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Monarch 2016-19 4-Year Special Assessment/Refurbishment, etc [Update]

happyhills

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We own a fixed week 41 at Marriott Monarch and love it. We are considering buying a second week on the resale market. I know they are going to resurface the outside of the buildings and redo the units in 2017-19 and we are paying a special assessment for the next 3 years. We do love Monarch but I wonder if we should buy at another HHI resort.:ponder:
 
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l0410z

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I own 2 weeks at the Monarch, the first purchased a little over 20 years ago (week 29 unit 3846) and the second purchased 2 years ago (week 32 unit 3843). Questions.. what season are you looking to purchase and are you looking to trade or use?
 

happyhills

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I own 2 weeks at the Monarch, the first purchased a little over 20 years ago (week 29 unit 3846) and the second purchased 2 years ago (week 32 unit 3843). Questions.. what season are you looking to purchase and are you looking to trade or use?
We own week 41 that we bought 3 years ago on the resale market. We love it and want to have two weeks. We are looking at week 40 as a resale. We use it and don't trade unless something comes up that we can't change. I'm just worried about what they will find when they start opening the outside walls.
 

Robert D

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How much is the special assessment and why was it needed? Special assessments are usually a sign of poor management. Refurbs should be covered by replacement reserves.
 

l0410z

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How much is the special assessment and why was it needed? Special assessments are usually a sign of poor management. Refurbs should be covered by replacement reserves.
The HOA at the Monarch has always been on top of things. This is coming from my 20 years of ownership. They also have an owners website and a liaison that gives you access to them. Communications has never been an issue.

The Monarch has the following challenges :
Age (30 years old) and proximity to water (closest of any Marriott) requires work on the facade of the building. They pointed out that until they get underneath, it may or may not require more work.
Fire code changes require front door replacement at some point.

The assessment is being stretched out over three years. . Even with this our MF is about 1450 per year.
 

l0410z

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We own week 41 that we bought 3 years ago on the resale market. We love it and want to have two weeks. We are looking at week 40 as a resale. We use it and don't trade unless something comes up that we can't change. I'm just worried about what they will find when they start opening the outside walls.
A valid concern. I would think you can get the week you want at a very reasonable price compared to other oceanfront properties. Look at the price delta and that becomes the buffer on any unknown repairs. I will assume you enjoy sea pines so based on that, the Grand Ocean is always a good choice. The GO has an indoor pool. I am guessing in October the outdoor pools and ocean is borderline week 40. If Ocean is not important and you enjoy golf, the Hertiage offers free rounds of golf. If sea pines is not important than you have many more choices.
 

dioxide45

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The HOA at the Monarch has always been on top of things. This is coming from my 20 years of ownership. They also have an owners website and a liaison that gives you access to them. Communications has never been an issue.

The Monarch has the following challenges :
Age (30 years old) and proximity to water (closest of any Marriott) requires work on the facade of the building. They pointed out that until they get underneath, it may or may not require more work.
Fire code changes require front door replacement at some point.

The assessment is being stretched out over three years. . Even with this our MF is about 1450 per year.
But why didn't they anticipate this? It isn't like the resort hasn't been close to the water all these years. It isn't a surprise that this type of work would be needed. They should have been building the reserve to cover this for the last 20 years, not just three. Special assessments are a sign of a board not wanting to increase MFs when they really should be higher. Why should the owners now pay for something that all the owners over the last 30 years have been enjoying. I don't know how much the assessment is, but it seems that $5 a year over the last 30 years would have probably covered it.
 

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Back when we owned a large portfolio of TS Weeks Monarch was always our favorite. We bought a Crown Suite Week resale at a great price; used it about 7 years while kids and kids friends were with us; then sold it (at a profit). Yes, the MF was double that of the regular units but it was worth every penny. Probably the best TS decision we ever made. Love Monarch.

George
 

l0410z

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But why didn't they anticipate this? It isn't like the resort hasn't been close to the water all these years. It isn't a surprise that this type of work would be needed. They should have been building the reserve to cover this for the last 20 years, not just three. Special assessments are a sign of a board not wanting to increase MFs when they really should be higher. Why should the owners now pay for something that all the owners over the last 30 years have been enjoying. I don't know how much the assessment is, but it seems that $5 a year over the last 30 years would have probably covered it.
You can't account for everything years in advance. Like our own health as we age unplanned stuff happens and you have to take from peter to pay paul.
For a number of years the reserve fee seemed over funded and people complained

The monarch has an owners website They list every MF from 1983 to 2016. They have line items for Operating Fee, Reserve Fee, Prop Tax, Cleaning fee (stopped in 1995) and one time special assessment (3 in 33 years). They do the math providing increase with and without assessment.

This assessment is not one time but 150 a year for 3 years (450). The total assessments over the 33 year history is 1000 (including this one).

I would bet you will not find a HOA as transparent in the Marriott system. Would love to be proven wrong. What other Marriott Timeshare has a owners website that has the MF information from day 1, areas you can post buy/sell/rent/trade information, layout of the property listing each unit number on it and a liaison (employee) to communicate to update the website.
Sorry...as far as I am concerned I believe they have done a good job. Do not get me wrong, there are things I would like changed but in this area I can't find fault.
 

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You can't account for everything years in advance. Like our own health as we age unplanned stuff happens and you have to take from peter to pay paul.
For a number of years the reserve fee seemed over funded and people complained

The monarch has an owners website They list every MF from 1983 to 2016. They have line items for Operating Fee, Reserve Fee, Prop Tax, Cleaning fee (stopped in 1995) and one time special assessment (3 in 33 years). They do the math providing increase with and without assessment.

This assessment is not one time but 150 a year for 3 years (450). The total assessments over the 33 year history is 1000 (including this one).

I would bet you will not find a HOA as transparent in the Marriott system. Would love to be proven wrong. What other Marriott Timeshare has a owners website that has the MF information from day 1, areas you can post buy/sell/rent/trade information, layout of the property listing each unit number on it and a liaison (employee) to communicate to update the website.
Sorry...as far as I am concerned I believe they have done a good job. Do not get me wrong, there are things I would like changed but in this area I can't find fault.
It's great that the Board is so transparent but still, that doesn't lessen the blow of a Special Assessment. Hearing that people "complained" in the past that the "reserve fee seemed over funded," does that mean the Board caved to pressure then to reduce it so now current owners are having to pick up the slack?

In most cases "Special Assessments" are equally dreaded by owners despite there being two schools of thought when it comes to reserves: some folks want a healthy reserve with current and long-term repairs/improvements anticipated, some folks would rather a lower annual fee and major repairs/improvements paid for separately through an SA at the time of repair. I'm squarely in the first camp and agree with Dioxide that the funding needed now by Monarch should have been anticipated (and if the Board capitulated to owner unrest about reserves in the past, maybe they should have instead explained better their anticipated spending concerns?)

{ETA} l0410z, I can't tell from your 2016 MF's post if this SA was included in the Reserve component of the annual bills. Can you please share the details of when you were notified of the SA and when the three installments are due? That info can be incorporated into your post in the MF thread so that anyone interested in Monarch will be aware. Thanks!
 
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l0410z

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I'm squarely in the first camp and agree with Dioxide that the funding needed now by Monarch should have been anticipated (and if the Board capitulated to owner unrest about reserves in the past, maybe they should have instead explained better their anticipated spending concerns?)
I respectively disagree with both you and Dioxide. Again, asking with a respectful intent a question I am curious about...have you or Dioxide sat on a timeshare HOA. I have never sat on a timeshare board but I have set on boards of organizations. You have members that are happy and unhappy. The unhappy happen to be more vocal even if they are a much smaller group. With week ownership that's a lot voices. You consider the HOA as having caved in. Me, they gave their owners what they asked for. I do not mind an assessment every now and then and I am happy with my ownership. Bottom line this is the measurement of how the board is doing.


Every year that I go to the Monarch, I attend the owners meeting and listen to what is going on. We hear the status of the reserve fund, what potential projects are coming up, new things being considered and how the HOA is prioritizing them.

In fairness to this subject, I own summer HHI and so the "value of the week" compared to MF needs to be considered. Would love hear from other Monarch Owners.
 

SueDonJ

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I respectively disagree with both you and Dioxide. Again, asking with a respectful intent a question I am curious about...have you or Dioxide sat on a timeshare HOA. I have never sat on a timeshare board but I have set on boards of organizations. You have members that are happy and unhappy. The unhappy happen to be more vocal even if they are a much smaller group. With week ownership that's a lot voices. You consider the HOA as having caved in. Me, they gave their owners what they asked for. I do not mind an assessment every now and then and I am happy with my ownership. Bottom line this is the measurement of how the board is doing.


Every year that I go to the Monarch, I attend the owners meeting and listen to what is going on. We hear the status of the reserve fund, what potential projects are coming up, new things being considered and how the HOA is prioritizing them.

In fairness to this subject, I own summer HHI and so the "value of the week" compared to MF needs to be considered. Would love hear from other Monarch Owners.
Oh! I didn't mean to be disrespectful to you and am sorry if that's how you took it. It's perfectly fine to prefer one method of funding reserves over the other.

No, I haven't sat on a Board and wouldn't want to, knowing that no matter what you do there will be happy and unhappy owners. At my resorts on HHI there are weekly owner meetings similar to what happens at Monarch and I agree with you that the information shared during those meetings goes a long way toward making owners feel as though their thoughts are carefully considered. It seems that you and I definitely agree on how important Board/owner communication is, regardless of the different ways we want them to approach reserves at our owned resorts. :)
 

bazzap

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I respectively disagree with both you and Dioxide. Again, asking with a respectful intent a question I am curious about...have you or Dioxide sat on a timeshare HOA. I have never sat on a timeshare board but I have set on boards of organizations. You have members that are happy and unhappy. The unhappy happen to be more vocal even if they are a much smaller group. With week ownership that's a lot voices. You consider the HOA as having caved in. Me, they gave their owners what they asked for. I do not mind an assessment every now and then and I am happy with my ownership. Bottom line this is the measurement of how the board is doing.


Every year that I go to the Monarch, I attend the owners meeting and listen to what is going on. We hear the status of the reserve fund, what potential projects are coming up, new things being considered and how the HOA is prioritizing them.

In fairness to this subject, I own summer HHI and so the "value of the week" compared to MF needs to be considered. Would love hear from other Monarch Owners.
I definitely agree with SueDonJ and Dioxide.
With 8 weeks ownership, soon to be 10, I certainly don't look forward to the annual MF bill and associated increases.
However, I would far rather face this than unpredictable, potentially huge special assessment bills because of underfunded reserves.
I do sit on a timshare HOA and it can be a challenge ensuring the reserve fund is suitably balanced to be neither under or over funded, but at least trying to strike the right balance must be the best way forward.
 

l0410z

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Oh! I didn't mean to be disrespectful to you and am sorry if that's how you took it. It's perfectly fine to prefer one method of funding reserves over the other.

No, I haven't sat on a Board and wouldn't want to, knowing that no matter what you do there will be happy and unhappy owners. At my resorts on HHI there are weekly owner meetings similar to what happens at Monarch and I agree with you that the information shared during those meetings goes a long way toward making owners feel as though their thoughts are carefully considered. It seems that you and I definitely agree on how important Board/owner communication is, regardless of the different ways we want them to approach reserves at our owned resorts. :)
I didn't think you were being disrespectful. I really wanted to know if you sat on an HOA before. I didn't want to come across as asking in a mean spirited way. This is why I used respectful.

I have been vocal on parking issues at the Monarch and putting two double beds in the second BR so I can't say I have no issues. I feel I get my money's worth for what I pay. I am happy with the job they do.

I do hope other Monarch owners weigh in.
 

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I didn't think you were being disrespectful. I really wanted to know if you sat on an HOA before. I didn't want to come across as asking in a mean spirited way. This is why I used respectful.

I have been vocal on parking issues at the Monarch and putting two double beds in the second BR so I can't say I have no issues. I feel I get my money's worth for what I pay. I am happy with the job they do.

I do hope other Monarch owners weigh in.
No harm, no foul. I also hope others chime in.

I'm not sure if you saw the edit in my post above. Looking at your MF's post it appears that the $150per/3years SA may have been included in the 2016 MF's, because the Reserves jumped from $304.75 in 2015 to $454.76 in 2016. Can you confirm that the SA wasn't established as an additional fee this year and the next two, or if it has been, what the SA payment schedule is? And, do you have any objection to this thread being linked to your 2016 MF's post? Thanks!
 

l0410z

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No harm, no foul. I also hope others chime in.

I'm not sure if you saw the edit in my post above. Looking at your MF's post it appears that the $150per/3years SA may have been included in the 2016 MF's, because the Reserves jumped from $304.75 in 2015 to $454.76 in 2016. Can you confirm that the SA wasn't established as an additional fee this year and the next two, or if it has been, what the SA payment schedule is? And, do you have any objection to this thread being linked to your 2016 MF's post? Thanks!
It is contained in the 2016 MF fee as the increase in the reserve fund you pointed out. So you are correct. When the HOA includes this years MF in their running chart of MFs through 1983, it will be listed separately as a icharge outside of the reserve fund. This way it captures it as an assessment The 150 increase will be in the MF through 2018. The linkage to the MF is fine.
 

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But why didn't they anticipate this? It isn't like the resort hasn't been close to the water all these years. It isn't a surprise that this type of work would be needed. They should have been building the reserve to cover this for the last 20 years, not just three. Special assessments are a sign of a board not wanting to increase MFs when they really should be higher. Why should the owners now pay for something that all the owners over the last 30 years have been enjoying. I don't know how much the assessment is, but it seems that $5 a year over the last 30 years would have probably covered it.
You can't account for everything years in advance. Like our own health as we age unplanned stuff happens and you have to take from peter to pay paul.
For a number of years the reserve fee seemed over funded and people complained
I'm with dioxide45 and others in his camp on this one. As an example, if an owner had just purchased a resale week here a year ago, and now has this special assessment hitting to make up for prior owners essentially underpaying for this maintenance that surely should have been known about and planned for, that new owner would surely be justified in being more than a bit upset. This is the very reason there IS a reserve that gets paid into in the first place.
 

dioxide45

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Even unpredictable events should be planned for. A hurricane is a very unpredictable event. However, resorts that could possibly be faced with one should be planning for it. If a hurricane were to hit a property, there should be no need for a special assessment. The reserve funds should be funding enough money to cover the deducible on the insurance policy that would cover such a catastrophic loss. The deducible could be a million or more.

Surely a refurbishment of the units from 2017-19 is something that the board should be planning for years in advance. Isn't the resort on a 5/10 year refurbishment cycle? Resurfacing is something that should be a surprise. Buildings need new roofs, new paint and at times new siding.

The board appears to have chosen a different way to fund these kinds of repairs. I certainly don't agree with the method they chose. Just because the owners complain that the reserves are too high, doesn't mean that the board should listen to them. IMO, they made a bad choice here.

If I were an owner here, why should I have to pay $450 when some of that should have been paid by bogey21. Who by my counts is up to 40 when it comes to talking about the crown suite he owned and sold years ago.
 

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Even unpredictable events should be planned for. A hurricane is a very unpredictable event. However, resorts that could possibly be faced with one should be planning for it. If a hurricane were to hit a property, there should be no need for a special assessment. The reserve funds should be funding enough money to cover the deducible on the insurance policy that would cover such a catastrophic loss. The deducible could be a million or more..
Agree. I owned at two Resorts crushed by hurricanes (Chateau LeGrande in Biloxi and Peregrine near Galveston). Both are HOA Controlled Independents. I did lose usage for a year at both while massive reconstruction was completed. Both ended up better than before they were hit by the hurricanes.

Geoge
 

l0410z

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I'm with dioxide45 and others in his camp on this one. As an example, if an owner had just purchased a resale week here a year ago, and now has this special assessment hitting to make up for prior owners essentially underpaying for this maintenance that surely should have been known about and planned for, that new owner would surely be justified in being more than a bit upset. This is the very reason there IS a reserve that gets paid into in the first place.
Specifically from the HOA
It is always the Board's intention to adhere to its fiduciary responsibility of managing the ownership's money carefully and curtailing increases to the annual maintenance fee, while at the same time maintaining owners' expectations of the resort. In order to do so, the Board was forced to choose between a substantial one-time 'special Assessment" in 2018 or an increase in the reserve fee by a fixed amount over a four-year period, in order to fund the upcoming work. 'We chose the latter to be a more acceptable approach

Now back on point. I do not have that crystal ball that gives advance warning of what will go, when it will and how much it will cost. I do not expect my HOA to have one. If something big goes before it is suppose to and it costs a lot of money, you have a short fall.

As far as a recent owner having to foot the bill on underfunding is no more an issue than a the person who sold to an over funded situation. I do know someone who purchased at the Monarch two years ago that did so at a price of 50% less than I did my resale 20 years ago. My resale 20 years ago was purchased 50% less than new. In the 33 years the Monarch is open they has 1100 of special assessments including the total of the last one. All of it has been in my 20 years of ownership. I have no problem with that. I do not feel the least bit sympathetic to the person who purchased two years ago and neither should anyone else. They got a steal even with the assessment. BTW, the person was me.

An SA may or may not be the fault of the HOA. Every situation is different. I am sure that there are situations where an assessment should have been avoided. The owners get to decide that, not me as an outside looking in.

I just purchased an EOY 2 BR at the Grand Chateau. I did look at the increases the last few years along with details of the reserve fund and the useful life of the items in it along with were the items are in the useful life. I looked to see if the builder was supplementing the MF. I tired to do my due diligence because like diamonds, MF's are forever. I paid under 1800 and if there is an assessment, I can understand many people being upset if it was underserved. Paying 1800 I did not earn the right to be one of them.
 

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I didn't think you were being disrespectful. I really wanted to know if you sat on an HOA before. I didn't want to come across as asking in a mean spirited way. This is why I used respectful.

I have been vocal on parking issues at the Monarch and putting two double beds in the second BR so I can't say I have no issues. I feel I get my money's worth for what I pay. I am happy with the job they do.

I do hope other Monarch owners weigh in.
I'm with you on this one.
 

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Agree. I owned at two Resorts crushed by hurricanes (Chateau LeGrande in Biloxi and Peregrine near Galveston). Both are HOA Controlled Independents. I did lose usage for a year at both while massive reconstruction was completed. Both ended up better than before they were hit by the hurricanes.
Forgot to say that in neither case was there a Special Assessment.

George
 

David10225

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I'm also considering buying a second week on HHI. We have a summer week at Barony and would like to get a second week somewhere in Sea Pines. I've always heard good things about Monarch. I wonder if this would be a good time to buy since people may be thinking about selling due to the assessment?

PS - I know you probably think we are crazy but we are thinking of moving to Bluffton in 2 years - why would I buy where I live...well the kids and grandchildren will have a place to stay!
 

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I'm also considering buying a second week on HHI. We have a summer week at Barony and would like to get a second week somewhere in Sea Pines. I've always heard good things about Monarch. I wonder if this would be a good time to buy since people may be thinking about selling due to the assessment?

PS - I know you probably think we are crazy but we are thinking of moving to Bluffton in 2 years - why would I buy where I live...well the kids and grandchildren will have a place to stay!
I looked at the Monarch Owners website and I saw a week 32 (third week August) and 4 week 33 (Last week August) for sale . There are no other Summer weeks. The website is Monarchowners.com Anyone can get access.

Personally, I do not think people in the summer are going to sell because the MF went up 150 dollars for the next few years. I do believe the Monarch will be cheaper than the other ocean fronts because of age and sleeps only 6.
 

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The problem with trying to secure a summer week is you're going to pay a premium. I'd consider a fall season week. That will be considerably cheaper and if history continues and there is a good chance it will, you can trade back into a summer week. We own weeks 39 and 40 at the Monarch and we've traded back into the Monarch for week 30 2 years running. And in a few years the fall will be our preferred time to travel to HHI as it is the best time of year to go anyway.
 
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