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Concerned about rising maintenance fees with Grand Pacific Resorts

Ddee555

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I am an owner at Carlsbad Inn and Coronado Beach Resort, which are two resorts managed by Grand Pacific Resorts. For the most part, I am satisfied with GPR for its management, except that the maintenance fees seem to be rising higher than I like each year. Yes, I would rather pay higher maintenance fees than a special assessment, but this past year, my annual maintenance fee at Carlsbad Inn was $1002 and I think that is too high. I'm not looking forward to my 2019 bill whatever it will be. My interval at Coronado is an EOY, so it is not as painful on my wallet, but annually, it would be over $900. Of course, the high annual fee for San Clemente Cove--over $900, too, did not stop me from recently becoming an owner there, but what is GPR costing for its management fees?

I ask this, because I also own two VRI-managed one bedroom intervals at Gaslamp Plaza Suites and its annual maintenance fees are $708. Currently, I am staying at the Gaslamp and it seems well-managed and the suites are nicely maintained. Seriously, I think that the maintenance fees for Carlsbad Inn could be decreased by $100-150 a year and I do not think it would adversely affect the resort. I think that GPR is taking too much of a cut. One time I tried to rent my week through GPR and their rental cut was so huge (like 50%) that it did not make it worth it to me to ever rent my unit again.
 

klpca

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I think that GPR financed the recent renovations at some of their resorts and did all of the renovations at once instead of renovating over a period of years. I remember seeing that in the newsletters for Coronado (can't find the link) and Seapointe https://grandpacificresorts.com/emails/csr/fall16/ - I don't know about the others. This was done in lieu of a special assessment. At Seapointe, the renovations were a huge step up from the original units so at least you could see what you were getting. I wasn't thrilled about financing something that should have been paid from reserves, but I suspect that the reserve amounts that were paid over a number of years were probably set up to replace the same cheap finishes that were there to start with - Formica counters, vinyl floors etc - but the renovations were much higher quality (porcelain tile and quartz). And they needed to be nicer to stay competitive in the market. I assume that they got a historically low interest rate for the financing. The Seapointe newsletter does mention that the reserve will cover the debt payments, but there's no way that interest was in the original budget, so I would expect that amount to be an add on.

One other thing - you should be able to see the GPR fees on the financial statement and see if it is going up year on year. I haven't been to Gaslamp Suites - is the unit quality the same?
 
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b2bailey

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I own at Seapointe and Gaslamp Plaza. Gaslamp units are much smaller, do not have complete kitchens, and no pool or spa to maintain. I also think they are better able to rent unused rooms year round, rather than seasonal.

I seem to remember that Coronado was not always affiliated with GPX, so I am thinking they inherited a property with deferred maintenance. (This part is pure speculation.)

Not to say I like rising maintenance fees.
 

DaveNW

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Aren’t a lot of GPR locations right on the ocean? If memory serves, VRI doesn’t have much right on the ocean. So maintenance costs would be higher at GPR.

It’s been awhile, but VRI is just a management company, not an owner. So their costs are lower, right? Dues you pay to VRI are for the membership, not specific resort dues. GPR also manages the entire resort, where I think some VRI locations share the facilities. So it’s not an exact one-to-one equal balance.

Dave
 

presley

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GPR has higher MFs, but they usually have more activities and nicer locations. Being close to the ocean requires more maintenance. Mold, mildew and salt damage are very common in homes that are that close to the ocean. Requires more upkeep.

I used to own 4 of their timeshares and I always felt like I got a lot more bang for my buck with them than with my other timeshares.
 

Panina

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For a nicer location and resort your maintenance fee is actually good. Many similar resorts have higher maintenance fees. If you want lower maintenance fees you should own at independent smaller resorts.
 

wilma

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We own 2 GPR resorts--Red Wolf Lakeside Lodge and Hanalei Bay. Red wolf is almost next door to edgelake beach club and RWLL's maintenance fees are double edgelake's. The units at Edgelake are spartan and the front desk people are not very helpful & the units are nicer & the staff much better at RWLL, but I am not convinced that RWLL maintenance fees should be so high. A few years back RWLL added a special assessment to the maintenance fee to do some required dock & beach repair but of course never lowered the fees once the work was done. The transfer fees with GPR are also very high so it makes selling difficult.
 

klpca

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GPR has higher MFs, but they usually have more activities and nicer locations. Being close to the ocean requires more maintenance. Mold, mildew and salt damage are very common in homes that are that close to the ocean. Requires more upkeep.

I used to own 4 of their timeshares and I always felt like I got a lot more bang for my buck with them than with my other timeshares.
We use our day use at both resorts and they great beach gear available for use - chairs & umbrellas, wagons, beach cruisers, boogie boards, and skim boards. I wish that more timeshares offered amenities like those. But there is a cost I suppose.
 

SmithOp

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The transfer fees with GPR are also very high so it makes selling difficult.
Fees are not that bad compared to HGVC. I gave away a Seapointe EOY float and the new owner paid the transfer. AVCO handled everything for $400.




Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
 

buzglyd

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Aren’t a lot of GPR locations right on the ocean? If memory serves, VRI doesn’t have much right on the ocean. So maintenance costs would be higher at GPR.

It’s been awhile, but VRI is just a management company, not an owner. So their costs are lower, right? Dues you pay to VRI are for the membership, not specific resort dues. GPR also manages the entire resort, where I think some VRI locations share the facilities. So it’s not an exact one-to-one equal balance.

Dave
I don't think you've got that correct. VRI is the management company just like GP Resort management is a management company. I pay my Gaslamp maintenance fees to the HOA. I don't have have a separate VRI payment.
 

buzglyd

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I think you've got a bit of an apples and oranges comparison. I own at Carlsbad Inn, Seapointe and Gaslamp Plaza.

Carlsbad Inn has larger units with full kitchens, resort amenities like a pool and gym and groundskeeping. The GP resorts also have fully staffed activities every day along with beach equipment and bicycles.

Gaslamp has nice rooms with mini-kitchens and really no amenities other than the rooftop chairs and morning breakfast. Gaslamp also has a very high occupancy rate because of rentals which makes up for the maintenance fee shortfall.

I enjoy them all and Gaslamp has day use (which is basically sitting on the roof) and bonus time for owners. At $80 for a night downtown it's a bargain.
 

DaveNW

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I don't think you've got that correct. VRI is the management company just like GP Resort management is a management company. I pay my Gaslamp maintenance fees to the HOA. I don't have have a separate VRI payment.
I could easily be mistaken. Doesn’t Grand Pacific own some resorts? I don’t remember VRI owning any.

Dave
 

buzglyd

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I could easily be mistaken. Doesn’t Grand Pacific own some resorts? I don’t remember VRI owning any.

Dave
Yes Grand Pacific developed several resorts but the management company would still be a separate entity even though it's under the same umbrella. Technically, the sold out resorts are owned by the owners and not Grand Pacific.
 

DaveNW

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Yes Grand Pacific developed several resorts but the management company would still be a separate entity even though it's under the same umbrella. Technically, the sold out resorts are owned by the owners and not Grand Pacific.
Ok. Thanks!

Dave
 

Ddee555

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Thank you everyone for your replies. It does give some perspective on things. I was not aware of the financing aspect in lieu of a special assessment. I do not know if this happened at Carlsbad Inn or Coronado, because I do read the owners newsletter, but I do see improvements each year that I can appreciate. As I stated, I would rather have higher maintenance fees than a special assessment. But, I just wish costs could be more controlled as it should not be an "automatic rule" that assessments go up every year for any timeshare.
 

klpca

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Thank you everyone for your replies. It does give some perspective on things. I was not aware of the financing aspect in lieu of a special assessment. I do not know if this happened at Carlsbad Inn or Coronado, because I do read the owners newsletter, but I do see improvements each year that I can appreciate. As I stated, I would rather have higher maintenance fees than a special assessment. But, I just wish costs could be more controlled as it should not be an "automatic rule" that assessments go up every year for any timeshare.
Btw, I think I saw the financing info in a proposed budget for Coronado. It was on my radar because of the Seapointe info. If you have any of your proposed budgets, I think that you can find the info there. I couldn't locate mine. They came in the regular mail, not email.
 

dougp26364

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MF’s are a funny thing. On the one hand incremental increases have far exceeded our incremental increases in income, which has made it increasingly difficult to validate timeshare as part of our yearly budget. On the other hand MF’s continue to remain cheaper than hotel room rates and provide us with so much more than a hotel room.

Owning at one time, with six different brands has given me a little perspective over the years. The least expensive resort we owned, and loved because it was cheap, fell into such disrepair it’s now been closed (Grand Regency in Branson). We’ve also owned with DRI, who had a nice product but unreasonably high MF’s in comparison to other resort groups. They suffered from exceptionally high management fees IMHO. We got rid of those weeks because of that issue. Loved the system but fees where in line with Marriott while quality was more inline with Spinnaker.

Now to what we own, those fees and why. We have a week with Grand Resorts in Breckenridge. Nice resort but the fees are, IMHO, outlandish compared to quality. However, so are everyone else’s in the area. Breckenridge is one of those locations that is expensive to do business in. By contrast our Las Vegas and Branson ownerships are a great value. So location can have a lot to do with fees.

Likewise who manages your resort can have an impact. As mentioned DRI priced us out with their fees vs resort quality. Wen I looked at the budget their management fees were a killer. Marriott is a really bigg MF to us but, Marriott has a soft refurbishment every 5 years and a full refurbishment every 10. That’s an aggressive and expensive model to maintain. Marriott also throws in a lot of non-revenue producing amenities that cost to maintain. Some I really could live without such as the huge projection screens or video screens at the pools with some resorts.

Then there’s quality. We own a week in Branson with Spinnaker. It’s the least expensive week with our 2 bedroom loft unit running $695. But, the carpet has a long running snag down the middle. The furniture is still original to when we purchased over 10 years ago. The dishwasher is one of the cheapest models and is excessively loud. The washer/dryer combo remains an old stackable set. The bath amenities are the cheapest. Bath towels are not plush. The largest TV is “maybe” 32” and three of the four TV’s are the old sets and not even flat screens. Even making reservations is old school, forcing us to email them three request dates and then they tell us which one we get, if any. Still, it’s a nice resort with, for us, a great location in Branson. We enjoy our ownership and appreciate the lid on MF’s. Sure the Marriott in Branson is far nicer but I’ll trade that for saving $400/year in fees.

So fees are what they are. Sometimes, like with DRI, the fees don’t equate with the quality of other resorts nearby. Sometimes the fees are higher than nearby resorts but the quality is that much higher (in Branson Spinnaker vs Marriott is a good example). Sometimes the fees are higher than other locations but that’s because the local municipality hammers the owners, businesses and/or residents (look at Hawaii as an example). You’ll need to do some digging to decide if GPR’s is sticking it to you with fees that don’t add to your enjoyment of your ownership.
 

Ddee555

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Thank you, Doug. I appreciate your thoughtful reply. Something to think about for me.
 

VegasBella

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I own at CBI and I attended an owner's update Summer before last. One of the things they mentioned that they have to pay for was to lobby to keep the homes along the oceanfront from building up so we can keep our beach view. That's the kind of cost that you wouldn't necessarily appreciate until it's been explained. As an owner, I certainly appreciate the view.
 

Ddee555

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Thank you, VegasBella.
 

baf99

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The 2018 maintenance fees at Carlsbad Inn did increase more than usual based on my payment records. Here's what I found by looking back at my payment records for a 1 bedroom:

upload_2018-9-15_16-25-9.png
This is a picture which is more readable than the numerical data which follows.

Year % incr. annual total
2012 - $ 785.20
2013 2.86% $ 807.64
2014 3.88% $ 839.00
2015 4.16% $ 873.88
2016 2.53% $ 896.00
2017 3.65% $ 928.68
2018 10.31% $ 1,024.40

Since all previous years for which I have data were less than 5% I'm going to wait and see what happens next year. I'm hoping this year was an aberration. I have to admit I didn't look too closely at the annual report so I will probably be digging that info out as well (if I can find it--record keeping isn't one of my gifts).
 

Ddee555

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Thank you, Barbara. I appreciate the chart. Record-keeping is not my forte either and I do not remember anything out of the ordinary happening between 2017 and 2018 to merit a 10.31% increase. If you find out anything significant, please let me know. I remember reading recently about new furniture, etc.
 

jlhoelzel

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The level of MF’s are a mystery to me. Using Coronado inn as an example, say 40 weeks of MFs at say $1,000 a week for say 50 units nets $2,000,000 or $40,000 a unit.

It doesn’t cost near $ 40k to operate what is a small apartment.

No capital cost (all units are Owned) so salaries, facilities maintenance and management fees are the major costs.

Seems like the level of all three categories must include serious profits in fees and salaries. What am I Missing?
 

Ddee555

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The level of MF’s are a mystery to me. Using Coronado inn as an example, say 40 weeks of MFs at say $1,000 a week for say 50 units nets $2,000,000 or $40,000 a unit.

It doesn’t cost near $ 40k to operate what is a small apartment.

No capital cost (all units are Owned) so salaries, facilities maintenance and management fees are the major costs.

Seems like the level of all three categories must include serious profits in fees and salaries. What am I Missing?
I agree and I suspect a huge chunk is being made in management fees to Grand Pacific Resorts.
 
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