ITG Weekly Jukebox: March 14, 2015

A star is born? I haven’t been paying attention to American Idol, but this performance caught my eye and ear and it brought the audience to its feet dancing and grinning from ear to ear. “Wow!” I said out loud. “Wow!”

Watch 23-year-old Joey Cook cover Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” and make it her jazzy own in the process. Wow!

What are you listening to tonight?

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?

Permanent link to this article:

Florida USA Timeshare News: March 14, 2015

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

ORLANDO: Florida – House Bill 0453. Remember the post I made about this timeshare-related bill on Feb. 21? It looks to be something that wouldn’t be particularly good for timeshare owners (and potential owners), so I’ve been looking into it a bit further.

The Florida State Representative who sponsored the bill is Eric Eisnaugle (R), who has now been joined by state Senator Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland; who actually authored it is still an unanswered question, but it has been an adventure looking for the names of those who donated to his campaigns (and to his PAC).

Remember that Eisnaugle represents District 44, which includes Bay Lake, Lake Buena Vista, Oakland, Orlando, Windermere, and Winter Garden in western Orange County. You know, the heart of timeshare company headquarters in the USA. Of course that makes one wonder about the source of a bill that would essentially benefit developers/resorts and possibly gut several protections currently in place for consumers.

Hmmmm. Who could want that? I wonder…

So let’s take a look at Mr. Eisnaugle’s donors. Aside from personal donations to his various campaigns it’s interesting to look at his PAC, his personal political committee called Committee for Justice and Economic Freedom. roll eyes

The mission statement says, “The purpose and mission of the Committee is to identify and support ideals and candidates promoting justice and economic freedom.” Wow; that’s so, er, so ambiguous don’t you think? You can look at the contributors to his PAC since 2013 here

Cutting to the chase, those timeshare-related contributors who donated generous sums include:

  • Disney Worldwide Services, Inc: $20,000 in 2013; $10,000 in 2014; and $10,000 in 2015 for a total of $40,000. (Disney supports the bill but isn’t lobbying for it)
  • Orange Lake Resort Alliance : $10,000 in 2014
  • Realtors Political Advocacy Committee (RPAC): $17,500 total in 2014
  • And my personal favorite: ARDA-ROC (Arda‐Resort Owners Coalition), $5,000 in 2014.

Mind you, funds from that PAC are used to support a number of conservative political candidates and causes; I wouldn’t want you to think it all went to buying the support of Eisnaugle for this Bill. That would be ridiculous. But really — ARDA-ROC?

I mentioned in February that this Bill had not hit ARDA’s radar yet, or at least it wasn’t mentioned on their website under the Active Legislative Issues in Florida, where it said (and still does): February 18,2015 No Legislative Activity To Report At This Time. Yeah, it still doesn’t show up on their website; apparently they just haven’t gotten around to updating their website though because an article in The Orlando Sentinel says:

The lawmakers and the industry’s trade association, the American Resort Development Association, describes the legislation as a bill that modernizes state law. Gregory Crist, chairman and CEO of the National Timeshare Owners Association, sees it otherwise.

“This is a developer-sponsored bill that strips away at consumer-protection mechanisms,” Crist said.

I tend to side with NTOA on that, noting in particular how vague much of the language in the bill is, which leaves it open to interpretation and therefore lots of lawsuits. And I don’t like that it removes the cap of 125% on annual increases in assessment fees for property taxes and other types of expenses that are paid by timeshare owners, leaving it open to abuse by some developers.

Then there’s the provision that reduces liability for timeshare developers if they make “nonmaterial” errors in contracts. What do they mean by “nonmaterial”? This brings to mind the recent decision by a Tennessee appeals court upholding $600,000 worth of punishment against Westgate resorts for “willfully” violating the Tennessee Timeshare Act and the Tennessee Consumer Protections Act in its Gatlinburg resort’s dealings with Nathan B. Overton and his wife, Patricia A. Overton. Part of the reason for that judgment rested on the fact that Westgate provided the Overtons with a contract from 2006, which had undergone significant changes to the benefits afforded under it since then, but none of those amendments were included in what the Overtons received.

Meanwhile the House bill has passed the government operations appropriations subcommittee and the Senate version (SB 932) has passed the regulated industries committee, so it looks like it’s all moving forward.

What is ARDA-ROC’s position on this, since they’re supposed to be “the first line of defense against legislation that may negatively impact timeshare owners and their well-being”? Inquiring minds want to know. nothing to say?

ALSO IN ORLANDO: Florida’s Attorney General Pam Bondi has obtained a temporary injunction and asset freeze against World Mark Wholesale and Trade, LLC for alleged unfair and deceptive business practices. World Mark and owners, Berthony Vernet and Joseph A. Taylor, allegedly engaged in a systematic scheme to defraud owners of timeshares throughout Florida and nationwide.

According to consumers’ complaints, World Mark made unsolicited telephone calls claiming to have a ready buyer willing to purchase the consumers’ timeshare at an inflated price. World Mark allegedly used fake names or, in some cases, names of licensed real estate agents to make claims sound legitimate. World Mark also sent consumers a purchase agreement signed by a fictitious buyer to make the sale seem imminent and requested up-front fees ranging from $1,600 to $4,100 for a title search or Florida taxes. Timeshare owners who paid these fees were allegedly contacted again and required to pay additional fees for capital gains taxes or luxury taxes. After consumers paid all of the requested fees and taxes, no sale occurred and World Mark was unreachable.

The temporary injunction bars World Mark Wholesale and Trade, its related corporations and owners from engaging in the timeshare scheme. The Attorney General’s Office is seeking a permanent injunction against the company, civil penalties, restitution and costs and fees.

The temporary injunction and asset freeze pertains to the following companies and individuals:

  • Berthony Vernet;
  • Joseph A. Taylor;
  • World Processing and Title of California Properties, Inc.;
  • Worldmark Title Deed and Transfer; and
  • World Mark Wholesale and Trade, LLC.

See? It’s precisely the same scam that has become an epidemic in Mexico. The only difference is its location.

“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: [email protected]

Permanent link to this article:

Tennessee USA Timeshare News: March 14, 2015

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

GATLINBURG: Holiday Inn Club Vacations is getting significantly BIGGER in downtown Gatlinburg, TN. Orange Lake Resorts, the parent company, intends to add to the resort’s current 108 units by building a new 27-unit building consisting of two-, three- and four-bedroom villas that will be included as part of the company’s upscale Signature Collection Reserve portfolio.

A new 8,600-square-foot indoor water attraction featuring a pool with waterslides and a themed, interactive children’s “splash zone” will join the resort’s current indoor and outdoor pools.

AND an Orange Lake Resorts affiliate has also commenced construction of a 113-room Holiday Inn Express® & Suites hotel, located adjacent to the existing resort — which will be handy dandy for “in-house” OPCing I’d imagine.

WELBRO Building Corporation will act as general contractor for both projects. Construction on the projects is scheduled to be completed by the second quarter of 2016.

“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: [email protected]

Permanent link to this article:

California USA Timeshare News: March 14, 2015

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

CARLSBAD: Grand Pacific Resorts has been in the news for a couple of positive reasons lately.

Reason #1: The company took home two industry awards, Best Marketing Professional and Best Team, from Perspective Magazine’s annual awards at the GNEX Conference in February. Lisa Wanzenried, Vice President of Marketing Communications, was honored as the Best Individual Marketing Professional. In addition, the company was also honored with the award of Best Team which went to Grand Pacific Vacation Services, a newly formed department that combines the servicing of all timeshare owner programs including Grand Pacific Resorts nightly rental brand ResorTime, and internal exchange program, Grand Pacific Exchange.

Reason #2: The Alii Kai Resort and the Hanalei Bay Resort, both of which are managed by Grand Pacific Resorts, have been awarded the prestigious RCI Gold Crown Resort designation by exchange company RCI, and they’re darned proud of it! Both resorts are located in Princeville, Kauai, HI. It’s very nice, it’s paradise… 😉

So KUDOS two times to Grand Pacific Resorts. Good job!

NEVADA CITY: The news out of Nevada City isn’t as uplifting. A lawsuit was filed in Nevada County Superior Court on March 6, 2015 by Terry S. and Mary Crane, aged 83 and 77 respectively, Diamond Resorts International citing an allegation that Diamond committed fraud against them.

The complaint says the Cranes were solicited via telephone to attend a timeshare presentation at a DRI resort in Arizona, and once they got to the resort they claim they were subjected to a high-pressure sales presentation where, according to an article in, they ultimately ended up more than $50,000 in debt to DRI entities.

The Cranes are asking for a cancellation of the contract, restitution and treble damages for elder abuse, unfair business practices and fraud.

Besides DRI, the defendants in this lawsuit include ILX Acquisitions, Diamond Resorts U.S. Collection LLC, and Diamond Resorts Financial Services.

For more details on this case, visit this article in Stay tuned…

“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: [email protected]

Permanent link to this article:

Vermont USA Timeshare News: March 14, 2015

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

KILLINGTON: A fire broke out at the 16-unit Killington Townhouse resort in the wee hours of the morning on March 7, ultimately destroying 3 of the 4 wings that comprise the resort. Wings B, C and D were pretty much burned to the ground; the offices for the resort were located in section C. Only the A building is left standing.

It’s thought that the fire originated in a chimney on the third floor of the C building.

The fire department arrived in the vicinity of 12:30 a.m. and it took until late afternoon on Saturday before it was all over. With the assistance of regional fire departments, they had three fire engines, two platform trucks and somewhere around nine tankers to shuttle water; it took over six hours to put the fire out, and then they had to return at 4:00 p.m. when the fire rekindled.

Adding to the issues at the resort were the facts that the buildings were wood-frame construction, there were no fire breaks between the buildings and sprinklers had not been installed because the resort was grandfathered into the new regulations due to its age.

Keep in mind that they were fighting that fire in sub-zero temperatures and with low water pressure, not a pleasant scenario. Their hoses kept freezing in the cold and the roads turned into a sheet of ice.

Vacationing guests were quickly evacuated and no one was harmed, but the resort is pretty much a total loss. The buildings were assessed in 2014 at $1.5 million, but no estimate of damages has yet been determined. Regardless, property manager Louis Stevens says that they plan to rebuild, though a timeline has not been set.

About 600 families currently own at the timeshare resort.

Originally built in the mid 1980’s, the RCI-affiliated Killington Townhouses included 8 one-bedroom condominiums, sleeping up to four people, 4 one-bedroom plus loft condominiums, sleeping up to six people and 2 four-bedroom condominiums, sleeping up to ten people.

“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: [email protected]

Permanent link to this article:

Mexico Timeshare FRAUD: March 14, 2015


ALL OVER MEXICO: brazen [brey-zuhn]
acting or done in a very open and shocking way without shame or embarrassment;
marked by contemptuous boldness

Here’s an email I received recently:

De: xxxxx xxxxx [mailto:[email protected]]
Enviado el: lunes, 09 de marzo de 2015 12:42 p.m.
Para: ‘Gatekeeper’
Asunto: RV: Proceso Legal Incumplimiento de Contrato/I NEED AGAIN YOU HELP ABOUT 111CMC
Importancia: Alta
Hello again … would again ask for your invaluable help in knowing how true is this beginning of the legal process that have sent us the day Friday. It is a letter proposing a mutual agreement.

Johnson Gonzalez Brooks - fraudulent attorney firm in SeattleCheck out this document, sent to the writer of the above email, who is one of the victims of the 111 Capital Management Corporation resale scam (aka Capital Management Corporation, aka CMC). It purports to be from the law firm Johnson Gonzalez Brooks at 772 Virginia St., Seattle, WA, and its purpose is to tell the victim that he is in breach of contract and set him up for the sending of funds to settle that breach. Besides the obvious fact that 111 Capital is a known scam, what else is wrong with that picture?

  1. There is no law firm in Seattle, WA named Johnson Gonazalez Brooks. It is fake. No existe!
  2. There are no attorneys registered with the Washington State Bar Association named Lois Johnson, Ignacio Gonzalez or Steve Brooks. Those attorneys are fake, they don’t exist. No existen!
  3. There is no such address as 772 Virginia Street in the city of Seattle. It is a fake address. No existe!
  4. On their website they say they have been in practice for 30 years, but since they don’t exist we know that is a lie. Also, their website was only registered in Sept. 2014!

In short: Esta empresa y esta gente NO EXISTE! Son mentirosos!

So a fake law firm threatens you with fake legal action for not following through with a fake timeshare resale/rental scheme. It’s breathtaking in its audacity! bandido

Now then, I’ve been hearing a lot from victims of the grifters running the various timeshare transfer companies I’ve talked about recently. The stories don’t vary much from this:

You agree to sell/transfer timeshare(s) you currently own in order to be able to afford a new timeshare. To do that the new timeshare resort sales team agrees to “reduce” the price by a large amount if you sign a contract with some transfer company, such as “Timeshare Equity Services” (TES) or Equity Acquisition Services (there are many others as well) as their agent to transfer the title. By this point in the presentation most folks are tired and in a rush of signing papers and don’t really pay much attention to the details of that secondary contract, which the scammers count on. So most likely you’ll head off down the road thinking that the title transfer is being taken care of.

Then you start getting communications from the transfer company, generally claiming you are contractually obligated to pay various fees in order to process the title transfer to them, and you belatedly discover that you did indeed at least initial a statement agreeing to pay certain fees within X number of days after their agent contacts you. The company also wants you to sign a “Limited Power of Attorney” plus an “Offer of Renouncement and Waiving of Rights in Timeshares” plus of course a credit card authorization. And of course, they are looking for evidence of ownership and debt-free status.

What happens next can go any of several ways. Most commonly the company will work to get those fees and the paperwork from you and if that happens they might actually transfer your timeshare title — but probably not into the company’s name. IF a transfer takes place most often it is placed into a shell company with no assets (aka a “viking ship”) or into the name of a straw buyer who is paid a nominal sum for the use of his/her name but who will never pay a maintenance fee or have anything else to do with the timeshare.

Sometimes the timeshares are dumped into the resale market by the dozens, put up for sale on eBay for instance for $1.00.

Most often though title is never transferred in the first place. The company will hold on to the titles (hundreds of them at any given time, including yours) for a period of no more than 90 to 120 days then call you back to your timeshare(s) back to you again EVEN THOUGH YOU STILL OWN IT!

If you balk at the transfer option, with its attendant fees, they’ll take another track — Option B. With Option B you will be “allowed” to keep your timeshare if you pay 10% (more or less) of what they say your timeshare is worth. And if you balk at that, too, they will likely threaten you with a lawsuit for breach of contract. Word is that around 95% of their victims choose Option B just to be done with it all, ending up with their original timeshare(s) as well as the new one they just purchased.

That’s the basics of how it works. You see they are not really interested in processing a transfer, but instead want to trick or blackmail you to pay them so you can “keep” what you own. The question I hear the most is “Are we legally obligated to process the ownership transfer?

Well, it’s a kind of trap isn’t it? The thing that always pops out most strongly to me is the notion that in order to “cancel” the transfer of your timeshare you must pay to keep it. You already own it, no transfer has been made, yet they charge you to “sell it back to you”.

Note that under Mexican law you have 5 business days to cancel ANY purchase or service and if you do not cancel within that period of time you still have that option indefinitely IF YOU WERE DEFRAUDED, aka the victim of a scam. A complaint to PROFECO and Mexico’s Attorney General (PGR) can start the ball rolling in such a case, and that is sometimes enough to get the scammers off your back although it doesn’t usually get you back the money you have spent. According to one victim who contacted me, the transfer scammer who took him for a ride said (brazenly), “If you knew how much money we’re making it would blow your mind!”

Having said all that, I cannot offer much in the way of serious counsel in these particular cases. You see, many of you are seeking legal advice from me which I am not qualified or licensed to dispense. If you haven’t done so you should immediately seek a consultation with a lawyer who specializes in contract law.

What I know is that generally speaking companies like the ones you are dealing with use scare tactics, etc. in an attempt to force people to send them money. Many people do send money and others don’t and stop all communications (e-mails, letters, phone etc.) immediately.

To the best of my knowledge when the owners/members refuse to send money the thieves ultimately just go away – and that is the end of it all. The ‘owners/members’ keep what was traded ‘in’ (because there never was a ‘trade-in’) and still remain owners/members AND they still own whatever new timeshare they have purchased.

But if you are concerned about what your legal status is regarding the contract you signed and whether all clauses of that contract are even enforceable you should consult with an Attorney post haste.

More information on what you can do if you’ve been scammed follows below the squiggle.


CLICK HERE for more!

Permanent link to this article:

Timeshare Morning Meeting: March 14, 2015

This week’s timeshare sales tip:

The Perfect Vacation:

REMEMBER: For decades Timeshare reps have been asking their sales guests, during the survey phase, to name their dream vacation destinations, and as they respond the rep checks off the ‘usual’ suspects (Hawaii, Caribbean, Orlando….) sometimes commenting that (e.g.) “Oh, Australia is a fascinating place…” And from there it is on to the next question.

However, there is a much better way to ask that question that will literally force the prospect to think and, more importantly, reveal much more about themselves and their true ‘dream vacations’ if the question is asked in the following manner.

“Roy and Martha, let me ask you a question. If time and money were no object and you knew for sure you could only take one vacation anywhere in the world, stay as long as you’d like and enjoy the lifestyle that best suits you, where would you go for that perfect vacation?” (And then don’t breathe a word, and don’t name any destinations whatsoever).

Asking the prospect to disclose their ‘perfect-dream-vacation’ in this manner puts them on the spot and the answer(s), including any details (and/or the lack thereof) they offer will, first and foremost, let the rep know just how important vacationing is to them.

Once they have detailed that ‘perfect–dream-vacation’ then it is time to ask the sales guests to name ‘other’ destinations they’d like to explore.

Then later during the presentation while explaining the exchange system (or coming back to the ‘home resort’), the rep can connect those dots and suggest that (e.g.) “And Martha, when you take Roy on that ‘perfect-dream-vacation’ to Cancun here are a couple of resorts that fit the bill…” (and then show all the amenities, resort features, etc.)

Now the rep has Martha and Roy looking at and thinking about ‘their’ dream vacation in the lifestyle they’ve chosen and all elbows should be planted squarely on the little round table.

Then, the rep should add that one of the greatest benefits of being ‘owners’ is that Roy and Martha will be able to enjoy their ‘dream vacation’ (e.g.) as often as they like and in the future, should their desires change, they’ll have at their disposal ‘like (lifestyle)’ experiences (aka: more ‘perfect-dream-vacations’) anywhere else in the world they ever decide to explore.

Then the rep should name some of those other destinations the prospects mentioned during the survey phase such as (e.g.) ‘Hawaii, Vegas…’. By doing so they will be totally in the picture and the savvy TS Pro will laugh all the way to the bank.

Join us for a pithy morning meeting timeshare sales tip of the week, originally published in, 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 All rights reserved

Permanent link to this article:

Idle Timeshare Thoughts: March 14, 2015

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouseQUOTABLE QUOTES: “Advertising is legalized lying.” -Honore de Balzac

Sometimes I get annoyed with people who legitimately purchase a legitimate timeshare product and later call it a scam.

“I’ve owned it for 20 years, paid maintenance fees, etc. and never used it once. What a scam!”

“I was forced to buy this stupid timeshare even though I couldn’t afford it and I’ve never used it, it’s just a big money pit scam!”

“Help! I went to a presentation 5 years ago for the gift and got talked into buying this white elephant that I’ve never been able to use! Timesharing is such a scam!”

Well guess what you all, you’re a grown person theoretically able to make decisions for yourself and before you go calling yourself the victim of a scam perhaps you should learn the definition of “scam”:


noun informal
1. a dishonest scheme; a fraud.
“an insurance scam”
synonyms: fraud, swindle, fraudulent scheme, racket, trick;

1. swindle.
“a guy that scams the elderly out of their savings”
synonyms: swindle, cheat, deceive, trick, hoodwink, double-cross, gull;

Yes there are times when actual fraud is used by unscrupulous timeshare sales reps/companies to sell you a timeshare and that’s a bad thing. But to call timeshares themselves and the industry as a whole a “scam”? Pshaw.

Here’s the deal. You purchased an actual product that actually exists, a product that in the vast majority of cases is beautiful, functional and offers a variety of useful amenities — pools, saunas, tennis courts, beach access, skiing, exchange possibilities, etc. — in resorts that are to regular hotels what a VW is to a limousine.

Perhaps you purchased time at some wonderful resort yourself several years ago but for whatever reason you have never used it. Maybe you’re just too lazy to figure out how to make the best use of it; maybe you just decided you don’t want it after all but are having trouble selling it; maybe maybe maybe. But you know what? That’s YOUR problem and it does not make the industry (or your resort) a “scam”.

You own it, for cryin’ out loud. Step up and USE IT!

“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: [email protected]

Permanent link to this article:

Getting BIGGER: March 14, 2015

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse

Interval International has affiliated Residence Kamarina, a beachfront resort near Santa Croce Camerina on the Italian island of Sicily, right on the Mediterranean Sea.

The resort is set on 15 acres (six hectares) and features 32 one-bedroom apartments housed in cottage-like buildings. Each air-conditioned unit includes a kitchenette, as well as a patio or balcony overlooking the surrounding gardens or the sea.

In addition to the beach furnished with sun loungers and umbrellas, the property includes two swimming pools, tennis courts, bocce courts, and a basketball court. The resort’s restaurant serves an array of items, including local seafood and wood-fired pizza, in the dining room or on its outdoor covered patio. There is also a bar adjacent to the restaurant, along with a poolside bar that hosts nightly parties.

cheerleaderInterval International: getting BIGGER!

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: [email protected]

Permanent link to this article:

The Weekly Wisecrack: March 7, 2015

The Contract
“Yes dear, you’re right! There’s nothing here about that rental program.

“But remember that special inventory manager we met who works directly for the corporate office? She said that when we’re done vacationing we can sell and get all our money back plus the increased value because of its ocean front location.

“See, Helen? There it is right here in black and white. It says we can sell whenever we want. I’m sure it will all be fine and if we don’t want to sell it says right here we can give it to Junior…”

Image courtesy

(Do you “think funny”?
Leave your own caption in the
Comments if you’re so inclined…)


Permanent link to this article:

Older posts «

» Newer posts