Posts filed under 'Great Timeshare Deals'

Orange Lake’s Holiday Inn Club Vacations Becoming Timeshare Giant

Consolidation seems to be the order of the day in the timeshare industry, with many small and independent resorts being acquired by a few key players. For the past 30 years, Orange Lake Resorts was known predominately for its popular flagship property near Orlando, Florida; the brainchild of Holiday Inn founder Kemmons Wilson. With the ambitious launch of the Holiday Inn Club Vacations brand in 2008, Orange Lake set out to become a timeshare industry giant.

So far, Orange Lake’s new vacation club concept seems to be a resounding success: Holiday Inn Club Vacations has re-branded existing Orange Lake properties in Orlando, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Panama City. Additionally, the Club has acquired resorts in Gatlinburg, Myrtle Beach, Las Vegas, and Galveston. I’ve always been a fan of  resorts that offer an “internal exchange” program – allowing owners to exchange directly through the developer, rather than through third-party exchange companies at an added cost. With the number of Holiday Inn Club Vacations timeshare resorts now available (plus more on the way), owners can plausibly take most of their vacations without paying an exchange fee.

A key feature of Holiday Inn Club Vacations ownership is its new “internal points system,” which functions similarly to the popular Wyndham Vacations Resorts points system. Owners can even opt to use their points at Holiday Inn hotels, and other Intercontinental properties that are not vacation ownership resorts. While I expect the new points system to become quite popular, there may be some hurdles for owners of existing resorts acquired by the club: Owners at Galveston on the Gulf Resort originally purchased points through Escapes! Vacations internal points system, some Sunset Cove Marco Island owners bought Hilton Grand Vacations Club points, while owners at the Smoky Mountain Resort bought RCI points. Over time these disparate points systems will have to be reconciled, either through upgrades or conversion, in order for the Club to reach its full potential… And, according to owners I’ve spoken to, this process is already well under way.

With the growth of Orange Lake’s Holiday Inn Club Vacations there is a lot to be excited about – especially for industry watchers like myself who are happy to see another heavy-weight competitor emerge in an industry that was getting a little too consolidated!

1 comment November 13th, 2012

Timeshare & The TSA – Vacation Ownership in the No-Fly Zone

Apparently, now not even Rep. Ron Paul can fly without being accused of being a terrorist, and being subjected to the depredations of the TSA. It’s no wonder, then, that more and more American timeshare owners won’t fly to their vacation destinations. This can be costly for those who own timeshares far from home, and are forced to exchange their week every year for closer drive-to vacations. Some owners have even asked me whether it may be advantageous to sell their distant timeshare and buy a resale within driving distance, while others feel being abused by the TSA is a small price to pay for safe travel to spend a week in their luxurious timeshare property. Here are the top 3 reasons I won’t fly with my family:

  1. Airports Have Become Prisons – Perhaps it is a reflection of the somewhat puritanical nature of Americans that no one wants to admit they’ve seen the inside of a jail. But, whether for an “incident” in college or an unpaid speeding ticket, many of us have been through central booking. When you arrive at jail: You have to remove your shoes and belt. Your pockets must be emptied into a tray. You have to produce identification. You must submit to a pat-down by someone wearing rubber gloves. By the time you’ve been processed into the holding area, your mental state is one psychologists refer to as total compliance. Clearly, the entire process of flying in America (post 9/11) is the psychological equivalent of being incarcerated – only voluntary; a post-modern Stockholm syndrome! Perhaps we should re-classify “frequent fliers” as “repeat offenders.”
  2. Your Wife and Kids May be Molested While You Watch – As a man, it’s hard to say which is worse: Having to watch impotently while your wife gets groped by a TSA goon, or watching your kid cry while she wonders why Daddy won’t make the mean man stop touching her. I’ll take a pass on both, thank you. Visiting Scottsdale just isn’t that important.
  3. The Moral Hazard – Not long ago I found myself waiting in a TSA line, standing behind a scruffy young man whose black clothes smelled of clove cigarettes. He was carrying an old backpack stuffed with video game gear. As we approached the metal detector, this young man was pulled to the side and made to unload his backpack and submit to all manner of secondary screenings, while I was permitted to pass through undisturbed. In that moment, I found myself actually happy to see this kid getting hassled instead of me… When that moment passed, I was overcome with guilt; guilt over not speaking up for this innocent young fellow whose only “crime” was looking a little different and loving video games. It’s this hazard, this moral hazard of hoping someone else gets picked off the queue, and of looking the other way while fellow Americans are mistreated, that poses the biggest risk to our humanity. As the German citizens of the 1930’s found, the slope from freedom to fascism is indeed a slippery one.

Given that both candidates for President in 2012 support continuing the TSA, it’s a safe bet that its assault on Americans’ civil liberties will continue, at least for a while. For timeshare owners that share my concerns about flying, selling a timeshare that can’t be easily driven to is probably a sound idea.

Recently, a neighbor of mine here in Atlanta decided to list her Napa Valley timeshare for sale, and perhaps consider a resale in the nearby Hilton Head Island area. The good news for her, and anyone in her position, is that today’s resale market is not only full of great deals, but bustling with activity like never before. With sophisticated new internet platforms for buying and selling timeshare resales, both buyers and sellers are increasingly choosing the resale market… And, if enough of us choose not to fly with our families, financial pressure on the airlines may eventually end the TSA, making the skies friendly for Americans once again.

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2 comments August 30th, 2012

Sunset Cove Marco Island – Timeshare Fit for a King

Originally conceived of as a Fractional Residence Club, Sunset Cove Resort and Suites in Marco Island, Florida, may just be the best timeshare money can buy.

Back in 2005 Florida’s real estate market was burning so white-hot, it was easy to miss the opening of a small Residence Club along the Marco River. At that time, Fractional Ownerships were widely popular: Generally, a Fractional or Residence Club is sold as a 4 to 12-week block of time, with only limited exchange ability. Resort Developers have long sought to replace the word “timeshare,” as it is thought to be too stigmatized. (Vacation Ownership anyone?) Perhaps Sunset Cove Resort and Suites was to be the crossover: called a Fractional Residence Club, and sold in 1-week intervals like a timeshare.

Today, the real estate market has cooled – and most people understand that Fractionals and timeshares are not the same thing. So where does that leave Sunset Cove? On top, actually. Take away the confusing Residence Club label, and you’ve got a really, really, great timeshare.

Every one of the just 36 units at Sunset Cove is a 3-bedroom that sleeps 8. End units have 3 bathrooms in 1,900 square feet, and interior units have 2 baths in just under 1,700 square feet. These suites have  far too many luxury finishes to list in one post, but highlights include Corian countertops, jetted tub, plasma TV, and a Bose stereo. Furniture is carefully selected, and of the highest quality.

The resort has an on-site marina, where owners are able to use a boat slip during their stay – a priceless feature for the sportfisher. Other Sunset Cove Resort amenities include a pool and spa, fully equipped fitness center, and a helpful concierge staff. Marco Island’s white sand beaches are just a short walk away, or there’s a complimentary beach shuttle.

Timeshares sold at Sunset Cove Marco Island were deeded ownerships until 2009, when Summer Bay Resorts took over timeshare sales at the resort. New ‘owners’ can purchase the Summer Bay Resorts Crown Club membership, with access to Sunset Cove, along with Summer Bay’s other popular properties, but no direct ownership. For existing deeded owners, Summer Bay’s involvement should provide good long-term stability; the developer has decades of experience in successful resort management.

There are two things you want in the ideal timeshare: sound real estate value, and lots of flexible exchange options. With the prime location, limited number of units, luxury appointments, and solid resort management, deeded Sunset Cove Resort & Suites timeshares have real, tangible value, but what about trading? Owners of deeded Sunset Cove timeshare have no less than four exchange programs to choose from!

  1. RCI Weeks – All Sunset Cove weeks trade in red season through RCI. The resort is notoriously difficult to exchange into, meaning weeks are in constant demand. Expect hassle-free exchanges.
  2. The Registry Collection – This exchange program only accepts Residence Clubs, luxury vacation properties, and very high-end timeshares. At Registry Collection resorts, you’ll travel like the rich and famous; enjoying locations off-limits to most timeshare owners. Expect accommodations equal or better accommodations to those at Sunset Cove.
  3. Hilton Grand Vacations Club – Your week can be exchanged for HGVC points, where you’ll exchange with priority to the many popular Hilton Grand Vacations Club resorts. Assigned point values for Sunset Cove weeks are fairly high, so expect to enjoy even more days of vacation.
  4. Hilton HHonors – On years when you’re not traveling to a timeshare destination, or need just a few nights at a time, turn your Sunset Cove week into Hilton HHonors Points, and stay at any Hilton hotel location.

The best part about all these options in that they’re ‘pay-as-you-go’ – Simply join and pay the yearly dues for the exchange program you want to use each year, and then save on exchange fees during years when you visit your home resort. With both mainstream and high-end exchange options, plus high demand and a low number of units, Sunset Cove Resort and Suites are timeshares that can truly take you anywhere.

Buying at Sunset Cove

Convinced yet? In order to buy a deeded Sunset Cove timeshare, you’ll need to look to the resale market – but don’t expect to find these weeks on eBay for $1. With as desirable as these weeks are, not many owners are willing to sell, plus original sale prices at the resort ranged from around $30,000 to over $65,000 per week, so even a 50% discount could mean paying over $30,000 on the resale market! Sound like a lot to spend on a timeshare? Maybe, but this is timeshare that works. Spend a few minutes on the web reading what owners are saying about their other, lesser timeshares, and you’ll find myriad complaints about exchanging, management, or accommodations; perhaps this is why many timeshare owners own multiple weeks – they keep buying more, hoping to eventually get it right.

If you’re serious about owning a timeshare, and want to get it right the first time, look at these Sunset Cove Resort & Suites timeshares for sale by owner, and make a purchase you won’t regret!

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3 comments March 17th, 2011

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