sunset World Resorts & Vacation Experiences, a timeshare/hotel chain based in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, received the Gold Crown award from Resort Condominiums International — again. The awards were bestowed on four of the resorts of the hotel chain during a ceremony that took place in Sunset Marina Resort & Yacht Club, led by Orlando Arroyo Marroquín, CEO of Sunset World. Special kudos go to Sunset Royal Beach Resort, which is the only resort in Cancún and the Riviera Maya to receive such an award for 25 years in a row, since it opened its doors!

USA Today has named Pirates’ Plunge, the themed Pirate Shipwreck pool at staySky Vacations’ Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa as one of Orlando’s most beautiful pools. The recognition came in an article titled “11 amazing hotel pools in Orlando”. In a city as awash with swimming pools as Orlando, that’s quite an honor!

Timeshare trainer Shari Levitin has written her first book, published by Career Press, and it topped the Amazon charts on its release date, February 20, 2017. Called Heart and Selll: 10 Universal Truths Every Salesperson Needs to Know, it has garnered praise from a plethora of sources. Shari will be at a book-signing sponsored by RCI at ARDA World 2017, the shared ownership industry association’s annual gathering, Tuesday and Wednesday, March 28-29 at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans.

Timbers Resortshas broken ground on its new resort in South Carolina. Called Timbers Kiawah Ocean Club & Residences, it will be the first Private Residence Club on Kiawah Island. The resort will offer 21 residences across three oceanfront buildings, along with a first-of-its kind collection of dedicated amenities on the island. A private clubhouse offering a central lounge area, owner services team, valet, temperature-controlled owners’ wine wall, bar and state-of-the art fitness facility will serve as the hub of the new resort. There will be a private beach club, offering Timbers Kiawah Owners an oceanfront pool, bar and grill and beach services.

If you’re going to be in Hawai’i on April 29, 2017 — specifically on the island of O’ahu — plan on attending the festivities surrounding the Waikiki SPAM JAM® Festival on Kalakaua Ave. Kani Ka Pila Grille, Duke’s Waikiki, Hula Grill Waikiki and other favorite Hawaii restaurants will join this year’s 15th annual festival where guests can enjoy SPAM® products in many forms, as well as the rhythms of live Hawaiian music and entertainment. Some 25,000 festivalgoers are expected to attend this unconventional and beloved festival, why not you as well? Admission to the family-friendly event is free and proceeds generated benefit the Hawaii Foodbank and other local charities, including the Waikiki Community Center and the Visitor Aloha Society. Since its inception, the Waikiki SPAM JAM® Festival has raised more than $100,000 and collected nearly 27,000 pounds of canned goods to support the Hawaii Foodbank. Be there or be square!

And that’s as bits and pieces as I’m going to get today. I think I’ll take the dog out for a walk. Happy Spring, y’all!

“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/2017/03/idle-timeshare-thoughts-march-18-2017/

Timeshare People on the Move: March 18, 2017

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

Scott Bahr has been named CEO for ResortCom International LLC, the pioneer in providing servicing solutions for the Vacation Ownership Industry.

Scott has held leadership roles in a variety of industries including Hospitality, Healthcare, Automotive, Food and Beverage, and Consumer Durables. With an MBA from Duke University and more than a decade in executive roles with leading timeshare and hotel brands, he has been a member of the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) since 2005.

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/2017/03/timeshare-people-on-the-move-march-18-2017/

Getting BIGGER: March 18, 2017

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse

ClubCorp, the World Leader in Private Clubs®, has acquired Norbeck Country Club, a premier country club in Rockville, Maryland, just north of Washington, D.C. This marks the third acquisition this year for ClubCorp, which plans a multimillion-dollar reinvention of the club that will feature new dining amenities, and improvements and upgrades to the club over the next two years.

Additional clubs in the area include Eagle’s Nest Country Club in Phoenix, Maryland, which ClubCorp acquired last month, Chantilly National Golf and Country Club in Centreville, Virginia, River Creek Club in Leesburg, Virginia, Piedmont Club in Haymarket, Virginia, The City Club of Washington in downtown D.C. and Tower Club Tysons Corner in Vienna, Virginia.

Plans for the multimillion-dollar reinvention of the club include bringing new dining and social features to the clubhouse and patio plus improvements to other amenities at the club. In addition, prior to the acquisition, the club began extensive pool-area renovations and improvements that are scheduled to be completed in advance of the Memorial Day weekend.

The Registry Collection has added a new affiliated property to its portfolio in the Asia Pacific region. With this addition The Registry Collection program now boasts 10 luxurious affiliated properties in the Asia Pacific region.

Kembali Vacation Club’s Grand Gili property in Lombok, Indonesia was added to the exchange program as a new destination late last year. When completed in September of 2017, the property will include three villas and 10 studio units that will be made available for exchange by members of The Registry Collection program.

The Registry Collection®program is the world’s largest luxury exchange program, with approximately 200 affiliated properties that are either accessible for exchange or under development.

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/2017/03/getting-bigger-march-18-2017/

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