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Ocean Club St Maarten Hurricane Irma Update

RNCollins

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I received an email Friday 9/22/17 from Ocean Club in St Maarten where I own.

Email received from: info@oceanclubstmaarten.com

"Dear Members:

Thank you for all your heartfelt messages.

First of all, the staff of the resort are well considering the circumstances and currently helping to salvage what can be saved at the resort.

For those with questions regarding arrivals, please note that the resort is in no state
of accommodating guests. The lobby and office are completely destroyed. Out of the 45 units, only two were left untouched, however there are no utilities and it is simply not safe to stay on such a property.

I also understand that you are worried about your investment, but please try to understand that at the moment, I cannot respond to each individual request.

The process with the insurance companies is a meticulous one, and as I am trying to give all of my companies my undivided attention, I again ask for your patience. The passage of hurricane Maria was another set-back for us, in which the island was under a curfew for 36 hours.

A next update will be issued once I have more information.


Regards,

Eric Loor

PS. From the start we have worked on updating our contact list and we have noticed that we are still missing email addresses of some of our members. Please assist in forwarding the email to other friends if they have not received it. We are constantly trying to update our list for better communication."



For the latest updates, please like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/oceanclubstmaarten
 

RNCollins

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Received an email from Ocean Club yesterday, October 9, 2017

“Dear Members:

Please be informed that the resort will not be charging 2018 maintenance fees, as I am still dealing with the insurance company as well as an assessment from government.

Members who have paid maintenance fees and/or bonus weeks for 2018, will have their monies reimbursed. Please bear with us, as our front desk including credit card machine is completely damaged. However, we will reverse these transactions as soon as the bank can assist us.

We will keep you posted!”
 

RNCollins

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From October 18, 2017
Ocean Club Facebook post:

“The Ocean Club is closed until further notice, due to the devastation caused by hurricane Irma. To our Members, you will be updated via email as we have done previously. If you are a member and have not received an update email from us, please let us know via info@oceanclubstmaarten.com

Please note that our FB page is not monitored on a daily basis.”
 

pedro47

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St. Maarten today open the island back to the cruises ship industry .
 

RNCollins

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There is now a closed group on Facebook called: “Ocean Club SXM Timeshare Owners”

From the post: “This is a closed group for the timeshare owners at the Ocean Club SXM where we can connect and share information. Post Irma it is also so we can brainstorm to coordinate a united effort to get information about the status of the resort and rebuilding from Mr. Eric Loor-the resort owner.”
 

RNCollins

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Received this email from the owner of the Ocean Club yesterday:
Friday March 10, 2018

“Dear Member,

As was previously mentioned, the Ocean Club has been closed since the passing of hurricanes Irma and Maria. The resort has experienced the full wrath of the storms, and we have been ordered by the authorities to demolish the remnants.

Management has spent the past months on crisis management, assessing the factual and legal situation, and exploring solutions for our members.

As ownership of the (real) properties on the premises of the resort is fragmented, we have engaged outside counsel to establish the rights and obligations of the various stakeholders.

At the same time, we are exploring solutions for the future of the resort and/or our
members. We are confident to be able to present viable solutions before this summer.

In the following weeks, we will send all members detailed information on the sustained damages of the resort as well as demolishing cost.

I apologise for not being able to provide more information at the moment, however, these extraordinary circumstances require an in-depth approach, which costs time.

Kind regards,

Eric Loor”



4710F04D-39EC-466B-837C-EA2E92FAD22E.jpeg
6FCEDB3E-0CE3-4498-B54A-457515AFBBC4.jpeg
 

pedro47

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Thanks for sharing the photos of the clean up efforts. The resort is making progress.
 

RNCollins

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Below is from a post from the newsletter “SXM Weekly News In Brief” that I received as an email update:

Monday, March 12, 2018

Ocean Club to Be Demolished;
No Reassurance That It Will Ever Be Rebuilt


In what must be regarded as one of the most peculiar
pieces of customer communications we have ever seen,
Eric Loor, developer of the Ocean Club resort on
Cupecoy beach, emailed his timeshare owners last
week, saying that he is going to have the
resort demolished.

[See earlier TUG post for the letter owners received from Resort developer Eric Loor]

SXM Weekly News sent a query on Sunday afternoon to
an official of the recently elected new Dutch side
government to see whether this claim of "ordered by
the authorities" [to demolish the buildings] is correct. By press time we had received
the following preliminary response: "Usually government
does not urge you to demolish. The place really
has to constitute a danger." As far as we know, the
property was sealed off and does not "present" such a danger.

Clearly, Mr. Loor's message leaves more questions
unanswered than timeshare owners would have
expected. Indeed, timeshare owners are expressing
bewilderment that, six months after Irma struck, all that
Eric Loor is saying is they are going to demolish the buildings
— nothing truly substantive about the resort's future.

To be sure, he did say the issue is complex — but he also
knew that six months ago. The disparate ownership of
parts of the resort also is nothing new.

We have serious questions here, and we're sure
timeshare owners have many more:

  • Is the intent to rebuild still there, Mr. Loor?
  • Do you plan to require timeshare owners to
    share the cost of the "demolition"?
  • Is Ocean Club planning to claim force majeure
    concerning its resort, the contractual stipulation
    that would void all timeshare owner contracts and
    let you (Mr. Loor) start from scratch, owing
    virtually nothing to your timeshare owners?
Over the last six months, we have attempted to contact
Mr. Loor through several different communications
channels and have received no response. His timeshare
owners deserve something other than obfuscation. For
their sake, and for the sake of the entire SXM tourism
industry, one would hope he would have definitive
answers for everyone before much more time has elapsed.”
 

RNCollins

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This is an article published in the St Maarten newspaper The Daily Herald about the Ocean Club:

Property Loss worries Ocean Club Members

The Daily Herald / March 21, 2018
https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/74851-property-loss-worries-ocean-club-members


“CUPECOY--Timeshare owners at Ocean Club in Cupecoy are worried about loss of their buy-weeks with the demolition of the hurricane-ravaged property by developer Eric Loor.

Loor recently sent an e-mail to timeshare owners saying the resort had experienced the full wrath of the storms and “we have been ordered by the authorities to demolish the remnants.”
However, the Ministry of Infrastructure VROMI has confirmed that it has not issued a demolition order and that Loor has decided on this step alone.

Contacted by The Daily Herald about the demolition, Chris Wever, Chief of Staff of the VROMI Minister’s Cabinet, responded after checking into the matter, “I can safely say that VROMI did NOT order the demolition and that Mr. Loor acted on his own.”
Loor was also contacted by the newspaper about the demolition and his plans for the property. His response was: “For now, I can’t comment on it.”

In his e-mail to timeshare owners, Loor stated that management had spent the past months on crisis management, assessing the factual and legal situation, and exploring solutions for members.
“As ownership of the (real) properties on the premises of the resort is fragmented, we have engaged outside counsel to establish the rights and obligations of the various stakeholders,” he wrote. “At the same time, we are exploring solutions for the future of the resort and/or our members. We are confident to be able to present viable solutions before this summer.”
Loor told timeshare owners they would receive “detailed information on the sustained damages of the resort as well as demolishing cost” in the coming weeks.

“I apologise for not being able to provide more information at the moment. However, these extraordinary circumstances require an in-depth approach, which costs time,” he said in the e-mail.”
 

primes

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Does anyone have any information about what our options are as owners? Will the resort take back our timeshares or can we just relinquish ownership? All input would be appreciated. You can also e-mail me at rimes1108@yahoo.com
 

RNCollins

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Does anyone have any information about what our options are as owners? Will the resort take back our timeshares or can we just relinquish ownership? All input would be appreciated. You can also e-mail me at rimes1108@yahoo.com
The owner of the Ocean Club, Eric Loor, is not providing timeshare owners with much information. The last update we received from him was on March 10th [see the post #7]. The best place owners can receive info and updates is at the closed Facebook group “Ocean Club SXM Timeshare Owners.”
 

RNCollins

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This is an email I received yesterday May 11, 2018 from the Ocean Club:

“Dear Member,

The Ocean Club (OC) team regrets not having been able to inform you since the last letter. However, the circumstances for OC and Sint Maarten are challenging since the passing of hurricane Irma. Our team has worked tirelessly to resolve the issues regarding your membership. In this letter we set out the current situation of the OC in detail, announce expected short-term solutions and explore OC’s future.

The OC’s property has been assessed for damages by an architectural engineer and by the Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (in Dutch: “VROMI”). The conclusion is that the various buildings on the property are damaged beyond repair. Furthermore, the current building codes prevent rebuilding the structures in the same manner. The OC cannot be rebuilt to its former state.

In addition, the OC consists of different plots and buildings which are owned by various owners (and not by the operator of the time-share program). The original developer of the OC has sold the real property over the years to various private and corporate real estate investors. The OC team has spent considerable time and resources on mapping the ownership structure and engaging the various owners to explore possibilities of redeveloping the property for its members. To date, despite ongoing talks, no comprehensive agreement was finalized.

Redevelopment is further being hampered by severe insurance complications. Full insurance coverage is lacking and/ or denied by the insurer due to structural issues laid bare by the passing of hurricane Irma. The OC team stresses that to date no property insurance payments have been received by the owners of the real property. Furthermore, there is no expectation of these insurance issues being settled anytime soon – in any case such claims will at most cover the costs of the VROMI ordered demolition and debris removal.

While the current OC team has ‘inherited’ these issues (it has only been involved since early 2017), it is strongly committed to safeguarding the interests of its members. As you know other timeshare operators have assessed members for hefty sums to be able to pay for fixed costs and clean up while the resorts remain closed. As we believe this to be unfair to our members, we are currently incurring operational losses to be able to devise the best solutions for you.

We are aware that redevelopment will take considerable time and therefore we explored the options of membership migration. To that effect we are proud to announce that we are about to finalise a ‘membership migration’-deal with a reputable timeshare-operator. Members will be offered to exchange their membership with us for one with them. The OC team has put a lot of effort in negotiating a high value proposition for our members – we are pleased that members accepting the ‘membership migration’ will save their investment and experience great vacations again within short.

We kindly request you to send an email with updated contact and membership details (including unit and week number) to migration@oceanclubstmaarten.com [corrected email] if you are interested in exploring the membership migration offer.

From those members committed to stay involved with Sint Maarten, we request patience. Seen the issues detailed in this letter, Sint Maarten’s dire economic situation and the subsequent lack of interested investors, redevelopment will take, as mentioned earlier, a lot of time; at least 3 years. We are exploring scenarios for redevelopment with various stakeholders but have not been able to secure tangible commitments.

It has become clear, however, that only a luxurious large-scale hotel/condominium (with limited units available for timeshare-members) will be feasible under the current economic conditions.

The OC team is (yet again) trying to safeguard our member’s interests in this scenario – we will fight hard to ensure that your initial investment in OC membership will be compensated for when purchasing new membership. Unfortunately, it has transpired that obtaining membership in any kind of redevelopment will carry a price-tag of at least several thousand dollars because of a better experience, higher standards and improved facilities. This can however not be guaranteed at this moment.

The OC team is launching a newsletter to provide periodical updates – we kindly request our members to opt-in by sending an email with updated contact and membership details (including unit and week number) to newsletter@oceanclubstmaarten.com [corrected email].

We thank you for your patience and understanding.

Best regards,

The Ocean Club Team”
 

RNCollins

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The timeshare owners at the Ocean Club in St Maarten have been given three options to choose from:

1 Migration:
Members wo are interested in our membership migration opportunity with Vacation Internationale (VI) can find more information on: https://www.viresorts.com/OceanClubFAQ.html..

2 Terminate:
Members who wish to terminate their membership free of charge can send an email to
info@oceanclubstmaarten.com.

3 Remain:
Members who want to remain a member of a redeveloped Ocean Club are kindly requested to indicate so at info@oceanclubstmaarten.com. We kindly request your patience as we are still exploring redevelopment options.

http://www.oceanclubstmaarten.com/
 

pedro47

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Have anyone been to St Maarten to see the current status of the resort?
 
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