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Marriott Crystal Shores Owners

hcarman

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Does anyone know if there is an owner's group on Yahoo or somewhere else for Crystal Shores owners? I know there is one for our Canyon Villas property and for Bluegreen - but Crystal Shores doesn't have a lot of owners.

We have a hard time getting much in the way of information out of the manager there, but I do know from owners' breakfasts there are a lot of folks that are not real happy with how some issues are being handled. I also haven't received a newsletter like we get for Canyon Villas every once in a while. For example - one problem repeatedly brought up, Marriott refusing to build the public access boardwalk which is part of Phase III so that the public does not have to access the beach through the resort. This has resulted in higher security costs during busy times, and during not so busy times there isn't security to check to see if people using the pools are actually staying at the resort. We have seen many who are not. So the owners get to pay for upkeep of the pool, bathrooms, etc. so folks that aren't staying there can use them. There is no gate at the entrance, the front isn't finished, and we get no update on the status of Phase II, Phase III, and Phase IV. Unlike Canyon Villas, Lakeshore Reserve, Oceana Palms, etc. - about half of the facilities promised have not been constructed. If it were additional units it would be one thing - but we are talking no owner's lounge, no underground parking, no full scale office and Express Market, half of the pool isn't complete, only one hot tub complete, and a gym that has to close early because it is actually a unit (though the view is great!). Even some of the managers have expressed their displeasure at having to work in such tight quarters for so long, with no real feedback.

We have tried to send some e-mails to the Board to get some feedback - but it keeps getting routed to the manager (Marriott Vacation Club).

Just looking for a place to get some information, feedback, and discuss issues with other owners. We legacy owners are in the minority and always will be at Crystal Shores. Thanks for any information anyone can provide.
 

rthib

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Here is probably your best bet.

The Yahoo groups are pretty useless and rarely used
 

TheTimeTraveler

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Does anyone know if there is an owner's group on Yahoo or somewhere else for Crystal Shores owners? I know there is one for our Canyon Villas property and for Bluegreen - but Crystal Shores doesn't have a lot of owners.

We have a hard time getting much in the way of information out of the manager there, but I do know from owners' breakfasts there are a lot of folks that are not real happy with how some issues are being handled. I also haven't received a newsletter like we get for Canyon Villas every once in a while. For example - one problem repeatedly brought up, Marriott refusing to build the public access boardwalk which is part of Phase III so that the public does not have to access the beach through the resort. This has resulted in higher security costs during busy times, and during not so busy times there isn't security to check to see if people using the pools are actually staying at the resort. We have seen many who are not. So the owners get to pay for upkeep of the pool, bathrooms, etc. so folks that aren't staying there can use them. There is no gate at the entrance, the front isn't finished, and we get no update on the status of Phase II, Phase III, and Phase IV. Unlike Canyon Villas, Lakeshore Reserve, Oceana Palms, etc. - about half of the facilities promised have not been constructed. If it were additional units it would be one thing - but we are talking no owner's lounge, no underground parking, no full scale office and Express Market, half of the pool isn't complete, only one hot tub complete, and a gym that has to close early because it is actually a unit (though the view is great!). Even some of the managers have expressed their displeasure at having to work in such tight quarters for so long, with no real feedback.

We have tried to send some e-mails to the Board to get some feedback - but it keeps getting routed to the manager (Marriott Vacation Club).

Just looking for a place to get some information, feedback, and discuss issues with other owners. We legacy owners are in the minority and always will be at Crystal Shores. Thanks for any information anyone can provide.





I forget what the Crystal Shores restaurant on site is called, but I do recall that it is open to the public, and Marriott encourages people to walk in off the beach or off the street to use the restaurant.

I mention this because this indirectly allows people to use the pool who actually don't belong there (and shouldn't be using the pool), but it's hard not to allow (and police it) it if they have wandered in to "use the restaurant".

I do not know of any owners group there, but keep in mind that a lot of weeks there remain unsold, and many (most) of those weeks went into the Destination Club Trust for sale of points.



.
 

Quilter

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Here is probably your best bet.

The Yahoo groups are pretty useless and rarely used

I agree with rthib that here is probably a better place to find owners. The Yahoo groups take lots of effort and a couple years to get really active. As far as I know, the Ocean Pointe group is the most active with over 500 owners.

Another forum might be facebook. Or you can find owners through their ads either on TUG or redweek.com.
 

hcarman

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I forget what the Crystal Shores restaurant on site is called, but I do recall that it is open to the public, and Marriott encourages people to walk in off the beach or off the street to use the restaurant.

I mention this because this indirectly allows people to use the pool who actually don't belong there (and shouldn't be using the pool), but it's hard not to allow (and police it) it if they have wandered in to "use the restaurant"..

The restaurant is called Stilts - and yes, it is open to the public. From what I understand the Vacation Club doesn't get much in the way of profit/subsidy from the restaurant to help with facilities that the patrons are using. Anyway, it would be real easy to make it so patrons of the restaurant could access the restaurant without gaining access to the pool area, TV area, firepit, covered parking spaces, etc. You would just need an additional gate with card/keypad access around the pool and facilities - kind of like they do at Ocean Pointe.
A lot of folks from the restaurant go down to the pool area to smoke - which is also prohibited - but of course hard to enforce.
Manager there doesn't seem to pass many of these concerns on................year after year we hear the same thing at breakfasts with owners.
 

FractionalTraveler

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I offer my perspective on the OP's comments below:

I am a founding member at Crystal Shores.

Not sure if there is an internet specific group dedicated to this resort.

I regularly attend the owners meetings and am not aware of any major issues. I find the Manager (Patrick) to be very open and responsive to all queries we have initiated.

I am not aware that Crystal Shores has ever produced such a newsletter. Nor do I care for one since its an additional cost to owners and most information regarding the facility is communicated at the yearly meetings anyways.

The public access boardwalk is not a marriott issue. This is a Marco city commission topic that is voted on by the city management. All public access on the Island is controlled and voted on by the city council.

The higher security costs you speak of is limited to 2-3 of the 365 days in the year (Memorial day, Fouth of July, November Festival). Not a big deal at all.

Yes, I agree that during these 2-3 days in the year their can be folks visting the facility who may not exactly be guests. This has never bothered me as an owner in the slightest bit. Some of these same people return and rent rooms because they loved the facility. Also, I can name you many other marriott timeshares where this occurs as well.

These people also come and spend money at the resort, primarility at Stilts. I see that as good for the resort and the local economy as well.

The public access at Stilts was a requirement from the city for Marriott to build on this prime location. If I was a resident in Marco Island, I would agree with such a rule. Its very fare to me.

I own a 2 bedroom ocean-front unit so I could care less if the rest of the facility (Phase 2 or 3) is never built out! I own the best view in the facility.

I dobut that many other owners care about the additional facilities you speak of. The main attraction at Crystal Shores is the Beach, Pools, and location. All that was made available since day one. Owners have been meeting the last few years on the Beach for wine tasting and nature walks. I have been on several and found it to be a wonderful experience. Underground parking was never offered or possible anywhere on the Island.

I dont think many will care for offices at a beach resort and as far as the market is concerned, who cares when a full service shopping complex is available directly across the street?

There are currently two large pools available with ample room for everyone. No chair saving problem here like at many other resorts! How many pools does someone need to enjoy the facility?

I have always used the gym at any time 24 hours with my room key. Not sure why you have experienced limited access. The view is great and since the gym is a converted room, you have access to great private showers at your disposal.

Crysatal Shores is currently seeking members to join the board of directors. It sound like a good opportunity to offer improvements by concerned owners.

I encourage other Crystal Shores owners to offer their experiences here as well since this is only my perspective.
 

suenmike32

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Here is probably your best bet.

The Yahoo groups are pretty useless and rarely used

Actually, the Ocean Pointe Newsgroup is a very successful group with 515 members. There are typically 40-50 messages a week (more when there is a particularly hot subject).
It was organized by one gal and she has enlisted the had help of several talented volunteers that keep the site updated with new info at OP and in the surrounding area.
One of the key successes of the site is that it promotes members helping other members...and it works!

All it takes is someone willing to take on the task of forming the group, lay down ground rules, round up some dedicated helpers and it can happen.
I read our newsgroup every day,(year round), just like I read the newspaper.
Mike
 

dioxide45

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Actually, the Ocean Pointe Newsgroup is a very successful group with 515 members. There are typically 40-50 messages a week (more when there is a particularly hot subject).
It was organized by one gal and she has enlisted the had help of several talented volunteers that keep the site updated with new info at OP and in the surrounding area.
One of the key successes of the site is that it promotes members helping other members...and it works!

All it takes is someone willing to take on the task of forming the group, lay down ground rules, round up some dedicated helpers and it can happen.
I read our newsgroup every day,(year round), just like I read the newspaper.
Mike

There are four Yahoo groups for MVCI properties that I am aware of. Two of which are linked in my signature. The other group started by the owner of the Ocean Pointe group is the Canyon Villas group. It has not been nearly as active as Ocean Pointe and has been up and running for nearly 10 years. the Grande Vista group probably has the next largest following to the Ocean Pointe group and there isn't much action there. Sometimes it picks up steam, but others it is slow.

The groups are only good if the members want to get involved or even know about the group.
 
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hcarman

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We have to respectfully disagree with some of Fractional Traveler's comments. We know there are two opinions of what has gone on at Crystal Shores. Those that are happy with the way it is, and those that are not. We have gotten that at owners' meetings. We are not in the minority when it comes to concerns. We too are Charter Members at Crystal Shores so have attended many breakfast meetings so we know the manager. We have sent a couple of e-mails which he hasn't responded to timely (2 months is typical) and he does try to answer questions at meetings - but many owners have not felt the quality of answers was what they were looking for - that is why I was looking for an owners' forum or a newsletter so we are kept more up to date - especially if you can't make the breakfast meeting on an annual basis. I think Marriott (since they are majority owners here) owe that to us.

You are correct, the boardwalk is something required by City of Marco Island. However, if you look at the plans, Marriott was supposed to build a boardwalk - just for the public access - that was to be on the north side of the property and circumvent the pool area and property all together. That was not scheduled to take place until a later phase of development. That is why the public now comes through the property and uses the Crystal Shores boardwalk - that didn't happen when we first started staying there - the pool area was locked. Owners have been asking to get that boardwalk built sooner rather than wait for a later phase - Marriott was originally supposed to have most of this place completed by now so it wouldn't have been an issue. There is no reason why it has to wait for later phases. I understand that you don't agree with this need, but we have even had guests that have stayed with us commenting on how there are multiple big families that have come off the beach, washed their feet in the pool, used the lounge chairs, used the bathrooms and showers, smoked around the pool area because they don't know the rules, dumped their trash from a day at the beach in the cans, etc. This all factors into additional maintenance costs for owners, and I think you would agree most hotels and especially condos don't let outside guests use their pools to help the local economy. Several loss prevention officers have voiced their concern over the problem. That is our concern - Marriott needs to make good on their promise to build a separate boardwalk for public access.

As far as other facilities - there was supposed to be covered/under building parking - the plans show the front entrance raised with some parking underneath. Like I said above, owners fall into two categories - those that want to keep it small and those that want the remainder of the facilities constructed. As you know, we paid a premium for this Marriott property. Yes, Marco property is expensive. But, part of that price had to do with all of the "luxury facilities" they had plans to build. The cascading waterfall from the owners lounge, a 24 hour gym (and yes we have tried to use it after hours and it was locked - also, hours are listed as closing at 9 PM due to units below, so we have respected that), an additional one or two hot tubs (the one they have has been broken on several occasions when we have been there), a full scale marketplace (we happen to like the resorts that have them - you can get refillable soda cups, pizza, starbucks, etc.), and a nice entrance to the property. Now there is a big vacant lot in front that really hasn't been fully landscaped like a typical entrance because there are plans to put a building there.

Like you, we don't care about the additional units. However, we do want to see the facilities that we paid for and were promised built. If you go to some of the other newer properties such as Oceana Palms, Lakeshore Reserve, Canyon Villas, etc. - most of the facilities are built, it is just the additional units that are not. Crystal Shores is a beautiful property - but what was promised and what is there is a lot more than just a developer's modification to the "artists rendering". Did you happen to notice that pre-construction pricing was also 25-30% higher than what those units were selling for post construction of Phase 1? And that points available under the Destination program are no more than a lot of resorts that were half the price (and maintenance fees) of this property.

Again, we are not trying to cause any hard feelings, but we and many other owners we have spoken to do have some concerns - mainly public access and lack of information on construction of the remainder of the development. If the development is not completed, there was rumor the vacant land in front could become another hotel? Don't know whether there is any truth to that - but City of Marco apparently wants to see the hotel rooms available (taxes).
 

dioxide45

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If I were an owner at a resort that allowed unfettered public access to the property, I would have some serious concerns. Public access has increased risks involved, from increase in thefts to additional maintenance costs to cover facilities used by those that may not be paying for them.

It doesn't matter if the problem occurs, one, two or 365 times a year. The owners at Marco Island paid a premium for exclusive rights to use those facilities. While Marriott agreed to provide public access to the beach, it did not agree to allow public access to the facilities. Increase in security costs would be off set by a decrease in maintenance costs.

I don't necessarily have a problem with resorts allowing public access, but it should be a fee for use type of service. This type of structure keeps out most people just looking for a free lunch.

The HOAs make absolutely $0 from the sales and concessions at any of the resorts. MVCI owns the areas that these concessions utilize, pay the utilities, and fund their refurbishments. Thus, MVCI makes 100% of the profit. Public access to these features doesn't help the owners. The restaurant is another item where public access is pretty much a necessity. A resort the size of Marco Island could not sustain a full service restaurant. Providing public access is necessary and since the resort replaced hotel that once stood there that probably also had a public restaurant, the city didn't want to lose that. So it required the MVCI to allow public access tot he restaurant. My guess is that more often than not, it is guests of nearby hotels and condos that come in to dine at the restaurant and not always the local public.

Grande Vista got around the issue with the restaurant of Nick's Grill. While onsite, the entrance to Nick's sits just outside the main gate to Grande Vista. This probably wouldn't work at Marco since for now the hotel must also allow public access through the hotel to the beach.

I also think that an annual newsletter is an important part of ownership at these properties. The cost is minimal since it is usually written by board members on the HOA and the already paid General Manager. MVCI may charge a fee to distribute the newsletter, but since most probably go out electronically, my guess is the cost is minimal.

Even though we don't own at Marco Island I would have to agree that completing a public boardwalk that circumvents the facilities is an important to do.
 

kjd

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Beach access in resort communities like Marco is always an issue with local residents. Yes, it's true that unit owners pay dearly to enjoy their vacation. It's also true that local taxpayers pay for the maintenance and re-nourishment of the beaches. The taxes collected on those Crystal Shores units do not support the amenities provided by the county and city governments. The beach is public and to be used by all. However, I don't condone the public using private facilities without permission.

While restricting access has a sort of snob appeal to some, beach access was a demand of the City in order to get permitted before construction. Marriott agreed to that because it wouldn't have otherwise gotten the building permit. It would also generate restaurant business from the public. That allows Crystal Shores owners to have a restaurant on the premises.

It seems that once buildings are built along the beach the owners want to keep everyone off of the beach. I think they forget or choose to ignore who is really paying for the beach. Some of the condos/hotels near Crystal Shores also serve food and must allow beach access from their property as well. It's nothing unusual at all.
 

hcarman

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Beach access in resort communities like Marco is always an issue with local residents. Yes, it's true that unit owners pay dearly to enjoy their vacation. It's also true that local taxpayers pay for the maintenance and re-nourishment of the beaches. The taxes collected on those Crystal Shores units do not support the amenities provided by the county and city governments. The beach is public and to be used by all. However, I don't condone the public using private facilities without permission.

While restricting access has a sort of snob appeal to some, beach access was a demand of the City in order to get permitted before construction. Marriott agreed to that because it wouldn't have otherwise gotten the building permit. It would also generate restaurant business from the public. That allows Crystal Shores owners to have a restaurant on the premises.

It seems that once buildings are built along the beach the owners want to keep everyone off of the beach. I think they forget or choose to ignore who is really paying for the beach. Some of the condos/hotels near Crystal Shores also serve food and must allow beach access from their property as well. It's nothing unusual at all.


I think what posters are forgetting is no one is saying or arguing that beach access should go away. The City required Marriott to build a special board walk for the public on the north side of the property that did not go directly through the middle of the property.
Marriott chose to delay construction of the boardwalk until the later phases of development. When they indefinitely postponed the later phases, the City required them to let the public go through the resort and use their boardwalk. Marriott appears to have an agreement that they will have to build the boardwalk by 2015, but that might be extended. We walked the whole beach at Marco Island, there are many condos/timeshares that have private access only posted. There are several hotels that have access next to their hotel, but also a public beach access to the side. I know for a fact that the Marriott down the street does not let the public use their facilities - at certain times of the year not even MVCI owners. I believe laws in Florida do require beach access at set intervals along the beach (they are public) - but it doesn't have to be through the middle of one's property.
I am the first to agree that Condos/timeshares/etc. should not take over the beach. I live in FL and hate to see shuttered condos on the beach much of the year. However, the fact is - Marriott owners should not be paying maintenance for the general public to use the facilities - that is more wear and tear on the facilities. I wonder if any money is provided to the owners from Stilts to help with upkeep of the bathrooms - since they are used by restaurant owners and are required - or whether owners are footing all of the bills for upkeep? And what about money toward added security?

Ocean Pointe, Oceana Palms, (and I believe Lakeshore Reserve) have all of their facilities gated with card access. I agree with one of the other posters that if there is going to be a "public" restaurant on site - then access to it needs to be separate than access to the facilities. There are ways this can be done once permanent beach access is moved at this property.

Loss prevention recognizes this as a problem - they have had some thefts around the pool area and at least one instance of a strange person wondering through the property and following someone up to the room - so they watch things really closely when they can. But, during the off season there appears to be fewer loss prevention folks as there are fewer people accesssing through to the beach. There can always be issues, but when you allow general public acceess you open the owners up to more security issues and possibly liability issues.
 

4Reliefnow

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Here is probably your best bet.

The Yahoo groups are pretty useless and rarely used


We are working to make the Canyon Villas Group Helpful. Why don't you join and contribute. Right now we could use comments from a baseball fan and an avid golfer about how they enjoy there activity at CV.


Others interested in Canyon Villas http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CVnewsgroup/ for owners only
 
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