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[2008] Sandcastle Shift to "Festiva" Points [merged]

GordonH

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I understand that owners at Sandcastles in PTown are being FORCED to pay $3,000 to $7,000 to convert to points and there is no choice in the matter. Owners are being threatened with a lawsuit if they do not comply. Comments would be appreciated.
 
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Pat H

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I hadn't heard that yet but I don't see how they can threaten you with a lawsuit if you don't convert. I'll be compaining to the BBB and the Attorney General's office if they try that with me.
 

Jennie

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What type of ownership do you have? If one owns a fixed/deeded week, I can't imagine any way in which anyone can be forced to do anything they don't want to do. This resort is in the United States! Deeded property, even a timeshare, is governed by strong protective laws.

This sounds like a slimy sales tactic being used by a rogue salesperson. It should be reported immediately to the General Manager of the sales team, as well as to the Attorney General's Office and whatever state regulatory agency oversees real estate issues.
 

Pat H

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It is deeded/fixed. It's illegal to threaten someone with an action that they know can't be taken.
 

theo

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Forced?...Can't happen

I understand that owners at Sandcastles in PTown are being FORCED to pay $3,000 to $7,000 to convert to points and there is no choice in the matter. Owners are being threatened with a lawsuit if they do not comply. Comments would be appreciated.
Frankly, this sounds highly improbable. Massachusetts isn't Mexico --- such empty, idle threats would likely elicit more laughter than actual concern in Massachusetts, particulalry with a competent and active District Court located just a few towns and tweny five miles away in Orleans.

For what it's worth, I seem to recall having seen relatively recent mention (either on this site or on TS4MS, I can't recall which) of a complete change in management at this facility. You might want to conduct a search here (and on TS4MS) to see if any owners may have already offered any first hand input, knowledge or experiences regarding what other "changes" might also be accompanying that reported change in management. As far as anyone being "threatened" with a lawsuit, if true the appropriate response would surely be "I'll see you in court then. I'll bring my valid, recorded deed and you can bring anything you choose. Meanwhile, have a nice day...".

I don't claim to know much about this facility or its practices. I do know, however, that no facility can "force" any owner to involuntarily re-purchase that which they already own by valid, recorded deed. While the facility may convert to points in a revenue - raising effort, no owner can ever be "forced" to join (let alone pay to buy into) the new scheme...
 
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Sandy VDH

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There is new management. I just received my invoice for MFs and I noticed no mention about converting the resort to points.

They could NOT force any current owner to convert to points, that is an optional decision, not a mandatory one. Many resorts do use it as a cash cow as RCI only charges a small fee to convert to points, the resorts add a huge huge markup to generate more revenue.
 

Corky

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I own a fixed week at Sandcastle and haven't received any threats, just the bill for maintenance fees due.
 

Rambler65

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I have a friend who spent a week at the Sandcastle after the new management took over. Apparently a company called Festiva has been invited to sell their points system to our owners.

My friend was ushered into a Festiva sales meeting and told a bunch of BS. Festiva sales people stated they bought the Sandcastle (not true), that maintenance fees would tripple (we know from our recent bills that is not true) and they would no longer be able to trade their units for weeks at other resorts. From what I'm told owners were "bullied" by the Festiva sales people. I'm not surprised some where threatened with lawsuits. These sales people appear to be the scum of the earth, and will say or do anything to get a sale. Anyone who asked for things they were being told in writing were told NO.

Upon hearing this I did a little research and found this same type of activity has been going on at other resorts for years, with Festiva using the same types of deceptive sales practices.

I joined this users group, who has been dealing with Festiva for the past two years, and got a wealth of information on Festiva practices on the forum.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Equivest-PeppertreeOwners/

In a nut shell, you will be contacted by Festiva or they may call themselves Outfield Marketing. They will want to meet with you in your home, and try to get your deeded property and 3K to exchange for Festiva points.

While I realize that you can find a person who has a bad opinion on just about anything on the web, I have not found one positive comment about Festiva. I have never run across so many negative experiences, and a users group dedicated to trying to deal with a deceptive company.

I am steering clear of Festiva and their points system.
 
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Sandy VDH

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Scott_Ru

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Festiva has also purchased Southcape on the Cape and are trying the same thing. (They did not suggest a deeded owner must pay and move to their points system. But what they did strongly say is "there will be a huge assessment coming and those who do not move to points will bear the major burden of it."

Needless to say, we did not move to points. Can't see "buying" something I already own.
 

Laurie

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My understanding about points is that these are Festiva points, not RCI points. I've spoke a couple of times by phone with sales people who are now located onsite at Sandcastle.

I'm a Sandcastle owner too, and I know the relationship between Festiva and Sandcastle was mentioned in our latest newsletter, but I've misplaced mine - anyone want to post the paragraph here?

Festiva is not being honest about there being a relationship between Sandcastle and Festiva - check out this other TUG thread:

http://tugbbs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=70318&page=11

(read all pages for a glimpse of Festiva's reputation)

and these posts, between myself and an official Festiva rep:

Hi FestivaRep,

Can you tell us anything about the new/upcoming association between Sandcastle Resort in Provincetown and Festiva?

First, is this true? - is Festiva the new management company? If so, what benefits might there be, if any, to fixed weeks owners who don't convert to any points system? And, what special assessments might be slated for 2009?
Festiva Resorts is not the new management company for the Sandcastle Resort, therefore we have no knowledge or control of any assessments for 2009.
I'd sure like to know what's up, too!
 

Rambler65

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Festiva not being honest, kind of par for the coarse but in this case I think the rep was being honest.

I have the owners letter, in an early paragraph it says that the Sandcastle is being "affiliated" with Festiva in addition to RCI. Also says they will be affiliating with II. It states it is to "offer owners as many vacation opportunities as possible."

The 2nd paragraph states the resort will be managed by New England Vacations Management Services LLC. The name of the company that bought the unsold Sandcastle stock is New England Vacation Services, so I assume they are somehow related. Cliff Hagberg of Cape Cod is "Managing General Partner." I guess the real question is who else if anyone is part of the LLC? Hopefully Festiva is not involved.

2nd to last paragraph states the Sandcastle for the 1st time has the services of a professional marketing company, "Outfield Marketing," who we now know is Festiva. Goes on to state "this is critically important to sell the weeks owned by delinquent owners and generate maintenance fees."

My guess is that Festiva was invited to sell and market revoked Sandcastle weeks, in exchange they can push their points system. Just speculation on my part.
 

Corky

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Future Of Sandcastle??

Is there any new information regarding New England Vacation Services? The old Sandcastle web site is gone, and no one answered the telephone at Sandcastle this evening.

Instead, a recording suggested that owners contact NECS to learn about new opportunities. When I called, I was told that an agent of the new management company is making INDIVIDUAL appointments in the privacy of your own home to share new information. Sounds a bit scary.

What is the future of Sandcastle?? I'd appreciate any tidbits, and am hoping my fixed week is safe.
 

theo

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I don't know if you did any searching or saw them already, but there are a number of posts concerning Sandcastle (assuming that you mean the Sandcastle in P'town, MA) in this same forum from some weeks back. All of those posts have most recent dates of between 11/23 --11/30 and you can easily find them in this very forum, a few "pages" back. Subjects were "Sandcastle Ptown owners ---major news" and "Sandcastle Shifts to Points". You may find some input (or other links) of interest to you there...
 

Corky

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Thanks, Theo. I did read some old posts but was hoping for new information which will affect old weeks owners.

I appreciate your reply.
 

Welfaric

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So my date with NES is 2/9 at 8pm

So I will find out what NES wants soon, and I will post it all right here so we can get some more info on what the heck an organization thinks it can sway owners into doing.

I hope all owners will stay with Sandcastle and not let NES nudge, fool or sway their ownership rights away.

If it’s all about them upgrading the place so be it, I will be happy to let them improve everything, just as long as it costs me no thin dimes. Way to tuff of times for anyone to be thinking upgrading something that works just so they get more cash in their pockets.

If I am off base and they just want to come to my house and bring me chocolate then sorry about this here post.
 

Dtbsmb94

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We met with rep last night from Outfield Marketing LTD which Sandcastle has hired to try to get owners to convert to the points sytem. We were told once Sandcastle was brought up to par that it will become part of the Festiva Resorts. It is currently owned by New England Vacation Services, LLC but starting in 2010 will become part of Festiva. We were not told that we HAD to convert to the points system but if we did not that we would have to pay several upcoming assessments and that the one for 2009 is going to be $600 per unit/week owned. We were also informed that Sandcastle will not be affiliated with RCI but they could not tell us when that would change. They said that Sandcastle will be affiliated with Interval International for doing external exchanges and Festiva Resorts for doing internal exhanges (if you convert to points). To convert to the points was to cost $2990 plus $195 fee for each deed to be signed over to them and that the deed would be held in a trust. We would still be responsible for 2009 Maintenance fees that were billed and if you do not convert to points then you will be charged a $600 assessment for 2009 per week/unit owned. New maintenance fee will be applied if you convert to point system and the amount you pay is based on the points you own starting in 2010. Example, for my week 28 studio unit I would get 3300 points and my week 13 studio unit i would get 1900 points and my new maintenance fees for those 2 weeks together would be $730. So I would be paying $3400 to convert to points and still pay the same $ for maintenance fees??? Where is the benefit to me?? 2009 Maintenance fees are $354 per week x 2 equals $708. What a headache these people are giving me!
 

theo

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Interesting...but somehow not entirely credible

Re: >> We were not told that we HAD to convert to the points system but if we did not that we would have to pay several upcoming assessments and that the one for 2009 is going to be $600 per unit/week owned. <<

Part of that is certainly true, since no owner of a deeded fixed week anywhere can ever be forced to convert to points...

What I find truly curious here, however, is the apparent implied (or maybe stated outright) suggestion by the rep(s) that special assessments might somehow be charged only to those owners declining to convert to points. Frankly, I cannot believe that this could be even remotely legal. To my knowledge, a facility cannot "selectively" impose assessments only upon some owners without imposing said fees upon all owners, across the board.

This all sounds (to me, anyhow) like nothing more than a contrived, revenue raising scheme, seemingly attempting to get owners to "buy" (...all over again) that which they already own outright right now, employing subtle (and quite possibly untruthful) scare tactics as "motivation". Why would any owner in his / her right mind even consider paying money to buy all over again what they own already now, free and clear??? :shrug:

================================================

Re: >> We were also informed that Sandcastle will not be affiliated with RCI but they could not tell us when that would change. They said that Sandcastle will be affiliated with Interval International for doing external exchanges and Festiva Resorts for doing internal exhanges (if you convert to points).<<

It would be interesting to learn of II's take on this unsubstantiated claim.
II is historically somewhat selective about resort affiliation. RCI gladly affiliates with any resort, anywhere, anytime --- not so with Interval Intl. This "future" II affiliation might prove to be more of a "hope" than a factual reality when all the Outfield marketing rep(s) smoke and BS clears away...
 
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e.bram

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I suppose that Festiva could pay the assessments out of the points conversion money and still come out way ahead. If they spent SA the money improving the TS, I guess that is OK.
 

sullco

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Festiva people will go to jail

Massachusetts has a very competent and enthusiastic legal system that has nailed bad guy timeshare people before. They will do it again in this case.

Someone should simply "wear a wire" and get the goods on the sales slime--no this isn't someone who has watched too many cop shows talking.

I think that there remain some of "The Worst People in the World" (thanks Keith Oberman of MSNBC) in the low end of timeshare sales.

Festiva may well have more than their share.

Do not fall for this.
 

Bill4728

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Theo said:
... if we did not (convert to the points system) that we would have to pay several upcoming assessments and that the one for 2009 is going to be $600 per unit/week owned. <<

What I find truly curious here, however, is the apparent implied (or maybe stated outright) suggestion by the rep(s) that special assessments might somehow be charged only to those owners declining to convert to points. Frankly, I cannot believe that this could be even remotely legal. To my knowledge, a facility cannot "selectively" impose assessments only upon some owners without imposing said fees upon all owners, across the board.
Yes, you are so right. A TS can't "selectively" impose assessments. All owner must pay the SA. BUT Festivia can choose to pay the SA for their points owners.
e.bram said:
I suppose that Festiva could pay the assessments out of the points conversion money and still come out way ahead.
They could pass it along as increased MFs or as E Bram said take it out of the $3000 the charged to convert people to Festiva.
 
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theo

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I'm not certain this approach would even be lawful...

...take it out of the $3000 they charged to convert...
I don't know about that...
In fact, I wonder if that approach would even be an available legal option.

The phrase "co-mingling of funds'" somehow comes immediately to mind here, making me wonder if it might not also come immediately to mind for investigating state authorities as well. Festiva, with its' well established (..ahem) "credibility issues", might just be a prime target for investigators. The Secretary of State in MA is someone with whom I went to school; he is very bright, very aggressive and certainly "does not suffer fools gladly".
He has a solid track record of routinely indicting and /or eating for breakfast those corporations which attempt to operate improperly in MA; they apparently provide a good source of digestible dietary fiber for him...

Festiva may very well ultimately find that they have unwisely brought their Little League team to play in a Major League ball park --- and a hostile one at that. Attempting to play that far "over their heads" may just prove to have some unexpected and unfortunate consequences for them... :shrug:
 
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Welfaric

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Just canceled our meeting with NES

I just canceled the meeting we set up. I asked to have the info just mailed out and she said they could not do that because it contains personal data. She did say we could just wait to see what the assessments are when they come out. I would rather they just mail me any info I need to make decisions on my property. She did say there was some other place I could go to talk to the rep, but I do not remember the name of the property.
 

Sou13

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Southcape Resort owners, beware of Outfield Marketing!

The Southcape Resort and Club in Mashpee, MA has been acquired by the New England Vacation Services and interval owners are being contacted by Outfield Marketing sales reps who want to meet in their homes to "explain the changes"!

Southcape interval owners, don't fall for it! I have a lot of info to contribute to this Timeshare User's Group just as soon as I can find a way to get in touch with other owners.

My first post to this forum is found at
http://www.tugbbs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=84127
 

theo

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Different topic --- consider starting a new thread...

The Southcape Resort and Club in Mashpee, MA has been acquired by the New England Vacation Services and interval owners are being contacted by Outfield Marketing sales reps who want to meet in their homes to "explain the changes"!
The topic of this particular ongoing thread is actually the Sandcastle Resort located in Provincetown, MA.

With due respect, if you want to initiate a new discussion about an entirely different resort in Mashpee, it would be much better noticed by (more appropriately) starting a new thread on your new "Southcape" subject --- instead of hijacking this Sandcastle thread...
 
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