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It's always Happy Hour at The GateHouse “The World’s Biggest After-Hours Timeshare Watering Hole”

PUBLISHED WEEKLY, EVERY SATURDAY

Keeping an eye on the industry, The GateHouse is a timeshare blog powered by InsideTheGate.com, your best source for daily timeshare news and information.

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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the wizard

Now remember people. This is your first day on the job so when they ask if this is timeshares immediately tell them that the invitation is to preview our hotel so, hopefully, the next time they come back here on vacation they’ll stay with us.

Then tell them this is how we advertise, that instead of paying for very expensive TV, Radio, Internet, Newspaper or Magazine ads we’re able to offer them freebies, discounted attractions, gift cards and more because word-of-mouth advertising costs much less and is far more effective.

Then start closing them with the premiums and book me those appointments!


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


It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse

Google said, “According to a recent study Google conducted with Ipsos MediaCT, two out of three U.S. consumers watch online travel videos when they’re thinking about taking a trip. What exactly are travelers looking for? What’s popular? What content are they watching? Here’s what we found.”

Well Scoop says to stop for a moment and mull over those numbers: “…two out of three U.S. consumers watch online travel videos when they’re thinking about taking a trip”. That is a huge market that should not be ignored by savvy timeshare developers. But there’s more to this whole video thing than just that. A lot more.

So what’s the Scoop? Well, Scoop will lay it all out for you this week. Check it out at Scoop du Jour: That Picks the Winners.


Tomorrow (Sunday, June 28) InsideTheGate.com will be offline for a while during the wee small hours of the morning InsideTheGate.com while it rolls out its brand new responsive website. I’ve seen a preview and it really is a whole new look with more options for you, plus it adds new ways to interact with the site and is mobile friendly. Personally, I think it’s going to blow your minds when you see it.

The GateHouse website itself isn’t changing (at least not yet) so for those of you who have bookmarked this blog and come directly here every Saturday to see what’s new, bypassing the main publication, well you won’t notice anything different (although you will probably not be able to get in while the changeover is happening). But if that’s what you’re doing, you don’t know what you’ve been missing!

They had planned to make the change on the 4th of July holiday weekend, when traffic is low, but apparently saw no reason to wait so it’s been moved up a week. Drop by later in the day or on Monday morning when the first articles of the new week are published, and see what there is to see! You’ll be glad you did!


Heads up to Manhattan Club Owners!

SAVE the DATE

All MHC Owners Invited to Attend to Learn about Progress of the AG’s Case and Discuss Next Steps for Owners

To RSVP and get further information email: jeff@redweek.com. Subject Line: MC Meeting. Please include your complete contact information when replying.

All Manhattan Club owners who are anywhere near Manhattan on Aug. 2 are invited to attend a special owners’ meeting to hear experts talk about the Attorney General’s investigation and discuss practical owner issues, including maintenance fees and future reservations.  This open meeting will be held from 1:30-5:30 p.m. Sunday Aug. 2 at a midtown hotel, convenient for any guests who are already registered to attend the MHC HOA board meeting on August 4.

The meeting is being hosted by National Timeshare Owners Association, TimeSharing Today and Redweek.com.  Legal experts and representatives from the AG’s office and Manhattan Club are invited to participate, as well.

To receive complete details about the meeting, please RSVP to: jeff@redweek.com.

Here are some of the issues that will be discussed at the meeting.

  • The AG’s case: provide update on status of case and possible outcomes.
  • The Aug. 4 board meeting at MHC: owner strategies for proxies and participation
  • Practical owner issues: should I pay maintenance fees while this investigation continues? Impact on credit rating?
  • What happens to my ownership if another company buys the Manhattan Club?

Again, if you are an owner at the Manhattan Club and would like to attend the meeting on August 2nd, RSVP now to jeff@redweek.com. Subject: MC Meeting, upon receipt of your RSVP, we will send details about the meeting location. 

That is all.


TWEET OF THE WEEK:

Have you seen the world yet?


 

How much time do you have left and what will you do with it?

Life, measured in jelly beans…

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:

KISSIMMEE: Keep your eyes open for three creeps who stand accused of defrauding nearly 100 people out of at least $180,000 in a timeshare resale scam that targeted timeshare owners throughout the USA and Canada.

Warrants have been issued for Joseph A. Taylor III, 32; Garey Williams, 35; and Berthony Vernet, 29 on fraud and grand theft charges. Each of them faces bail set at $1 million when they’re caught.

Taylor is allegedly the ringleader of World Mark Wholesale & Trade LLC (which is not related to WorldMark, The Club or WorldMark by Wyndham), one of several front companies perpetrating the scam. The three of them (and probably others) would use online timeshare resale websites to find potential victims, calling them on the phone with the promise of a buyer for their unwanted timeshares and talking them into sending thousands of dollars up front for bogus fees and taxes.

In March Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office obtained a temporary injunction and asset freeze against the company for alleged unfair and deceptive business practices and it has an “F” grade with the Better Business Bureau. World Mark allegedly used fake names or, in some cases, names of licensed real estate agents to make claims sound legitimate. The company 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 Attorney General’s Office was seeking a permanent injunction against the company, civil penalties, restitution and costs and fees.

The temporary injunction and asset freeze pertained 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.

Berthony Vernet mugshotBecause of their use of the phone, I’m guessing that additional charges involving wire fraud might be added in the future? And the State of Florida has apparently now moved from civil to criminal charges?

Note that Vernet, whose mugshot you see here, was arrested in May 2013 on unrelated charges for Uttering False Checks and Tampering with Evidence and again in November 2013 for dealing in stolen property and false certification of ownership.

Other companies with which he is associated include Vacation #4 Less, Vacations4Less Financial, Inc. and Global Marketing Group & Assoc Inc. So this is not his first rodeo.

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: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com

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

UPDATE June 30, 2015: As expected, Ian Resnick was not sentenced today. Instead the Court held a hearing on his motion for a new trial and the result was this: The Judge ordered the Government to submit a supplemental letter brief on why the motion should be denied no later than July 17, 2015; Resnick’s letter brief in response is due August 14, 2015 and the Court will hold a hearing.

Sentence/Status hearing is now set for Friday, August 21, 2015 at 9:30 a.m.

CAMDEN: As noted in an update on June 25, Adam Lacerda (aka Robert Klein) has been sentenced to 324 months (27 years!) in Federal Prison for his part in the VO Group fraud. In addition to the prison term, Judge Hillman sentenced him to three years of supervised release.

He was convicted in September 2013 of one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, nine counts of mail fraud and three counts of wire fraud following a seven-week trial before U.S. District Judge Noel L. Hillman in Camden federal court.

27 years is a whopper of a sentence and frankly it surprised me. Still, we have to remember that the possible sentence for all thirteen counts on which he was convicted could have approached some 260 years or so, by which standard the 27 years doesn’t seem like so much.

If you have the time, you might want to toss some popcorn in the microwave and settle down with the beverage of your choice while you read this PDF document containing Judge Hillman’s opinion on why Adam and Ashley’s bail was revoked in August 2013 during their trial (hint: it had to do with serial witness tampering and being a flight risk). It’s an eye-opener for sure, and a reminder of the seriousness of their crimes. Here’s just one brief bit for you:

In order to understand the scope and intent of the witness tampering recently uncovered and described throughout this Opinion, it is important to note that many of the very real victims of this scheme[2] are elderly, in dire financial straits, geographically remote from the Defendants, or were particularly susceptible to telemarking frauds.[3] For example, Ricky Baker, a victim in one of the related matters pending sentencing and who testified in the ongoing trial, was a recent veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom facing surgery and severe financial pressures when he was defrauded by an employee of the VO Group.

Here’s another:

The evidence introduced by the United States likewise reveals that, while at the helm of the company, Adam Lacerda repeatedly used an alias to mask his true identity, directed and condoned the practice of his employees using aliases to mask their identities, impersonated bank officials, utilized a spoofing device on his cellular phone that altered his phone number and the sound of his voice in an effort to disguise his identity and location and cause customers to believe that VO Group worked with banks and lending institutions, and used other sophisticated means to defraud innocent individuals of their money.

Note that the Lacerdas and Ian Resnick were not charged with witness tampering, an obstruction of justice charge, but they sure could be if the government wanted to go that route.

♦ ♦ If Judge Hillman publishes a similar opinion on his reasons for the 27-year sentence I’ll make sure you get to see that, too.

I expect Lacerda to appeal, and of course there’s always the possibility that his sentence might be reduced if he should win on appeal.

Ashley Lacerda’s sentencing date has been reset to August 7, 2015 at 9:30 AM in Camden – Courtroom 3A before Judge Noel L. Hillman. I imagine she can’t be feeling very sanguine about the possibilities at this stage.

Meanwhile, as of this writing Ian Resnick is still scheduled to be sentenced on June 30 BUT on June 24 his attorney filed a motion for a new trial (you can view the PDF at that link), citing a misuse of evidence before the grand jury and the discovery of new evidence that the prosecution withheld. Serious charges; as it turns out Resnick’s previous motion for a new trial was never addressed by the judge, hence the new motion. Judge Hillman has not yet either accepted or rejected the motion, much less set a date for a hearing on the motion, so I’d guess that maybe Resnick’s sentencing date might be pushed back?

I’d also guess that the Judge is unlikely to grant the motion, but I’ve been wrong before. At the very least it sets the groundwork for an appeal.

Note that it appears sentencing dates are beginning to be set for some of the other defendants, who previously pleaded guilty and have been waiting for a very long time to learn their fate. For instance, Joseph Saxon, who had been under house arrest at his parent’s home, had that arrangement revoked on June 24, was remanded to the custody of the US Marshall and is set to be sentenced on July 17. Saxon pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in June 2013.

I’ll be checking on the status of the others, too, as time goes by.

Once again, stay tuned. When I learn something new, so will you.



“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>> EASTERN USA TIMESHARE NEWS:

WILKES-BARRE: Word on the street is that Sundance Vacations has abruptly closed its sales center in Downer’s Grove, Illinois, leaving only a skeleton crew there to take care of reloads. One would suppose the closure to be a result of unprofitability re poor sales? They’ve had that office for quite a long while, haven’t they? Maybe they just finally ran through the entire available demographic of potential customers.

Do you suppose they’ll open up in a different Illinois location?

Gossip also has it that the company may be in economic straits because they have eliminated the perennial “Father’s Day” picnic sometimes held at Dorney Park located outside Allentown, PA (about an hour’s drive from Wilkes-Barre). Also eliminated, according to the street, is the periodic “All Star Week” where the two top yearly sales people celebrate with a competition for economic reward. (The company fully financed the competition: hotel, meals, transportation, etc.).

Maybe the company is just getting chintzy in its old age?

As for the motions filed against Sundance Vacations by Albert Whitehead and Denise Guida in the breach of contract suit against Whitehead that’s been dragging its way through court for 3 years now, as of this writing the motions are scheduled to be heard on June 29. (Those motions are a Motion For Dismissal or in the alternative an Order to Proceed to the Alleged Damages Phase since a judgment of liability was entered on November 17, 2012, and another motion demanding a copy of the video taken during Ms. Denise Guida’s deposition by Sundance’s attorneys.)

I wonder...Why oh why does Sundance so desperately fight against releasing a copy of that video, especially since we’ve already seen everything in the transcript they released — didn’t we? Surely they wouldn’t have left anything out of that transcript, so what’s the big deal?

Meanwhile Mr. Whitehead asserts that as long as Sundance Vacations continues with their “SLAPP” litigation, he will defend himself by any/and all means necessary, “…until I take my last breath on this Earth”! I tend to believe him.

And the Boycott page that’s at the center of all this fuss? As of this writing the number of “Likes” has risen to 2,585 2,6212,667 and counting.


“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>> EASTERN USA TIMESHARE NEWS:

KNOXVILLE: Back in July 2011 Nathan and Patricia Overton of Dickson, TN let themselves get talked into attending a timeshare presentation at Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort and after an all-day marathon affair finally signed on the bottom line. In return they were promised the moon — especially and specifically a particular unit on a particular week each year, bonus “guest nights,” a foosball table (don’t look at me, I don’t know) and a cut of sales staffers’ Robert Brian Justice and Raymond Veverka’s commissions.

As it turned out, none of those promises were true and to make matters worse the CD copies of contracts Westgate gave them were outdated with some vital documents missing or unreadable and Westgate refused to allow them to rescind. It would have been a lot simpler and cheaper to just refund their money and let them go.

The Overtons sued Westgate under the Tennessee Time Share Act and the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act.

Westgate lost.

Westgate lost BIG.

Sevier County Chancellor Telford Forgety Jr. opined that fining a company worth $1.3 billion with a smallish amount would not make them even blink an eye. No, he figured, such a company needed to be hit where it hurts to make them pay attention. So he did. He hit the firm with damages totaling more than $700,000, including punitive damages and attorneys’ fees.

Westgate wailed like a banshee and immediately appealed. The Tennessee Court of Appeals did reduce the amount by $100,000 but only because of a cap imposed by the Legislature. In the process they said the company was lucky not to face criminal charges for their antics. Even so, the total damages still topped $600,000 so Westgate appealed again, this time to the Tennessee Supreme Court.

You could say Westgate just kept throwing good money after bad, because the Supreme Court refused to hear that appeal, letting the decisions of the lower courts stand. Westgate is going to have to pay up.

And why is this important apart from the Overtons winning enough money in court to buy their own foosball table?

Precedent, my good fellow, precedent. At least in Tennessee there is now a precedent case for all aggrieved parties to pursue legal action against timeshare companies under the state’s Timeshare Act and Consumer Protections Act.

In this case the CDs with outdated, incomplete contracts and other paperwork is of special importance when you consider the recent changes to timeshare regulations in Florida, where Westgate is headquartered. Some of those changes reduce the responsibility (and liability) of timeshare companies under similar circumstances, making it more difficult for timeshare owners to sue when they’ve been lied to.

Coincidence? I report, you decide. ;)


“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

scam warning >> INTERNATIONAL TIMESHARE NEWS

CABO SAN LUCAS & PUERTO VALLARTA: For those of you who wonder why I keep writing all this negative stuff about fraud in Mexico, well here’s why (emphasis provided by me):

WE would like to share my experience of this scam in Cabo few days ago. We went to Cabo between 6/6/15 to 6/13/15. We are timeshare owner and been scammed and lost $7,000.

On 6/11/15. We went to a sales presentation near Costco at Cabo San Lucas. The office is on a 2nd floor building cross the highway from Costco. The office they set up was cross from Costco in Cabo San Lucas. When we take the shuttle leave Cabo, the office on the right side of the highway. the office is two doors next is OXXO store. the Costco was on the left. They decorate the office like a showroom with all the pictures of the new resort.

The first person we met called “Sergio Garcia”. He said the developer is going to build a resort between Villa del Palmar and Rui Hotel and Resorts and would like to presale the unit to generate money. We did not buy that.

After that, another sale person called himself: Tom Gordon (British Accent) talked to us: he would like to buy out our Villa del Palmar timeshare and put us in their “Residency Collection” which will give us 4 weeks per year of vacation and no annual fee, we only pay fees when we book from them.

We thought we can trade in our timeshare with something better. So we did put down $7000 on our credit card and sign the contract. When we came back, we found out that “Platinum Marketing of America” (which suppose to buy our timeshare) does not listed on BBB and we called the leasing office in their New Orleans, Louisiana and Wilmington, Delaware building.. was told there was no such company name renting office space from them.

We googled “Residency Collection” no such site exist.

But, they do sent us a welcome e-mail from their “Platinum Marketing of America” and “Residency Collection” to make us believe that they are real.

We start to google “resell scam in Mexico” and found out your site… and learned that we are being scammed.

Tom Gordon’s e-mail address: tommexicosales@gmail.com

Does anyone know what developer is supposedly preselling an unbuilt resort between Villa del Palmar and the RIU? Oh, and note “Tom Gordon’s” email address — he’s using gmail for business! Really?

And then there are these two emails regarding the dreaded newish New World Asset Connections supposedly headquartered in Nashville, TN.

My husband is on the phone with Damian from “New World Asset Connections”, who purports to be a real estate Broker from Tennessee. My husband called the state of Tenneesee and verified that he is a broker. They say they have corporate buyers that buy the timeshare points as a tax write off loss and then use the resorts for gifts/ incentives for their business needs. They want an escrow fee upfront. I don’t see the posts mentioning an escrow fee but my sense is this is the same kind of scam. He is spending a lot of time talking to this guy. I can’t get any bad info on this company but I am thinking they just make new names and so this one doesn’t come up yet in the fraud searches.

Can you help with some info to show this is fraud? We haven’t sent money yet.

AND:

Hi, we are new owners of a Velas Vallarta timeshare in Puerto Vallarta. We have been contacted by New World Asset Connections out of Nashville, Tennessee about renting our condo out. Do you have any information on this company?

Well here’s the thing about New World Asset Connections. The State of Tennessee has no record of any company with that name legally registered as a business entity. It’s a sham company. As for “Damian”, well just because there is a real broker by that name registered in Tennessee doesn’t mean the person you’re talking to is actually that real broker, does it? Ever heard of identity theft?

There are literally thousands of victims and potential victims of the various scams operating out of Mexico. A large number of them turn to InsideTheGate.com and to me specifically, asking for help. Should I turn my back on them just because you find it tedious and unnecessarily negative?

For information on what steps you can take to avoid being scammed and/or to help expose the scammers, follow me below the squiggle.
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This week’s timeshare sales tip:

Their Goal:

REMEMBER: Once all the formalities have taken place (Meet and Greet, warm-up, etc.) and it’s time to get down to business it is always a good idea to tell the sales guest that as they are previewing the information they should have, develop or formulate, a vacation ‘goal’ that can be achieved through the ‘system’ they’ll be previewing ‘today’…

As an (exaggerated) example, it may be learned during discovery that Mr. and Mrs. Pick Up only vacation once a year down on the local river banks and only for a weekend!

That ‘vacation style’ should be praised but the astute timeshare rep would also suggest that along with that they may like to visit other ‘rivers’ throughout the USA one week a year and that is exactly what the ‘system’ allows them to do… if they set a ‘goal’.

Goal setting is a good thing and although most people don’t set ‘em, they like to think they do because that keeps the dream (‘one of these days’) alive. When they are instructed to formulate a vacation goal during the presentation they will preview the ‘plan’ most to their liking and use. When that happens 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: “I used to be the only pretty blonde woman reading the fake news. Now there’s a whole network devoted to that.” -Jane Curtin


YouGov’s latest research shows that a whopping 41% of Americans think that dinosaurs and humans either ‘definitely’ (14%) or ‘probably’ (27%) once lived on the planet at the same time. 43% think that this is either ‘definitely’ (25%) or ‘probably’ (18%) not true while 16% aren’t sure. In reality the earliest ancestors of humans have only been on the planet for 6 million years, while the last dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago.

Looking at it from a religious standpoint, most Americans who describe themselves as ‘born again’ (56%) believe that humans and dinosaurs once shared the planet while only 22% of born again Americans think that dinosaurs and humans did not coexist. Concurrently, most Americans who do not describe themselves as born again (51%) think that they did not live at the same time.

In all, well over 130 million Americans, religious and not religious, believe that humans and dinosaurs lived on this planet at the same time, a la Fred Flintstone and his pet Snorkasaurus, Dino.

So if you were wondering how it is that there seems to be an endless supply of Americans willing to believe some Nigerian has millions of dollars waiting for them, now you know. slap forehead

(For more on this subject and a pretty graphic, visit https://today.yougov.com/news/2015/06/18/jurassic-world/)


“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

In Memorium Dick Van Patten
December 9, 1928 – June 23, 2015

Dick Van PattenToday we remember the life of veteran actor Dick Van Patten, beloved star of TV and Silver Screen, who was perhaps best known for playing Tom Bradford, the father in the 1980′s sitcom “Eight is Enough”.

But we remember him especially for his part in promoting the timeshare industry in the early 80′s, specifically for being the spokesperson for Florida-based Captran Resorts International, headed up by Keith Trowbridge. Captran was the undisputed leader of the timeshare industry from the mid-70s to the mid-80s. Founded on Sanibel Island, on Florida’s west coast, the company was one of the first to implement many elements of the business that are now considered standard.

Mr. Trowbridge had this to say in an email blast (sorry, there is no link to it):

Van Patten and his wife Pat, a former June Taylor dancer on the Jackie Gleason Show, were selected by Captran’s CEO Keith Trowbridge to be hosts for the company’s national and international advertising and promotion. In 1981 the Van Pattens stayed at Sanibel Beach Club II, one of Captran’s premier Florida properties, during the filming.

Don Abbott, producer of the commercials said: “When the couple learned about the concept of Interval Resort Sharing they became very excited. So much so they became owners. Dick was quoted as saying, “Captran’s vacations by the slice, is a terrific concept. I think the future will prove, it’s the only way to vacation!

Van Patten’s sunny disposition endeared him to everyone, and the timeshare industry could not have found a better, more loveable spokesperson.

In addition to his TV and Silver Screen career, Van Patten displayed depth and great story-telling ability in his 2009 autobiography, “Eighty is Not Enough: One Actor’s Journey Through American Entertainment.”

An animal enthusiast, Van Patten co-founded Nature Balance Pet Foods in 1989. He also founded National Guide Dog Month, which raises money and awareness for non-profit guide dog schools.

Van Patten is survived by his wife of more than 60 years, Patricia, as well as his three sons Nels, Jimmy and Vincent.

Our deepest sympathies and condolences are with his family and friends at this sad time.



If you have an In Memoriam to share with the timeshare community, please send it to: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com so we can honor them properly. Thank you.

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse

Interval International has announced a couple of new resort affiliations this week, both in Mexico.

The A-nah Suites Playa del Carmen was built by Ricardo Montalvo, whose residential and commercial real estate development experience in Mexico spans more than a quarter century. The boutique resort includes 89 one- and two-bedroom units decorated in a fresh, bright contemporary style with light-wood accents. Each features an ample living and dining area, marble floors, fully equipped kitchens, bathrooms with modern finishes, flat-screen televisions, floor-to-ceiling glass doors and balconies or patios with views of a lush courtyard terrace.

Among the various on-site amenities and services are the A-Nah Spa, hot tubs, rooftop swimming pool and bar, fitness center, children’s club and playground, private beach club, game room, outdoor cinema, complimentary Wi-Fi access, concierge services, housekeeping, and 24-hour room service.


Artisan Vacation Club, a points-based club carrying the tagline “The Handmade Hotel Collection” utilizes mixed-use resorts in beach and urban locations. It was the brainchild of Manuel Perez Alpuche, whose two decades of experience in the vacation ownership industry includes developing some of Mexico’s most luxurious vacation clubs. The four new Artisan luxury resorts initially affiliated with Interval are:

Artisan Playa del Carmen, located on Playa del Carmen’s famed 5th Avenue, consisting of 22 units with a contemporary aesthetic, bathrooms with modern finishes, LCD TVs, and complimentary Wi-Fi. The onsite amenities include a restaurant, roof garden with a large terrace, bar, hot tub, and infinity pool. The property is 15 minutes from the beach and 45 minutes from the Tulum Mayan Ruins. It is a recipient of the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence.

Artisan Riviera Mayais an adults-only Playa del Carmen hotel in Maroma. All 38 rooms boast private plunge pools and offer free WiFi and balconies. Sitting areas and DVD players are standard, as are LCD TVs with cable channels. The property’s amenities and activities include a restaurant, rooftop terrace with an outdoor infinity pool facing the sea, 24-hour front desk, entertainment, and water sports.

Artisan Playa Esmeralda, set within landscaped gardens overlooking Chachalacas Beach on the Gulf of Mexico, is located in the state of Veracruz, 250 miles (405 kilometers) east of Mexico City. All 50 units include premium bedding, LCD TVs, iPod docking stations, and complimentary Wi-Fi. Guests can enjoy two restaurants, indoor and outdoor pool, gym, full-service spa with hot tub and sauna, and mini-golf. Among the activities available onsite and nearby are kayaking, wave running, and quad biking on the Sabanal Sand Dunes.

In the planning stages, Artisan San Miguel Allende will be six blocks from The Jardin, or main square, of the celebrated Spanish Colonial town of San Miguel de Allende. The UNESCO World Heritage Site in the foothills of the Sierra Madre, three hours north of Mexico City, was voted “The World’s Best City” by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler magazine in 2013. This 80-unit property will include a swimming pool, bar, restaurants, concierge, complimentary parking, and wireless Internet.


Global Connections, a travel club fulfillment and service provider, is expanding its outside sales distribution network to Greenville, SC. Doing business as Worldwide Vacation Network and lead by Tony Pennisi as its Director of Sales, the new office will offer GCI’s Global Discovery Vacations (GDV) travel club product.

The 3000 sq ft. Worldwide Vacation Network sales center is located at 355 Woodruff Road in Greenville, SC. The new center is staffed with a team of eight sales and administrative professionals with a depth of experience in the hospitality industry.

Global Connections Inc. is based in Overland Park, KS. It opened in 1996 as a travel club fulfillment and service provider, and is considered a leader in the travel industry. It offers its members a wide variety of benefits and vacation options for more than 700 North American resorts. GCI is also the developer and owner of resorts in California, Florida, Tennessee, and Colorado, as well as owning and leasing multiple resort condominium units throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Caribbean.


cheerleaderInterval International and Global Connections: getting BIGGER!


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The Old Man

As long as my marketing and sales reps keep believing the grandiloquence of my hyperbole I will continue to live large!


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