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Lowveld Lodge Conversion from Timeshare

Terry D

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Below is the first paragraph of an email received from Premier Vacation Clubs about the Lowveld Lodge timeshare. I was not aware they were going to a permanent rental property. Is anyone aware of this and has there been any communication from Lowveld?

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"As you are no doubt aware, LOWVELD LODGE RESORT is currently being converted from a timeshare resort, to a permanent rental property. Timeshare weeks will, in future, not be available to owners for use, whether it be rental or exchange. The units will be rented out on a permanent basis, by the managing agents, and as an owner, you will be eligible for a percentage of the rental collected, proportionate to your timeshare week, less the annual levy."
 

stevedmatt

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Was there any more details in the email? Am I taking it right that you will still be responsible for fees but not able to use your week? Smells like something stinks.
 

Dori

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Sounds like Mr Bullfrog is at it again! Yikes, I'd better use up my weeks pronto. Search these forums for the name Lamont. there has been much said about him and his antics.

Dori
 

Karen G

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Once owned these: FirstFairway@Walden X 2; Lawai Beach; ManhattanClub; PuebloBonitoRose; 4 South Africa--now timeshare-free
as an owner, you will be eligible for a percentage of the rental collected, proportionate to your timeshare week, less the annual levy."
Maybe an owner doesn't have to pay the annual levy--the rentals will cover it--and an owner would be entitled to a percentage of the rental receipts over and above the amount of the levies. If I were an owner and was going to be denied the use of the week I owned, I would not feel compelled to pay the annual levy. How could they make you pay?
 

Terry D

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Yes, there was more detail in the email, the most relevant being how they will calculate the net rental.

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As an example, should the unit be rented out for R 4000-00 per month, and the annual levy is R1000-00, a nett rental of R3000-00 will therefore be divided by four, and timeshare owners will each receive a rental income of R750-00 for each week owned. Timeshare owners will not have access to, or be able to utilize the unit once the conversions have been finalized. As a timeshare owner you may then make use of the income to partially fund an alternative holiday – bearing in mind that irrespective of whether the managing agent rents out the unit permanently or not, annual levies will still be payable by timeshare owners
 

Karen G

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Once owned these: FirstFairway@Walden X 2; Lawai Beach; ManhattanClub; PuebloBonitoRose; 4 South Africa--now timeshare-free
irrespective of whether the managing agent rents out the unit permanently or not, annual levies will still be payable by timeshare owners
That really seems outrageous!
 

Carolinian

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They likely expect owners to turn in their weeks, and then the perpetrators will put those in their own pockets. A developer tried a scheme like this in the Bahamas some years ago, the owners took him to court, and the Bahamian courts ruled for the owners and against the developer.

With the usual shareblock arrangement in South Africa, it would seem that amendments of the governing documents were probably necessary. Were members even given notice that this was afoot?

Since there are actually 4.3 weeks in a month, the example quoted shows that the scheme as presented in not even fully thought through, or that they are raking off the extra 0.3 every month for themselves.

Too bad that TISA (Timeshare Institute of South Africa) is under the thumb of developers and unlikely to help. I would try to find some consumer protection agencies and see if they can look into this.
 

Dori

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This harks back to the sagas of DIK and Seapointer. How is he allowed to get away with this? I have really enjoyed my Lowveld week over the past 14 or 15 years. It has given me some fantastic trades.

Drori
 

AwayWeGo

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The Sound Of Silence -- i.e., Crickets Chirping.

We have received no information from Lowveld Lodge or from 1st Resorts about this topic or about anything else.

No E-Mail.

No snail-mail.

Not anything.

Plus, we have never heard of Premier Vacation Clubs.

Did they take over from 1st Resorts ?

Or did 1st Resorts rename itself ?

However that may be, Lowveld Lodge must be considered a highly in-demand resort if the people in charge plan on renting it out instead of just collecting levies from owners.

So it goes.

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

Carolinian

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First Resorts is one arm of a hydra-headed monster called Club Leisure Group, which seems to be sprouting new arms all the time. Some of its known arms are Star Club, Flexi-club, CRI South Africa, etc.

If you look at their website, http://www.premiervacationclub.co.za/index.php , it clearly states that they are part of Club Leisure Group, Froggy's overall operating entity.


We have received no information from Lowveld Lodge or from 1st Resorts about this topic or about anything else.

No E-Mail.

No snail-mail.

Not anything.

Plus, we have never heard of Premier Vacation Clubs.

Did they take over from 1st Resorts ?

Or did 1st Resorts rename itself ?

However that may be, Lowveld Lodge must be considered a highly in-demand resort if the people in charge plan on renting it out instead of just collecting levies from owners.

So it goes.

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

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Alan, we haven't received anything yet either. Any correspondence from SA takes forever, and there is sometimes a problem with our e-mails. When I was in touch with Simone Sammons back in April or May to pay our MF's, nothing was mentioned at that time.

Dori
 

Carolinian

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This harks back to the sagas of DIK and Seapointer. How is he allowed to get away with this? I have really enjoyed my Lowveld week over the past 14 or 15 years. It has given me some fantastic trades.

Drori
Actually, it is Tenbury and Seapointer. DIK fought off the Bullfrog.

Lamont's Club Leisure Group has a number of points clubs, whose members are made to cede their weeks to the clubs. The Bullfrog then votes those weeks, now owned by his points clubs, to take control of resort association boards. Since many individual members do not send in proxies, sometimes 20-30% is enough to gain control, perhaps even less. He puts himself in, typically, as chairman, and the rest of the board is Club Leisure cronies, one common one being a former police general from the old apartheid regime. He then has his controlled board hire Club Leisure's management company First Resorts as the management company, usually under an ultra-long term contract. At that point, he is in complete control. They have a long history of the Club Leisure points clubs often not paying their levies, and First Resorts turning a blind eye to that but squeezing other members for the levies. This is a real sordid bunch. They have been operating that way for years. One of their old scams was to tell members of one of their points clubs that if they did not pay a lot of money to ''upgrade'' to another of their points clubs, the first points club would soon not have enough members that it would be of much use any more. Crashing timeshares to get the underlying property is a newer scam of theirs.
 

mawaga

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Lowveld conversion to Rental Property email

I received the email on 1 August and I responded back on 5 August asking them when is the conversion to a rental property going to occur and what my options are to permanently sell my week back to them (if I'm not interested in holding it any longer). I have not received a response yet.

I also forwarded the email today to Simone Sammons simones@firstresorts.co.za and TheSpecialists@rci.com (both of which have processed my levy payments in the past) asking if they are aware of this transition to a rental property.

Here is the entire email that was sent to me on 1 August:

As you are no doubt aware, LOWVELD LODGE RESORT is currently being converted from a timeshare resort, to a permanent rental property. Timeshare weeks will, in future, not be available to owners for use, whether it be rental or exchange. The units will be rented out on a permanent basis, by the managing agents, and as an owner, you will be eligible for a percentage of the rental collected, proportionate to your timeshare week, less the annual levy.

As an example, should the unit be rented out for R 4000-00 per month, and the annual levy is R1000-00, a nett rental of R3000-00 will therefore be divided by four, and timeshare owners will each receive a rental income of R750-00 for each week owned. Timeshare owners will not have access to, or be able to utilize the unit once the conversions have been finalized. As a timeshare owner you may then make use of the income to partially fund an alternative holiday – bearing in mind that irrespective of whether the managing agent rents out the unit permanently or not, annual levies will still be payable by timeshare owners.

A viable option to this would be for you, as a timeshare owner, to trade in your timeshare week prior to the conversions being finalized, to Premier Vacation Club. This will ensure that you and your family enjoy exceptional holidays at superior resorts, both locally and internationally, enabling you to still enjoy that much needed get away which everyone looks forward to. Premier Vacation Club is a product which has been designed for the discerning holiday maker, with access to superior quality resorts being paramount. As a Premier Vacation Club member, you will enjoy the benefits of a guaranteed 99% availability worldwide, in over 15, 0000 holiday cottages and villas. You will have first option to all Gold Crown resorts, discounted flight and car rentals – all arranged by the travel desk for you! Fantastic holiday packages, including an unbelievable “book one international week and get the second week FREE”, are available to PVC members only.

Once you have perused the attached informative brochure on Premier Vacation Club, please contact our Service Consultant to discuss your options, or to address any query you may have. We will gladly provide you with any additional information you may need in order to ensure that your conversion is processed timeously and professionally.

Yours faithfully

Bridgett Adams
Service Consultant
Executive Vacations
Cell: 079 332 9227
Email: serviceconsultant@netcomsa.net

 

stevedmatt

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A viable option to this would be for you, as a timeshare owner, to trade in your timeshare week prior to the conversions being finalized, to Premier Vacation Club. This will ensure that you and your family enjoy exceptional holidays at superior resorts, both locally and internationally, enabling you to still enjoy that much needed get away which everyone looks forward to. Premier Vacation Club is a product which has been designed for the discerning holiday maker, with access to superior quality resorts being paramount. As a Premier Vacation Club member, you will enjoy the benefits of a guaranteed 99% availability worldwide, in over 15, 0000 holiday cottages and villas. You will have first option to all Gold Crown resorts, discounted flight and car rentals – all arranged by the travel desk for you! Fantastic holiday packages, including an unbelievable “book one international week and get the second week FREE”, are available to PVC members only.
Ahhhhhh! The sales pitch.

What a crock.
 

Carolinian

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typical Froggy operation. For those who don't just surrender their weeks back, he wants to buy them with worthless Froggy points in one of his shady points clubs.
 

Dori

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I got a long and shmoozy e-mail today from Premier Vacation Club, inviting me to sign up for their program. No mention was made of the fate of Lowveld Lodge, just that they were representing them, blah, blah, blah. This doesn't seem to fit with the scenario laid out in the e-mail that was sent to Terry D.

They kept using the word "option", so I am assuming that for now I have the choice of declining their generous :D offer.

I still don't know what to make of all of this, so I think maybe I should use my week as soon as possible, or combine with some stray points from another resort.

dori
 

cedars

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Hi There-have been out of touch a while and just catching up on the Lowveld Lodge update-these fees have been rising and now it looks like there really are no options. I have had no correspondence from them and have paid up fees to 2012-would it be best to just wait for contact or should I initiate contact-it looks like this might be the time to walk away????
 

cdimi

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I am thinking the same thing. Paid my 2012 but waiting on 2013. I have gotten my money back more than I could of imagined.
 

Carolinian

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I would beware of any of The Bullfrog's sleazy points clubs. Read the article from the Johannesburg Star newspaper in post #2 in this thread:

http://www.timeshareforums.com/forums/south-africa-south-american-timeshares-all-other-areas/93039-takeover-attempt-dikhololo.html

Also posts number 4 and 7 contain all the material on The Bullfrog and Club Leisure Group from the old Crimeshare website.


I got a long and shmoozy e-mail today from Premier Vacation Club, inviting me to sign up for their program. No mention was made of the fate of Lowveld Lodge, just that they were representing them, blah, blah, blah. This doesn't seem to fit with the scenario laid out in the e-mail that was sent to Terry D.

They kept using the word "option", so I am assuming that for now I have the choice of declining their generous :D offer.

I still don't know what to make of all of this, so I think maybe I should use my week as soon as possible, or combine with some stray points from another resort.

dori
 

Dori

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Don't worry Carolinian. I would never touch anything that is connected to Mr. Bullfrog! I'll just keep using my Lowveld week until they do something that makes me walk away or return the week.

Dori
 

cedars

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Thank you Carolina for all your posts-yoiu have help alert me to the situation. I will not be spending any more money on Lowveld Lodge- it has provided me with some great memories.
 

ansim1

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Lowveld Lodge

How can you return the week? By "walking away" do you mean just not paying your levy? I don't want to keep paying for something I can't have use of. Should we use our weeks up quickly or do they remain safe if they are spacebanked with RCI?

I just received our shareholder letter from Loveld. They talk about three options we have to vote on and to return the "enclosed proxy form" with our vote. Of course, there was no enclosed proxy card.

This is the first we've heard of this, since I haven't been on TUG for a while.
 
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MuranoJo

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I gave my Durban Sands week to a broker, who assumed it for free. Called the resort to make sure it transferred, and they said it was now in the name of FlexiClub Property Holdings, LTD.

Sad it went to Bullfrog, but, frankly, the TPU stunk and the levies have skyrocketed. Absolutely not worth it. I'm sure current DS owners will get messages similar to the OP down the road if they haven't already. Add this to the fact I've heard you now can't sell to anyone who does not live in SA. (Or maybe this is a resort-by-resort issue.)

Glad to get rid of it. Still own and really like Sudwala. Let's just hope they continue to exist separate from the grips of CL.
 

bailey

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I have emailed Simone regarding paying current levy and have not received any reply, nor have I gotten the email about the Weasel takeover..(or was that frog?). I haven't gotten any correspondence from them via email or snail mail. My levy is due but I have no way to pay if they do not respond. Anyone else hear from Simone?
 

Skatduder

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First Seapointer now Lowveld.. Gee.. I'm out of timeshares now..

Guess its get aways till my longterm SA RCI membership runs out.

:wave:
 
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