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Old August 22, 2008, 12:33 PM   #1
Bill4728's Avatar
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BBS Reg. Date: Jun 6, 05
Location: Lake Tapps, WA
Posts: 9,694

Resorts: Club Intrawest, Mountainside Lodge, Marriott Newport Coast
?? Festiva buying Escapes?? ( 2008 Thread)

Originally Posted by Street talk
This is juicy: Word on the street is that Festiva Resorts very recently signed a Letter of Intent with Cooper Communities, parent company of Escapes!, and that Festiva is in the process of performing their due diligence on the possible acquisition of Escapes!
We'll have to see?
All my posts should be considered my personal opinion or experience unless otherwise noted.
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Old August 22, 2008, 03:02 PM   #2
BBS Reg. Date: Feb 22, 08
Posts: 215
Ok I give--what's" escapes"?
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Old August 22, 2008, 03:10 PM   #3
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Location: Lake Tapps, WA
Posts: 9,694

Resorts: Club Intrawest, Mountainside Lodge, Marriott Newport Coast
Originally Posted by jercal10 View Post
Ok I give--what's" escapes"?
Escapes is a TS system in the South. They have a hand full of resorts.

Escapes! to Bella Vista Village
Escapes! to the Branson Yacht Club
Escapes! to StoneBridge Village
Escapes! to Cherokee Village
Escapes! to the Gulf at Galveston
Escapes! to Hot Springs Village
Escapes! to the Gulf at Orange Beach
Escapes! to Tropical Breeze

All my posts should be considered my personal opinion or experience unless otherwise noted.

Last edited by Bill4728; August 22, 2008 at 03:14 PM.
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Old August 31, 2008, 12:06 PM   #4
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Resorts: Orange Lake Country Club, Kissimmee Tropical Breeze (x2), Panama City Beach
Sounds interesting, but current owners haven't been told anything.

I'm not sure what exactly what impact it woud have. Some owners are part of their points system, and those are the ones likely to end up part of Festiva. But many also own deeds - and managemnt at those resorts would have to contract with the HOA, so there many not be big changes. It's more likely to increase the number of options for points owners, and to add some Escapes inventory to Festiva's portfolio.

It looks like Festiva is trying to expand via aquisitions, rather than building new resorts. In my mind, that's a good model for the owners - rather than overbuilding in the "top" vacation areas, and reducing existing trade power.

I do wonder what type of offer will be made to exisitng deeded owners at the resorts. Escapes is the management company at Tropical Breeze, but not the original developer. They own a percentage of the deeds, which they now sell as part of their points program, so that inventory could go to Festiva, but Festiva isn't guaranteed to keep the management contract over time.
Melinda Towne
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Old September 18, 2008, 06:44 PM   #5
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I own at an Escapes resort and I own at Blue Ridge Village which was a Wyndham resort before Festiva purchased it. From my experiences so far, having Festiva purchase your resort is not a good thing. They typically come in and put Festiva employees on the board. They take the points they purchase from Coopershare (or other developers they buy out) and the points they talk owners into buying from Festiva (sadly swapping their weeks or points they already own for worthless Festiva points) so that Festiva can obtain the majority vote at the resort. After doing these things they typically start renovating and assessing to "get their resorts up to the high standards" they want to be known by. Then they assess more to acheive an acceptable reserve that each resort needs. The reason your resort has insufficient reserves is because Festiva uses the reserves to "renovate" your resort which is now Festiva's resort. They will make themselves (Festiva) the management company of your resort and will be very limited on the financial disclosures. They will increase your MF's by as much as 50% as soon as they are the owners and control the board and the vote. For examples please see threads about huge MF increases at Church Steet inn, The Atrium, etc the first year they owned those resorts. The Atrium owners currently have a law suit in St Maarten against Festiva because Festiva is trying to raise MF's higher than the contract between the Atrium and the owners allows. Also Festiva recently settled a law suit filed by the Missouri Attorney General for false and deceptive sales practices.

I hope that Festiva doesn't actually obtain control of Escapes because they already have made me consider selling my weeks at Blue Ridge Village with their tactics. If they obtain control of Escapes I might have to sell my Escapes week at a resort I had no intention of ever selling.
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Old May 10, 2013, 06:33 AM   #6
BBS Reg. Date: Aug 5, 10
Location: Hunter Valley, Australia
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Well, it happened! Were any Escapes owners told in any way? I wasn't. I've found Festiva dreadful to deal with so far. They do not respond to e-mails!
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Old May 23, 2013, 07:51 PM   #7
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Yes, It Happened

Stay on top of your Board members. Call them. They have no idea about the reputation or tactics of these management companies. They believe all is well because the new management has to pay maintenance fees on the weeks they bought from Cooper who was not paying. Owners were feeling that in yearly fees. But now that more units are paying, why did they up the fees for 2013?

Board members should scrutinize the budget. They should not stamp approvals without being "involved" as Board members but let the new management know they work for the Board. They should see all expenditures, but I bet they will be told no.

Festiva will soon contact you for an offer into their travel club and tell you why "you do not want a deed." They want your deed but also want you to pay thousands to sign it over to them and join their so called great travel club.
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