This week’s timeshare sales tip:

WHOPPER:

REMEMBER: Sometimes before the conclusion of the front end of the sales presentation prospects may begin to think it’s too good to be true and others may outright not believe what they are being told.

Since most sales guests will initially anticipate that their rep is going to lie about something, there is no better way to satisfy their perceptions than to do a little online research, have a little fun and tell the biggest sounding whopper you can come up with. One of the best places to do this is just prior to beginning the actual sales presentation.

E.G. “You know, Alex and Cindy, before we get started today, if I were to blurt out that Jesus Christ had a drivers license you’d be inclined to think I was either stark-raving mad or an outright liar wouldn’t you?

“But if I told you— and showed you the records— that over the years several individuals in the State of California petitioned the courts to have their names legally changed to Jesus Christ and the court granted their pleas and because they did the DMV had no option but to amend the petitioners’ drivers licenses to ‘Jesus Christ’ then you might be inclined to think, well, that’s California for ya!”

When doing this it is important to let the prospect know that sometimes you’ll share information with them that may not seem plausible and that ‘if’ that happens have them agree, then and there, to stop you and ask questions (clarification) about a specific benefit or feature. By doing this and clearing the air the savvy TS Pro will add more credibility to their presentation and laugh all the way to the bank.

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Join us for a pithy morning meeting timeshare sales tip of the week, originally published in InsideTheGate.com, to help you to greater success in selling timeshare. Brief and to the point, these sales training tips are designed to get you thinking, to expand your knowledge, to help you to become all that you can be in the timeshare sales arena.

Whether you're an industry veteran or a green pea, it never hurts to brush up on your skills!

Copyright InsideTheGate.com All rights reserved

QUOTABLE QUOTES: “I once wanted to become an atheist but I gave up — they have no holidays.” -Henny Youngman




And now for some deeep thoughts— and a qualification. pondering

The Paradox of Our Age

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge but less judgment, more experts yet more problems, more medicine but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.

We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion big men and small character steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce fancier houses but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.

Remember, spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember to say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.

Remember to say “I love you” to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak, and give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

AND ALWAYS REMEMBER:
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

Now for the qualification:

The above was written by Dr. Bob Moorehead, former pastor of Seattle’s Overlake Christian Church— not by a student at Columbine High School, not by the ubiquitous “Anonymous” and not by George Carlin (who very emphatically denied he had anything to do with “Paradox,” a piece he referred to as “a sappy load of sh$t” and posted his comments about being associated with this essay on his own web site), though it has been attributed to all three of the latter in various posts all over the Internet.

The essay appeared in ‘Words Aptly Spoken,’ Dr. Moorehead’s 1995 collection of prayers, homilies, and monologues used in his sermons and radio broadcasts.

During Bob Moorehead’s tenure as pastor of Overlake Christian Church, seventeen members of his congregation reported that he had sexually assaulted them. These allegations, which surfaced in 1997, prompted his resignation in 1998. After a year of publicly supporting Moorehead the church elders withdrew their support, their own investigation into the charges having led them to conclude their pastor had indeed been guilty of molesting a number of male churchgoers.

And what does it all mean? Whatever you want it to. shrug

Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanza and Happy New Year!

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

Do you have tips or rumors you’d like to share (ANONYMOUSLY)? Something you’d like us to investigate or follow up on? CONTACT: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com

RCI has signed a multi-year affiliation agreement with Mexico’s Royal Resorts, bringing Royal’s six properties into RCI’s network of affiliated resorts.

The resorts, located from Cancun to the Riviera Maya, include The Royal Cancun, The Royal Mayan, The Royal Islander, The Royal Caribbean, The Royal Sands and The Royal Haciendas.

The Royals have been affiliated with Interval International for at least most of their 35-year existence. I wonder why they left? Does this mean I.I. is getting smaller? :P

Also, I believe a couple of the Royals only have a very few years left in their RTU contracts. What will they do when those contracts expire?

cheerleaderRCI: getting BIGGER!

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Do 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: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com

This week Scoop points out that in the USA there are an estimated 25 + Million businesses catering to the needs of well over 300 Million consumers (including ‘foreign visitors’). Covering the gamut from A to Z, including timeshare developers, you can bet your last sawbuck that nearly 100% of all businesses suffer from a common ailment that costs them unknown financial losses on a daily basis.

So what’s the Scoop? See for yourself at And I Think I Need a Lear Jet

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Today we offer a tip of the hat and a respectful farewell to Robert (Bob) A. Miller, who is stepping down from his positions as executive vice president and chief operating officer for Marriott Vacations Worldwides’ International region at the end of the year.

A 35-year industry veteran, Miller started his career in 1978 with the co-founding of American Resorts Corporation which was purchased by Marriott International, Inc. in 1984. The new division launched Marriott as the first branded hospitality company to enter the timeshare industry by more than a decade.

Miller came on board with Marriott when it acquired American Resorts, where he was the president and chief operating officer. He served as president for the timeshare division until 1996 and grew the business from $5.4 million to nearly $258 million during that time.

Due to his height (6′ 7″), Miller has often and inevitably been called “Big Bob”, a sobriquet to which he seems to have resigned himself. He has certainly left a big footprint in the industry.

Lee Cunningham, a 30-year Marriott veteran who currently serves as the executive vice president and chief operating officer for North America and the Caribbean regions, will take on Miller’s responsibilities for the International region upon his retirement.

Thanks for all your contributions to the industry, Bob; you’ve done a great job! I hope you enjoy your retirement! A tip of the hat

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In a recent press release noting that ARDA President and CEO Howard Nusbaum will be speaking at the upcoming GNEX 2013 Convention, he was quoted as saying:

“…as we sit at a unique moment in the world of vacation ownership. A recalibrated model born of the lessons learned from the impact of a worldwide recession is now better poised than ever, with a more sustainable business platform as well as pent up consumer demand. Positive winds from global growth coupled with exciting new products and marketing channels brings us to the dawn of the golden age of timeshare.”

“The dawn of the golden age of timeshare.” That’s quite an intriguing statement, don’t you think?

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 ANOTHER OFF TOPIC, this one sent in by Scoobydoo: My how things have changed! How did we get here from there???

Young Republicans Campaign Poster 1956

NOTE: This was an eyebrow-raiser for sure and it’s kind of fun to have these off topic things, but we’re not going to be turning this blog into a political forum. OK? Just sayin’…

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

Do you have tips or rumors you’d like to share (ANONYMOUSLY)? Something you’d like us to investigate or follow up on? CONTACT: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com

YOUR WEEKLY MUSIC BREAK: Let’s go all highbrow this week with some serious violin playing by the incomparable Itzhak Perlman. Here he performs Carlos Gardel’s famous “Por Una Cabeza” tango with the City of Praga Philharmonic Orchestra at Parque Bicentenario in Chile on Nov. 18, 2010.

This piece of music, written in 1935, has been featured in many films, including “Scent of a Woman”, Titanic and “Schindler’s List”. It’s very sexy, and no one plays it better than Perlman!


The Video of the Week 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 hear?

Email: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com

CONNECTICUT:

NEWTOWN: Our deepest sympathies and sincere condolences go out to the family members, schoolmates and friends of the victims whose lives were so tragically ended during the shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. Words cannot express the horror I feel for them and for the community at large.

May they somehow find peace in the weeks and months ahead.

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FLORIDA:

BOCA RATON: Frank De Filippo, a former New York City Police Department detective, has been sentenced to a little more than 12 1/2 years in prison for a timeshare resale scam in Palm Beach County that cheated more than 1,000 timeshare owners out of more than $3 million.

De Filippo pled guilty to a single count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Working out of offices in Boca Raton and Boynton Beach, the scheme operated under the guise of a half dozen corporations registered with the Florida Department of State, among them Euroamerican Timeshares, E.A.T. Sales, National Timeshare Liquidators, Transatlantic Timeshares and Real Estate Purchasing Syndicate.

De Filippo will voluntarily surrender next month to the U.S. Bureau of Prison to begin serving his sentence.

Others charged in the fraud include: Joshua Barrett Hoskins, John James Fenimore, Michael T. Dignelli,, Sr., John F. Macpherson and Garry Anthony Brown.

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NEW JERSEY:

PARSIPPANY: RCI was recently recognized by the St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association (SHTA) with a Crystal Pineapple Award in the category of Outstanding Tourism Industry Partner. They’re pretty proud of that, and so they should be: The SHTA chose RCI unanimously!

Among RCI’s contributions to the tourism industry in St. Maarten, the SHTA cited RCI’s ability to gather, analyze and provide information about timeshare exchange travel trends on the island. With this information, businesses were able to tailor their tourism products and services to grow the industry in St. Maarten. RCI, along with other timeshare industry leaders, also worked with the SMTA to draft comprehensive legislation to assist in the regulation of the timeshare industry, which was submitted to Parliament and the Minister of Justice in October.

RCI became the first vacation exchange company in St. Maarten in the early 1980s through an affiliation with the island’s first timeshare property, the Pelican Resort. RCI is now affiliated with more than 20 quality properties on the island.

KUDOS! cheerleader

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

Do you have tips or rumors you’d like to share (ANONYMOUSLY)? Something you’d like us to investigate or follow up on? CONTACT: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com

ILLINOIS:

CHICAGO: Do any of you remember the notorious Michael E. Kelly, who was running a giant timeshare Ponzi scheme out of Cancun, MX several years back? In the end, he swindled more than 7,000 people (most of them elderly) out of nearly $500 million.

At one time he was a big enough hotshot in timeshare land to be scheduled as a speaker at an ARDA annual convention, in spite of repeated warnings from some within the industry that he was a crook (including the old “Timeshare Beat” website, which flogged him regularly). I don’t know if he showed up for that convention, but a few months later the Feds snatched him at the Mayo Clinic where he had gone for medical tests for a heart ailment or something. They arrested his sorry a$$ in his hospital room on December 22, 2006 just before he was about to be discharged to return to one of his homes in Cancun.

In pretrial services, Kelly claimed that he only earned $55,000 a year and had only $48,000 in assets (the lying sack of crap!). In spite of this claim, Kelly offered a private jet, four yachts and race track as collateral at his detention hearing. He was denied bail and remanded to the Metropolitan Correctional Center, Chicago, where he’s been languishing ever since. At first Kelly attempted to avoid indictment by arranging a plea agreement that included paying restitution to the victims, but that didn’t work out. On 14 May 2008, he pled not guilty to 14 counts of fraud and was remanded in custody. So far only about $50 million of the money he stole has been recovered, and in the meantime many of his elderly victims have died.

ANYhow, I just learned that he’s getting out of jail soon. Heck he might be out already. He’s a very sick man, you see.

Now 63 years old, Kelly and the Feds agreed to a plea deal in which he would plead guilty to one count of securities fraud and on Dec. 13 he was sentenced to 5 years in prison (one year less than he’s already served).

As part of the sentencing, Kelly agreed to, and Judge Guzman ordered, restitution totaling $342,143,221, minus any credit for funds distributed by the court-appointed special master overseeing the liquidation of Kelly’s assets.

Before imposing the five-year sentence, Judge Guzman granted Kelly’s request to be released temporarily under home incarceration, with global position electronic monitoring, for up to four months or no longer than necessary to receive medical treatment for colon cancer at his own expense without using any investor or government funds. Then he has to go back to jail. Kelly’s relatives co-signed a $10 million signature bond and posted properties in Lakeville, Indiana, and Double Springs, Alabama, to secure his release.

The judge was reluctant to release him at first, saying he wanted reassurances from Kelly’s probation officer before signing off on it. According to an article in The Post-Tribune:

Though Kelly — who sat in a wheelchair throughout a lengthy hearing Wednesday — told the judge he is gravely ill with advanced heart disease as well as cancer, Guzman said “I’ve seen sicker people than this get up and walk away.”

Noting that only $50 million of the $340 million Kelly allegedly stole has been recovered, that Kelly has dual Mexican and American citizenship and has previously lived abroad, the judge added that he didn’t want to receive a “frantic phone call” saying that Kelly had fled the U.S. while under house arrest.

Prosecutors agreed to the plea agreement because they wanted to make sure the restitution deal was sealed before he died and his heirs could interfere.

Kelly still faces 13 additional counts of mail, wire, and securities fraud, which remain pending until they are resolved by a trial or a second guilty plea at a later date. If convicted of those counts, Kelly will be subject to substantial additional terms of imprisonment.

You can get the gory details from the FBI’s press release: Michael E. Kelly Pleads Guilty in First Stage of Resolving $500 Million Timeshare Ponzi Scheme


ALSO IN CHICAGO: There appears to be another timeshare resale scam floating around that involves the wiring of funds to an “escrow” account in Mexico. The method and paperwork are identical to the fraud I detailed last week in the Mexico section of International News, only the names are different.

So why am I placing this in Chicago? Because the company involved, Lakeview Property Management, claims its address to be 330 N. State Street, Suite 842, Chicago, IL. There’s a problem with that, though. The only business at that address is a 10pin Bowling Lounge.

Another problem is that the company’s website claims Lakeview has been in business since 1991 (originally in Arizona) and bears a copyright date of 2010; but there is no corporation by that name registered in Arizona and the domain name for the website itself was not registered until Oct. 2012.

A quick look through the State of Illinois’ corporate records finds only one company by that name (an LLC) and that company was involuntarily dissolved in 2010. So at the very least it would appear that they are not licensed to do business in either Arizona or Illinois.

Testimonials identical to those on the website of Lakeview Property ManagementThere are glowing testimonials on the site, too. Funny thing, though; they are identical to testimonials on at least 4 other timeshare resale-related websites (click on the screen capture at the left of a google search I made for one of those testimonials). Coincidentally(?), each of those 4 websites bears a strong resemblance to the other 3, though not to Lakeview Property Management’s website (except for those testimonials).

Very sloppy work, that, for all five websites. I may have to do some research into those other four companies, too. ;)

The names I know of that are associated with Lakeview Property Management are:

  • John Pearson (Financial Director)
  • Gary Willard (Project Director)
  • Eric Lopez (Agent)

Their website’s domain name is registered to Luis Alvarez in Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico.

They use BBVA-Bancomer for international electronic bank wire transfers, with the beneficiary being GRAND GROUP DI ALMARESCO SA DE CV. (with a Mexico City address). The beneficiary bank (where the money victims wire is deposited to be picked up by the representative of Grand Group di Almaresco) is a BBVA-Bancomer-Mexico bank in Puerto Vallarta.

This is a heads up for timesharers who own at Mexican resorts. If Lakeview Property Management or any other such company contacts you with a promise of a buyer for your timeshare (at a price far above its actual worth), be very suspicious! Nearly everything they’ll tell you will be a lie!

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

Do you have tips or rumors you’d like to share (ANONYMOUSLY)? Something you’d like us to investigate or follow up on? CONTACT: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com

CANADA:


BRITISH COLUMBIA:
Melvin Zulak and Karla Ann Davis have reached a settlement with the BC Securities Commission (BCSC), in which they admitted to illegally distributing Aviawest Resorts securities.

Themselves Aviawest directors, the pair admitted to selling unregistered promissory notes to 14 clients through Nanaimo-based Zulak Financial Group Ltd. between February 2010 to April 2011. They raised a total of $770,044, generating approximately $7,700 in commissions for Zulak Financial.

They have each agreed to pay $6,000 to the commission for their misconduct. BCSC stressed that Zulak and Davis have no history of regulatory or disciplinary history and cooperated fully with commission staff and they remain registered as exempt market dealers.

The investigation was announced last August, with Aviawest and its directors, Rob DiCastri, Andrew Pearson, James Pearson, Lawrence Pearson, and Susan Pearson also accused of contravening securities laws. They allegedly distributed securities to 214 investors without having filed a prospectus, raising approximately $12.7 million. Presumably that part of the investigation has not yet been resolved.

You can read about it here.

In case you’ve forgotten, the bankrupt Aviawest Resort Club merged with Vacation Internationale in May 2012.

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ITALY:


RAPALLO:
Dial an Exchange Italy has signed its very first resort affiliation since opening its new office in Italy three months ago. The agreement with Portofino Est Residence, located in the Golfo di Tugullio in Rapallo (Liguria), allows DAE to offer its exclusive free timeshare exchange membership program directly to Portofino Est Residence owners with the support of resort management.

Consisting of 72 holiday-style apartments, the resort has recently undertaken major renovation work, with about half of the apartments having been completely refurbished. Portofino Est Residence has two swimming pools, solarium, bar, club house and a magnificent view of Golfo del Tigullio, offering a fantastic holiday experience.

DAE is approaching 450,000 members worldwide, making it the largest independent timeshare exchange company in the world.

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MEXICO:


PUERTO VALLARTA & CANCUN:
There are two things to report about Mexican timeshare this week, and you’ll find both of them in the Midwest/Southern USA section. Why? Because both events have a strong Chicago connection.

So go straight there for news of the dastardly Michael Kelly FINALLY pleading guilty to something in the long-running case against him for the massive Ponzi scheme he pulled a decade or more ago, and also for a warning about Lakeview Property Management, another timeshare resale fraud using a Mexican “escrow” company to rip timeshare owners off. Hurry off now; you don’t want to miss it!

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THE UNITED KINGDOM:


KETTERING:
RCI has inked a new affiliation agreement with Leisure Dimensions Ltd that keeps Petchey Leisure’s six properties in Europe within RCI’s portfolio of affiliated resorts.

The new agreement brings Petchey Leisure and RCI together for an extended affiliation term (they don’t say how extended). Petchey Leisure’s six properties across Portugal, Spain and Tenerife will all be affiliated to RCI, and RCI will be providing white label club servicing for Petchey Leisure’s Infiniti Points, Atlas Weeks, Atlas Points and Genesis Club brands from its call centers.

Not exactly getting BIGGER with this new affiliation, but status quo is good. thumb up

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

Do you have tips or rumors you’d like to share (ANONYMOUSLY)? Something you’d like us to investigate or follow up on? CONTACT: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com