Bangladesh Timeshare News: February 21, 2015


COX’S BAZAR: Bangladesh is getting its first ever timeshare resort and it’s going to be a doozy!

Branded as the Royal Tulip Sea Pearl Beach Resort (formerly called Bengal Vacation Club at Sea Pearl Beach Resort and Spa), it is being built on 14 acres of land in Inanai, some 20 kilometres (12.4 miles) away from the famous Cox’s Bazar, with an investment of around Tk 500 crore, which I believe resolves to around $64,224,139USD – please correct me if I’m wrong (and I probably am).

The resort will have a whopping 493 rooms, making it one of the biggest in South Asia and will be an Eco-friendly resort. It will include studio apartments, 1- and 2-bedroom suites, all of which boast a sea view. Onsite amenities will include two large swimming pools, spa, billiard room, fitness centre, amphitheatre, landscape garden, three restaurants featuring Oriental seafood, Indian, and Continental cuisines, table tennis, cycling, beach volleyball, children’s play zone and a water park.

First announced in 2010 with the aim of opening in 2011, construction was delayed somewhat but they now hope to open the hotel by the end of April or in early May of this year.

A franchise and management agreement was signed July 1, 2014 between Sea Pearl Beach Resort & Spa Ltd, the developer of Bengal Vacation Club, and Royal Tulip, the luxury brand of Golden Tulip. France-based Louvre Hotels, allied with Golden Tulip, will operate Sea Pearl’s management.

Golden Tulip South Asia currently has 16 operational hotels across leading business and leisure destinations in India, with plans to establish 50 operational hotels in the Indian subcontinent by the end of this year.

The new resort is affiliated with Interval International for exchange purposes.

“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]

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Caribbean Timeshare News: February 21, 2015


BERMUDA: Yes I know that Bermuda is not actually in the Caribbean Sea, but I’m lumping it in here anyway because there’s really nowhere else to put it.

Back in Sept. 2013 the luxurious The Tucker’s Point Hotel and Resort, including the The Residence Clubs at Tucker’s Point, succumbed to the ravages of the Great Recession and was placed into receivership, with some $150 million in debt to overcome. The Royal Gazette claimed that BPL lost more than $1 million per month from the start of 2009 through the end of August 2010.

Ernst & Young was named as the receiver, with partner Roy Bailey overseeing the receivership; they went right to work restructuring the debt and said that the property would not be put up for sale for months or even years, if at all.

The “if at all date” has now arrived: Due to the business being in better shape and prevailing market conditions having improved, the Tucker’s Point Hotel and Resort is up for sale, marketed to prospective international purchasers by Jones Lang LaSalle and by Rego Sotheby’s International Realty in Bermuda. No price has been advertised for the property.

The property consists of the 88-room hotel (managed by Rosewood) with golf course, 50 unsold fractional ownership units — seven of those units are contracted but sales not completed — and undeveloped land, which has potential for building more units.

The resort has an interesting history. Originally it was the Castle Harbour Hotel, a landmark property first planned by the British Furness Withy shipping organization in 1923 that opened in 1932. After World War 2 Furness Withy of the UK lost interest and the property and extensive land were bought by Bermuda-based Bermuda Properties Ltd (BPL). The hotel closed in November, 1984 for renovations, re-opened as the Marriott Castle Harbour Hotel in June, 1986 and continued in operation until 1999 when it closed for good.

At any rate, the old hotel was eventually razed down to the structural steel skeleton to make way for the new Tucker’s Point Hotel, which was supposed to open in 2001 but didn’t actually make it until 2009 — just in time to meet the global economic collapse.

How do you do, collapsed economy?
Why, I’m doing something awful, thank you very much for asking. And how are you?

I’m thinking there will be no shortage of bidders for the property and that it won’t take very long for a “winner” to emerge. This is Bermuda, after all…

“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]

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Timeshare Morning Meeting: February 21, 2015

This week’s timeshare sales tip:


REMEMBER: All routines, once established, are very difficult to break. In TS sales the personal selling process of each rep, unless checked and modified when necessary, contains both good and bad habits that will ‘showcase’ themselves during each presentation.

Aristotle supposedly claimed that “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit,” adding that “quality is not an act, it is a habit,” too.

One habit most TS reps have is that when they pre-judge their prospect they do so in a manner that can adversely affect their sales performance, presentation and outcome.

As we’ve discussed previously, despite the popular industry belief to the contrary professional selling is all about pre-judging but doing so in such a manner as to ‘sell’ the prospect and not, on a whim, to determine the prospect is (e.g.) too young, too old, too broke, doesn’t travel, etc. and then ‘burn and spin’…

This is why it is wise to always check your selling habits and see if you can detect any that are negative or interfere with anything less than a stellar sales presentation. When those habits/traits are discovered it is the savvy TS Pro who makes the appropriate adjustments and/or modifications to their presentation who’ll 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

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Idle Timeshare Thoughts: February 21, 2015

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouseQUOTABLE QUOTES: “Washington, D.C. is a city filled with people who believe they are important.” – David Brinkley

Just about every day I receive emails asking some variant of this question:

Hello, I was wondering if you could tell me if you know of any companies that will legitimately sell my timeshares and could you tell me who the best one to contact would be?

Here’s the answer I generally give: Yes there are legitimate resale companies, but company policy prohibits me from providing specific recommendations.

And then I send them to TUG (Timeshare Users Group) and to the Licensed Timeshare Resale Brokers Association as good places to start their own research.

Could I hold on to my ethical standards if I started handing out recommendations willy nilly, with people not knowing if I were paid for the recs or not? I dunno, but meanwhile, person(s) unknown within the industry appear to be attempting to gut Florida’s timeshare regulations in favor of developers and against the interests of consumers, and lawmakers in Utah have been debating whether having sex with an unconscious person is rape. In neither case do lawmakers seem to have a problem dealing with the possible ethical/moral implications of their actions.

Am I living in a bubble?

“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]

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Getting BIGGER: February 21, 2015

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse

Grand Mayan Resorts, a Vida Vacations brand, is putting the finishing touches on its new resort in Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, Mexico. Located just east of the Mayan Palace buildings, The Grand Mayan Puerto Peñasco will officially open to guests and owners on March 1.

Accommodations include:

  • Grand Master Suite – Two bedroom – Two bath suites with a kitchen (1300+ square feet of living area)
  • Grand Suite – One bedroom – One bath suites with a kitchen
  • Grand Master Room – Large hotel type rooms with one bath – without a kitchen

Grand Mayan Puerto PenascoThe resort is located about an hour’s drive from the Arizona border and a 30-minute drive from the city of Puerto Peñasco in a huge master-planned development called La Jolla del Cortes, which stretches along 4 miles of pristine beach on the La Pinta Estuary. Amenities include an 18-hole par 72 legacy golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus (father and son). restaurants and bars, a spa, a sauna, a steam bath and massage treatments as well as pools (indoor and outdoor) an entertainment program for adults, an entertainment program for children and a kids’ club.

Vida Vacations, formerly known as Mayan Resorts and Grupo Mayan, is a luxury destination club that offers members access to more than a dozen resorts in seven of Mexico’s most popular destinations. Vida Vacations is the gateway to exclusive Grupo Vidanta destinations and resorts, including Grand Luxxe, The Grand Bliss, The Grand Mayan, The Bliss and Mayan Palace.

Interval International has affiliated five Palace resorts located in the Mexican Caribbean. These join the six luxury Palace properties affiliated previously. The Palace properties are situated in some of the Caribbean’s most highly demanded locations and include:

  • Beach Palace, Sun Palace, Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort – Grand, Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort – Sunrise, Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort – Nizuc, Moon Palace Golf Villas, and Le Blanc Spa Resort in Cancún, Mexico
  • Cozumel Palace in Cozumel, Mexico
  • Isla Mujeres Palace in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
  • Playacar Palace in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
  • Moon Palace Jamaica Grande in Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Palace Resorts is celebrating 30 years in the shared ownership industry this year.

cheerleaderGrand Mayan Resorts/Vida Vacations and Interval 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]

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The Weekly Wisecrack: February 14, 2015

DIY Vacationing
Having completed their 1-night and 2-day mini-vac in Branson, MO in exchange for attending a 90 minute informative presentation, Billy Bob and Betty Lou headed out of town.

“We don’t need one of them thar fancy timeshares,” Billy Bob said to Betty Lou, and she nodded in agreement.

“Besides,” she said, “it’s only a place to lay our heads down at night and what we’ve got is just fine! Didja git that certificate for our free cruise?”

Image courtesy of

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


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Timeshare Odds and Ends: February 14, 2015

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse

What does “success” mean to you? Scoop has been pondering that question, in particular as it applies to those of us in Timeshareville, and this week he is sharing some of his questions and conclusions with us.

So what’s the Scoop? And what does Ralph Waldo Emerson have to do with it? Head on over to Scoop du Jour: “Because You Have Lived”!

I read a transcript of Wyndham Worldwide’s Q4 2014 Conference Call and though it was all pretty interesting one thing in particular in the discussion of their timeshare division caught my attention:

Now let’s move to Wyndham Vacation Ownership which had a great year coming in at the top of their original guidance range while instituting new sales and marketing processes that will ensure our ongoing success in years to come. More immediately, we have a good progress since the third quarter in refining our marketing and sales approach as evidenced by the sequential improvement in VPG, which was close to flat in constant currency in the fourth quarter.

We further refined our approach on the specialist presenter model and our outreach to owner upgrades. We remain committed to ensuring that our sales process is effective and in tune with the needs and preferences of existing and potential owners. Previously we focused our discussion on the sales process but it is important to remember that a large part of this process is targeting the right consumers. We are always developing new analytical models that allow us to approach the right prospects with the right offer including financing terms.

Out of all that, can you guess what it was that caught my attention? This: “We further refined our approach on the specialist presenter model…”

What’s a “specialist presenter”? scratching head

As it turns out, it’s a newish term for what we used to call a “podium speaker”. According to Wyndham:

The primary purpose of this position is to conduct group presentations of the Wyndham Vacation Resorts Program to incoming tours in the manner specified by Wyndham Vacation Resorts. Assist in the discussion and closing of tours to produce sales from the podium presentation.

Specialist presenter indeed (snort). Good grief. Face palm


Where are you going this year?

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ITG Weekly Jukebox: February 14, 2015

You may have heard this lovely song on the TV series Red Band Society (S1 E4), and if you have and if you’ve been looking for it — here it is: Luke Sital-Singh – Nothing Stays The Same, the lead single from his 3rd EP ‘Tornados’.

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?

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Florida USA Timeshare News: February 14, 2015

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

ORLANDO: Surely you’ve all heard this news already, but in case you’ve been living under a rock here it is again: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide is going to spin off its timeshare division into a separate publicly traded company by the end of this year.

I can’t say that this comes as a big surprise to me; how about you?

The transaction, which is expected to be tax-free to Starwood shareholders, will be effected through a pro rata distribution of the new entity’s stock to existing Starwood shareholders.

Starwood Vacation Ownership (SVO) reported vacation ownership revenues of approximately $640 million in 2014 and has successfully sold more than $6 billion of vacation ownership intervals to over 220,000 owners over its 30+ year history. SVO accounted for 11 percent of Starwood’s revenue in 2014.

As part of the planned spin-off, the new company will:

  • Develop and operate SVO’s 22 timeshare resorts, including award-winning resorts in top vacation destinations such as Hawaii, Orlando, Mexico and the Caribbean.
  • Continue to expand its existing developments within its current portfolio of best-in-class destinations, which includes owned land providing future growth capacity.
  • Benefit from additional anticipated inventory at Westin Los Cabos, Westin Cancun, Westin Puerto Vallarta, Sheraton Kauai, and Sheraton Steamboat – owned properties Starwood expects to transfer to the new entity for future timeshare development.
  • Enter into a new long-term license agreement with Starwood for current and future timeshare properties to retain affiliation with the Westin and Sheraton brands.
  • Continue to provide to its owners access to the industry leading Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) program.
  • Continue to be headquartered in Orlando, Florida.

The best part about all of this is that FINALLY new Starwood inventory will be added to the portfolio, including the gorgeous Sheraton Kaua’i Resort in Hawai’i. How great is that!

Matthew Avril, who retired as President of Starwood’s Hotel Group in 2012, will return to lead the new company as Chief Executive Officer following completion of the spin-off. Stephen Williams will continue to serve as Chief Operating Officer. Avril began his career with Starwood in 1989 through Vistana, Inc., the timeshare company purchased by Starwood to begin its vacation ownership division.

Starwood still has to file a Form 10 registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including more details about the respective pro forma balance sheets and pro forma income statements. The name of the new company will be determined in the coming months, and further information will be disclosed in future communications.

The new company will join Marriott Vacation Ownership Worldwide and Diamond Resorts International as a stand-alone publicly traded company. Remember when there used to be way more? ILX, Silverleaf Resorts and Bluegreen Resorts among others.

Who will be next to spin-off and/or go public? Wyndham? Westgate?

“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]

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Maine USA Timeshare News: February 14, 2015

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

PORTLAND: The case is Crawford v Festiva Development Group LLC; it’s being heard in Maine’s US District Court.

The complaint filed by Tatsiana Crawford, who began working at Festiva’s Portland office on June 6, 2012, alleges sexual harassment in a work environment “that was very unprofessional due to the sexual comments from upper management”.

More specifically, she alleges:

  • Adam Searles, Director of Sales and Floor Manager, would refer to a woman working in the gifting department as “Double D” or “Jenny D”
  • Christian Coppinger, a sales manager, told Crawford he was helping her get money in her pockets but he “got nothing in return”.
  • On another occasion Coppinger allegedly told her he thought she was “naughty” when he hired her and then said, “You are naughty, aren’t you?”
  • Another manager named Shannon Searles told Crawford she was having an affair with Coppinger and that they had sex in the Conference Room where Crawford gave presentations.
  • One day while she discussing age with some co-workers Matthew Dolan said in front of everyone, “You don’t have an age; I would play with you and have lots of fun.”
  • Coppinger sent Crawford text messages with pictures of nude men and women with just their private parts covered by leaves.
  • Coppinger often bragged to her about the size of his penis.
  • Coppinger said in front of her tour one day that he was going to Las Vegas and Crawford wanted to go with him.

There’s quite a bit more, too, and you can read it all by downloading the PDF copy of the complaint here.

In the end, Crawford alleges that she was forced to quit because she could no longer work in such a hostile environment, and she did quit on December 21, 2013. She is suing Festiva because they had notice of the hostile environment but did nothing to fix the situation, thus violating the Maine Human Rights Act.

Crawford is seeking compensation for damages including economic damages, lost wages, and punitive damages. Festiva, of course, denies the allegations and is orchestrating a vigorous defense.

As of this date, here’s the court schedule:

Discovery due by 7/10/2015. Written Notice of Intent to File Summary Judgment Motion and Request for Pre-Filing Conference due by 7/17/2015. Motions due by 7/31/2015. Ready for Trial on 11/2/2015. By MAGISTRATE JUDGE JOHN H. RICH III. (jlg) (Entered: 02/05/2015)

This could take a while.


“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]

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