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Rayburn Country Club Resort

CMVer

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Just received an email from RCI Points stating that this resort has been suspended from the RCI system. I had already planned to NOT pay my maintenance fees this year, but this is more ammunition for them to fold or offer deed backs. Anyone else get this email? I'm sure there are other owners out there since, at one time, Rayburn was an economical way to get into RCI points and then add points to the RCI account using points for deposit.
 

KACTravels

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Yes, I received it as well.

Dear RCI Member:

We are writing to you regarding your Vacation Ownership at Rayburn Country Club Resort in Brookeland, Texas (the “Resort”). This letter is to inform you that, effective immediately, the Resort has been placed in a suspension status due to quality issues, which temporarily prohibits the Resort from participating in the RCI Exchange Programs. Accordingly, RCI will no longer accept additional inventory from the Resort until further notice.

Please note that any RCI Points allotments associated with inventory prior to November 2019 that have been allocated to your RCI account are unaffected by this suspension. However, RCI Points associated with inventory starting November 2019 and beyond will no longer be allocated to your account, or, if any such unused Points have already been allocated to your account, they will be removed from your RCI account and will no longer be available for use until further notice. In addition, any unused inventory starting November 2019 and beyond will be returned to the Resort. If, however, previously allocated RCI Points associated with inventory starting November 2019 and beyond have already been used by you to reserve an upcoming RCI vacation, you may retain that vacation provided that your RCI membership is current and you remain in compliance with the Terms and Conditions of RCI Points Subscribing Membership through the start date of the vacation.

Please know that if you participate in an RCI Exchange Program through your Vacation Ownership at other RCI Affiliated Resorts, such participation will not be affected by the Suspension of the Resort provided your RCI subscription in that Exchange Program remains active and you remain a Member in good standing.


Please be assured that we are working with Rayburn Country Club and hope that your exchange privileges may be restored as soon as possible. Should you have any questions regarding your RCI membership, please contact an RCI Guide at (877) 968-7476. Should you have specific questions regarding the Resort or the suspension of the Resort, please contact the Resort directly at (409) 698-9248.


We hope to have the opportunity to continue offering you the best leisure travel services available.


Sincerely,


Shelia Flatt
Director, Customer Care – RCI Exchanges
Ref. #933987
 

KACTravels

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I just received a letter in the mail with the following:

Dear Rayburn Country Timeshare Owner,
During the past three years we have had to foreclose more than 500 weeks of timeshared ownership and we presently have nearly 300 weeks in line for foreclosure. We have been reduced to only enough paying owners to support about 20 condos. We have 45 condos in our Timeshare Association! We cannot afford to pay taxes, condo dues, HOA dues, insurance, utilities, etc. on 45 condos from the maintenance fees that we receive which equate to essentially pay the bills for 20 condos. We have tried to reduce the number of condos but have not been able to get the cooperation from owners to get this done.
R.C.I. continues to pump people into these units which causes us to do extensive maid service, maintenance, etc. and we receive no funds from these R.C.I. rentals. They make all of the money, we do all the work and we receive nothing in return. It is just one of the inequities of the timeshare Business and especially in these old rundown facilities.
At the end of the day, we see no alternative but to file bankruptcy. We are hopeful that the bankruptcy court will approve a workout plan which will allow us to continue to operate with 20 to 25 condos and allow us to sell 20 to 25. The reality is that the court may decide that we just need to liquidate and sell all of the assets and pay off all the creditors. In any event, we will begin the process and work through the system until there is a resolution one way or the other.
Please remember, we only have one person in our office and to try to return hundreds of phone calls will take months. My limited experience with Bankruptcy courts is that you as creditors will receive updates as we move through this process and will have some input although I do not know how much.
Very Sincerely Yours,
C....P....
 

chazpbg

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Maybe this is the best thing that could happen. I was ready to foreclose and was worried about legal action that arise from that -- I'm guessing this will be a non-issue. But I do have a few questions:

1) Will Rayburn try to collect MFs for 2020? I can't imagine they would, but they did say in their letter that process could drag out... I hope they're not planning on us paying fees during this process.

2) I obviously received points for 2019 (and paid my maintenance fees). The RCI email sounds as if those would be good presuming this is all prior to Nov. 2019, but do our annual points correspond to actual weeks on the calendar? (If so, I'd hate to think my week would was post Nov. 1...).

3) My other timeshare ownership, as I'm sure is the case with many Rayburn owners, is a South Africa week. I purchased Rayburn just so I could transfer my SA week into points (and not pay much for a US points week to do so -- Rayburn was a helluva deal at the time, but I guess you get what you pay for!). I wonder if I can continue to do the points for deposit thing -- I've paid for RCI points membership through 2024 -- even if my only points week is now suspended (and may go defunct). Obviously, I can keep the RCI week within the weeks system, but it has so little value there. For that matter can I renew my RCI points membership in perpetuity if Rayburn is no more?

4) On the other hand, if Rayburn is kaput and I want to ditch my South Africa week, I wonder how easy it is of late to do a deedback? I did one with a South Africa week ages ago, but not sure what the latest deal is... It's a Falcon Glen week (believe it's part of Beekman/VMS).
 

KACTravels

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All good questions. I thought this part was interesting “you as creditors will receive updates as we move through this process and will have some input”. If they have to liquidate, do we get a piece of the proceeds recovered if there is any left after paying off any other debts? Not that it matters, I’m kinda sad, because we enjoyed our point exchanges at RCI. I also a prepaid as a member of RCI until 2022 and will use for Extra and Last Call vacations as long as we can.
 

bogey21

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Dear Rayburn Country Timeshare Owner,
During the past three years we have had to foreclose more than 500 weeks of timeshared ownership and we presently have nearly 300 weeks in line for foreclosure...
This letter read in its entirety clearly explains the dilemma Independent TimeShare Associations face. It doesn't really matter whether they get back the Weeks via Deed Backs or foreclosure. The result is the same....

George
 

chazpbg

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Got a little more clarity today from calling resort and RCI. So I just know that I had points from resort, but didn't know they corresponded to an actual week -- they do indeed. I spoke with woman at resort (very helpful!) and she looked up my week and said it was in late August, so I believe it won't be affected by the fact resort is essentially defunct as of now. I suspect if you had a week in November/December 2019 that you paid for and got points, RCI may be taking those points back (but not really certain how this works). RCI told me that my points membership is as good as long as I have it paid for, which means I can do weeks for points through that time. RCI also told me that when it's time for membership renewal -- in my case 2024 -- they won't let me renew as a points member, however. (So, I can't do weeks for points, which essentially makes my South Africa timeshare worthless to me -- its TPU value is very low and I prefer the points system anyhow.) Woman at resort said that as far as she knew, resort would not be sending out notices for paying 2020 dues -- it sounded as if this place is closing for good (but she indicated she was relatively new and didn't have a full idea). She said if the notices were going out, she'd have to preparing them by now and that wasn't happening. I can't imagine anyone would pay dues anyhow -- well, anyone who valued RCI points wouldn't. I wonder if they are able to get the place through this bankruptcy if they could come at you for past dues, but something tells me this isn't coming back in any shape or form. Like I say, it may be a blessing for some of us...
 

weegus

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I'm new to this forum, and also have a timeshare at Rayburn Country Club. I just finished booking a vacation with RCI, and expected my 2019 points from Rayburn to be in the system, but alas no. The letter from RCI and Rayburn came out on 23rd & 24th October respectively, so obviously they cut off or withdrew the points from RCI before that. Anyway, does anyone have further information on the bankruptcy ? What court is it filed with? Docket No.? I certainly do not want to continue owning there should they try to recover with a few units, after the courts have finished with them. I'd rather they liquidate and sell all of the assets, releasing the owners (me included) from the deeds. If I get the opportunity to make a comment to the court (as the Rayburn letter said we might be able to) I will push for liquidation.
 

GrahamNet

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Is there anyone else out there besides me, that feels this has been mismanaged for quite a while? Our dues went up significantly, yet the property is totally run down. Where did the extra money go? I asked and was ignored when I asked for financials. Has anyone seen financials? Why were so many units in forclosure if the points value was so good? Is there an option for a class action lawsuit for mismanagement or breach of contract? Many questions I know, but I'm a bit PO'd by losing the initial investment I made that will likely be $0 value.
 

KACTravels

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It has definitely been mismanaged for years. I took over my parents maintenance fee obligations with a quitclaim and transferred into the RCI points system with the intention of never actually going to Rayburn. We have had great RCI vacations with the Rayburn Points, but figured it would eventually go under. The signs have been there for years that the management was way over their heads. I have no idea what to expect from here on out, but honestly am not holding my breath for any additional information soon.
 

castleo

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The Rayburn Country site has a site visit evaluation and a subsidy program they are trying. That plus the letter gives a picture of their sad financial situation. See below.



Executive Summary for the final visit made on November 11-14th

On the above mentioned dates, I was able to perform a much deeper dive into the operations of the Club. As I stated in my earlier summary, my visit was made as a representative of True Club Solutions, a division of Troon.
I made the site visit at the request of Jasper Country Development District #1. The follow up visit was made for the purpose of further, more detailed evaluations of the operations of the facility.
I was able to spend a meaningful amount of time with many of the staff during the 3-day visit. Mr. Clyde Pederson, the project CEO, was welcoming and very generous with his time during the visit. The time I was able to spend with Clyde was invaluable.
I will now speak to the areas of the club that I mentioned only briefly in my initial summary report.
Facilities and Grounds
The clubhouse facility is welcoming and warm. The bar is not ideally situated, but is not so out of place as to necessarily hinder the experience. For the business that we are trying to capture, the clubhouse is probably overbuilt to a degree. The space is woefully underutilized. Furthermore, the building is beginning to show aesthetic wear with flooring and other items that will need to be replaced sooner than later. Subsequent to that, there will need to be a disciplined commitment to capital enhancements on an ongoing basis throughout all areas of the facility.
The kitchen is vast. There are a number of pieces of equipment that don’t necessarily fit the type of operation we are trying to be. Those could be traded out for 1 or 2 pieces of equipment that would better perform in that space. The M.E.P. portion of the foot print, namely the HVAC system is somewhat ill designed, as is the freezer storage area of the kitchen. There are ventilation issues in the cold food storage areas of the kitchen, and those issues can become problematic in the future if not addressed.
As for the external offerings of food and beverage, I have concerns about the license premise for alcohol service and the beverage cart. The club is in an area of Jasper County that is technically a dry precinct, and that is problematic for alcohol service on one license across the entire property. Additional research is needed to fully understand the implications of this fact.
Additionally, the space that was built as an ‘at-the-turn’ option for golfers in non-functioning and out of the way. Options exist to re-create the space, but investment would be required. To my knowledge the space that was imagined and built for the service is lacking the proper equipment to perform the functions required of the space. It is currently used for storage.
The golf shop is in good shape overall. The merchandise will need to be turned over and refreshed with new product ahead of the spring season. Without historical sales data, I am uncertain of the level of profit emanating from that space. I am of the strong opinion that the HOA office needs to relocated somewhere outside of the clubhouse. Co-mingling customers that are on property for recreational purposes with those residents who might be less than hospitable because of an issue with the HOA is not a good business practice, and every effort should be made to separate the two functions. I would strongly encourage the group to find a more suitable location for the HOA office, segregated from the club.
Additionally, I was able to meet and spend time with Mr. JD Batton, the consulting agronomist on the project. It is glaringly apparent that resources had become tighter for maintenance of the course, and as an operator, I understand the need for that if revenues become an issue. With that said, the golf course will begin to regress in quality if measures are not taken to address the lack of critical cultural practices such as proper chemical and fertilization applications.
With limited resource available to maintain it, the bunkers are overgrown and weed pressure will become greater as the winter progresses. Most importantly, the edges of the property look unkempt and the details that resort guests and members notice become more prevalent. The bunkers that were added and rebuilt are quite frankly too small for mechanical maintenance and most likely need to be maintained by hand and rake.
The greens are coming off a season where little to no cultural practices have been accomplished due to constraints of spending. Timely verti-cutting (removal of thatch) and top-dressing (sanding) of the greens is the single most important process that protects and maintains the long term health and playability of the greens. Over the past season, this process was only accomplished a couple of times. Should this process continue to be done only sporadically, the result will be inconsistent, bumpy and extremely grainy putting surfaces. Disease and drainage issues will occur that will require significant and costly remedial programs.
The building that houses golf course maintenance operation is the original building that was the golf cart storage building. That structure and its’ surroundings are sub-par, and need to be improved. There is an investment there that needs to be considered as part of the long term strategic plan.
The fleet of golf course maintence equipment is an area that needs to be addressed in the coming months. Many pieces of the equipment are nearing end of life, and the amount of repairs and maintenance needed to keep it operational begins to outpace the leasing cost of newer equipment. On the bright side, the irrigation system is modern and in good repair. There should be no surprises as it relates to the irrigation. As for the water supply and well apparatus, I have to assume that it is all in working order, as I was unable to inspect that part of the system.
The fleet of golf cars is nearing the end of the existing lease. The fleet is in generally good condition having been stored in the elements.
The lodging component of the facility is acceptable, but underwhelming. I understand that significant investment was made when RCR purchased the amenity. However, key improvements such as removing the popcorn ceiling while raising it at the same time, were not accomplished. Now that the improvements are nearing 10 years old, it is going to be time to enhance the amenity again. In the world or Troon’s resort properties, we try not to go outside the 7-year window for significant improvements.
The tennis courts need to be resurfaced. At a minimum, they need to be treated for mildew and pressure washed by a company versed in court maintenance, so as not to harm the surface. Given their location at the entrance to the facility, the entire area around the courts need to be maintained at a higher level. The same goes for the aquatic center. At a minimum, the deck, plaster, and coping are in need of attention. The underground mechanical filtering system is aging. I would surmise that the plumbing infrastructure is of the same quality of the exposed part of the system. This should be a cause for concern, as repairs of these types can run in the tens of thousands of dollars.
Overall, the physical plant is in acceptable condition. With that said, there needs to be an extensive, well thought through plan of what capital improvements are needed or imagined. An accepted industry benchmark for capital replacement is 3-4% of gross annual revenue. In a revenue scenario comparable to Rayburn, that equates to a range from $45-60K annually. Given the age and conditions of certain amenities inside the footprint, that number is probably a little short, certainly in the near term of the next 2-3 years.
In general, the entire facility is underutilized. The idea of making any significant improvements to the green nine at this time is not feasible or practical. Given the fact that rounds have trended down for the past 6 years gives me pause to want to make any recommendation to the contrary. The impetus for the re-start of that conversation should only be if rounds grow to the point where compaction on the gold/blue nines becomes an issue. The good news is the bones of the green nine are there. The scope of work will be the same in 4 years as it is today. Factoring out inflation, the costs would not be vastly different at either point in time.
By the Numbers (Through 2018)
Since 2013, golf rounds have decreased approximately 20%. From the peak of 19,474 rounds in 2013, rounds decreased to 16,173 in 2018. Rounds of golf is the key driver of every revenue category of the operation. As a result in the decline of rounds, the volume of covers in the restaurant has forced a reduction in the number of operating hours. Unfortunately, each begets the other.
Year over year performance has from a revenue perspective has declined during that same period. Membership has declined to fewer than 100 full golf membership. Monthly dues revenue has diminished to less than $25,000 monthly. Total facility revenue has declined by nearly 30%. Cutting expenses to achieve profit in the club industry is not the preferred strategy. Deferred capital improvements don’t go away, they stack up. Using capital to fund operating shortfalls is a fast track to decline.
The bottom line is that without any operating subsidy, the club is currently not in a position to remain financially viable. That being said, with the proper operating discipline and a renewed focus on marketing, the club can be returned to self-sufficiency, and ultimately, profitability.
The club needs to generate at a minimum of $1.75M to sustain the operation. Growth in membership and increased use of the club by that membership is critical. Another key growth area is in lodging, golf packages and food and beverage.
Every key stakeholder in Rayburn Country need to do their part in protecting the long term viability of this project. Losing this amenity would wield a devastating blow to the overall livability of the community, while at the same time negatively impacting property values. The following is a link to view one of many case studies done over the last several years as it relates to closures of courses and the subsequent impact on affected communities and property values. This was included in the first part of the study.
Objective Recommendations
 Both RCA and RCR reach an agreement that allows for the continued operation of the club and its’ associated amenities.
 Engage professional management to operate both the club and the Homeowner’s Association
 Develop an operating budget for 2020.
 As part of the 2020 budget process, separate out the operational processes that pertain to the HOA and create a budget unique to the HOA.
 Create a marketing plan with accompanying plan for spending.
 Create a comprehensive capital improvement and replacement plan to encompass the next 60 months.
 Bring the food and beverage operation back in house.
 Agree to a mechanism that allows the HOA to purchase the club amenities sometime in the future at an agreed upon price fair to all parties.
 

castleo

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Tahoe Beach & Ski, Polo Towers, Palm Canyon, 200,000 RCI points, other deposit
I also just sent a message to Rayburn asking do our units turn into weeks and do they have other places they can be deposited for exchange. My Rayburn turns into 109,000 RCI points. That is a big chunk to lose.
 
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