QUOTABLE QUOTES: “It’s just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.” – Muhammad Ali




Once upon a time I went to the harness races with friends in a certain city, just for the heck of it. Arriving just prior to the first race, I wanted to get a bet down right away so I just took a gander at the program to pick a name out of the air, so to speak. The name that caught my eye was “Choo Choo Mama”. It made me laugh. “How can you not bet on a horse named Choo Choo Mama?” I chuckled, and hurried to the nearest window where I put a whopping $2 on her nose.

Then I hurried to the rail to get a look at the horse.

All the other horses came onto the track prancing and huffing in front of the tiny sulkies they pulled, coats gleaming, chomping their bits, looking like movie stars. When Choo Choo Mama came into view, well, let’s just say she did not impress. She was small; her head was held low; she didn’t prance or huff; she didn’t chomp. Frankly she looked kind of worried. “Oh well,” I said. “It’s only $2…”

Making a long story short, in the home stretch she lived up to her name, chugging up on the outside like a steam engine to pass all the fancy prancers and win going away. She was all business, that little mare, and I mentally apologized to her for basing my judgment of her qualities on her lackluster appearance.

I once knew a closer who almost certainly would not have been hired by some sales centers due solely to her appearance. She was middle-aged, plain-looking, short-haired, neat and tidy with sensible shoes and short fingernails, a minimum of makeup— nothing flashy, decidedly not fashionable. In short she very much looked like she had just come off a farm in Canada (which, in fact, she had). And she looked slightly worried most of the time.

Did I mention that she was a closer? Let me amend that. She was a CLOSER! Whether working as a T/O or going front-to-back, that woman was the “little engine that could” when it came to making sales, and those sales were clean and rarely kicked. On most occasions she blew right past everyone else on the track and won going away.

She made a ton of money for herself and the developer. Everyone was happy, except maybe for the other sales reps who could never unseat her from her position at the top of the line.

This CLOSER once confided to me that she had been turned down for a sales job at a timeshare resort owned by a certain prestigious company because her teeth were a little crooked and she just didn’t have “the right look”. She held that company in contempt for being stupid. “Every time I close a sale and collect my commissions,” she said with a smile, “I mentally flick my crooked front teeth at them. I wouldn’t work for them now if they paid me a million dollars!” And she laughed.

That company made the wrong bet the day they turned her application down. The moral is obvious, of course. If a Choo Choo Mama comes your way, bet her to win!

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RCI has earned bragging rights this week with the announcement that the company has added 76 affiliated properties to its global exchange network in the first six months of 2012, including more than 30 properties added in the second quarter.

The most recently announced addition is Casa de Guadalupe Boutique Hotel, a hotel built in an eighteenth century historic building located in the heart of the city of San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico (a pet friendly property).

Other new properties joining RCI’s network include: Glacier Village at Meadow Lake in Montana; Culloden Bay Vacation Club at Footprints Nature Reserve in Trinidad and Tobago; and the Residence at Grand Luxxe and Grand Luxxe Spa Tower in Mexico, which were added to RCI’s luxury exchange program The Registry Collection®, the world’s largest program of its kind.

Several new properties were also added from existing affiliations, including Bluegreen’s The Studio Homes at Ellis Square, which offers members a vacation option in the heart of Savannah, Ga.

cheerleaderRCI: getting BIGGER!

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In Memoriam Foster K. Mullen
November 13, 1953 – August 6, 2012

Foster Kent Mullen, of Crystal Bay, NV, passed away on Monday, August 6, 2012 with his family at his side. He died as the result of a fall from a bicycle while doing what he loved, training at Lake Tahoe, preparing for his annual bike rides and races in the Alps of Switzerland, France and Italy. He was 58.

He is survived by his wife Janet Mullen, sons Larry Roberts, and Jordan Mullen, brother Gary (Laura) Mullen, sister Karen (Ray) Mullen-Ehly, niece Jessica Mullen and nephew Daniel Mullen.

A memorial service will be held on Monday, August 20, 2012, 2:30p.m., at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 1776 Highway 50, Glenbrook NV.

Foster was the owner and President of QM Corporation, a multifaceted resort and development company in Sparks, NV. He had many friends within the timeshare community.

QM Resorts has been in the business of developing, marketing, selling and managing timeshare properties since 1986. The company’s resorts include Thunderbird Resort Club, The Ridge Sierra, North Lake Lodges & Villas, Tahoe Chaparral and Victorian RV Park.

To honor Foster, the family is asking that in lieu of flowers and gifts they would like your help ensuring that there are safe bikeways and wonderful vista points along the bikeways for the Lake Tahoe community and visitors to enjoy. Memorial gifts will help support the Tahoe Bikeway Project of the Tahoe Fund.

Please make a tax deductible contribution to:

Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation
Tahoe Safe Bikeways – Mullen Memorial
P.O. Box 366
Truckee, CA 96161

You can also make your memorial gift on-line at: http://www.ttcf.net/donate-now
Select – “Make a gift in honor or memory” and include: Tahoe Safe Bikeways – Mullen Memorial



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.

So what’s the scoop? Are those working in TS management, sales and marketing correct when they point to (e.g.) the resale market and other information new owners discover online within their cancellation period as a primary cause for the majority of ‘kicks’? Or is there something else at play there?

Find out in this week’s Timeshare Scoop du Jour: How Rescissions Are Created!

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Bluegreen Corporation has filed its 2nd quarter financial report and Bluegreen Resorts had a whopper of a quarter.

  • System-wide sales of vacation ownership interests (“VOIs”) increased 21.6% to $96.2 million from $79.1 million in Q2 2011.
  • Sales of VOIs made on behalf of Resorts’ fee-based services clients, which are included in system-wide sales above, rose 46.2% to $39.4 million from $27.0 million in Q2 2011.

The company is continuing to advance towards its goal of making its fee-based services business an increasing portion of our total business. Fee-based services represented approximately 41% and 35% of total system-wide VOI sales for the three and six months ended June 30, 2012, respectively, up from approximately 34% and 32%, respectively, in the same periods last year.

In connection with its fee-based services business, Bluegreen Resorts sold $39.4 million of third-party VOIs in Q2 2012, generating sales and marketing commissions of approximately $25.7 million. This compares to sales of $27.0 million of third-party VOIs in Q2 2011, which generated sales and marketing commissions of $18.3 million.

As a percentage of system-wide sales of VOIs, net, selling and marketing expenses decreased to 42% in Q2 2012 from 45% in Q2 2011, due to changes in the mix of marketing programs and a higher sale-to-tour conversion ratio. Sales to existing Bluegreen owners as a percentage of system-wide sales of VOIs was 57% in both Q2 2012 and Q2 2011.

And here’s something new to Bluegreen that everyone should pay close attention to: System-wide sales also include Bluegreen’s sales of VOI inventory in connection with a new category of sales requiring low levels of capital deployment whereby they acquire VOI inventory from their resorts’ property owner associations (“POA Sales”) on a non-committed basis, in close proximity to the timing of their selling of such VOIs. These VOIs are typically obtained by the POAs through foreclosure in connection with maintenance fee defaults and are generally acquired by us at a discount.

Bluegreen President & CEO John Maloney said the new program “has demonstrated promising early results, with system-wide sales for the 2012 three and six month periods of $4.4 million and $7.9 million, respectively. We also currently intend to enter into similar ‘just-in-time’ inventory acquisition arrangements with third-party developers as part of our fee-based services initiative.”

Did you get that? thumb up

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If you want it printed, you have to tell us about it! 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

System of a Down vocalist Serj Tankian appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! recently to perform two tracks off his latest solo album. It was a strong performance by a vocalist who’s voice just keeps getting better, so in case you missed it here’s the lead song from the album by the same name: Harakiri.

Not familiar with Serj Tankian? After you hear him you’ll want to get to know him. Check him out on Wiki…

Send in your own playlist and if I can find a good version on YouTube I’ll post it for you! What would you like to hear?

Email: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com

SOUTH CAROLINA:

HILTON HEAD: Oh-oh, the tax man cometh…

And the following Hilton Head timeshare sales reps apparently didn’t see him coming. According to the S.C. Department of Revenue:

  • Leigh Anne Hoppe was arrested in July for failure to file state income tax returns for years 2007, 2008 and 2009. Hoppe, 48, earned income of $190,465 during years 2007 – 2009 with a tax liability of $8,944. Hoppe was required to file a South Carolina income tax return on or before April 15 for these tax years. If convicted, Hoppe could face up to three years in prison or fines of up to $30,000, or both.
  • Robert Ray Lauderman was arrested by S.C. Department of Revenue investigators for failure to file income tax returns. During 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, Lauderman brought in $417,302 and allegedly failed to file his state individual income taxes during that time. Lauderman’s state tax liability for these years is $21,809. He’s facing up to five years in prison and/or fines of up to $50,000 if convicted.
  • Freda G. McKinney was arrested on July 12 by state Department of Revenue investigators for failure to file her state income tax returns for tax years 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. During this time she earned $633,269. Her tax liability is $25,771. McKinney, 58, could go to prison for five years or get a $50,000 fine or both, if convicted.

The bogeyman’ll get you if you don’t… watch… out…

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COLORADO:

BRECKENRIDGE: It looks like Breckenridge Grand Vacations is close to getting approval for its new luxury resort at the Bergenhof site on Peak 8. The town council is set to take a second and final vote on an agreement for the 80-unit project this month.

It’s notable that Mike Dudick, who is both a BGV part-owner and a council member, abstained from discussing or voting on the agreement due to the conflict of interest.

On the plus side, BGV developers say the development will create 100 new positions, protect 130 jobs that would otherwise be cut in the next six to eight years when timeshares at their Grand Lodge on Peak 7 sell out and that it represents an $80-million construction project favoring local subcontractors. The development is expected to generate $2.5 to $3 million in town revenues through real estate transfer tax.

On the minus side are environmental concerns, mainly revolving around potential harm to Cucumber Gulch, an ecologically critical wetlands complex located below the Peak 8 base area. Expect stipulations to show up in the second reading regarding environmental protections.

If approved, the agreement will allow BGV to purchase $800,000 worth of development rights from the town’s open space bank, providing the necessary density for the five-story timeshare building to be constructed. It will have a larger footprint than the existing Bergenhof (affectionately known as the “Bergie”), Peak 8′s original skier day lodge, which will be torn down.

Note that if the plan wins approval from the council, the resort will still have to secure planning approval to move forward. So don’t pack your bags just yet.

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CALIFORNIA:

RANCHO SANTA FE: The very tony Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa in North County San Diego’s upscale neighborhood of Rancho Santa Fe temporarily closed its doors in January to begin a $20 million renovation to the venerable property. The renovation includes remodeled guest suites and major enhancements to the restaurant, spa, fitness center and meeting spaces, among other things.

Overseeing the project are Rancho Valencia’s new ownership team: Jeff and Hal Jacobs, former high-tech executives; Doug Carlson, cofounder and Chief Executive Officer of Fiji Water; and San Diego real estate developer Jeffrey Essakow.

Apparently not included in the renovations (not needed?) is The Villas at Rancho Valencia, the resort’s private residence club. Consisting of twelve spacious, luxuriously appointed three-bedroom villas with in-ground jetted spas, a private Owner’s Clubhouse and outdoor pool, ownership includes access to all of the service and amenities of Rancho Valencia. The Villas are available in fully deeded 1/8th fractional interests, giving owners 4 “planned weeks” of use and flex time on a space-available basis for a total of up to 90 days per year.

And being the luxury resort that it is, before your arrival your clothing and personal items are in your Villa, your refrigerator and pantry are stocked, and all you need to do is bring your toothbrush.

The renovations will be complete in September and the whole resort will reopen just in time for the Del Mar racing season. Lucky you if you own there!

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BERMUDA:


TUCKER’S POINT:
The folks at the Residence Club at Tucker’s Point are offering an incentive to get new fractional buyers to sign on the dotted line, namely the waiving of their maintenance fees and dues for the first year. To provide urgency, the offer expires Sept. 15, 2012.

Fractions start at US$199,500 for five-weeks of deeded ownership in 2-, 3- or 4-bedroom villas in Harbour Court, on the water’s edge of Castle Harbour, and the Golf Villas, which provide views of the golf course.

The resort, which includes a hotel, golf club and residential community, covers 200 acres of Bermuda’s waterfront. The private Tucker’s Point Club includes a championship golf course and clubhouse, lighted Har-Tru clay tennis courts, and a spectacular beach club with Bermuda’s largest private, pink-sand beach.

Tom Sleeter has been director of sales and marketing for Tucker’s Point since 2007. Before that he served six years as Director, Environmental Protection at Ministry of Environment, Bermuda and he has a Masters and a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Harvard.

That’s an interesting resume for someone in the shared ownership industry, don’t you think?

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CANADA:


BRITISH COLUMBIA:
As if the folks who brought Aviawest Resorts into being hadn’t had enough problems already, the executive director of the British Columbia Securities Commission has issued a notice of hearing alleging that Aviawest and its directors distributed securities illegally with the assistance of another B.C. company that primarily sells life insurance products.

The notice alleges that from December 2006 to June 2011, Aviawest Resorts Inc. distributed securities to 214 investors without having filed a prospectus, raising approximately $12.7 million. In doing so, the company and its directors, Rob DiCastri, Andrew Pearson, James Pearson, Lawrence Pearson, and Susan Pearson contravened securities laws. Aviawest has an office in Nanaimo, B.C., and all Aviawest directors are B.C. residents.

The company claimed that 173 of the investors (collectively representing about $9.2 million) purchased the securities under the “Family, Friends and Business Associates” exemption, but the exemption was not applicable. For 18 investors who collectively invested $1.2 million, Aviawest did not claim exemptions from securities laws.

The notice also alleges that between February 2010 and April 2011, Zulak Financial Group Ltd, a B.C. company with an office in Nanaimo, and company directors Karla Ann Davis and Melvin Zulak, marketed Aviawest securities to 21 of their life insurance clients who invested approximately $1.8 million. Both Davis and Zulak are B.C. residents.

BCSC staff maintain that the directors of Aviawest and Zulak Financial authorized, permitted, or acquiesced in Aviawest’s and Zulak Financial’s contraventions of securities laws.

Note that these allegations have not been proven. Counsel for the executive director will apply for final orders against the parties. The first hearing into the allegations before a panel of commissioners is set for Tuesday, September 18, 2012 at 9:00am.

Stay tuned.

Oh, and just in case you’ve forgotten, the bankrupt Aviawest Resort Club merged with Vacation Internationale in May 2012, which was probably a very good thing…

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CARRIBEAN:


GRAND CAYMAN ISLAND:
Morritt’s Resort seems to be moving right along with the construction of its new Londoner building at Morritt’s Grand Tortuga, which broke ground on April 4, 2012. Actual excavation of the site got under way on July 16 and they have construction photos on the Morritt’s website.

At buildout it will comprise 5 stories offering 20 deluxe rooms, six of which will be two-bedroom townhouses, ten will be luxury two-bedroom apartments, and four super deluxe three-
bedroom penthouses. David Morritt says the new building “will be so stunning it will blow your mind!”

And of course he is already encouraging guests to talk to the resort’s sales team about those glorious 3-bedroom suites. Presale prices?

For those of you who’ve been around in Mexico and the Caribbean for a number of years, you might like to know that the indomitable Peter Bacon is currently entertaining Morritt’s guests every Friday & Saturday night with his musical stylings. By gosh, he’s done all right for himself!

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SPAIN:


CANARY ISLANDS:
Finland’s Holiday Club Oy has completed a total refurbishment of its Holiday Club Puerto Calma resort, located in Puerto Rico on the sunny south coast of Gran Canaria. All 109 apartments were re-designed in order to be both aesthetically pleasing as well as functional. They are fitted and furnished to the highest standards, including fully equipped kitchens, air-conditioning and exterior chill-out area. Additionally, all common areas were completely renovated.

Initially the works were to be executed over two years: Phase 1 from May to October 2012 and Phase 2 from May to October 2013. But Holiday Club decided to carry on simultaneously with both phases, which included the upgrading of the common areas. The pool area is completely new and equipped with a spa-area including a variety of special water jets. The gardens and pool-bar were also upgraded and there is a new large solarium somewhat separated from the pool where guests can relax in peace and quiet while enjoying the sun and sea views.

On the 21st of April 2012 works commenced and on the 7th of July 2012 the new Holiday Club Puerto Calma welcomed its first guests.

That was some seriously fast work!

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If you want it printed, you have to tell us about it! 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

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! Today’s tip:

Strike a Bargain:

REMEMBER: Sales guests are expecting lies so give ‘em a good dose of truth instead! And if you want to shock your sales guests right out of their chairs then after the ‘Meet & Greet’, the ‘Warm-Up’, the ‘Survey’ and while ‘Breaking The Pact’, strike the following deal with each prospect!

(E.G.) “What I’m going to share with you today is certainly not for everyone but I make you a promise that I will not exaggerate, fib or distort the truth whatsoever. And because I won’t, I only ask that after you have previewed everything you extend me the same courtesy and share your thoughts with me, too. Fair enough?”

They will almost always agree and by asking each prospect for that sort of basic upfront commitment you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank!

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QUOTABLE QUOTES: “The country is governed for the richest, for the corporations, the bankers, the land speculators, and for the exploiters.” – Helen Keller, 1911




So let’s say a developer pays a whopping $500 to get a Q into the sales room. The sales rep closes a deal for $20,000 clean and pressed. The rep’s commission is 10% of the deal, or $2,000, and $17,500 goes to the developer.

Then another Q sits down at the table and another deal is closed for $30,000. The rep gets 10% on that deal, too, or $3,000, and $26,500 goes to the developer.

But the marketing expense for the second tour cost the developer the same amount of money as the first tour, so the developer is making a larger profit on it on a percentage basis, while the rep’s percentage remains the same.

Doesn’t that seem a little out of whack? Since the developer’s cost for the tour remained the same and it was the rep’s skill and hard work that brought in the extra dollars, shouldn’t the rep at least be recognized with a big fat cash SPIFF or a bonus or even an increased percentage based on the dollar amount of the sale?

I’m just sayin’… Pondering

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Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. has appointed Anand Mahindra to the position of Chairman of the Mahindra Group, at the conclusion of the company’s Board meeting which was held in Mumbai on August 8, 2012.

He assumes the mantle of Chairman from Keshub Mahindra who has retired after 48 years at the helm of the Mahindra Group. Keshub Mahindra will continue to guide the company as Chairman Emeritus on the request of the Board.

Anand Mahindra was appointed Managing Director of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. in 1991 and in 2003, was given the additional responsibility of Vice Chairman. Under Mr. Mahindra’s stewardship, the USD 15.4 billion Group has evolved into a socially and environmentally responsible global federation of companies with a leading presence in each sector in which it is present. Mahindra is present across the automotive spectrum, from two-wheelers, three-wheelers, commercial vehicles, SUVs and MPVs to sedans, tractors, and even powerboats and aircraft. In addition, the Group’s diversified nature of business spans many frontiers – automotive components, Finance, Insurance, IT, Retail, Real Estate, Hospitality (including Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd. which provides holidays on a timeshare basis via the brands Club Mahindra Holidays, Club Mahindra Travel, Club Mahindra Fundays, Mahindra Homestays,and Zest), Logistics and After-Market to name a few.

Fortune magazine has named Anand Mahindra as one of the top 25 most powerful business people in Asia for the year 2011.

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Have you been promoted or moved to a new company/location? Do you know of someone who has? Has someone been fired or demoted? Tell us about it! Send the information to The GateHouse to be included in People on the Move!
CONTACT: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com

KUDOS: August 11, 2012

KUDOS go out this week to some more timeshare folks who were recognized for their achievements at the Australian Timeshare and Holiday Ownership Council’s (ATHOC) 21st annual National Industry Awards in July.

RCI Pacific had several top notch people nominated this year, and Roland Porst beat out some tough competition to take home the Newcomer to the Timeshare and Holiday Ownership Industry award.

Roland, who is an RCI Strategic Data Analyst in his first year with the industry, was extolled by RCI as demonstrating a high level of dedication and energy in his role as the strategic data analyst for RCI. Although the judging criteria was comprehensive, Roland was cited as having a positive impact within RCI by providing “fresh eyes” in terms of identifying opportunities for change. It is through his personal endeavor and influence with managers and work colleagues that different ways of doing things have been embraced.

Other exceptional employees from RCI Pacific who were nominated are:

  • Award for Excellence in Service: Leanne Charles
  • Corporate Manager of the Year: Dianne Mitchell
  • Corporate Performer of the Year: Yves Kangleon
  • Corporate Team of the Year: Member Services Operations (MOPS)
  • Industry Innovation Award: Online Interactive Member Education

KUDOS!




If you’ve got a verifiable brag or bit of praise you’d like to see in Kudos, send it in so we can share it with the whole Timeshare World! CONTACT: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com

Two shared ownership companies have gotten BIGGER recently.

Vacation Resorts International has entered into a property management agreement with Sutherland Crossing, a vacation ownership resort in Crystal Beach, Florida. VRI now provides management services to more than 140 resort and club locations throughout North America.

VRI will deliver a full spectrum of services, including reservations and rentals handled through its call center; resort operations such as front-desk check-in, housekeeping, and unit maintenance; financial assistance in the areas of planning, budgeting, and forecasting in concert with the association board of directors; and communications between the association and its members.

The resort is located just north of Clearwater on 32 pristine acres and features 34 three-bedroom and 1 two-bedroom individual guest houses. On-site amenities include a heated pool, Jacuzzi, tennis courts, miniature golf, horseshoes, bikes, walking trails, 580 foot pier/dock, and kid’s playground. Visitors can also enjoy restaurants and shopping nearby, as well as scenic beaches, guided kayak tours, nature walks, eco-tours, and Busch Gardens.

VRI is an operating business of Interval Leisure Group, which also owns Interval International and Trading Places.

Inspirato, a luxury destination club, has partnered with leading luxury resort operator the Soneva Group to bring its members three new properties in the Maldives and two new properties in Thailand, representing the club’s entrance into Asia.

The club’s offerings in Thailand include a 2,800-square-foot ocean-view villa and a 5,100-square-foot private retreat within the Soneva Kiri resort on the untouched island of Koh Kood. Inspirato members will enjoy private infinity-edge pools, personal butler service, world class snorkeling and scuba diving, and an unforgettable dining experience in the resort’s treetop dining pod.

In the Maldives, Inspirato members can now choose from three private residences within the Soneva Fushi resort, the only inhabitant on Kunfunadhoo Island, including a romantic one-bedroom villa, a spacious two-story, two-bedroom suite, and a magnificent four-bedroom reserve complete with a private spa suite, gym and steam room. All residences are beachfront and include private seawater pools, personal butler service, private outdoor seating areas and open-air garden bathrooms.

cheerleaderVacation Resorts International & Inspirato: getting BIGGER!

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Tip JarDo 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

According to Scoop, Zig Ziglar said that sales driven businesses like the timeshare industry most often react incorrectly when recessions hit— which of course would include the recent worldwide calamity that reared its ugly reality beginning at the end of 2007.

That depression was a nasty one to be sure! And like most corporations, including TS developers, the first corporate ‘suits’ reaction, according to Zig, is to pull in all the reins, cut and/or lower all costs, gut the advertising/marketing campaigns, close offices, let people go, stop hiring, eliminate most if not all bonus plans and batten down the hatches! Ziglar said that’s not the way to go. Was Zig Ziglar Correct?

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The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) has released its list of the most common, the fastest-growing and the worst consumer complaints. The CFA, which analyzed 290,000 complaints received by the consumer affairs agencies, also flagged complaints that are just starting to emerge.

Real Estate complaints, which cracked the top 10 for the first time at #9 on the list, included timeshare sales and resales, retirement communities and assisted living facilities, real estate fraud.

What I found most interesting though was included in the emerging complaints, new types of consumer problems being reported to consumer affairs agencies. No surprise to me, but here they are: “timeshare resellers” that take fees upfront to unload consumers’ unwanted timeshares but fail to do so; “timeshare resale recovery services” that claim to recover the money that consumers lose to timeshare resellers but don’t.

Of course we know that those “recovery services” that are scamming timeshare owners left and right are not limited to “resale recovery”. It’s at least a good thing to know they’re finally on the radar…

Here’s a link to the full report.

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The Resort Development Organisation (RDO) will be holding its annual conference, RDO3 2012: Going The Distance, at the Pestana Chelsea Bridge Hotel and Spa in Chelsea, London from September 23-26, 2012. Club La Costa World Resorts & Hotels, Diamond Resorts International and Holiday Club Resorts are Platinum Sponsors for the event.

RCI CEO Geoff Ballotti will be a keynote speaker at the event, and a number of RCI affiliates are among the sponsors and speakers. Dionísio Pestana of Pestana Hotels & Resorts and Stephen J Cloobeck of Diamond Resorts International will be speaking.

For more information or to book tickets to the conference visit: www.rdoconference.org

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If you want it printed, you have to tell us about it! 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