ROYAL RESORTS RALLIES INDUSTRY SUPPORT FOR TIMESHARE HOLDERS OF SIMPSON BAY RESORT & MARINA
Negotiates Timeshare Exchanges Through RCI, Interval International
SIMPSON BAY, ST. MAARTEN (March 4, 2011) – On behalf of the 12,000 consumers who hold timeshares at Simpson Bay Resort & Marina & The Villas at Simpson Bay, management company Royal Resorts has used its prominent position in the industry to negotiate a rare benefit to protect vacationers who may not have access to their timeshare units due to the resort’s closure.
Interval International and RCI – the two largest timeshare exchange organizations in the world – have both agreed to permit trading of timeshare units for potentially affected vacationers even though the resort is currently closed.
While the timeshare industry is no stranger to financial and labor-related issues, the Simpson Bay Resort & Marina is the most popular timeshare property in St. Maarten, and one of the largest in the Caribbean. As such, it has attracted quite a bit of media attention, also in part due to some of the unsubstantiated claims made by the Tenants Association of Pelican Resort Club (TAPRC) and a small handful of its generally anonymous supporters.
As many statements have been made based on inaccurate, misleading or incomplete facts, many of those affected by the closure have been looking for reliable information from credible third-party sources. Howard Nusbaum, President and CEO of the American Resort Development Association (ARDA), recently issued a statement to add some perspective:
“ARDA encourages all stakeholders involved with the former Pelican Resort Club (now Simpson Bay Resort & Marina) to develop a workable solution to the current impasse that resulted in its closure on February 20, 2011,” said Nusbaum.
“The goal for all should be the reopening of the popular vacation resort so that owners may enjoy their paid for and promised use rights. Finding a compromise is essential in order to create a sustainable local employment opportunity for as many of St. Maarten’s workers as realistically possible,” he added.
“Additionally, through the exchange system, new visitors to St. Maarten can be introduced to the wonderful vacation experience offered by the destination, thus creating more tourism and tax dollars for the local economy. This way everyone involved benefits.
“After experiencing financial challenges for some time, it is crucial for the homeowners’ association, management, government officials, employees, and investors to work together for a sound, fiscally sustainable operating plan that will benefit everyone,” Nusbaum concluded.
The new owner of Simpson Bay Resort & Marina & The Villas at Simpson Bay reiterated its desire to reopen the resort. Unfortunately, each time an apparent agreement is reached, the workers union, WIFOL, increases its demands and derails any progress that has been made.
The new resort owner will continue to work with government appointed negotiators to seek a resolution that will allow it to operate the resort in a financially viable manner.
Further inquiries can be directed to Jairo Bloem, Bloem & Associates, at JBloem@sxmlegal.com.