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Fairfield buys Shawnee Delvelopment

andy

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Shawnee

I am at Shawnee now, I think that the owners here will have large assements to bring the resort up to Fairfield standards. The Shawnee Inn was not part of the purchase.
 

Holly

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What do you think the timing will be for Fairfield to "get things up to standard". Do they have a history of doing things quickly?
 

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What makes you think the Owners Associations will cooperate with anything that requires a big assessment? The Fairway section is already being assessed $100 per year in order to refurbish a mere two units a year. Poor initial planning and an historical lack of funding is the reason those units are so far behind. It would cost a small fortune to catch them all up overnight.

Ridgetop is on solid financial ground and those units are well maintained. The River (I & II) and Depuy sections fall somewhere in between. I just don't see where Fairfield has aquired say in those sections just because they purchased the development company. The individual sections are governed by their owners associations and run by the management firm hired by those associations. I can't see any of the associations voting to have Fairfield take over the management, particularly if it will cost $$$. The original Fairway owners are already unhappy about the extra $100 for the last two years and tend to be older folks, many of whom are on a fixed income.

Fairfield bought Shawnee Development, which only has control over the Ridgetop Summit section. Those are the folks who will have to conform to Fairfield's requirements, bit those are also the most recently built units and should be in excellent shape. Fairfield may, of course, upgrade the plans for all of the units that have not yet been built.

I would not be surprised to see new recreational structures introduced. I'm sure they will be voted on and some associations may choose not to participate, as happened when the current rec center was built and the Northslope group decided to opt out. As such, they are not allowed use of the facility.

As a Ridgetop owner, I am very interested in seeing what develops. I've been hoping Theresa would chime in with additional information as she works for the current management company. I, for one, don't want to see that management company go.
 

davhu1

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Initially, I though Fairfield acquired Shawnee Dev mainly to build new timeshare. Then I found this from Timeshare Beat:
http://www.thetimesharebeat.com/2005/aug/0815-03t.htm

"Through the acquisition, Fairfield Resorts, Inc. will acquire approximately 28,000 existing timeshare owners, 600 timeshare/condo units under active management contracts, 14 units of available timeshare inventory, fully entitled land for 41 timeshare units, and approximately 200 acres adjacent to the Shawnee Mountain ski area tentatively entitled for future timeshare development."

Wish they would provide more detail on how they will acquire the existing owners. I am an owner at River Village II and happy with status quo, unless Fairfield provides an attractive offer. I am not willing to spend more money to join Fairfield.

Any comments from owners who have their timeshare acquired by Fairfield?
 

KenK

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"...will acqire...?" Does that really mean "...will manage...?" HOA's ARE OWNER CONTROLLED. (Unless FF get enough votes to change things?)

This is what I have found re Shawnee:

(Shawnee Development = SDI)

SDI controlled all 'developer' operations - building, selling, etc. They also owned Interval Management, Inc (IMI) - the mangement company. All the existing HOAs are owner controlled and had a contract with IMI - Shawnee HOA's have a great deal of control over resort operations. IMI took direction from the owners, not the other way around. For many years now, the HOAs could have chosen any management company they wanted - but they chose IMI.

Fairfield bought IMI and the developer end of things - so they now own the management company. AFAIK, the owners associations all extended their contracts with full knowledge that FF was taking over those contracts when IMI was purchased. FF also bought some property SDI owned that they plan to develop with Fairfield Presidential Suites. They did not buy The Shawnee Inn or The Shawnee Mountain (neither of which was owned by SDI anyway) or a few of SDI's other holdings, nor did they purchase Shawnee Yachtsman, Sand Pebble, or Island Gulf....
(End of facts we know about.)


What to speculate? What can FF do, if the owners like the maint fees to stay low ??? (remember....Marriott has fees from $700 to over $1000 a week....) And I've had a week at Shawnee Summit...it could easily be a Marriott...except I've never been to a Marriott with Sony DBX/DOLBY 6 channel sound systems via DVD on the 32' 700 line resolution TV , 3 FULL baths (one handicapped friendly) in a two bedroom with shower hoses.....(ok....I'll stop....not all the Shawnee units are so equipped)

Here's speculation as to what could happen:

What can FF do as far as association fees/rennovations/etc? I can't see how they can do much of anything in those areas if the HOAs don't want it done. God knows there are many things IMI would have done if the HOAs had been given the ok and the money that the associations said no to. And many things wouldn't have been done but the associations wanted them done (built in furniture in RV2 comes to mind...) I'd guess they could deny certain associations certain FF benefits if they refuse to go along - but I don't know what they are or how powerful that leverage is. I know one Shawnee HOA was motivated to refurbish about 10 years ago because RCI threatened to drop them if they didn't - so I guess they could do something like that with the FF program.......

If FF can get control of the HOAs, they may be able to get what they want. FF NEEDS a lot more $$ to pay out to its high paid directors, and to CD stockholders, and president....I think maint fees will be rising.., when Shawnee HOAs "SEE THE FAIRFIELD LIGHT"... Lets put up a big giant tent next to the INN (they will see the 'LIGHT' too)....and have a old time revival meeting..... Silverman can lead the choir...

Owners need to realize that if FF offers a deed change (even for points), it might bring about ownership control issues (your HOA may disappear...or FF will control it). (FF will probably immediately forclose ASAP on any kind of delinquent week....so as to control its vote. )

Thats just MHO and a friends HO. Probably way off base.

If you have questions on this, please e mail your Shawnee rep.

With management change, I think our great Shawnee informational helper ought to avoid posting until the dust settles. Jobs are important nowdays...need to pay for the gas. (ie...the gas that drives cars)
 
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carolbol

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Fairfield takeover of Shawnee

Just received my First letter today regarding FF purchase of Shawnee. I own at Fairway Village. The letter didn't say much, just an introduction that "Shawnee Village recently became part of Fairfield Resorts" and "Over the next several weeks you will receive additional information from our company."
Attached was one sheet of a few questions that they thought they would hear the most.

1. Why did (SDI) Shawnee Development, Inc sell? Answer--"uncertainty whether selling fixed weeks in today's market was viable." "Fairfield stood out as the best match to provide Shawnee owners with the opportunity to receive flexibility that they deserve" (of course I happen to like fixed weeks and I also like trading in II vs. RCI)


2. Why did Fairfield buy Shawnee? Answer--"Shawnee's location and reputation made it a desirable purchase for Fairfield" "Shawnee is a well-known and well-respected resort." (I agree, day trips to Philly or NYC, and is right on the Delaware River) hopefully not in it with all this rain the East is getting

3. What did Fairfield buy? " Fairfield Resorts now is parent company of SDI . SDI continues to own Interval Managment Inc. and Willow Dell sales center. SDI still has right to build remaining timeshare units in Ridetop Village and land around Shawnee Mountain Ski Area that will be used for future timeshare development. " Fairfield did not purchase Shawnee Inn or Shawnee mountain ski lift....
Shawnee's Yachtsman, Sand Pebble and Island Gulf resorts were sold to a different developer. (letter did not mention who????)

4. Will our fees go up? "The Board of Directors of your owners association adopts a budget each year that dictates what your fees will be. Fairfield cannot tell them what fee to charge..."

We will know more later.

ANYONE ELSE OUT THERE WHO HAS BEEN TAKEN OVER BY FAIRFIELD???
Positive? Negative? not much of a change? Can they force us to all go on points if we don't want to? Do we now have to trade only with RCI? I use II and am very happy with my trades and getaways...
 
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Pat H

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FF is also going to lay off 46 people by next Spring. Sure hope Theresa isn't one of them.
 

somerville

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carolbol said:
ANYONE ELSE OUT THERE WHO HAS BEEN TAKEN OVER BY FAIRFIELD???
Positive? Negative? not much of a change? Can they force us to all go on points if we don't want to? Do we now have to trade only with RCI? I use II and am very happy with my trades and getaways...
Fairfield took over Equivest Vacation and Travel Club. Fees doubled, membership declined, and there is zero communication, except for annual fee statement. NOT positive.
 

Carolinian

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Fairfield also took over Bluebeard's Castle in St. Thomas, USVI, and that is a real horror story. There are now lawsuits pending between the HOA's and Fairfield and Fairfield is playing hardball. If I owned a resort taken over by these goons, I would SELL, SELL, SELL.

The letter, I think, shows their goal. They want to go after the owner base to con them into converting to points at a high cost. The owners associations ought to do all they can to warn their members about that scam.
They ought to educate their members about the pending class action lawsuit against Fairfield and the Bluebeards lawsuit, and by all means warn them about Fairfield's points pushers pedaling their expensive snake oil.
 
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Sandy VDH

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I owned at 2 Vacation Breaks properties that are in Ft Lauderdale/Pompano Beach area that were taken over by Fairfield, these were the Sea Gardens and Santa Barbara resorts.

I eventually did convert to Fairfield's Fair Share Plus Point program.

I love the FF program, as it is much more flexible and works for my situation. At the time of my conversion I bought two more resales weeks and had them added to my portfolio then I converted them all at the same time.

It may not work for everybody, but it worked just great for me. It was worth the cost to upgrade to the points program. Each individual has to decide based on their own needs and timesharing patterns, what is best for them.

To me converting was the best option. I love my FF and am now VIP Gold and own 567,000 annual points.

My maintenance fees are slightly higher at Fairfield than at some of my other smaller less fancy timeshares, but that are less expensive than my Hilton and Hawaii properties.
 

jalexander

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The problem is partly Fairfield and partly the association boards.

On the boards I have dealt with (both condo and timeshare), most people on the board have no idea what is involved in running the place, so they simply defer to the management company. Most likely, the management company has different goals that you as an owner do. People that are not on the boards who ask too many questions are often ignored by the management company (claiming "they work for the board") unless people on the board direct them to talk to you

Fairfield's goal is to make oodles of money for Cendant, to build new timeshares, and to upgrade the existing timeshares to points

Get involved, run for the board, ask hard questions
 

Tia

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davhu1 said:
Any comments from owners who have their timeshare acquired by Fairfield?

GOOD LUCK, we own at Bluebeards Castle and Bluebeards Beach Club, which FF acquired when it bought Equivest . I'm not impressed with what is going on with either exactly.
 

dstott

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I was at Shawnee the last week in September. That was the week they did the big firing. The woman hosting the owners meeting admitted that Fairfield was discouraging the owners meeting, because they didn't like the information that was being put out. Nothing controversial was put out, though my observations were pretty much confirmed. The woman was certainly afraid of losing her job.

Fairfield was holding meetings with the Fairway and DePuy owners. It seems they have decided not to list those two sections in their catalog, because they aren't up to snuff. One rumour is that they didn't want to buy those sections at all, but the deal was all or nothing. They were offering "last chance" opportunities to those folks to upgrade. From what I could tell, a lot of people did, as the inventory of Ridgetop Summit weeks was quickly exhausted.

As a Ridgetop owner they neither offered to upgrade or sell anything to me. My impression is that they will only list our remaining sections until they get their own units built and then they will also drop us from their catalog. I suspect they will build their own facilities near their own units and not allow the older owners to use them, or will charge a fee to the association for use.

I doubt that the individual boards will give in to many of Fairfield's demands, even though Fairfield has donated a sum of money to each association (Stated to be "a drop in the bucket" by one association officer). A large number of Shawnee owners are older and on fixed income. They will fight any unreasonable fee increases. These owners are afraid and they are unhappy. They have every right to be. They have dealt with the relatively benign Shawnee salespeople and do not realize what they are going to face in the future. I pointed out that "last chance" offers will only be that way until Fairfield decides to sell them something. Frankly, a lot of them are like lambs to the slaughter.
 

KenK

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Like sell them all points conversions??? or if they refuse....be left to the second class maintance and upgrade sections?

If they sell the FF points conversion, will owner contracts change indicating that FF will be able to control the HOAs?

Does FF have the responsibility of maintaing ALL the Shawnee sections when they took over the last management company? Can they drop two or three sections and say they can find a new managerment company? Can they split a section, and manage the sections wi the most co operative owners?
 

dstott

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1. It appears that they don't intend to sell point conversion to those in the "undesirable" sections. These owners were told at their private meetings that they would have to upgrade to Ridgetop Summit in order to participate. Point conversion was only addressed as a potential for owners in the remaining sections. No costs were discussed nor any details as they are "not ready" to make an offering.

2. It was explained that point conversion would only alter the trading system and not the current owner associations. Particularly, this was addressed in regard to a question about some converting and some not. It appears conversion will be handled on a one on one basis and not a vote of the association. Thus, nobody will be forced to convert.

3. Fairfield bought the management company from the Shawnee owners. I was informed that each association had recently negotiated a long-tern contract with the management company pror to the sale. As such both sides are obligated, but I am not familiar with the specifics. As I understand it, the management company makes recommendations and each association weighs the cost and comes back with a decision. That is why Ridgetop has 3 TVs and DVD players, while other sections do not. The associations are not all on equal footing from a financial standpoint and may not be able to afford Fairfields suggestions.
 

davhu1

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What happens when a week is converted to FF points. Do the owner turn in the deed and FF would acquire the voting rights? or would it be similar to the RCI points system where you still hold the deed?
 

Robnsunny

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When you convert a fixed week you keep the deed and the right to reserve that week 13-10 months in advance. At 10 months it is open to all owners. You will pay a fee based on the number of points you own for the FSP (points) system. This includes your RCI membership so it's lower than it looks.

Fairfield does not control your HOAs but, as has been seen elsewhere, they will play hardball to try to bring them in line. I suggest being active to try to prevent any changes you don't want.

Fairfield needs resorts in the points system in the northeast. It's a big sales draw to be able to offer a selection within a short drive. They may offer to a deal to convert some of the better units to points. Don't expect any special deals to last long or be offered again later.

If you want to keep your fixed week as is, you'll probably notice little change, maybe some higher fees. If you want points, Fairfield has a one of the best systems. Worse things could have happened than being bought by Fairfield.
 

Jya-Ning

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dstott said:
1. It appears that they don't intend to sell point conversion to those in the "undesirable" sections. These owners were told at their private meetings that they would have to upgrade to Ridgetop Summit in order to participate. Point conversion was only addressed as a potential for owners in the remaining sections. No costs were discussed nor any details as they are "not ready" to make an offering.
Currently, when they decide what many points to give for each week, the conversion charge is around 2,400 first week, then 1,000 the follow up week(s). HOA as a group may be able to make a neg. to lower the 1st week conversion. But since FF can build on the area, and already has some units to sell, it maybe a very hard battle.

If you buy from developer, don't know if there is a min points requirement, each week can be converted with $189. But assume you buy 70k points, it will probably means you loss at least 6k immediately.

The good thing after convert is you suddenly has a distress established eBay market, although at a price of .015 to .030 per point. And unless you use the week most of the time, you will be able to get to other place at prime time easier.

FF suppose will keep certain amount of points in the trust. Therefore they can also vote on HOA. They did not be able to assign HOA at will. But it will be hard to avoid they put their owner in.

3. Fairfield bought the management company from the Shawnee owners. I was informed that each association had recently negotiated a long-tern contract with the management company pror to the sale.
This does not sound good. Hopefully you have a management cost cap on the contract.

Jya-Ning
 

Carolinian

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I wonder if they were in negotiations to sell to Fairfield at the time these contracts were negotiated, and, if so, there failure to disclose that fact might offer an opportunity to get out of them.
 
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