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Float Weeks

Defcon1

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Hi

I have been lurking here for a while and am really impressed by thoroughness of the info that gets posted. I went to a Starwood presentation recently (Rancho Mirage)knowing I would not buy from the developer after everything I read here. I learned more "trolling the tug posts" than I thought possible.

So I have read lots of posts and forgive me if these questions have been answered elsewhere.

I am leaning toward a fixed week in Palm Springs because that's where I like to go every year for vacation. However, I see lots of weeks listed that are floating weeks and few that are fixed. I conceptually understand the float week idea but each one says something like "floats weeks 27 to 36" subject to reservations. So I am thinking that there's a chance that I buy a float week and don't get to use it because it's booked up. Or did I misunderstand and the float week means I get one of those weeks for sure - say any week between 27 to 36 in this example if it was my home resort. I have not decided on a system but I do like the Marriott offerings in the Desert. I probably won't trade as much as I would use it for myself which is what I am in it for. With the fixed week, I get that week no matter what right? I am talking about a deeded week.

Thanks Keith :banana:
 

Egret1986

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It all depends.....

....as far as floating weeks, here's a simplistic scenario, but I believe it conveys what can happen for those who wait to long to make a reservation for a float week. You have those who plan ahead and know what week they want for the following year and make their reservations 12 months ahead. You have those who aren't sure when they want to vacation or just don't bother to make a reservation until last minute. Perhaps it is already into week 40 of the vacation year and several of the previous 39 weeks were not reserved. Then there are more folks needing reservations than weeks available for usage. Someone might not get a week for that year. To me a floating week requires advance planning and making sure a reservation is made as far in advance as is possible. As far as a deeded fixed week is concerned, that's your week to use each year unless you place it with an exchange company. Floating weeks provide flexibility, but require a bit more effort. Also beware of resorts that say they float weeks 1-52. I owned at one that actually has weeks that are not available to owners of floating weeks.
 

Defcon1

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Wow....

Thanks for the info. That's unreal you could buy a 1 to 52 week float week and not be able to use it. You are talking about weeks that are blacked out? Was that what your contract actually said or did they unilaterally decide to change the rules? I can see a float week will require early planning on my part. I usually go to the desert in the summer and it seems to be a low demand time of year out there.

I am leaning toward a fixed week at a location I go every year so I am thinking I could end up at a nicer place for the money spent in terms of the annual MF and not have to deal with RCI or II unless I decide to trade. I see lots of sucess and lots of failures dealing with these exchangers so it seems there's a skill factor involved.
 
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vacationtime1

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Summer weeks in the desert are usually easy to get. They are also often available as Interval Getaways for far less than the MF's. If you can handle that degree of ambiguity, you can have that type of vacation without ownership. You should check that out before "investing" in a purchase.
 

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Not Unreal -- It Happens.

That's unreal you could buy a 1 to 52 week float week and not be able to use it. You are talking about weeks that are blacked out? Was that what your contract actually said or did they unilaterally decide to change the rules? I can see a float week will require early planning on my part.
Not all floating-week systems are the same. But the total-float system that I'm familiar with does indeed mean that it's possible to get shut out entirely by waiting too late to put in a reservation request.

The possibility of getting shut out completely (by waiting till too late in the year to make a reservation) is the unfortunate downside of Floating Week timeshares. The convenient upside, as we all know, is not being stuck with the same week year in & year out, but instead being able to pick different weeks & seasons in different years.

When we initially bought our 1st resale timeshare in 2002, there was such slop in the resort's floating weeks system at the time that owners could & did wait till late in the year & were still able to get reservations. As newbies, we naturally formed our impression then of how it works.

We discovered later that we were wrong -- that the way it's supposed to work when delinquencies are down & payments are up is that it's important to reserve early in the year to avoid the risk of getting shut out even though we paid all our fees on time.

If we wait too late & nothing's left for us to reserve, then what happened to our paid-for week? Easy -- in that case, ours was 1 of the units that remained vacant & went unused earlier in the year during a week gone by when lots of owners were keeping their options open & waiting till later to make their plans.

Floating week timeshares are like Musical Chairs. Every week that goes by means 1 week's worth of potentially usable timeshare units that are no longer available to reserve -- mox nix whether anybody used'm or not. For illustration, say all owners are fully paid up but nobody reserves time for the whole 1st half of the year. That would mean during the last half of the year, all the owners would be in competition with each other to get a reservation when only 1/2 enough weeks to go around are still remaining. Half the owners will get reservations. Half the owners will get shut out -- even though they paid all their fees. That's extreme, of course, but it illustrates what happens to the owners who wait too late in the year to reserve a floating timeshare week.

At my floating week timeshare today, thanks to good management, there is hardly any slop in the system. Ownership & billing records are pretty much complete & accurate & up to date. Most owners pay up on time. Follow-up action against the late-payers & deadbeats is quick & aggressive. There are hardly any weeks not spoken for that can be made available to people who wait till dangerously late in the year.

One owner there who complained bitterly about getting shut out was specially grieved at seeing weeks offered for rent at the resort at the same time the owner was being told there were no floating weeks left to reserve. OK, so what about that? Easy -- it's 2 different bunches of weeks. The timeshare company still owns a bunch of weeks that were never sold to individual customers. Those sometimes get rented out & sometimes get deposited with an exchange company. In either case, they're not up for grabs for us individual owners, even if some of those weeks go unused. Ditto with weeks that individual owners reserve & put up for exchange the various timeshare trade companies.

Ditto with delinquent weeks seized by the HOA-BOD because the owners didn't pay the fees. Those seized weeks, in effect, belong to all owners. It's not fair to the other owners if I get 1 to reserve of those to make it up to me for not reserving early in the year. The HOA-BOD rents out the seized delinquent weeks & uses the money to offset money owned by the deadbeats. If the HOA-BOD doesn't do that, everybody else's fees go up because of the deadbeats' unpaid timeshare bills.

Think of the various weeks at the start of the year as separate inventory categories. 1st is weeks paid for & up for grabs by regular paid up floating week timeshare owners. 2nd is the group of weeks seized by the HOA-BOD for nonpayment of fees. 3rd is the weeks still owned by the timeshare company. 4th is the group of weeks individual owners have reserved & turned over to timeshare exchange companies. As regular walking-around timeshare owners, we are limited to Inventory Category 1 -- & all those weeks are 1st come 1st served. If nothing's left in Category 1 when we call up to request a reservation, we're flat out of luck. We have no claim on any weeks in any of the other categories.

So far, The Chief Of Staff & I have not been completely shut out -- although we came close in 2006 & actually took a "surprise" vacation during the only week that was left when we called up the reservation desk.

I am sorry that anybody gets shut out, but it can & does happen & the risk is always there. Perhaps if our management company someday sets up an on-line reservation system that displays in real time via Internet everything that's left for the rest of the year, & that listing is updated continually as people make their reservations, then maybe it'll be easy for owners to get the picture early & avoid disappointment.

If there are, say, 1,000 owners & just 1,000 unit-weeks available as of every January 1st, then it can all work out OK for everybody, but not if too many people wait till too late in the year.

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.​

 

Latravel

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I own a floating week in Palm Springs. Floating just means that every year, you have to call and make a reservation for the week you want. It can change every year and many people like the idea that you can chose different weeks every year depending on your schedule. I like it because my children's spring break changes year to year and that is when we like to go.

In order to get the week you want, you have to reserve as early as possible. In the Marriott system, reservations are taken one year in advance, so if I really really really only wanted a specific date, I would call as soon as the schedule opened. You don't have to call a year in advance, though, to get a good week. I called about 7 months in advance for a week in March, which is the highest demand time according to II. I wouldn't worry about not getting any week.
 

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If the resort has a good floating system, then weeks in the desert would never be floating 1-52. But they would have seasons.
Like;
red would be winter and spring when all those weeks would be highest demand.
White would be late spring and fall, when demand is still high but much less than RED
Blue would be summer, when the desert heat lowers demand even though it is peak vacation time.

The Marriott TS in Palm desert do just this and therefore getting a week when you want during your season isn't too hard.

BUT sometimes the resort doesn't match it's seasons to demand very well. And there can be lots of owners fighting for just a few peak weeks. IMHO, Stay away from a resort like that.
 

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The other issue you might run into is when you want week 52 - new year' week. For most floating-week resorts it is the last week you can reserve during your use year (some resorts use a differen calendar or floating period).

Say your resort has 500 rooms, then the first 500 people to request rooms for that week will get them. But, there may be other factors - do some owners get to reserve before others, because they have "premium" memberships, or because they are reserving 2 weeks in a row?

Your particular resorts allow you to reserve 10 months out (this varies from resort to resort, and is important to know). You are caller #505, so you don't get one of the units for that week. Now you have to consider when else you might visit - your second choice was Thanksgiving, but guess what? That's popular too, so you needed to reserve that 5 weeks ago. Same for all the other holiday weeks. Also, since it's 2 months into the year, the first two months of your use year have passed, and some of those weeks may not have been used. Your choices may be limited because people at this point have already had the opportunity to reserve every other week.

As Alan pointed out, you might still be able to stay at your resort during that week - one of those first 500 callers may choose to rent the week, or deposit it to RCI or II. Some TUG members have been upset by this because they only wish to use their home resort, and don't want to pay for RCI or II membership just to use their own resort. That's what happens when you're not one of those first 500 callers, or if you wait to late until NOTHING is available (or at least nothing that you can use).
 

Defcon1

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Thanks

These posts really help clarify in my mind how the floating weeks work. I can get some flexibility but clearly it will take some work well in advance to get what I want. Sounds like chances are I can get what I want at that particular resort if I act early but others have had some sucess acting less than 12 months out. However, I still don't like the risk of being closed out. The example of half the units not being reserved / used for the first 6-months of the year and then 100% of the owners competing for the remaning 26 weeks in now clear in my mind. I know it would not happen exactly like that but conceptually every week that's unused by other other owners before me that year results in potentially 1 week owner completing for what's left.

I did see a couple of posts about people quite pissed that they saw other weeks avaialble for rent but none for them to trade. I think it was in one of the RCI threads they deposited their week and looked for what would be available and found nothing that they felt was comparable but saw lots available for rent for a fee. I thougt the exchangers were just playing games but at the same time they make money when trades are made so I thought there were probably other reasons as well.

Although I am thinking about a week proabably fixed maybe floating at a resort I like, one concern I have from reading through some of the system discussions is they (maybe Starwood and likely Marriott soon) not letting people who buy from resellers be part of their internal trade system. Starwood for sure and sounds like Marriott is about to do that. The reseller prices here are so much better than froma developer. I went to Marriott in Palm Desert and seemed to recall their Lockoff 2 Bdrm being between $23,000 and $30,000 depending on week. I see them so much less at TUG and Ebay but then I would not be able to participate in their internal exchange system since I did not buy from them right? But I still could open an RCI or Il account and deposit my week and trade for another week for whatever's available right?
 

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Float is great where appropriate and well handled

Don't forget that a well run and fair float resort plays no favorites. Everyone gets the same use rights (possibly within a designated season) and there are no "preferred" rights where some group gets 13 months vs 10 or other games - it is simply you reserve within the allotted time frame and evryone has the same chance. At those resorts - the majority of 100% float resorts I hope - using a reasonable approach will almost always get you your desired week rather than being forced to use a fixed week every year.

Especially in nearly year round areas that is a big difference and makes the ownership much better. In areas where the desirable season is limited a fixed week may be a much better answer.
 

Defcon1

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thanks

Thanks for the comments John. I think you are right about maybe a fixed week maybe being better for my case.

k:hi:

ps... what's wastegate? Sounds ominous.
 

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Thanks for the comments John. I think you are right about maybe a fixed week maybe being better for my case.
Personally, we love having floating weeks. And If you're thinking about buying in the Palm Desert /palm Springs area. There are so many good weeks in each season that only if you have to have New Years or Presidents week will you likely ever have a problem.

You're likely to only get shut out of getting a week if you wait to till the very last minute to call for a week during the last couple of months of the year.
 

AwayWeGo

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Don't Get Him Started.

ps... what's wastegate? Sounds ominous.
He's not the only 1 with WestGate issues.

If you're seriously curious, the TUG-BBS search function will lead you to all you care to know & then some.

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.​
 

timeos2

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Thanks for the comments John. I think you are right about maybe a fixed week maybe being better for my case.

k:hi:

ps... what's wastegate? Sounds ominous.
Some know it as Westgate but that really doesn't fit. It is without a doubt the worst timeshare organization in existence for every possible reason. Look around at the many posts to get an idea. And stay away from anything that has CFI / Wastegate involved or you will be sorry.
 

vacationtime1

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I went to Marriott in Palm Desert and seemed to recall their Lockoff 2 Bdrm being between $23,000 and $30,000 depending on week. I see them so much less at TUG and Ebay but then I would not be able to participate in their internal exchange system since I did not buy from them right? But I still could open an RCI or Il account and deposit my week and trade for another week for whatever's available right?
Marriott has no internal trading system (as you note) and whether they ever will is a matter of conjecture.

That said, you are correct regarding the use of II to trade Marriott or a Starwood resale purchase.

Most Marriott and Starwood properties (I believe including all California desert properties) trade through II and not RCI.
 

Egret1986

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I just pulled the deed to see how it was stated.

Thanks for the info. That's unreal you could buy a 1 to 52 week float week and not be able to use it. You are talking about weeks that are blacked out? Was that what your contract actually said or did they unilaterally decide to change the rules? I can see a float week will require early planning on my part. I usually go to the desert in the summer and it seems to be a low demand time of year out there.

I am leaning toward a fixed week at a location I go every year so I am thinking I could end up at a nicer place for the money spent in terms of the annual MF and not have to deal with RCI or II unless I decide to trade. I see lots of sucess and lots of failures dealing with these exchangers so it seems there's a skill factor involved.
This was purchased on eBay and the listing indicated it floated weeks 1-52. But looking at the deed, it doesn't say floats weeks 1-52, it states "a floating vacation interest". Yes, there are blacked out weeks. I believe after I bought at this resort, that I found a thread here on TUG about this resort that buyers should beware that not all weeks were available in the float system. I was thinking that the deed indicated a float 1-52, but actually it was only the listing on eBay that stated 1-52. I forgot about that. There only a very few weeks that are blacked out and think that is because all the weeks are fixed for those timeframes. Best wishes for finding the timeshare that works for you!
 

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More questions about Flaoting versus fixed...

One thing I have seen posted is that some floating weeks seem to be disguised as fixed weeks. I saw a post where the person said their deed said something like week 14 but it turned out that was some type of administrative assignment for control purposes. The week turned out to be floating. Does anybody have a suggestion about how not to let this happen to me? Of course I am thinking read the contract. Bit if the contract says it's a particular week as noted above, then what? What type of language would I look for in the contract or deed? How can I distinguish between them assigning a week for their own internal purpose and what's really a fixed week?
 

AwayWeGo

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Fret Not. That Language Is Standard.

One thing I have seen posted is that some floating weeks seem to be disguised as fixed weeks. I saw a post where the person said their deed said something like week 14 but it turned out that was some type of administrative assignment for control purposes. The week turned out to be floating. Does anybody have a suggestion about how not to let this happen to me? Of course I am thinking read the contract. Bit if the contract says it's a particular week as noted above, then what? What type of language would I look for in the contract or deed? How can I distinguish between them assigning a week for their own internal purpose and what's really a fixed week?
My Floating Week timeshare deed is for a specific week & a particular unit -- B36A10B.

Translation = Bldg. B, Unit 36-A&B (lock-offs), Week 10.

But my unit is Floating Weeks all the way -- ditto everybody else's unit in the whole timeshare resort.

How ?

Easy. The timeshare rules & conditions of ownership -- spelled out in the basic official condominium documents that define what people own & that state how it all works & that are recorded down at the courthouse alongside all the deeds -- include provisions setting up & laying out the Floating Week system that applies to all units & all owners.

What I own is 1 thing. How that works within the Floating Weeks system which has been there since Day One is something else again.

Not only that, those officially recorded condo documents are actually incorporated into my individual timeshare deed by reference. For all practical purposes, all the fine print about Floating Weeks & everything is part of my deed even though it's not physically printed on the actual piece of paper.

It's pretty much standard that way from all I've heard & read about it -- i.e., nothing sneaky or underhanded is involved.

Frequently an eBay floating-week timeshare auction will specify a unit & week while pointing out that those are for deed purposes only. No big whoop.

We've never actually stayed in our specific deeded unit, but I've gone over there & walked by the front door just to look at "my" timeshare unit. It would be fun staying in that particular condo some time -- could happen, I suppose, but probably not unless I ask for it, with no guarantee even then.

Plus, it's only "my" unit during Week 10, whereas we usually vacation in January or September. So if I'm not there during "my" week & B36A10B isn't my unit during any other week, then it truly makes no difference which unit I get when I check in during any other week in the year.

BTW, any fixed timeshare week becomes "floating" as a practical matter once it's turned over to a timeshare exchange company for trade. Typically a banked week is good for exchanges with a 2-year range of dates. Banked points are good for a year & can be rolled over for a 2nd year.

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.​

 
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Defcon1

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Alan.. thanks

I am actually looking to buy a fixed week in an area I go most summers. Do you have any suggestions about not getting roped into a floating week that disguised as a fixed? It's good to know they can assign a unit and week for deed purposes but the underlying docs that it's tied to can spell out it's really a floater. I really have been looking for a week at a certain time of year in Palm Desert that would be fixed since that's normally when I go.

When you buy, do you have to sign the CC&R's or whatever they are called agreeing to the rules of the ownership association? I bought a condo once and had to sign them (actually just a cover page but I got copy of them).

It seems I might stand a better chance from somebody who's been here on TUG than an eBay auction from a TS company. I just am not sure what to do to protect myself.

k

ps.. I went to a Developer TS presentation at the Weston (Westin?) in Rancho Mirage. I had no intent to buy from them because I had been to TUG a couple of times. The sales weasels hardly talk about any of the issues that I see here that are material to a purchase. They promised us the moon to get us to buy. :banana:
 

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When you buy, do you have to sign the CC&R's or whatever they are called agreeing to the rules of the ownership association? I bought a condo once and had to sign them (actually just a cover page but I got copy of them).
When you buy resale you usually get nothing from the developer - maybe a generic welcome letter. However, the rules still apply, whether you know what they are or not. Most of that info. is available online, or from other Tuggers - once you get serious about a particular property, you can ask here.

It seems I might stand a better chance from somebody who's been here on TUG than an eBay auction from a TS company.
Maybe, but you will find the lowest prices on ebay. I've bought 4 TS's on ebay with no problem.

I just am not sure what to do to protect myself.
Before you buy, you want to do your own due diligence. There is lots of info. about that posted at the top of the board. Then, you use a reputable, licensed timeshare escrow/closing company to do the closing. They hold all funds and make sure that what you receive, is what you bought. If it isn't, you get all your money back and get out of the deal. The info. is all in the deed, so it isn't hard to verify.
 
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I am actually looking to buy a fixed week in an area I go most summers. Do you have any suggestions about not getting roped into a floating week that disguised as a fixed? It's good to know they can assign a unit and week for deed purposes but the underlying docs that it's tied to can spell out it's really a floater. I really have been looking for a week at a certain time of year in Palm Desert that would be fixed since that's normally when I go. :
Knowing which resort offers fixed weeks will help in your search. You can check the calendar for the resort to see if it reflects any fixed weeks. In the Marriott system, they are typically called Platinum Plus or Holiday weeks. The following is a link to the Marriott resorts page where you can select a specific resort and access its calendar.

http://www.vacationclub.com/resorts/default.jsp

Of the 3 Marriott resorts in the Palm Springs area, only 1 (Shadow Ridge) has a fixed week and it is for Week 52.

D.
 

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On the other side of the coin I love the float weeks. I call 12 mos. (well 13 mos. for me because I own 3 Marriotts). Just put it on your calendar to call while at your vacation week in PS every year. I like if something comes up your dates are flexable. If you want a summer week you should never have a problem getting your week!
 

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Rules Are Rules -- Mox Nix Whether I Sign Anything.

When you buy, do you have to sign the CC&R's or whatever they are called agreeing to the rules of the ownership association?
All I ever signed are checks & sales agreements on my 2 eBay & my 2 non-eBay resale timeshares. I'm bound by the official condo documents that apply even if I never sign them -- & ditto if I never even see them.

BTW, the HOA-BODs of my 2 Orlando timeshares put the basic condo documents for both resorts on the Internet for easy reference & copying. If they hadn't done that, I'd still be clueless on both.

For my own protection in buying resale timeshares, I like to choose my own timeshare closing services agency. I've done that on 3 of my 5 (resale) timeshare purchases. On the other 2, part of the deal that was known going in (i.e., before the point of no return) was a requirement to go with the sellers' timeshare closing services agencies. If I didn't like that, I didn't have to buy the timeshares.

So on those 2, I swallowed hard, crossed my fingers, held my breath, & trusted to luck as I went ahead anyway. As it happened, everything went fine even when I didn't get to choose. Who'd a-thunk ?

So how come I've got only 4 resale timeshares if I've purchased 5 of'm ? Easy. We resold our 1st timeshare the year after we bought it. We received the same price that we paid, then turned around & bought an equivalent unit across the street at Phase Two -- for $1,500 less.

That $1,500 was burning a hole in our pocket & so pretty soon we used it to buy -- ( -- wait for it -- ) -- more timeshares. So now we're set for life on vacation resort interval ownership.

As to making sure a Fixed Week timeshare you're interested in really is Fixed Week, the only thing I can think of is to call'm up & ask -- rather than simply taking some eBay seller's word for it.

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.​
 

Defcon1

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Thanks..

Thanks to all of you for your posts. I was surprised to see that the three Mariotts in the Palm Springs area are primarily floating except Shadrow Ridge for that one week. I went to the link - but didn't see where it said all were floating but I didn't have a lot of time this week. I will go back and spend some time there. I have stayed at Desert Springs and went to a Weasel Show quite some time ago but could not recall much except it's a really nice place. Almost all the posts about Palm Springs in the Summer low season say the same thing - probably won't have trouble getting a summer week since it's lower demand time of year but still subject to availability. Heck.. half the desert closes in the summer and it's like having the town to yourself. I know from 25 years of going out there in the summer it's not that crowded any place.

Also thanks for the suggetion about about the obvious - just call them. Good idea.

Someone on Tug maintains a voluntary post area for owners to post the results of their FROR experince. So I see prices, resort etc and then whether they failed or passed. So when a seller offers a TS where there is a FROR, and the sales price fails, does the resort buy the unit? I mean are they just saying "no you can't sell it for that price" or "You can only sell it to us for that price"? You see so many units selling for low low prices it would seem that FROR would stop the sale. So..... I am thinking many TS resorts or sytems don't have FROR and that the more desirable high demand units would. I know I'd need to do some research prior to buying but any general info about this would be appreciated.
 
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