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Old March 8, 2009, 03:01 PM   #1
Poobah
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Unhappy The Point at Poipu - Times are a changin'

If you are an owner at The Point and have booked a week be prepared for some changes when you check in:

1. They now put a $200 hold on your credit card
2. The free breakfast on your day of arrival is history
3. The cocktail receptions are history
4. The activities have been contracted out to Expedia and you can no longer charge activities to your room
5. Half the concierge staff is gone (see #4 above).
6. Of the people I have talked to, the "Owner Review" meetings dissolve into a confrontation. The accounts are there is a lot of name calling.
7. Most of the management as us old timers knew them are gone.

You can see the stress in the faces of the staff.

It struck me that in all our years of coming here, this was a happy place; it is no longer. There was never any siginificant complaining; sure there was stuff, but it wasn't the overriding topic of conversation. In the adult spa, there is nothing but complaining. It is quite a change.

The ohana that was EVR and Poipu Point has been torn asunder.

More later, the sun s finally out and I don't want to miss it.

Aloha,

Paul
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Old March 8, 2009, 03:34 PM   #2
csalter2
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Why are You So Surprised?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poobah View Post
If you are an owner at The Point and have booked a week be prepared for some changes when you check in:

1. They now put a $200 hold on your credit card
2. The free breakfast on your day of arrival is history
3. The cocktail receptions are history
4. The activities have been contracted out to Expedia and you can no longer charge activities to your room
5. Half the concierge staff is gone (see #4 above).
6. Of the people I have talked to, the "Owner Review" meetings dissolve into a confrontation. The accounts are there is a lot of name calling.
7. Most of the management as us old timers knew them are gone.

You can see the stress in the faces of the staff.

It struck me that in all our years of coming here, this was a happy place; it is no longer. There was never any siginificant complaining; sure there was stuff, but it wasn't the overriding topic of conversation. In the adult spa, there is nothing but complaining. It is quite a change.

The ohana that was EVR and Poipu Point has been torn asunder.

More later, the sun s finally out and I don't want to miss it.

Aloha,

Paul
I can't believe that you are surprised by cutbacks and concern. Our country is not in a very happy place. When I speak with people in various industries, there is such uncertainty in their workplaces. People are really feeling the pressure or knowing if they are going to have a job or not. We are in the most turbulent time in our country's history. People are scared and they become confrontational because the are under a stress they may never have been through before. I have seen two separate families in which one of the parents committed suicide leaving the rest of the family including the children in further despair.

So don't be too surprised by all that is going on.
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Old March 8, 2009, 04:05 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poobah View Post
If you are an owner at The Point and have booked a week be prepared for some changes when you check in:

1. They now put a $200 hold on your credit card
2. The free breakfast on your day of arrival is history
3. The cocktail receptions are history
4. The activities have been contracted out to Expedia and you can no longer charge activities to your room
5. Half the concierge staff is gone (see #4 above).
6. Of the people I have talked to, the "Owner Review" meetings dissolve into a confrontation. The accounts are there is a lot of name calling.
7. Most of the management as us old timers knew them are gone.

You can see the stress in the faces of the staff.

Aloha,

Paul
I guess I wonder what the commotion is about for the above.

1. A hold is not a big thing nor is really that unexpected.
2. The free breakfast was a Sales issue, but the resort did much to try and educate owners that this was not a right, but was a developer favor.
3. Same as 2 although I thought it helped Sales.
4. I am against them contracting out to Expedia but the developer controls the front desk.
5. I am sad to see some of the staff go but I would think Expedia would like to hire them.
6. I wonder who is on the Board now. Maybe they need to start to educate the owners and create more newsletter communication.
7. Same as 5 as I liked them also,

Poipu is impacted greatly by the various maintenance fee increases that seem to be out of control. The truth is that the fee was way too low in the beginning, but once they figured out the true numbers, they increased to try and catch up, but now it is a bad economy.
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Old March 8, 2009, 05:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
4. I am against them contracting out to Expedia but the developer controls the front desk.
Don't the owners have any right ask for this be changed?

More interesting, when an owner brings up his/her concern about this, how could a fellow owner brush it aside as just "the developer controls the front desk" rather than working to help fix this?
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Old March 8, 2009, 05:51 PM   #5
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Thumbs down

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poobah View Post
If you are an owner at The Point and have booked a week be prepared for some changes when you check in:

1. They now put a $200 hold on your credit card
2. The free breakfast on your day of arrival is history
3. The cocktail receptions are history
4. The activities have been contracted out to Expedia and you can no longer charge activities to your room
5. Half the concierge staff is gone (see #4 above).
6. Of the people I have talked to, the "Owner Review" meetings dissolve into a confrontation. The accounts are there is a lot of name calling.
7. Most of the management as us old timers knew them are gone.

You can see the stress in the faces of the staff.

It struck me that in all our years of coming here, this was a happy place; it is no longer. There was never any siginificant complaining; sure there was stuff, but it wasn't the overriding topic of conversation. In the adult spa, there is nothing but complaining. It is quite a change.

The ohana that was EVR and Poipu Point has been torn asunder.

More later, the sun s finally out and I don't want to miss it.

Aloha,

Paul

I concur. I was shocked on our last visit.

We are not experiencing the sour faces at the Schooner but certainly everyone staff and guests are understanding the economy stinks everywhere.

Sorry it hasn't improved and I blame most of it on Diamond.

Sterling
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Old March 8, 2009, 05:59 PM   #6
timeos2
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All too common

Quote:
Originally Posted by kapish View Post
Don't the owners have any right ask for this be changed?

More interesting, when an owner brings up his/her concern about this, how could a fellow owner brush it aside as just "the developer controls the front desk" rather than working to help fix this?
Most resorts have the rights of the sales group / developer in their documents. Hopefully with an end date (although far too often there is none). Those rights can be quite inclusive and usually covers the guest services / front desk (not the check in area) as that is a prime contact point to schedule sales meetings. The Association/Board often has little or no control over the operation of those areas. Remember the Developer WROTE the resort documents. They are certain to have made them as favorable as possible to themselves. As for owners failing to care about other owners that too is all too common it seems. Look out for number 1 has seemingly become the battlecry.
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Old March 10, 2009, 05:00 PM   #7
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Identical changes were made at the Embassy Kaanapali on Maui which now is run by Diamond Resorts under the new name Kaanapali Beach Club. I think that it has less to do with the economy and more to do with the Diamond Resort style (i.e. it appears that all owner benefits have been eliminated that costs $$$ and were not part of the timeshare agreement). What I am surprised is that there seems to have been no owner input into these decisions (so is there no HOA?)
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Old March 10, 2009, 06:06 PM   #8
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Times are changing

The BOD at the Point has five members, three of which have one thing in common: they are employed by DRI. I might be wrong here, but none of them are owners. So I don't anticipate that those BOD members will do anything that upsets their employer (and impacts their pay checks).

There was a request to the BOD to reinstate some form of the Cocktail Reception. There are options like BYO and the resort supplies munchies. They could charge a nominal amount for the drinks, at least to cover cost.

My former employer had a management style like DRI. They tend not be very creative. It is easier to just cut it out. I think this says something about whether a company has "managers" or "leaders."

Most of what I wrote in the first post I really don't care about, it was meant to inform. What I care about is the attitude of DRI to not communicate it to anyone. This was suggested by the staff: get out a newsletter to the owners with the changes so that there are no surprises when they arrive. I am sure they wanted this because they take the brunt of "the surprise." You can see how far the newsletter got.

The real question is does DRI consider its owners to be "customers" or "suppliers." I suspect it is the latter.

Lunch time.

Cheers,

Paul
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Old March 17, 2009, 08:20 PM   #9
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Hi

see this NO RESERVE eBay auction for building 4 (assume it is a fixed location you are buying ??) -- two weeks ... anyone have a site map ??

http://cgi.ebay.com/THE-POINT-AT-POI...4.c0.m14.l1262

shows as Unit 4 - 102 ... good or poor view -- just curious

Greg
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Old March 17, 2009, 08:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Hi

see this NO RESERVE eBay auction for building 4 (assume it is a fixed location you are buying ??) -- two weeks ... anyone have a site map ??

http://cgi.ebay.com/THE-POINT-AT-POI...4.c0.m14.l1262

shows as Unit 4 - 102 ... good or poor view -- just curious

Greg
Units are floating, not fixed. The number on the deed is solely for inventory control purposes.

Unit 4-102 is classed as parital ocean view, so the ownership will be either a POV unit, or if it was sold before view categories were established, a float-float unit.
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Old March 17, 2009, 08:45 PM   #11
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Thanks

also saw previous post - review photo area has site map ...

Interesting

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Old March 17, 2009, 09:17 PM   #12
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In the FWIW catagory, I believe Marriott also contracts out their conceirge staff. I could be wrong but it seems that was a topic for discussion a couple of years back. I know the Hilton's and the Marriott in Las Vegas contract out the Valet service. Many resorts also contract out the maid service. Is just a fact of life as it keeps cost consistant and you don't require a large human resource department when you don't actaully do the hiring. There's no issue with benefits either. It's all contracted out for one easy bill.

While in Hawaii, I do not recall Hiton even offering any sort of owners update or get together. They did offer a $75 gift card that could be spent in the Rainbow bazaar shopping area if you attended an owners update (sales atttempt) but, that was it for what Hilton did for it's owners while we were at HHV. We did get a discount card good for a few shops around HHV but, that was it. It really wasn't any big deal as it was only good for a handful of shops/restaurants.

Developers have been cutting back on the marketing freebie's for some time. Even Marriott had started to reduce the Marriott Rewards Points it offered for attending down to 10,000 from 15,000. I believe most resort's have changed it back to 15,000 points.

In the past, most freebie's given for attending a presentation were in the $100 + range. Now it seems to be in the $75 range. I was surprised that, at our last Marriott stay, we were offered a Marriott gift card worth $150. Without actually seeing the full disclosure, it wouldn't surprise me if it was limited to a list of merchants rather than being good anywhere.

I heard several comments at the owners reception where Marriott educates owners about exchanging and how to use Marriott rewards points that they had really cut things back. Apparently, the cheese and wine did not flow as freely in years past. Those things aren't of interest to us so much as listening to see if there's a trick I've missed with requesting exchanges or using my Marriott Rewards points.

The owners breakfast had also been scaled back some according to things I had overheard. Again, it's not something we typically attend as coffee and a donut isn't enough to get me out of bed on vacation.

As mentioned, some of what has been cut out was paid for by the developer as part of the sales budget. If the owners want to keep it in place, then I guess it needs to remain profitable for the developer to put on those little shindigs. That means owners need to buy more developer inventory. If that's the case, I'll pass.

I'm not going to say I like everything that DRI does but, in this case, it appears to be good business and a way to keep those MF's from climbing even higher.

Last edited by dougp26364; March 17, 2009 at 09:25 PM.
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Old March 17, 2009, 11:27 PM   #13
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Wyndham also contracts out concierge at many resorts; on the BI you deal with Expedia.

I have to say that I think it does make sense. Were I the manager of a resort trying to navigate through difficult circumstances, one of the key questions I would ask is "What are the most important things that we must do well?" Sort of a "core competencies" kind of question.

I don't think I would put concierge at the top of that list. I would say we need to focus brutally on reservations, housekeeping, and facilities. If I identified concierge as an area of strength, while we had deficiencies in the areas I had listed, I would think that we need to review our priorities.

If I could outsource concierge services to help me focus on more essential activities, I don't think I would hesitate to make that change.
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Old March 19, 2009, 12:27 PM   #14
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Changes

I suspect that DRI will eventually subcontract out housekeeping. I believe the management of the resort is already contracted out albeit to a DRI subsidiary, but this is typical. They probably have a P&L responsibility.

It will be interesting to see how all these "cost cutting" measures impact the 2010 MFs. I don't think it is going to make a difference; the MFs are going to take a big jump. I say this for two reasons

1) we hear nothing about what DRI is doing to control and reduce its corporate costs: e.g. the overhead that is passed down to each resort. My experience has been that most corporate staff functions could never survive a costs/benefits analysis!
2) DRI wants to create a big disparity between what deeded owners pay in MFs and what owners in the trust pay in annual fees. This is not my supposition, it was spoken by a DRI salesperson at an owner's review. This is looked at as an "incentive" to put your deed in the trust.

Cheers,

Paul
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Old March 20, 2009, 01:50 PM   #15
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Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poobah View Post
1) we hear nothing about what DRI is doing to control and reduce its corporate costs: e.g. the overhead that is passed down to each resort. My experience has been that most corporate staff functions could never survive a costs/benefits analysis!
2) DRI wants to create a big disparity between what deeded owners pay in MFs and what owners in the trust pay in annual fees. This is not my supposition, it was spoken by a DRI salesperson at an owner's review. This is looked at as an "incentive" to put your deed in the trust.

Cheers,

Paul

Paul,

First, outsourcing could be a good source of potential so do not automatically think it would be negative.

Second, what do you mean by DRI allocating its corporate overhead? DRI is paid a management fee % for the offsite costs of overseeing the resort.

Third, I think you are correct in that they want to make the trust more attractive for fees. In Hawaii, you take the high costs of operations and average it with Florida, Virginia, Arizona, and it naturally would be cheaper. However, it is more math than intentional.
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Old March 20, 2009, 02:18 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poobah View Post
2) DRI wants to create a big disparity between what deeded owners pay in MFs and what owners in the trust pay in annual fees. This is not my supposition, it was spoken by a DRI salesperson at an owner's review. This is looked at as an "incentive" to put your deed in the trust.

Cheers,

Paul
Really, Paul. You're taking what a timeshare salesperson says while trying to make a sale as authoritative???

Moving beyond that, the trust is the entity that holds the deeds. The resort HOA and AOA set the annual fees, and those fees flow to the deedholders, whether those be individual owners or the trust. So increasing the fees at the resort doesn't inherently create disparities between deeded owners and others.

But ... and I think this is what the salesperson was alluding to .... when a deed is added to the trust from a resort that has high maintenance fees relative to the overall holdings in the trust, that owner will see a reduction in annual fees (on a per point basis) as compared with the corresponding deeded ownership. That, however, will be offset by increases in annual fees that wind up being paid by owners who added deeds to the trust from less expensive properties.

That point was explained to us in sales presentation at Po'ipu; the sales person was quite upfront about how Po'ipu had:

1) the highest fees in the trust
2) fewer total units than other resorts in the trust.

Thus not only would Po'ipu owners have lower fees by coming into the trust, but that difference was likely to always remain. Since Ka'anapali and Jockey are essentially hotel properties without the landscaping of Po'ipu, one would expect annual costs at those two resorts to always be less than at Po'ipu.

Of course, since owners can't control what resorts get added to the trusts, all DRI need to is open sales at another large resort that has even higher fees than Po'ipu, and then that cost advantage goes away.

But yeah, they do use that in their sales pitch at Po'ipu. And I'm sure that they don't mention a word of that at the other locations.
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Old March 20, 2009, 03:26 PM   #17
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You are absolutely correct.

Quote:
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But yeah, they do use that in their sales pitch at Po'ipu. And I'm sure that they don't mention a word of that at the other locations.
LOL, you are absolutely right. Back 5 years ago, the fees in Sedona were pretty low and when Club came around, that was the biggest complaint from Sales. A Sedona owner who joined Club would have higher fees.
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Old March 20, 2009, 06:13 PM   #18
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Overhead

Part of the management fee covers some of the corporate overhead. This is pretty typical of any corporation.

Sunny in the north today, but a little windy. Rain up in the mountains, but what else is new!

About to head off to Annini Beach for a picnic and some sun. It is tough here

Cheers,

Paul
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Old March 20, 2009, 06:57 PM   #19
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I understand the forecast for Burnsville is 8-12" of blowing and drifting snow with 30-40 mph winds, preceeded by rain, an ice storm and temperatures decreasing from about 32 to near 38 below zero within 14 hrs. At least after the blizzard it will be clear.

Sterling

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Old March 20, 2009, 07:21 PM   #20
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I understand the forecast for Burnsville is 8-12" of blowing and drifting snow with 30-40 mph winds, preceeded by rain, an ice storm and temperatures decreasing from about 32 to near 38 below zero within 14 hrs. At least after the blizzard it will be clear.

Sterling
And when that snow and ice melts the water will fill all of the pools and puddles that are so critical for the mosquitoes.
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Old March 20, 2009, 10:02 PM   #21
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1. They now put a $200 hold on your credit card
2. The free breakfast on your day of arrival is history
3. The cocktail receptions are history
4. The activities have been contracted out to Expedia and you can no longer charge activities to your room
5. Half the concierge staff is gone (see #4 above).
6. Of the people I have talked to, the "Owner Review" meetings dissolve into a confrontation. The accounts are there is a lot of name calling.
7. Most of the management as us old timers knew them are gone.
We also just returned from the Point. The good news that the resort seems to be functioning well. The grounds were clean, and well maintained. The unit was clean, furniture was in OK condition, a balky coffee maker was replaced in an hour, the grills were clean and worked fine. There was some complaining from someone that an old, rusty, never used, broken charcoal grill was removed a day after they bought a bag a charcoal. Sometimes you can't win for losing! The whales were jumping, the sea turtles were all over the place, and monk seals were on almost every beach. There was even a turtle on the beach at Poipu Park. I thought only Big Island turtles came ashore.

re:
1. credit card hold, every hotel does it.
2. the free breakfast was a way of capturing you for an update.
3. the watered down Mai Tais won't be missed.
4. Expedia; why is this bad? They are in the travel business. They may even get better discounts.
5. Some of the concierge staff is doing double-duty working check-ins. Seems efficient to me. Most the time they just sit there waiting for the phone to ring.
6. The "owner update" was indeed a big disappointment. We used to get useful information about the Point, II, Sunterra and later about DRI, for an hour or so and then end with a brief sales attempt and a polite "no thank you, see you next time". This was more of a disinformaton session. Deeded owners are perceived to be dinosaurs in the DRI world of "collections". We we told we were in the "Sunterra" program. We reminded the sales rep that Sunterra no longer existed and he responded with a smarmy comment that implied that the "real" DRI members are in the trusts/collections. He either did not understand what deeded owners / club members were or he was testing us to see if we understood what we owned. When we pushed back he called in the Sales Manager, a no-nonsense woman who knew her stuff and confirmed our understanding of deeded ownership and assignment of deeds to the Club for points. The salesman got an education from his boss which he clearly didn't want.

The primary pitch for Poipu owners to convert to the Hawaii collection is the lower maintainence fees. Basically all those folks that convert at Polo and Sedona are subsidizing the Hawaii freeloaders. Not said of course is that all those Polo and Sedona owners who convert to the trust will want to get their money's worth by competing with you when you try to reserve at the Point or KBC. When we got down to numbers, the "big" savings from going into the trust was about $100/wk; big deal.
7. Having lived through corporate mergers and takeovers back in the bad old days (when I worked for living) I'm not surprised that the old regime is gone but we did a miss seeing one of our favorite Point personalities, the always enthusiastic Victoria.
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Old March 20, 2009, 10:42 PM   #22
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We also just returned from the Point. The good news that the resort seems to be functioning well. The grounds were clean, and well maintained.
Did you notice if Michael is still working the Bar/Restuarant?

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Old March 20, 2009, 11:18 PM   #23
T_R_Oglodyte
 
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Location: Belly-View, WA
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Originally Posted by Werner View Post
The primary pitch for Poipu owners to convert to the Hawaii collection is the lower maintainence fees. Basically all those folks that convert at Polo and Sedona are subsidizing the Hawaii freeloaders. Not said of course is that all those Polo and Sedona owners who convert to the trust will want to get their money's worth by competing with you when you try to reserve at the Point or KBC.
Yep - and the pitch for them to join is that they can now reserve in Hawai'i at 13 onths instead of 10 months.

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Having lived through corporate mergers and takeovers back in the bad old days (when I worked for living) I'm not surprised that the old regime is gone but we did a miss seeing one of our favorite Point personalities, the always enthusiastic Victoria.
For at least the last four or five years there has been a tall (about 6'-4") bald guy in the sales office. Probably early- to mid-40s. Did you see him??

One of the things I've noted over the years at Po'ipu is that we often do see some of the same sales staff from year to year. Personally, I think that's a good thing. I suspect that the shops that are the most mercenary probably also have the highest turnover. At the mercenary shops those who can't deal with the pressure are shoved out the door quickly; while those who are good don't hesitate to jump when anyone dangles a better offer in front of them.
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Old March 21, 2009, 12:18 AM   #24
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Thumbs up Michael

Yep, Mike is still holding court at the poolside grill. He left yesterday evening (Thursday) for Colorado with the family. Headed to Vail for a little skiing and then to the old homestead in Trindad, CO. Back in 10 days.

One of our favorite people at the Point, too.

Based on the Owner Reviews we should all change our handles to "Dinosaurs." A lot of people got that line. Some were accused of being "emotionally attached to their deed." I resemble that remark.

Sterling: thank you for the Burnsville weather forcast! Since I am here I can say "Frankly Scarlett, I don't give a d*mn!" I am sending home the obligatory "eat your heart out" pictures. I love this!!!!

Steve: I think we are in violent agreement on what is going on with DRI.

We are lucking out big time on the weather on the north. I think we brought the Poipu sunshine with us. Tomorrow we are meeting some friends from MN who are here for four months and doing the Farmers Market, walking Hanalei Bay, and then heading for lunch at the new Westin. I can't take the stress All these obligations; will it never end?

Aloha,

Paul
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Old March 21, 2009, 01:06 AM   #25
dougp26364
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Originally Posted by Poobah View Post
Yep, Mike is still holding court at the poolside grill. He left yesterday evening (Thursday) for Colorado with the family. Headed to Vail for a little skiing and then to the old homestead in Trindad, CO. Back in 10 days.

One of our favorite people at the Point, too.

Based on the Owner Reviews we should all change our handles to "Dinosaurs." A lot of people got that line. Some were accused of being "emotionally attached to their deed." I resemble that remark.

Sterling: thank you for the Burnsville weather forcast! Since I am here I can say "Frankly Scarlett, I don't give a d*mn!" I am sending home the obligatory "eat your heart out" pictures. I love this!!!!

Steve: I think we are in violent agreement on what is going on with DRI.

We are lucking out big time on the weather on the north. I think we brought the Poipu sunshine with us. Tomorrow we are meeting some friends from MN who are here for four months and doing the Farmers Market, walking Hanalei Bay, and then heading for lunch at the new Westin. I can't take the stress All these obligations; will it never end?

Aloha,

Paul

I'm not emotionally attached to my deed. I'll sell it back to DRI anytime they want to make me a reasonable offer........and actually follow through with it.
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