Life goes on, but I find some interesting behaviors over the year:
Some Tugger have passed
Some Tuggers have grown beyond us
Some Tuggers have grown tired of us (or us of them)
Some Tuggers get rid of their timeshares but hang with this TUG family anyway
For those who have shed their Timeshares and Kept TUG, just wondering who is out there that falls into this camp. And what keeps you here?
Pondering Tug members on this fine day.....
Simply found that we prefer other forms of vacationing.
My story is posted in a couple of spots on TUGbbs, but here's a quick summary.
Mother-in-law falls for a timeshare pitch for Fairfield's first location, Fairfield Bay, Arkansas, probably in 1979. U Unfortunately it was a little too far from their home in central Illinois for convenient use. Eventually they retired and moved to northern Virginia to be closer to their son. At this point, the FAX (Fairfield Exchange program) was flourishing and they learned they could bank a year and then get two big units for family reunions, and they did that a few times.
Around 2000, my father-in-law passed away and my mother-in-law transferred the deeded-week timeshare to us. At about that time, Fairfield was acquired by Wyndham (Cendant). . Around this time, the FAX program began to decline. Originally, you could exchange for any resort in the chain. Then it was reduced to a subset. They used to issue a full-color catalog of exchange options each year. Then the catalog was cancelled; you had to call and ask what the options were. Originally there was no fee for an exchange. Then it became $10, then $25, and finally $75.
My wife and I were living in North Carolina. She passed away in 2005 and I began to date again. I exchanged the Arkansas timeshare for one in South Carolina a few times. In 2009 instead of receiving the annual notice about exchange options, I received a letter from Wyndham stating that the FAX exchange program was cancelled. No other options were offered. I called Wyndham and told them I thought this was a breach of contract--that the timeshare had been bought on the promise of exchanges and I had the paperwork on it. They said they would transfer the call. (I didn't realize they were transferring the call directly to the local property management.) The responder heard what I had to say and offered, "Your timeshare is paid up. We will take it back if you send $150 in legal fees." That led to my first interaction with TUG. TUG users (some of who still participate) encouraged me to accept the offer which I did. I also learned about buying resale and about timeshares managed by large chains, versus independents.
The Edisto Island property, which I liked, didn't show up much on TUG so I also made some inquiries locally. After just a few months, I found a unit in the same resort I had been staying in. But it was independent, not a part of Wyndham; it was week 33 instead of week 13, and it was for sale for $1500. Naturally I snapped it up. I didn't worry much about getting free of it because the deed had a sunset clause dated the first Sunday in January 2026.
I used it for a few years, and then my new life partner expressed a preference for different vacation styles. I let my younger son use it; his father is an avid golfer and there is a course on the premises, so it made for great family vacations for them. I was content to let them use it until the sunset, but some things combined to interfere. The HOA treasurer had not been vigilant on foreclosing properties in arrears so money was short and regular maintenance wasn't taking place. A couple of coastal hurricanes had caused additional property damage. The board sent out a questionnaire about moving the sunset date up. Response was overwhelmingly in favor. The property was sold and my share was $5500. I may be one of those rare few that actually made money on a timeshare.
I still hang around TUG from time to time. One of my skills is internet forensics. I've helped a TUGger or two understand how he was scammed, although no money has ever been recovered to my knowledge.