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Keeping an eye on the industry,


Pull up a stool, order your poison and join the conversation!

What do you know that you’d like to anonymously pass along? Did we get something right or wrong? Got gossip, rumors or bitches & moans, obituaries, kudos, etc. you’d like to share? Send it on in to gatekeeper@insidethegate.com

It’s easy, it’s a blast– it’s anonymous… (Your identity is always protected so use any ‘handle’ [nickname] you want!)

And always remember: If you don’t want to see it in The GateHouse, don’t do it…

Happy Holidays From ITG

Some Special Features from InsideTheGate.com you might want to check out this week:

  • CURRENT NEWS HEADLINES (stuff you might have missed last week)
  • SCOOP DU JOUR (published weekly, every Friday)
  • OFF TOPIC (Just for fun, from the goofy to the profound, published weekly, every Monday)
  • ON THE ROAD Timeshare Resort destinations and reviews, travel deals and more! (Published weekly, every Monday)

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Just leave your tips at the bar…

EMAIL: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com


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While on their honeymoon in the Bay Area of N. California Bruce and Kyle were talked into attending a timeshare presentation in the “City”. As a first visit incentive during the presentation the Manager sweetened the pot by offering, free of charge, to move the newlyweds into a luxurious suite that very day so they could enjoy and experience the vacation ownership lifestyle while they continued to celebrate their nuptials.

Kyle wanted to very badly but Bruce — amidst a snit, a huff and a hissy fit — insisted “it’s only a place to sleep” and won the day. There would be no luxurious suite for the newlyweds that night, and apparently none in the foreseeable future, either.

When they returned to their camp site in the east bay area that evening Bruce immediately crashed but Kyle, crushed with disappointment, sat staring into the night as he began to ponder what other letdowns lay over the horizon of his new life.


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Politicians, the media and of course Daesh (ISIS) would have us believe that every mother’s son of us is in imminent peril of dying at the hands of the terrorists in some gruesome and terrifying manner, in much the same way that politicians and the media convinced us that Saddam Hussein was “a threat to the world” with WMDs that could wipe us all out at any moment.

Of course we now know that Saddam was no threat to us at all, there were no WMDs, Iraq had precisely nothing to do with 9/11 and the whole thing was a big bamboozle. But they sure had us running scared for a long time, didn’t they? And now that fear mongering has been transferred to the barbarians who call themselves the Islamic State, an actual threat, who claim they want to convert or kill all 6 Billion people of the world currently not of their religion.

So how scared are you personally? How likely do you think that you yourself might become a victim of Daesh? What are the odds? Well, Scoop has the numbers for you if you’re interested. But more than that, he did some personal checking on the security efforts of timeshare resorts in his area, because he’s not an idiot and he knows that resorts/hotels, etc. are the type of soft targets currently favored by terrorists.

So what’s the Scoop? What was his conclusion about the state of safety measures he discovered at that sampling of properties? Find out for yourself at Scoop du Jour: Thinking About Resort Safety

Women account for 85% of all consumer purchases including everything from autos to health care:*

  • 91% of New Homes
  • 66% PCs
  • 92% Vacations
  • 80% Healthcare
  • 65% New Cars
  • 89% Bank Accounts
  • 93% Food
  • 93 % OTC Pharmaceuticals
  • 58% of Total Online Spending

(*Source: Greenfield Online for Arnold’s Women’s Insight Team)

Just some food for marketing thought…


Have you seen the world yet?

Where are YOU going this year?


By special request, because whenever he’s down this video makes Pete smile. I hope it makes you smile, too.

Paul Simon and Chevy Chase: “You Can Call Me Al”

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?

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

CAMDEN: RE the ongoing saga of the VO Group timeshare fraud case (Adam Lacerda, et al) here’s an update for you on the sentencing of Genevieve Manzoni.

According to the court docket, Manzoni’s sentencing date has been reset to Dec. 7, 2015 at 10:30 AM in Camden – Courtroom 3A before Judge Noel L. Hillman. Her sentencing was previously scheduled for Nov. 19.

As a reminder, Ian Resnick’s sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 22 at 10:30 AM and Ashley Lacerda’s sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 15 at 10:30 AM.

To the best of my knowledge no sentencing dates have yet been scheduled for the remaining defendants in the case who pled guilty rather than got to trial.

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 or bitches and moans you’d like to share (ANONYMOUSLY)? Something you’d like us to investigate or follow up on? CONTACT: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com

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

LAS VEGAS: Hot on the heels of the purchase of Gold Key Resorts we learn Diamond Resorts’ is getting BIGGER again by acquiring Intrawest Resort Club Group, aka Club Intrawest.

Diamond is paying $85 million to acquire the management contracts with Club Intrawest, the current balance of notes receivable, approximately four acres of undeveloped land, and the current balance of points available for sale. Club Intrawest consists of nine resorts across North America and more than 22,000 members. The resort locations include:

  • Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Ucluelet, British Columbia
  • Whistler, British Columbia
  • Panorama, British Columbia
  • Blue Mountain, Ontario
  • Tremblant, Quebec
  • Palm Desert, California
  • Sandestin, Florida
  • Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Tom Marano, Chief Executive Officer of Intrawest Resorts said, “With the additional cash from this transaction, we are well positioned to continue driving organic growth at our mountain resorts and adventure businesses while also actively pursuing strategic acquisitions and evaluating opportunities to unlock the value of our real estate holdings over time. We are committed to working closely with Diamond Resorts to execute a seamless transaction and look forward to a long-term relationship with Diamond Resorts that we believe will benefit club owners and our resorts alike.”

Did you catch that last sentence, which I bolded? Keep your eye out for what those benefits might entail. 😉

“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

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

BOZEMAN: Attorney Jim Tarpey, who founded the non-profit Project Philanthropy, Inc. d/b/a Donate For a Cause, also owns Timeshare Closings, Inc., d/b/a Resort Closings, a for-profit title company with which the charity shares staff and facilities.

DFC funnels prospective timeshare donors to Resort Closings, which collects $2,495 from most owners to process the title transfer and other paperwork. The company website tells donors they can recoup several times that amount ($6,000, according to the website) by claiming the timeshare’s market value as a charitable donation on their income tax returns.

Well, the US Department of Justice in Washington D.C. begs to differ. They have filed a civil injunction suit seeking to bar Tarpey from promoting what they call an “abusive timeshare donation scheme”. The Government has also filed suit against three of Tarpey’s associates – Ron Broyles of California, Curt Thor of Washington and Suzanne Crowson of Montana – all of whom, according to the complaint, assisted Tarpey in facilitating the scheme.

Among other things, the suit alleges that Tarpey’s customers claim improper and grossly inflated charitable contribution deductions on their tax returns for both the overvalued timeshares and the processing fees paid to Resort Closings, Inc. The complaint alleges that DFC is simply used as a conduit to briefly hold title to timeshares before they are sold for a fraction of the appraised amount.

For example, the complaint alleges that one customer transferred a timeshare to Donate for a Cause that had originally been purchased for $10,597.50. Donate for a Cause used eBay’s charity platform to sell that timeshare to a third party for only $81, yet Tarpey appraised that timeshare for $8,740.

The IRS estimates that since 2010, defendants have caused customers to donate 5,523 timeshares to this scheme. Based on a review of only 2,994 of these customers’ files, the IRS determined that defendants have caused more than $19.4 million in improper tax deductions for the timeshares alone.

You can find the full complaint on the Justice Department’s website.

“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

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse >> INTERNATIONAL TIMESHARE NEWS

BAAR: Hapimag is getting, er… neutral? By which I mean to say they have lost one resort and gained one.

In October the company sold their resort in Chamonix, France to British developers Patron Capital, who intend to reposition Resort Chamonix and sell off the units as private holiday apartments.

But this month, Hapimag announced they are building a new resort in the popular Italian seaside town of Cavallino. Located directly on the shores of the Adriatic Sea not far from Venice, the new venue will serve as both a beach and city resort. The required building permit has already been granted.

Some 130 holiday apartments are planned for the new resort. A supermarket complete with gelateria and café as well as the piazza, restaurant and Roman amphitheatre will guarantee an authentic Italian experience. Younger guests will also be well catered for with the mini, maxi and youth clubs.

Hapimag is also keeping its eye on protecting the environment. Among other measures aimed at sustainability, the Cavallino resort will use solar panels and a photovoltaic system to generate clean solar energy, while along the protected coastal stretch an important contribution will be made to environmental protection through the re-establishment of the natural dune landscape and the creation of breeding grounds for migratory birds.

Stay tuned for more details as they are provided.

“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

This week’s timeshare sales tip:

Useless Questions:

REMEMBER: There are those sales reps and managers (including trainers) who believe that each time the rep explains a feature or benefit about a timeshare plan the rep should then follow up with a question (trial close and/or tie-down). Although that is often true, there are times when asking those questions is either not appropriate or they are asked incorrectly.

Take ‘Alex’, for example, a former car sales rep who is now in ‘the biz’. While explaining the exchange system Alex (using a random name here for illustration purposes) asks “Are you with me so far?”

In most instances the sales guest is likely to respond to a question like that simply by acknowledging that yes they ‘are’, and smooth talking Alex feels confident and continues on with the presentation thinking ‘they’ actually are ‘with him’.

What Alex doesn’t ‘get’ is that his question, in this example, was not only inappropriate but Alex is coming off like a mindless dunce by asking a question where, most of the time, the response is going to basically be the same from all his prospects.

I.E. People in general, and especially sales guests, don’t like confrontations and are inclined to be amiable, so naturally they’ll agree with Alex and his question has no sales value whatsoever (nor does the sales guest’s response). Or to put it another way, Alex’s question ‘stroked’ the prospect and the prospect’s response ‘stroked’ Alex right back!

Other examples would be for Alex to ask: “Do you see what I mean?” or “Do you have any questions so far?”; “How is this sounding so far?”; “Am I getting close to having a new client?”; “What haven’t I covered that is important to you?”

All those examples (and many more) are poor questions that will generate meaningless responses and then when Alex (or the T/O) comes in for the ‘kill’ and Bob and Mary aren’t budging Alex (or the T/O) will likely ask one more question: “What do I have to do to strike a deal with you today?”

When asking questions, what Alex needs to do is be more specific and ask his questions in such a manner that requires his sales guest to actually think for a moment or two before they pop-off with (e.g.) ‘oh, yeah, we’re with you’ or ‘yep, that makes sense to us’, etc.

For example, after explaining the exchange system Alex could ask: ‘Bob and Mary. Now let’s assume for a moment that you are already owners and vacation time is rolling around again and you’ve decided not to vacation at your home resort (here), and instead want to travel to Europe. Which countries in the exchange system would be your first and second choices?’ (and then shut up so the prospect can ponder and respond….)

Tie-down and trial close questions are extremely important but they must be controlled questions seeking a genuine and specific response so the rep, among other sales reasons, can actually determine the prospect’s ‘interest’ as well as how well they are absorbing (‘listening’) the information.

Unlike Alex, it is the timeshare rep who asks the right questions in the correct manner (and then listens carefully to the sales guest’s responses) who will be able to ‘gauge’ the presentation’s success each step along the way. And by doing so the savvy Timeshare 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 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

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouseQUOTABLE QUOTES: “If the environment were a bank it would have been saved by now.” —Senator Bernie Sanders

In the Bitch and Moan department comes this missive from a timeshare sales rep:

This chargeback policy or holding your money until a buyer makes 6 or more timely consecutive payments is bull—-!!! When a buyer defaults why does the developer not give some or all of the kept down payment or 6, 10, 12 or more monthly payments back to the customer? If the developer keeps the money, why chargeback the rep? The customer is out money, the rep gives back the commission, and the developer keeps all the money PLUS the interest on the finance package and sells the inventory again. The only ones who suffer are the customer and the sales rep. That isn’t right!!!!!!

Ah, the more things change the more they stay the same, or as Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr wrote in 1849: plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouseWho gets  KUDOS this week?

BuyaTimeshare.com: The staff at BuyaTimeshare.com has been supporting Tampa, FL-based Metropolitan Ministries, a non-profit outreach group that helps the area’s underprivileged. Each year, company employees organize their annual food drive to support the work of the non-profit group, whose outreach efforts helped over 17,000 families in 2014 during the holidays.

This year, just in time for the Holidays, BuyaTimeshare employees came forward again, donating over 400 pounds of food to the charity’s holiday food bank.

Assisting the homeless and hungry has been the foundation of Metropolitan Ministries since 1972, when 13 Tampa churches from different denominations combined their community outreach efforts to form Metropolitan Ministries. Since then, they have helped more than 500,000 families through Outreach and Prevention Services, prepared over 23 million hot meals and provided more than 350,000 safe haven shelter nights. More information about the group can be found at http://www.metromin.org applause

Grand Velas Riviera Maya : Grand Velas Riviera Maya has been named one of the Best Resorts for Families in SpaFinder Wellness 365’s 2015 Wellness Travel Awards. The awards honor the top spas, hotels, resorts and retreats around the globe that provide guests with an exceptional wellness experience.

A panel of 33 wellness travel experts nominated 509 resorts and hotels as finalists for the awards, where then over 10,000 consumers voted and selected the winners. The resort is one of ten properties highlighted for families in the award category. applause

KUDOS and a tip of the hat to you all!

If you have a KUDOS you’d like to share with the timeshare community, send it to gatekeeper@insidethegate.com I’d love to include it!

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse

Interval International has added Danaide Resort to its global vacation exchange network. Located in Scanzano Jonico, Matera in the Basilicata region on the Ionian coast of southern Italy, the purpose-built resort will feature 238 one- and two-bedroom units when completed.

Located close to the beach and sea, the Mediterranean-style complex will feature accommodations with contemporary decor, fully equipped kitchen, and private balcony. On-site amenities and services will include multiple restaurants, outdoor free-form swimming pool, kids’ club, and an amphitheater that features live entertainment during the summer season. A range of other activities and organized sports will be available, such as tennis, windsurfing, bocce, and soccer. A marina, spa, and golf are nearby.

Exclusive Resorts added two new locations to its portfolio this fall, Miami, FL and Napa, CA, where guests can experience the following:

  • Miami – Located in the heart of South Beach, Exclusive Resorts’ four, three-bedroom residences at the newOne Hotel are just steps from the city’s eclectic food scene, vibrant culture, pristine beaches and enthralling nightlife. Travelers have access to the hotel’s four pools and active adventures like paddleboard yoga classes and kayaking excursions.
  • Napa – Set amongst the vibrant rolling hills and lush vineyards of the Napa Valley, Exclusive Resorts’ four, two-bedroom residences at The Carneros Inn offer yoga, Sunday vineyard runs, complimentary bikes, celebrated dining options and luxurious spa treatments at the Spa at the Carneros Inn.

Exclusive Resorts also introduced new experiential travel itineraries in Alaska, Antarctica, Charleston, SC, Ireland,Mexico, Nashville, Newfoundland, Patagonia, Washington D.C. and three safaris in South Africa that start from Kruger National Park and venture to Cape Town, Sabi Sand Reserve and Zimbabwe, thus expanding its popular collection to over 40 itineraries in some of the world’s most amazing destinations.

Holiday Club Resorts Oy has added Sweden’s Holiday Club Åre as the eighth spa hotel in the Holiday Club chain. The hotel will be moved by means of a corporate acquisition from the Holiday Club Spa Hotels Ab to a new joint venture in which Holiday Club Resorts Oy will have a 51% shareholding. Holiday Club Resorts Oy already owns holiday homes and Villas holiday apartments in Åre.

Åre is one of the leading Scandinavian ski resorts situated in Åre Municipality, Jämtland County, Sweden.

cheerleaderInterval International, Exclusive Resorts and Holiday ClubResorts Oy: 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: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com

Recently, unbeknownst to the developer, the DOS and the DOM secretly decided to stop paying out the daily cash Spiffs to their respective staffs for the sales they made the day before. Instead, with smiles of gratitude each morning when they receive the money from the ‘Boss’, they leave the office and head to a broom closet on the back side of the resort where they fight bitterly as to how the money should be divvied up between themselves.

And that is NOT funny because it happens more than some developers know.


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