Letters to the Editors

11/18/14

2015 Assessment alert

Dear Editor:

In Friday’s (November 21) budget meeting, it is expected that we will be told that our assessments will be increased in 2015.

The following is the way to either reduce the size of the increase or perhaps even eliminating it altogether:

Last March my wife and I spent a timeshare week at the Vacation Village in Westin Fl.

We were told that we would be charged an “amenity fee” of $25 for the week. What we received in return was negligible. This fee applied to all occupied units.

It was obviously a significant revenue growth opportunity for the resort. I brought the idea back with me and presented it to our Board. Unlike the plan at Westin, it included a meaningful benefit package for our timeshare visitors with very little expense to the Club.

The Board did not respond but after a follow-up, I was told that,  “Now is not the time to add an expense to our timeshare visitors.”  When asked want that meant, I received no response.

In further fact gathering, I learned from the timeshare associations themselves that in 2013 the average occupancy of the timeshare units was 65%.

This meant that the equivalent of 315 of the 485 timeshare units were occupied every week throughout the year. Assuming that the occupancy number excluded the 2 weeks each unit is shutdown each year for maintenance, following are 3 options from which the Board could choose:

1) A $25 fee would generate $393,750 of additional revenue annually.

2) A $20 fee would generate $315,000 of additional revenue annually.

3) A $15 fee would generate $236,250 of additional revenue annually.

Since the benefits for the fee could include discounts at area restaurants, events, free use of the indoor pool in lieu of a user fee, and discounts to certain resort amenities such as pontoon rides, mini-golf, the above mentioned revenue generations would be increased by those using Club amenities who may not have used them but for the discounts.

I’m confident that our Marketing and Recreation functions could develop a great program for our timeshare visitors as could any member ad hoc committee.

I sent the idea to the Board again on November 4 with these now documented specifics. At this writing I have received no response.

Hopefully the majority of full Board will embrace the concept because all parties, including timeshare visitors, would benefit. In fact, since timeshare units pay double assessments, they would benefit even more.

Because this revenue increase proposal would have such a significant impact on reducing the size of an annual assessment increase, it is hoped that the Board will make it an agenda item at the November 21 budget meeting for member input.

Gerry Miller

185 Berkshire Loop

456-5792