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Are there any Canadian timeshares worth owning?

Discussion in 'Canada Timesharing' started by Maple_Leaf, Jan 21, 2019.

  1. Maple_Leaf

    Maple_Leaf Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    It seems like most of the active Canadian threads involve timeshare owners having to cough up large sums of money to crooked developers to get out of timeshare traps of rapidly escalating fees and special assessments. Are there any timeshares in Canada worth owning?
     
  2. barto

    barto TUG Member

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    Good question... definitely makes one concerned, although the ones that are doing OK are the ones we don't really hear about. I own at Banff Rocky Mountain Resort (several weeks) so I hope they're not going to run into the same issues (although maintenance fees have gone up quite a bit). Also own at Royal Harbour Resort - their maintenance fees have stayed much more reasonable over the years, no cash calls... fingers crossed!
     
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  3. Maple_Leaf

    Maple_Leaf Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I've always liked Royal Harbour but never could find the right summer week.
     
  4. Sandy VDH

    Sandy VDH TUG Review Crew: Elite TUG Member

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    I would have once said Intrawest, but with them being sucked into Diamond stay away. There are a couple of resorts that participate in Wyndham (or Shell) or Worldmark that offer a bit of flexibility.

    The Canadian TS market will always suffer from the fact that 10 - 12 summer weeks are HIGHLY desirable. 6 weeks for ski in areas that offer that, or maybe 6 weeks in the fall for those that have good color change. The rest is not really a place you want to be. Dead of winter with not a lot of winter events nearby equal zero attraction. How do you maintain that year round.

    There is a resort in Provincetown, MA that decided to close for Jan to Mar.
     
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  5. Ironwood

    Ironwood TUG Member

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    Most of the Eastern Canadian resorts on the RCI network are getting rather tired. There is some updating but it's mostly maintenance. I think TSing may be rapidly becoming a sunset industry. I wonder if there is any new selling going on?
     
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  6. Maple_Leaf

    Maple_Leaf Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Aren't those Shell resorts just maintenance fee traps, i.e. high fees and zero value? I've seen Carriage Hills and Ridge resorts being given away on Ebay for years. I assume owners have paid PCCs big bucks to take these weeks off their hands.
     
  7. CanuckTravlr

    CanuckTravlr TUG Member

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    Lots of timeshares are given away each year from all sorts of timeshare systems when people can no longer use, or choose not to use, their timeshare any longer. Not sure if it is necessarily a negative sign, especially if they have gotten their value out of them. Some of the larger systems, like Disney, HGVC, Marriott, Vistana and Wyndham, have permanent, dedicated sales teams, sometimes with a ROFR, so it does sometimes create a limited base price for resales.

    I have never looked at money put into a timeshare as a R/E "investment". To me it is a prepayment of future vacation expenses. I fully amortize my initial investment to zero over my expected "use period". If I get my value out of it, then I am happy. If I also get some residual value at the end, I consider that a bonus.

    We stayed in a lovely, 2-bdrm., top-floor unit at Carriage Hills Resort for a week in November 2017 on an RCI exchange and were quite impressed by both the unit (one of the newer, renovated units) and by the resort itself, particularly the clubhouse with its indoor/outdoor pool and hot tub. The staff were unfailingly helpful and polite. It was actually refreshing, because we were never once asked about attending any sort of sales presentation. The sales brochures were given to us, if we wanted to inquire about purchasing, but no push.

    I believe both Carriage Hills and Carriage Ridge are SVC "affiliate" resorts. I don't know how they are therefore affected by the purchase of SVC by Wyndham about 5 or 6 years ago. I have no idea what their maintenance fees are, so can't comment on whether they are reasonable or not, or how quickly they have been increasing. I also don't know if there have been any special assessments. But Wyndham appear to be spending some money on upgrades, so that may be causing an increase in the fees, which may be causing some owners to decide it is a good time to sell. Just my take on it. If there are actual owners here on TUG they may be able to enlighten us further.
     
  8. am1

    am1 TUG Member

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    Worldmarks would be good but you own credits that are not tied to the resort.
     
  9. bizaro86

    bizaro86 TUG Member

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    I really like Panorama Vacation Retreat. (Full disclosure - I own a summer week, but I only bought after trading in a couple of times).

    It won't have the same issues as fairmont/lake Okanogan, because the timeshare owners own the develeoper/lease owning company. Timeshare owners just voted to renew the "lease" for another period, but if we decided not to the proceeds from selling the units would go to timeshare owners. So there is nobody who has an incentive to screw the TS owners.

    High season is a relatively good for a Canadian Resort - last week of June until Labour Day, plus a very long ski season at a great ski resort.

    The resort itself is great - largest warm pool in Western Canada, waterslides, hiking, wildlife (deer, moose, bear, etc), mini-golf, kids activities (charge), skiiing/mountain biking, short drive to Lake Invemere with boating/beach/skating, fly fishing/rafting, etc.

    As a bonus, the RCI points are good value. I use mine, but have kept the rci points account. My 2 bedroom fees are $830 CAD, which is approximately $628 USD. For that I get 69,500 rci points every year if I don't use my home resort. That is 0.9 cents USD per point, comfortably below the penny a point threshold.

    Finally, if it is somewhere you like going, owners are exempt from the resort fee they charge for people exchanging in. This year I used my week and traded in rci using cheap TPU for a second week for family to join us. Owning a week saved them from paying the resort fee.
     
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  10. Maple_Leaf

    Maple_Leaf Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Timeshare owners actually controlling the resort is unusual in Canada, where screwing the owners seems to be a competitive sport amongst developers.
     
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  11. bizaro86

    bizaro86 TUG Member

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    I wouldn't have bought without an owner controlled board.
     
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  12. h8s2w8

    h8s2w8 TUG Member

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    I agree that TSing is becoming a sunset industry. VRBO and Airbnb are the new travel choices for most people now.
    We are owners at Mountainview Villas at Cranberry for 20 yrs.-used only as a trader week. We have an owner operated board- very well run!
    This resort's 40 yr lease is up in 2021, and at the latest AGM, owners were asked for input as to whether to renew, or wind it up. The meeting was attended by over 300 owners, who overwhelmingly wished to "LET IT GO" rather than renew. The general feeling was that we had enjoyed our timeshare experiences, but were travelling less now due to age, illness etc. and our children were not interested in taking over the deed.
     
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  13. Ironwood

    Ironwood TUG Member

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    I'm not surprised that owners would just 'let it go' and I'm sure most other resort owners would make the same decision. RCI promotes all the Collingwood along with Horseshoe Valley resorts as 'Toronto' area, and of course you would know they are no where near TO which must really annoy the unsuspecting. I remember calling RCI a few years ago to see if there was any hidden inventory I couldn't see for a particular week at Mont Tremblant, and was offered 'nearby' Mont Ste. Anne.....some 4 1/2 hours away. Anyway I'm venturing off topic!
     
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  14. Maple_Leaf

    Maple_Leaf Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    RCI redefines Canadian geography, one overpriced trade at a time.
     
  15. Maple_Leaf

    Maple_Leaf Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    That's interesting, since I never knew the Mountainview Villas were owner-controlled. I always thought they were part of the Living Stone / Living Water / Law Cranberry developer-controlled company.
     
  16. ecwinch

    ecwinch Moderator

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    Even with a BoD controlled by owners - given the horror stories outlined here - I would never buy a Canadian timeshare. There seems to be little or no consumer protection in the Canadian laws regarding timeshares. Especially regarding mandatory requirements that a HOA be formed to govern the timeshare. Because in the US, timeshares are regulated by laws similar to condos and that does not seem to the case in Canada.

    Seems like it would be relatively simple for any profiteer with enough money to buy up enough shares in a timeshare to write themselves a blank check.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
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  17. Maple_Leaf

    Maple_Leaf Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I think timeshare ownership in Canada can work for owners if they control the resort's board and the board members are capable and working on behalf of the owners. Otherwise, buyer beware, you can be at the mercy of a crooked developer like medieval serfs were at the mercy of Count Dracula.
     
  18. Dori

    Dori TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    For 20 years, we owned at Harbour Inn, Brechin. It was a small, independent resort with a wonderful BOD. We owned 2 weeks for a total purchase price of $2001 for a red and blue studio. Those weeks enabled us to travel all over the US, exchanging into wonderful 2 and even 3 bedroom units. We were even able to exchange to Hawaii. Our deed had a clause, where every 10 years or so, the BOD would discuss whether to keep the resort open, or to sell it as a whole. The unit owners voted unanimously to sell around 2012 or so, as there were major things that needed to be done to the resort, many owners were elderly and not travelling, or units were in arrears. After all was said and done, we got a cheque in the mail from them for about $1300, after all the disbursements had been settled, lawyer fees paid, etc.

    After all the wonderful opportunities we had to travel, and to create memories with family and friends, we really felt that Harbour Inn owed us nothing, so that cheque was a delightful bonus.

    Dori
     
  19. barb5850

    barb5850 Guest

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    I own at Twin Peaks in Whistler and a few weeks at Mountainside Lodge (that I rent because I never have time to use those weeks). Twin Peaks had an offer to purchase the entire resort. TS owners had to vote and bylaws required a 90% YAY to sell. I voted to sell. Owners would have actually MADE money on the sale. but the 90% was narrowly missed, which is too bad. My point is this: I think TS resorts in places like Whistler may come up for sale. They need housing there and many of these TS resorts sit empty and people don't pay the mtc fees. Twin Peaks is an amazing TS: we have a 2 bedroom and it is HUGE. Large kitchen, living room, dining area and two very large bedrooms. It could easily be converted to condos. It is close to the Whistler Village. I think they do their best to maintain it but because it is so large it is expensive to maintain. Mountainside Lodge is great. Walk out the door and you are at the mountain. In the Whistler Village but quiet. A great pool and hot tub. I really like it there. The units are small but comfortable. I mean if you are skiiing all day you don't need a huge unit. The mtc fees are high but far less than what is charged in any season in Whistler. Whistler will always be the go to place for skiing. Close to Vancouver; lots of people and just a beautiful place. I think Canada's Timeshares are cheap especially with the US exchange rate. I also think they are well maintained and very desirable. Vancouver timeshares are impossible to buy and when they do come up they are pretty pricey. But again, the cost of hotels in Vancouver is very high and you certainly won't get a one or two bedroom condo in Vancouver for less than $300 or $400 a night, but with a Timeshare you will.
     
  20. AllanThompson

    AllanThompson Guest

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    I've been reading my agreement and itis interesting to note that at the vote to renew, no vote is counted as a "yes" vote. So at the time to renew there would be a terrible bias toward renewing the lease. I have another couple of questions. At my resort, the maintenance of a 2bedroom unit is the same as in a 1 bedroom unit. Is this normal? And if a unit is unpaid maintenance fee it goes back to the hotel side. Does that mean that the hotel would acquire all these votes and therefore be totally in control? Do they have to pay the maintennce fees?
     

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