Categories for timeshare

Welcome to Summer, While a Soggy Florida Braces for Hurricanes

RedWeek just returned from a long road trip where we attended industry conferences in sunny Las Vegas and supposedly sunny Orlando, but as soon as we got to Orlando, we got the word: Rained Out.

Not really, but the Sunshine State turned into the Soggy State during our visit, just in time for the start of Summer, which in Florida rhymes with Hurricane Season (June 1 to Nov. 30).  The region deserves a break, because it’s still recovering and rebuilding from the last two years of hurricanes.  The sticky weather took a huge bite out of Florida and Caribbean tourism and timeshares in 2016 and 2017, and it looks like the weather gods are hungry for more.  Meanwhile, big brand hotel and timeshare resorts are rebuilding while independent timeshares are still negotiating with, or suing, their insurance companies to cover repairs from 2016 and 2017.  Welcome to 2018, ready or not.

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2018 Starts Off with a Bang as Timeshare Universe Adapts to Major Changes in Travel Industry

Forget January.  February 2018 is a great start for the new year.  All maintenance fees should be paid by now, and if you want to go to your Hawaiian timeshare next winter, now is also the time to make that 12-months-in-advance-of checkin reservation at your home resort.

But it’s also a good month for most timeshare football fans, and they tend to go together, based upon our experience watching NFL games from swim-up pools and hot tubs in all the places that snowbirds escape to during winter months. The Eagles surprise Super Bowl victory over the Patriots was a win for all underdogs, which pretty much takes us all back to our roots as regular people struggling to make our mark in the world.

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A Timeshare – The Perfect Home Base for a Day Backpacker

A fall timeshare vacation is the perfect opportunity to enjoy beautiful weather and beautiful scenery with day backpacking.

Backpacking is a great activity and can be lodes of fun. It can also be impractical for many people to backpack for long periods, camping every night and striking out across the hinterlands each morning.

Whether due to finances, health concerns, or just plain time, many people would enjoy backpacking if it could be taken in smaller bites. Enter timeshare rentals. Yes, that’s right – rent a timeshare and go backpacking!

A timeshare rental offers many advantages for backpacking, including a very convenient home base.

There are many budget timeshare rentals available in areas where day-trip backpacking through beautiful wilderness areas is possible, such as National Parks, seashores, and some real hidden gems.

A good example of backpacking in a National Park is the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. Timeshare rentals are available in Gatlinburg, the “gateway” to America’s most visited National Park. 

Located on the border of Tennessee and North Carolina, the park lies right in the heart of Appalachia, and offers over 800 miles of hiking trails.

In Gatlinburg timeshare rentals are as low as $59/night.

Cape Cod, Massachusetts, offers many great timeshare rentals ( as low as $86/night) and the Cape Cod National Seashore where you’ll find a dozen hiking trails that are open year round.

Ranging from easy to advanced, these trails can take you on wonderful day-trip backpacking adventures across 43,000 acres of dunes, ponds, woods, swamps, marshes, and almost 40 miles of Atlantic shoreline.

Many consider Idaho a “hidden gem” for backpackers. Sixty-four percent of Idaho is public land, including 33 million acres of national forests, and lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

Rent a timeshare in Ketchum, adjacent to Sun Valley, for as little as $100/night, and you have the entire 73,000-acre Sawtooth National Recreation Area at your doorstep.

The Missouri Ozarks offer another great hiking area, especially when in their crimson glory during the Autumn. Hundreds of miles of hiking trails are around the Branson area, where you can get a Branson timeshare rental for just $57/night.

When you combine budget-friendly timeshare rentals with your backpacking passion, you get the best of two worlds.

And by the way, if you have family members who are not into backpacking with you, a timeshare rental will give them plenty to do – most are attached to resorts and many of the resort’s amenities (often including swimming pools, children’s playgrounds, tennis, and arcade game rooms) are included in the rental price.

Photo Credit: 123rf.com

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Summer Bay Resort Partially Collapses into Sinkhole

A sinkhole caused a section of the Summer Bay Resort villa, a timeshare resort, to partially collapse early Monday, August 12, 2013.

About 30 percent of the three-story structure collapsed around 3 a.m. Monday

The first sign of trouble came about 10:30 Sunday night. Security guard Richard Shanley had just started his shift when he heard what sounded like shouting from a building.

A guest flagged him down to report that a window had blown out. Shanley reported it to management, and another window popped. The resort’s staff decided to evacuate the villa.

Shanley said the building seemed to sink by 10 to 20 inches and banisters began to fall off the building as he ran up and down three floors trying to wake guests.

Guests credited Shanley with saving lives by knocking on doors to wake them. Inside, they heard what sounded like thunder and then the storm of water.

Evacuation took about 10 to 15 minutes, according to staff and witnesses.

The first portions of the building to sink were the walkways and the elevator shaft. Then, as part of the leaning building crumbled quickly into the ground, dust shot up around the site.

Over the next five hours, sections of the building sank into the ground.

Paul Caldwell, the development’s president, said the resort gave all affected guests other rooms. Some visitors – many of whom had to leave their wallets, purses and other belongings behind in the quick evacuation – were given cash advances by Summer Bay.

There were no signs before Sunday that a sinkhole was developing, Caldwell said. He said the resort underwent geological testing when it was built about 15 years ago, showing the ground to be stable.

Caldwell said he was waiting on further inspections to determine any damage to the second and third buildings.

Summer Bay Resort offers timeshare accommodations with fully furnished one- and two- bedroom condominiums that sleep up to six and surround a world class clubhouse.

Jet skiing, water skiing, canoeing, and pontoon boating are all available on the private, spring-fed, 64-acre lake.

Problems with sinkholes are ongoing in Florida. They are caused by Florida’s geology – the state sits on limestone, a porous rock that easily dissolves in water, with a layer of clay on top. The clay is thicker in some locations making them even more prone to sinkholes.

The American Red Cross provided assistance at the scene.

Source: The Associated Press.

Photo Credit (top): Orlando Sentinal

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Basic Q & A About Timeshares

When you start thinking about owning a timeshare, many questions are bound to come up. This is especially true if you are a newbie to the timeshare industry.

To help you sort it all out, following are some basic questions and answers.

1. Just exactly what is a timeshare? Simply put, a timeshare is a group of people sharing the cost of vacation accommodations. You purchase either deeded property, the right-to-use, or points and share the time that you use the accommodations.

Current terms that mean the same thing are “vacation ownership,” and “vacation club.”

2. How do I know owning a timeshare is right for me?A timeshare will work best if you take at least one vacation every year – or maybe you are looking for that thing that will basically force you to take a vacation.

If you seldom take a vacation or are looking for real estate investment, timeshare is not for you.

3. How is a timeshare good for a family vacation? A timeshare offers a vacation accommodation that is roomier than a hotel room, providing separate bedrooms, common living areas, and a fully-equipped kitchen.

Timeshares are also attached to resorts where you are able to take advantage of all of the activities and amenities offered by that resort, including children’s playgrounds.

A timeshare is also good if you are a retiree looking to vacation where you can have privacy but also be able to join in activities such as golf and tennis. 

4. After I buy my timeshare, what other costs are involved?You now are a partial owner and as such must pay an annual maintenance fee that helps cover the cost of running the resort, including management, upkeep and improvements.

You are also required to pay a percentage of the annual real estate property taxes.

5. What if I’d like a change and want to vacation somewhere else?The beauty of owning a timeshare is that it opens the entire world up to you. The timeshare exchange program allows you to trade your timeshare for another one either in the U.S., or internationally.

6. What is the difference between buying a timeshare directly from the resort company and buying resale?Although timeshares bought from a developer often come with incentives, including a year’s free membership in the resort’s exchange company, additional time at the resort, etc., the cost is also generally much higher to cover such things as sales commissions and advertising.

Real bargains can be found through timeshare resales. Make sure that your resale purchase is done through an established and reputable company to ensure your customer protection and benefits.

One of the best ways to determine if owning a timeshare is right for you is to take a vacation by renting a timeshare.  Timeshare rentals can be found all around the world.

Photo Credit: Hilton Hawaiian Village

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Flying to Your Timeshare? You’ll Want to Bring These 4 Items Onboard

Many of you are planning to fly to your timeshare vacation this summer, but what you find – or, actually, don’t find – on airplanes these days could come as quite a shock to first-time fliers or those of you who haven’t flown in a while.

Most airlines no longer offer free pillows, blankets, or meals. And some airlines have begun charging for the water, coffee, or soda that they used to hand out.

You may be fine without the free blanket or pillow, but there are some essentials that you will need to take with you.

1. Food. 
Unless you don’t mind paying $8.50 for a small roll and an extra $1.00 for a pat of butter, you might want to consider bringing your own food with you from home.

The TSA allows you to bring food through security as long as it is wrapped. In other words, an open napkin with a pile of french fries won’t do. Wrapped sandwiches from home, fruit, nuts, granola bars, and even veggies and dip (in an airtight container 3 oz or less) are all acceptable.

You can bring beverages on board, including hot coffee, that you purchase after going through security. Many people these days bring along an empty water bottle, and fill it at the water fountain after passing security.

2. Entertainment. 
Today’s plethora of electronic gadgets has changed the way we “endure” a flight. Instead of hoping that you are on a flight that offers a decent movie, and then having to come up with $5-$10.00 for the earphones and the chance to watch it, you now can bring along your own entertainment.

From iPods to iPads, laptop computers to Kindle readers, you can now bring your own music, movies, and novels.

Back in the day, airlines used to provide an assortment of top magazines, but that is no longer the case. Since electronic devices can only be turned on during mid-flight, it’s a good idea to also bring some magazines to keep you occupied during the times when you don’t have access to your electronics.

3. Comforts. 
The reason blankets used to be provided is that in-flight temperatures can drop, causing a cool cabin. You can only bring your own blanket if you stuff it in your carry-on.

And easier way is to be sure to bring a jacket or a hoodie  to have some way of keeping warm if the flight turns chilly.

For further comfort you might want to stick an air-travel neck pillow and an eye mask in your carry-on if you’re on a long flight.

4. Credit Card. 
If you haven’t flown in awhile, be advised that cash is no longer accepted onboard airlines. If you want to purchase a drink, movie, the use of a blanket or pillow, or even WiFi, you will need a credit card.

Now that you know how to be prepared for your flight, find a great timeshare rental anywhere in the world for your next vacation.

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Timeshare Travel – How to Avoid Airline Baggage Fees

There was once a time when you didn’t have to pay extra fees to the airlines just so you could bring some luggage on your timeshare vacation.

In the past there were very little stipulations on what you could check when flying but times change. It may seem strange to remember the golden era of no baggage fees, it really wasn’t too long ago.

Let’s not forget that you also used to be able to smoke on a plane, ride with your seatbelt unfastened, and security lines didn’t even exist. But, let’s stick to the baggage fees.

To begin with, airline baggage fees are there for one reason, and one reason only, money. Think about the ever increasing cost of fuel, wages for airline employees, and the immense cost that goes into the production of the plane in the first place. The airlines need to make more money somehow, and they found it in luggage fees.

What happens when you’re en route to your timeshare rental and you have the entire family with you? The fees add up and suddenly you realize your vacation budget is taking a beating. Typically everyone else pays the extra fees, hopes that their luggage arrives at their destination (in one piece), and doesn’t give it a second thought.

But there is another way. Save time and money by shipping your luggage with a reliable shipping company. Imagine packing your bags just like you typically do in the days leading up to the trip, having the bags picked up before you leave, and reuniting with your bags at your timeshare.

If there’s one way to avoid the stress and hassles of checking your luggage at the airport, this is it. Now with the money saved you can purchase all kinds of memorabilia and souvenirs to make your vacation last forever.

It’s time to break the status quo and start being travel savvy. There are so many great reasons to ship your luggage that you might be sitting there wondering why you didn’t think to do this before.

There is, however, one downside if you ship your luggage versus checking it and paying the airline extra fees…you won’t get the workout of lugging those heavy bags around the airport!

This article was provided by Transit Systems Inc., one of the nation’s top long distance moving companies. With moving and shipping services ranging from luggage shipping to living room furniture, Transit will ensure a safe delivery with their history of over 20 years in the business.

Photo Credit: theluggagelady.com

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Why You Want a Timeshare in Myrtle Beach

As one of the top vacation destinations in the United States, Myrtle Beach lends itself nicely to timeshare ownership.

People travel here from all over the country and timeshare offers one of the best opportunities to experience the beach life.

If you have been thinking about purchasing a timeshare in Myrtle Beach do your homework on the area to figure out which section of Myrtle Beach is where you would like to vacation each year.

You might be asking yourself, “Why wouldn’t I just bring my family to a hotel instead of buying a timeshare?” The answer here is two-fold.

1. You Don’t Have to Look For a Hotel.Searching to find Myrtle Beach hotels can be taxing on some people.

Figuring out budgets, deciding on which hotels offer the amenities you would want, and getting rooms next to each other are just some of the things that go into that decision making process.

If you choose to buy a timeshare, you will only need to go through this process one time. Once you buy a timeshare you no longer have to concern yourself with this each year you vacation and that means more time checking out all the things to do in Myrtle Beach.

2. It’s a Better Family Vacation. Your timeshare will act like your beach house or home away from home.

Unlike most hotel rooms, a timeshare property offers tons of space for everyone to congregate, cook, and sleep. Why split the family into multiple hotel rooms when everyone can stay in the same house?

Also, being able to cook and have the whole family dine-in a few nights will cut down on your overall vacation costs.

Having that extra space is also great for those few inevitable hours of rain every vacation encounters. Everyone will have space to wait out the rain without packing into a hotel room.

There are certainly other benefits of buying a timeshare in Myrtle Beach but those two reasons have helped many folks already make the decision to purchase.

When looking at available timeshares, be sure to look into ones that other people may be selling. Buying up a timeshare on the resale market can be much cheaper than buying from the developer.

There are plenty of people who are looking to get out of their timeshares for a variety of reasons. No matter the reason, owners are selling their Myrtle Beach timeshares for much less than you would be able to purchase from the developer.

If you know that Myrtle Beach is where you plan to vacation for years to come, then search for timeshare owners who are looking to sell. Don’t waste any more time.

Start looking for Myrtle Beach timeshare resales now.

Our guest author, Phil Foriska, is a blogger and web analytics specialist who lives in Myrtle Beach, SC. He enjoys gaming, sports and being outdoors. Phil works with many Myrtle Beach hotels, golf courses and countless area attractions.

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Buying Disney Vacation Club – What are “Right of First Refusal” and “Lease Terms?”

The Ask RedWeek question in the May RedWeek Newsletter gives insight into the legal side of purchasing a Disney Vacation Club (DVC) membership.

I’m thinking of buying a DVC membership, but I don’t understand the Right of First Refusal, and the Limited Right to Use clauses. Can Disney buy the timeshare out from under me? Will I lose the timeshare in 30 years and have nothing left? 

The simple answers to your questions are “Yes” and “Yes”. But you are right to ensure you thoroughly understand what you are buying, and how the purchase process works, before making an offer.

1. The Right of First Refusal.
This gives Disney the option to buy back any timeshare at the sales price that has been agreed upon by the owner and buyer. Disney has the right of first refusal on all of their properties, and DVC memberships.

Once the buyer and seller sign a sales contract, the closing company must submit the right of first refusal paperwork to Disney. Disney then has 30 days to decide if they will waive their right to purchase the timeshare, and let the sale proceed.

If they exercise their right to refuse the sale, then Disney becomes the buyer under the same terms and conditions outlined in the original contract.

2. Limited Right to Use Clause. 
This is a DVC lease-hold deed. DVC memberships are essentially long-term leases where you may use the property for the term outlined in the ownership paperwork.

If an owner purchased a 40-year lease, and 10 years later decided to sell the lease then the new owner would have use of the timeshare for the duration left on the lease, which in this case would be 30 years.

At the end of that the term, Disney may offer an extension for a fee, but there are no guarantees this will happen. You would need to purchase it knowing that your ownership could expire at the end of the lease.

Take a look at Disney Vacation Club resales listed by RedWeek members.

This month’s answer comes from Janet Erimie, owner of Timeshare Resale Partners.

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Are There Legal Restrictions Regarding Who I Can Sell My Timeshare To?

From the April issue of the RedWeek newsletter comes this question for our Timeshare Crusader, Lisa Ann Schreier:

I read online that industry lobbyists are pushing an amendment to make it illegal for timeshare owners to sell their property to third-party companies that will not pay the maintenance fees. Can they do this? 

Lisa Ann’s reply: 
Great question, and an issue to which every single timeshare owner, and prospective owner, needs to pay careful attention. Can they do this? Yes, they can!

While on the surface, the new bill attempts to stop the glut of less-than-scrupulous companies from ripping off unsuspecting timeshare owners, I feel that it opens up a very slippery slope to place more and more unreasonable restrictions on owners.

It’s up to consumers to educate themselves prior to purchasing a timeshare, and to have every single timeshare document reviewed by a timeshare savvy attorney. If the documents prove to be too restrictive, the consumer MUST take a stand and vote with their wallet and not complete the purchase.

Timeshare in 2013 is vastly different than timeshare twenty, or even just ten years ago. Consumers must be more vigilant, more educated, and there simply has to be a stronger voice protecting the U.S. timeshare owner, as there is in the U.K.

I urge everyone to write their elected officials and let them know how they feel about this issue.

Share Your Thoughts: 
Care to comment on Lisa Ann’s answer? Join the conversation on our Ask the Timeshare Crusader Forum
Have questions for the Timeshare Crusader? Please post them on her forums page, or e-mail them to us.

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