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Future of Fort Myers/Sanibel Resorts

OldGuy

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Something I don't see being discuss is the "partitioning" process necessary to dissolve a timeshare resort, and sell it as one property. I followed Apple Valley Resort's process in Howard, Ohio, and it was the largest lawsuit ever in the State of Ohio in terms of the number of litigants. It eventually sold, and is now a condo golf destination for the adjacent Apple Valley Golf Course.

If I remember correctly, and I normally do, the few owners who paid the special assessment to finance the dissolution process received about the amount of the special assessment from the proceeds.

As our legacy resort's advisor said when we faced the Sunset Clause, "There's no good thing about dissolving a timeshare resort."
 

Carolinian

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I certainly don't want to hijack the intended (and most welcome) OP topic of this thread, but the above quoted observation caught my attention.

We don't belong to PI (and don't "exchange" at all, actually) but it seems (...to me, anyhow) to be a disservice to its' members for an exchange company to accept as deposits uninhabitable weeks which basically do not currently even exist and which the exchange company knows do not currently exist, then allowing members to pick up (apparently several other) "exchanges" after depositing essentially nothing. Puzzling math, as far as "exchange inventory" goes, no? :ponder:

After Hurricane Isabel, DAE offered the same deal for its members at OBX resorts, offering exchange credits for weeks that were not usable. RCI also gave the HOAs exchange certificates good for an RCI exchange but with rather low trading power that the HOA's could give to their members who were unable to use their weeks. I know that DAE did the same thing in allowing deposits for New Orleans resorts after their big hurricane, but I do not know what RCI did then.

I am told that RCI's current policy is to demand that the HOAs make good on any deposits that were made before the hurricane but cannot accept inbound exchangers due to hurricane damage. In the old days, they continued to honor the deposit credit but made no such demands on the HOAs.
 
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WackyLucy

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Frankly, I have concerns about the (small, local) Tropical Sands management company's ability to handle this crisis effectively, particularly since they also manage 5 other (all of them Gulf-front) timeshare properties on FMB, plus another (also Gulf-front) timeshare property on Sanibel Island, all of them having obviously sustained serious Ian damage.
Could this be more simultaneous crisis at more properties than a small, local, timeshare management company is actually equipped or able to effectively address / handle? :ponder:
A valid concern and question. RAL is a small, strictly local Fort Myers Beach timeshare management company with a grand total of about 30 employees, collectively including all of their resort managers and all other personnel at the 7 RAL managed resorts and RAL office staff.

Being so localized, I would assume that some RAL employees experienced severe damage or loss of their own homes and still have to deal with other personal, Ian-created destruction. It is hard to imagine that RAL is actually up to the gargantuan task of dealing with 6 different seriously damaged timeshare properties on Fort Myers Beach alone --- and another one over on Sanibel Island --- with so few people to tackle all of the site security matters, insurance related details, engineering assessments, repair bids, estimates and site cleanups. A steep hill to climb for any management company, let alone a small one.

I own a few weeks at Bonita Resort, a small independent "Legacy" resort just a few miles south of Fort Myers Beach. Bonita Resort is managed by VRI, which was right on top of damage assessment, cleanup and moisture removal operations as soon as that was possible; quite impressive. Bonita Resort will still remain closed for all of 2023, planning to be fully operational on January 1, 2024 --- God willing.
 
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Carolinian

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Frankly, I have concerns about the (small, local) Tropical Sands management company's ability to handle this crisis effectively, particularly since they also manage 5 other (all of them Gulf-front) timeshare properties on FMB, plus another (also Gulf-front) timeshare property on Sanibel Island, all of them having obviously sustained serious Ian damage.
Could this be more simultaneous crisis at more properties than a small, local, timeshare management company is actually equipped or able to effectively address / handle? :ponder:

That said, I find myself wondering if, when the TSR reconstruction cost / insurance reimbursement / current code standards math is undertaken, the 13 destroyed ground level units could / would just essentially become "stilt support" in a rebuild, in order to remain a timeshare property and still comply with current codes. Then again, that may not even be a realistic (or legal) option, since pursuing that option would surely mean first buying out the ownership rights of +/- 50 weeks x 13 units or about 650 unit / weeks. Maybe that's not even a practical (or lawful) option, I dunno. Just thinking out loud... :shrug:

The devastation of Fort Myers Beach is almost beyond comprehension. Timeshare properties aside, one has to wonder if it can or will come back as anything even remotely resembling its' former self or if instead (as rapmarks has previously mentioned), it just becomes land for the footings for (altogether too many) new high rise condos. :(

Your concerns are valid, and the OBX timeshare resorts saw the same issues after hurricane Isabel.

The way a small local management company handled the rebuilds at two timeshare resorts, Bodie Island Beach Club and Sea Ranch II, led to the end of both as timeshares although both properties were completely rebuilt. Another resort, Ocean Villas I had the problem of one of their nine units being completely destroyed and unable to be rebuilt under existing building regulations, but that self-managed HOA handled that and is still around.

The management company that handled Sea Ranch II and Bodie Island Beach Club, both of which had serious damage, had a provision in their management contract that they would receive 15% to "supervise" any contracts on properties they managed. Insurance receipts did not cover that, and it was a large amount at both resorts so they took it from somewhere else. At Sea Ranch II, they were sued over that not being allowed under state law, and settled that lawsuit. What they did to carve out money for their "supervision" fee at Sea Ranch II was to not restore a commercial area and one or two units that belonged to the resort's former developer who still owned the next door Sea Ranch hotel. That former developer sued the HOA in one lawsuit over that and the management company in another. The rest of the timeshare units had been restored and the resort reopened but the HOA did not have the funds to contest the lawsuits and caved in, leading to the property being sold off under court order and the developer buying it back in himself.

What the management company did at Bodie Island Beach Club was to take the money for their "supervision" fee out of the HOA operating funds. The main beachfront building and the smaller north building were fully restored and reopened. The smaller south building was restored except for a pesky electrical issue they had not resolved so it did not reopen. However, in September, due to that removal of operating funds, the resort closed down for the rest of the year as it was out of operating funds. That led the former developer to team up with a local real estate operator to try to take over the resort and end it as a timeshare. The former developer still owned over a hundred "developer weeks" and his ally started actively buying off season weeks playing on the concern of owners over the resort shutdown. Bodie Island Beach Club also had whole ownership condos in the resort who voted along with the timeshare owners, and they secured those as allies. Together they secured majority voting control of the HOA. They still had a problem of forcing a vote to end the resort as a timeshare but pulled an underhanded legal manuver to accomplish that. They filed a lawsuit over a rather minor administrative issue against the HOA, which the HOA did not have the funds to fight in court and the issue was probably not worth it anyway. They got the case in front of a Superior Court judge who did not like timeshares, and with no one else there to object, of course won their motion, but afterward, their attorney told the judge there was another "little" issue that maybe they could put in the same court order, and that was since the resort had been sufficiently destroyed in the hurricane they needed a vote ordered on whether to rebuild. The HOA had no notice of that issue being brought up and the individual members were not even parties to lawsuit. At that point, the resort had already been rebuilt. The judge told the lawyer to go ahead and add that to the order, too. Many of the summer timeshare owners banded together and raised money to hire a lawyer and filed a motion to set aside that court order, but the judge who entered it had rotated out of the district and the new judge who rotated in after hearing the facts expressed sympathy but said he would not change Judge Griffin's order. The members were unable to raise the funds to take it up on appeal, unfortunately.

That one local management company was the cause of two member controlled timeshare resorts biting the dust even though both were actually rebuilt. The woman who ran that management company subsequently sold it and moved out of town. Whatever she had to settle for with the Sea Ranch II developer is the only financial consequence for her of what she did.

On a brighter note, two self-managed resorts (the HOA directly hired a manager and staff instead of farming that out to a management company) probably had the most efficient rebuilds on the OBX, and did so without any special assessments. Those were Ocean Villas I and Ocean Villas II.

Ocean Villas I was the resort that lost one of its units which could not be rebuilt. They negotiated an arrangement to buy a cottage across the street as a replacement, using insurance money for the destroyed unit for much of the cost and an SBA loan for the balance. They ran that by the owners of the destroyed unit with that as one option and division of the insurance proceeds on that unit as the other. The units owners voted to divid the insurance proceeds. Technically that should have meant the deep off season owners getting the same amount as prime season owners, but the HOA led some discussions not only among owners, but also to get the NC Real Estate Commission's blessing, to work out a formula where payouts varied with season, and everyone ended up buying in to the proposal. The members who owned in that unit signed their ownership back to the HOA and received their checks in return.
 
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theo

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<snip> it is not clear if their damage will put them above 50% of the value of the property which would require them to build to current code.
I do not claim to possess any knowledge regarding this requirement (which I assume is either a State or County requirement) but I am prompted to wonder (and now ask if anyone here knows) if the value of the property refers to the value (presumably based upon most recent assessed valuation?) of the entire property as a whole, or does it instead refer only to the pre-damage assessed value of the building(s) and other structure(s) thereon exclusive of the value of the land? Personally, l have no idea, but it obviously makes a world of difference in identifying the "above 50%" figure that would trigger requiring any rebuilding to meet current code standards. :shrug::ponder::shrug:
 
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Carolinian

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The issue of people on staff with management companies is not really significant when it comes to rebuilding. As someone who was HOA 1st VP when Hurricane Isabel hit the Outer Banks and advanced to HOA president during the rebuild, I was the first board member onsite after the storm and communicated with other HOAs during the hurricane recovery.

After a major disaster, there are a number of big disaster relief companies that show up looking for business to rebuild. These outfits are legit (or at least all I was aware of that came to the OBX were) and they are set up to be up and running very quickly. They require no personnel from a management company. These companies meet with whoever is responsible for the resort, management companies in some cases, HOA boards in others. Some of the local management companies were good negotiators but the worst one took the first offer that came in the door for all of their resorts, with no negotiation.

At that time only two OBX resorts, Outer Banks Beach Club I and Outer Banks Beach Club II had a national timeshare management company. Two, Ocean Villas I and Ocean Villas II were self managed, and three local management companies handled the rest. Two of the local timeshare management companies and both of the self-managed resorts did just fine on negotiating. Ocean Villas II would get the prize as the best. Like Ocean Villas I, they laid off all of their staff as not necessary during the rebuilding phase and board members negotiated with the contractors. the OVII board compiled a list of all hurricane related repairs they needed and a second list of other repairs they wanted. For example both of their buildings were scheduled for new roofs the following year, and while the hurricane had destroyed the roof on one building, the one on the second building stayed on. One of their other repairs wanted was a new roof on that building, too. Their board met with all of the out of town disaster rebuilding contractors and, I think, a local contractor or two as well. A board member who was an attorney led the discussions. What they asked each company was how much of both lists they would agree to do in return for all of the insurance money. They got a steak dinner for their board with each company for the discussions. One out of town contractor agreed to do everything on both lists and he got the contract. The attorney on the board structured the payment terms to incentivise the contractor to put them high on their list. They got their work done quickly and well.

The other self managed resort, Ocean Villas I took a different tack. Their president did most of the negotiating with regular interaction with his board, which included a contractor who did commercial construction in Virginia. He talked to the out of town companies and also some local contractors. The best deal was from a local contractor who had worked for the HOA before. They got all of their work done for the insurance proceeds. That HOA had a rider on their insurance that paid for any work needed to meet new code requirements. That contractor made sure local building inspectors noted that new codes were in effect for wiring and plumbing, so they got all of that replaced by insurance although technically it all still worked, and were the only resort that was able to pull that trick off. Having a local contractor with a strong working relationship with building inspectors helped on other things. One was disposing of the mountains of sand washed in from the beach. The out of town contractors were required to haul it away for miles in dump trucks because it had debris in it. This local contractor got a written permission to sift the debris and push the sand into a new dune line along the beach, which technically should never have been allowed but was a whole lot cheaper than what the out of town contractors had to do.

The other resorts with major damage were Bodie Island Beach Club and Sea Ranch II that I discussed above that are no longer timeshares due to the way their local management company operated in response to the hurricane, and Golden Strand / Strand South. That management company handling the first two also took the first very contractor that walked in the door and did not negotiate and they got in a royal pissing contest with their insurance adjuster, which also did not help. The other three timeshares they managed had the good luck not to have much damage. Golden Strand / Strand South had a local management company that was very businesslike in dealing with the contractors and insurance adjusters but did not have as much insurance coverage as they really needed, and had a fairly significant special assesment as a result. Golden Strand / Strand South also had an HOA board that stayed on top of things with the rebuilding.

The bottom line is that having your own employees is rather irrelevent to succesful repairs. The key is whoever is doing the negotiating with insurance adjusters and contractors is up to the task and stays on top of things. Having good insurance in force is also a big factor. If HOA boards are relying on management companies, they also need to keep an eye on what they are doing.
 
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theo

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The bottom line is that having your own employees is rather irrelevent to succesful repairs. The key is whoever is doing the negotiating with insurance adjusters and contractors is up to the task and stays on top of things. Having good insurance in force is also a big factor. If HOA boards are relying on management companies, they also need to keep an eye on what they are doing.
Your extensive first hand knowledge and experience with this kind of situation is certainly invaluable and your sharing some of it in detail here is much appreciated.

That said, assuming "from the jump" that adequate insurance is in place, the logistics still seem quite daunting if / when a (unpaid, volunteer) BoD is comprised of owners who are mostly (maybe entirely) geographically distant from a (small, local) management company such as the RAL outfit mentioned above. Surely workable when all is well, but I wonder about best outcomes when (as is currently occurring) such a small operation suddenly faces dealing with six or seven severely damaged properties simultaneously.
It is difficult to envision great outcomes considering those particular factors. I certainly do not claim to have any experience with disaster recovery matters at independent timeshare properties, but I still have to wonder just how much disaster management capability a small operation like the above-mentioned RAL outfit actually possesses.

I realize it's not management company personnel doing actual disaster recovery work, but management company personnel are nonetheless the only (...and at RAL, apparently very few) "boots on the ground" to work with local government, insurance companies and the many different contractors required to undertake a successful recovery effort.
 
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Maple_Leaf

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Lemonjuice Solutions has recently pitched its Resorts Reimagined™ program to timeshare and condo boards impacted by Ian. I don't know whether these guys really have many tools to help these damaged resorts other than expertise in selling the resort to an interested buyer.

 

MickeyBlue

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Yeah. It sounds like there'll be a lot of high rise condos built on 20 foot high stilts. Can you build high rise condos on 20 foot stilts? I guess you can but they're going to have to be SOME stilts. :)
I think they call it a parking garage
 

OldGuy

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Assessed value.

& you are probably aware that Lee County has "straightened" out FEMA on this, because FEMA wanted to use new values reflecting the recent high real estate market.

Having said that, returning to normal is not going well in SW FL as many are still without their homes and businesses. Five months after the fact, people are just now getting in FEMA trailers, and Ian victims are being housed in resorts with vacation amenities.
 

Kozman

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From my perspective the resorts that manage to rebuild or repair will be in very high demand in the future just from supply and demand. That should mean higher trading power and rental value. Add that Margaritaville is building on FMB that should add to demand as well. My resort at Windward passage is looking at a '24 reopening.
 

theo

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Assessed value.

& you are probably aware that Lee County has "straightened" out FEMA on this, because FEMA wanted to use new values reflecting the recent high real estate market.
It was certainly very interesting that FEMA, with no advance notice whatsoever, unilaterally "proclaimed" to Lee County, FL on February 15, 2023 that there would be an immediate change in the valuation criteria for "50% rule" calculations. Just 48 hours later, on February 17, 2023, FEMA completely retracted that 2/15/23 "proclamation".

I'd be curious to know how such a "no prior notice, effective immediately" change could even be lawful in the first place, let alone be unilaterally proclaimed by FEMA, but we will never know the details. Unauthorized overreach by some ambitious FEMA bureaucrat, quickly rescinded by a higher authority within FEMA? Who knows? :shrug::ponder::shrug:
 
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rapmarks

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Assessed value.

& you are probably aware that Lee County has "straightened" out FEMA on this, because FEMA wanted to use new values reflecting the recent high real estate market.

Having said that, returning to normal is not going well in SW FL as many are still without their homes and businesses. Five months after the fact, people are just now getting in FEMA trailers, and Ian victims are being housed in resorts with vacation amenities.
I have been wanting to ask if you remember the year we visited you while you were staying on northern end of fort myers beach, in a small timeshare mix of timeshare units and whollly owned units
 

sharynb

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A valid concern and question. RAL is a small, strictly local Fort Myers Beach timeshare management company with a grand total of about 30 employees, collectively including all of their resort managers and all other personnel at the 7 RAL managed resorts and RAL office staff.

Being so localized, I would assume that some RAL employees experienced severe damage or loss of their own homes and still have to deal with other personal, Ian-created destruction. It is hard to imagine that RAL is actually up to the gargantuan task of dealing with 6 different seriously damaged timeshare properties on Fort Myers Beach alone --- and another one over on Sanibel Island --- with so few people to tackle all of the site security matters, insurance related details, engineering assessments, repair bids, estimates and site cleanups. A steep hill to climb for any management company, let alone a small one.

I own a few weeks at Bonita Resort, a small independent "Legacy" resort just a few miles south of Fort Myers Beach. Bonita Resort is managed by VRI, which was right on top of damage assessment, cleanup and moisture removal operations as soon as that was possible; quite impressive. Bonita Resort will still remain closed for all of 2023, planning to be fully operational on January 1, 2024 --- God willing.
I own at Mariners boathouse and we haven’t applied for permits yet. What’s going on at Bonita?
 

WackyLucy

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I own at Mariners boathouse and we haven’t applied for permits yet. What’s going on at Bonita?
Bonita Resort / Belfor has building permits, new flooring and painting has been completed on the (3) BRC unit floors, framing of damaged first floor is well underway (Bonita has no units at ground level, only the resort office and "Club" social room and bathrooms for the pool area). Status of roof repairs is still unclear (at least to me).

Bonita Resort BOD has openly stated in recent days that the target reopening date is still January 1, 2024, while openly acknowledging that repairs may not be 100% completed by then (for example, the docks and pontoon boats most likely will not be back in service by then, in my opinion). Personally, I am inclined to believe that elevator repairs will be a huge problem at BRC and throughout all of Fort Myers Beach and all near-Gulf multi story properties of Bonita Beach. There are only so many elevator companies, parts and technicians and many, many condos (besides timeshare properties) are all looking at extensive elevator repairs and / or replacement.

Is it possible that Mariners Boathouse is still dealing with FEMA "50% rule" calculations before they can even apply for building permits? I don't claim to know, just asking.
Being a low lying, waterfront and largely wooden structure, I have to assume that Mariners Boathouse sustained truly massive damage from Ian's storm surge, no? :shrug:
Estero Island Beach Club (...not wood), located up the road on that same Estero Blvd shoreline sustained such extensive damage that it had to be completely demolished.
 
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Carolinian

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Bonita Resort / Belfor has building permits, new flooring and painting has been completed on the (3) BRC unit floors, framing of damaged first floor is well underway (Bonita has no units at ground level, only the resort office and "Club" social room and bathrooms for the pool area). Status of roof repairs is still unclear (at least to me).

Bonita Resort BOD has openly stated in recent days that the target reopening date is still January 1, 2024, while openly acknowledging that repairs may not be 100% completed by then (for example, the docks and pontoon boats most likely will not be back in service by then, in my opinion). Personally, I am inclined to believe that elevator repairs will be a huge problem at BRC and throughout all of Fort Myers Beach and all near-Gulf multi story properties of Bonita Beach. There are only so many elevator companies, parts and technicians and many, many condos (besides timeshare properties) are all looking at extensive elevator repairs and / or replacement.

Is it possible that Mariners Boathouse is still dealing with FEMA "50% rule" calculations before they can even apply for building permits? I don't claim to know, just asking.
Being a low lying, waterfront and largely wooden structure, I have to assume that Mariners Boathouse sustained truly massive damage from Ian's storm surge, no? :shrug:
Estero Island Beach Club (...not wood), located up the road on that same Estero Blvd shoreline sustained such extensive damage that it had to be completely demolished.

Elevator equipment is in short supply on some critical components. Those problems are also impacting a timeshare on the NC OBX which expected to have in elevator replaced in February but is still waiting on a couple of parts,
 

theo

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Is it possible that Mariners Boathouse is still dealing with FEMA "50% rule" calculations before they can even apply for building permits? I don't claim to know, just asking.
Being a low lying, waterfront and largely wooden structure, I have to assume that Mariners Boathouse sustained truly massive damage from Ian's storm surge, no? :shrug:
Estero Island Beach Club (...not wood), located up the road on that same Estero Blvd shoreline sustained such extensive damage that it had to be completely demolished.

I would be shocked if Mariners Boathouse meets FEMA’s “50% rule” and doesn’t have to be completely rebuilt to meet current code requirements. I am actually surprised that Mariners Boathouse is even still standing at all. Diagonally across the street, the entire office building of Tropical Sands Resort, located on the opposite (i.e., NOT waterfront) side of Estero Blvd. is just plain gone, having been completely destroyed by Ian’s 12-15 feet storm surge.

Destruction of its’ office building aside (office building was entirely separate from the units), Tropical Sands damage repair cost estimate apparently did not exceed the FEMA “50% rule” threshold. Tropical Sands now has building permits and repairs have begun, although it is not clear how the completely destroyed separate office building will be addressed or when the resort will actually reopen. Clearly, it will not be anytime before 2024 — at the earliest.
 
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chapjim

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Oh, those poor people in SW Florida, getting whacked again big time!

The entire SW coast of Florida is on the "bad" side of Idalia.
 

pedro47

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What will be the future of timeshare resorts located on Fort Myers and Sanibel after this weekend?
 

rapmarks

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What will be the future of timeshare resorts located on Fort Myers and Sanibel after this weekend?
Doc Fords on ft myers beach closed again,but I haven’t heard any others in the area.
 

pedro47

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Fort Meyers is such an amazing place to vacation.
 

OldGuy

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Pat:

Bel Air Beach Club . . . . . You and Ron and Conchman.

Again at Lighthouse on Sanibel, and South Seas on Captiva, and a few other places.

We don't do exchanges any more since we live in Florida in the Winter, but I still use RCI to get (mostly) Last Calls for a few people.

& we own at that little resort you're not too fond of, and use the day-use privileges for a beach club.
 

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Seems like there will be lawsuits on this topic.

The BOD if not properly insured could be susceptible to Director and Officer Claims, both via the company, but named individually. I know many HOA/POA have D&O insurance, but we won't know how many people are out "equity" due to these decisions. Maybe Florida is different, but not purchasing insurance for a known likely loss scenario is doesn't seem like a good idea. Further, increased cost of construction post disaster is known to cause assessments, which is another people are loathe to do.

My thought is don't be on a BOD, but then we get Resort Operators doing what's best for themselves and self-dealing. I can only imagine the fun times that likely volunteer job offers.

I guess the option would be presented to owners to sell and take any insurance money to move on. If done properly, I assume this might make people more than whole financially.
 
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