Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Celebration World Resort, Festiva and Upgrades

FULL DISCLOSURE HERE FIRST:  I worked as Celebration World Resort's Director of Communications from 2007 until August of 2010 when I was laid off with a promise of a 4-6 week layoff...which obviously was a lie.  I was well aware of the problems that the resort was going through; in five years they had dropped from an RCI Gold Crown Resort to merely a Standard Resort, they had assessed a special assessment to the owners to cover long promised refurbishments that never quite materialized, the sales department was hawking a vacation club and pitching against timeshare ownership, etc.

I attended the HOA meeting through an owner's proxy in early 2011 and it was obvious to all the owners who attended that all was NOT well with CWR.  The speakers had no answers for any questions, claimed to not know the status of the resort, etc.

I received this e-mail earlier this month from an owner who will remain anonymous here.

Hi, I'm Bill, my wife and I have acquired a few timeshares over the years and for the most part the systems have worked well for us. Recently we were notified that Festiva had purchased Celebration World Resort and  we would lose our RCI points program at that resort. Our option was to upgrade with Festiva and use their points program. Considerable assessments could be levied on the original owners to refurbish the property if they were not in the new program. How can I find someone who will tell me the truth?  Thanks for your consideration.

This seemed weird even for timeshare; Festiva was threatening to levy yet another assessment if the owners didn't "upgrade" to Festiva's program?  Several weeks later, I received this follow up e-mail from the same owner:

Hi Lisa Ann, We went to the meeting today.  Festiva officers pleaded ignorance to sales dept tactics.  Many owners there were furious over the intimidation they got at their Festiva update.  The company reps outlined their plans to refurbish and even continue new construction when finances allow. Concerning RCI:  seems as though RCI Points had been sold without inventory to back them up.  These plus other financial details went undetected prior to the purchase, so say the new managers.  My understanding is that a study needs to be done to determine from contract wording, actual deed content, or how much equity we each control and what maintenance fees we are responsible for.  Thanks very much, the meeting was worth going to and now I am confident knowing we did the right thing to cancel that Festiva contract.

I've tried to contact Festiva to talk about this issue to no avail.  Celebration World Resort has more than 10,000 owners.  I'd like to hear from others...what is happening?  Did you get similar non-answers?

And if anyone from Festiva is reading this...what is going on?  Financial details went 'undetected" prior to purchase?  Really?
 

293 comments:

  1. Hi I'm sorry to bother anyone but i am really confused also with Festiva and Celebration World Resort... i've been an owner there for several years and have been happy... i understand that Festiva bought them out but now they're calling wanting us to go to an Owner Update meeting... we have no plans to go that far in the near future and i dont understand if it is just an update why they cant just send us the information... they keep saying there is no charge? i find that hard to believe there has to be a "catch" somewhere.... can anyone give me any more information... thanks so much

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  2. No bother, that's why this blog exists!

    The owner updates are nothing more than a sales presentation. In this case, they're going to try to pursuade you to change your ownership into their system.

    You are SO right...if it were a true "owner update" and all they wanted was to provide the owners with information, they would send it to you via e-mail, newsletter, etc.

    If you are happy with what you have, then I see no reason to change. Just be certain that you understand if there are going to be changes forced on you and if there will be extra charges.

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  3. We went to the Celebration owner's update meeting yesterday, and the first thing the associate said was, "Don't kill the messenger." We had no idea what she was talking about until she got into her pitch and explained that Festiva bought the unsold units and was meeting with all owners to get them to move to Festiva. Well, the bottom line was that they wanted $20,000 for 5500 points; they deducted $9000 for our equity, so they wanted $11,000 from us. We were in shock and angry. So the associate talked to her boss who lowered the offer to 3800 points and the cost to $5000. We still said no. We're not even sure how one gets additional points when points are used up, and i certainly don't want to turn in email addresses of people to get credits. Yikes. What we don't know is what RCI will do about us and the other owners who have points and don't switch to Festiva by Dec. 31, the supposed date Festiva assumes final ownership. Because Festiva doesn't participate in RCI, the associate explained that she believes we'll only be able to go to Celebration and not exchange. We plan to read the original contract and see what we can do. this is a messy situation. janb18@tampabay.rr.com

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  4. Jan, it is indeed a very messy situation, made worse by the fact that Celebration had no communication with the owners prior or after the Festiva takeover and Festiva's communication consisted of one letter back in October of 2011.

    I have yet to hear anything definite from RCI on if the resort will be disaffiliated, if the points will be reverted back to CWR shares, etc.

    I would contact both the General Manager of Celebration as well as RCI in addition to anyone and everyone at Festiva so that your (and thousands of other owners')options are clearly outlined.

    Keep us up to date.

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  5. Lisa Ann, thanks for the contact suggestions. We'll be on the phone a lot in the coming days/weeks. :-) The associate who worked with us kept saying the Celebration developer went "MIA." No wonder we never heard anything about this. Hopefully, all will work out in favor of the owners. ~~Jan

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  6. Well, I wouldn't say the developer went "MIA" considering Festiva had to work out the details with him. Yet another sad example of what lack of communication causes.

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  7. just had the same festiva conversion pitch . they stated rci was going away and i had to convert to their program or be stuck with my one week at celebration. what happened to the add'l pts i purchased from rci. if they were not backed up how was rci still giving me the pts?. I too am canceling that festiva ripoff contract

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  8. Here's the problem...if yous stay with RCI/Celebration, you have no assurances that RCI will continue to affiliate the resort seeing the shape it is in.

    However, if you purchased additional RCI points from CWR, they can't take that away from you.

    Contact RCI and keep us up to dste. This is a serious issue.

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  9. Lisa we bought an upgrade of points from CWR and paid for them last May 2011, i called this last week to find out why the points havent posted with RCI and CWR now tells me we bought a bogus contract thru CWR and gave us a number to contact a lawyer? IS that possible... that we bought a contract with CWR and now they arent going to stand behind it?

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  10. This situation gets sadder and sadder. First of all, I have to ask why you waited more than a year...it should take 6 weeks at the most to have the points in the account.

    Now, who said to contact a lawyer? The powers that be at Festiva? I assume you have all of your documents? Have you contacted RCI?

    Email me at lisa@timeshareinsights.com and I'll see what I can do.

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  11. Lisa i sent you a email explaining why we waited as we saw no problem.. becasue it was a biannual contract... you should be recieving email soon..

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  12. I am a paid in full CWR member. I contracted with CWR to reduce my maintenance fees and in return I would receive more points. The yearly fees were reduced but the points never materialized. I was told by the new owners that because they were not with RCI the points meant nothing and they could do nothing for me. I have not been able to get any straight answers from Festiva. They seem to want us to buy into their own points system and tell me that if I don't I'll be stuck with whatever week ownership I own at whatever time I bought for and thats it. RCI is no help either. They say that they can't do anything if a resort pulls out and that I'll loose my points and might be able to stay in weeks somehow. I'm not sure how that would work. Anyway I'm as confused as everyone else.

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  13. Hi Lisa, I had the pleasure to meet you through friends of yours awhile back. found your site here and thought maybe this info can help the CWR OWNERS as to how festiva became involved.

    Festiva Timeshare Expansion involved Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation
    Friday, July 13, 2012
    Yesterday, The Timeshare Authority shared with you the news that the Festiva Hospitality Group has acquired the former Celebration World Resort. (See: Festiva Hospitality Expands its Florida Timeshare Properties.) The acquisition of the resort by Festiva timeshare was facilitated with the involvement of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
    Tobias A. Weas, Esq., RRP, vice president of government relations and general counsel of Festiva, explains, “The acquisition and plans for improvements were made during a time of communication with the state of Florida, as Festiva executives worked closely with The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) near the beginning of the acquisition process.
    “Early on we recognized that the many issues the resort owners had been and would continue to deal with would cause ongoing operational, legal and managerial challenges. Therefore, Festiva decided to reach out to the DBPR to inform them of these many challenges and to work with them to ensure the best possible long-term outcome for the resort’s owner.”
    Festiva Timeshare Became Involved through CapitalSource Finance
    Festiva timeshare became involved in the efforts to save the struggling Florida timeshare because of the company’s past positive interactions with CapitalSource Finance, LLC. Capital Source, a real estate and mortgage lending company specializing in commercial real estate, credits Festiva timeshare with saving the Kissimmee timeshare resort property from bankruptcy.
    CapitalSource, which has worked with Festiva in the past, contacted the Ashville, North Carolina-based timeshare developer, seeking their involvement. As Brian Petronis, vice president of portfolio management for CapitalSource, says, “CapitalSource reached out to Festiva because of our confidence in Festiva’s ability to deliver on the operational and administrative improvements necessary to turn the resort around.”
    Current timeshare owners at the Celebration World Resort are likely feeling more upbeat about their ownership at the declining property now that Festiva timeshare has stepped in, providing its leadership as well as new resort branding and management.

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    1. thanks for the Rah Rah but i don't think anyone involved with CWR or Festiva are feeling very upbeat at this time.
      Collusion with FDPBR sounds likely to most of us.

      Delete
  14. Many thanks for your response. It would be quite helpful if you would provide a name/contact information for CWR owners to contact directly with questions.

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  15. Hi Lisa,
    My wife and I bought into CWR in 2004 and we own our timeshare there (at least we did). Festiva also wants us to go to Florida or Missouri for a deed update. On the call, they made a reference to additional fees if we didn't convert. Frankly, I don't know what to do at this point. We were thinking of selling it since we live in Washington now and don't get there much. I can't imagine it is worth much now. I believe I will contact the Florida Attorney General since I am starting to believe we are victims of fraud.

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  16. Again, this whole thing of "additional fees" if you don't convert is very troubling. I've heard this over and over again. Couple it with the fact that owners who "upgraded" when it was still CWR and are now being told that it was a bogus contract...the entire takeover situation is sad.

    Have you contacted Festiva about selling? Have you called the resort?

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  17. Hi Lisa, thanks for you input. Festiva has been calling and I will ask them about selling the next time we talk. Do you know if anyone has contacted the Florida Attorney General about this situation?

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  18. This is all very interesting. I also got the sales pitch. I bought in because they told me that CWR is split into two parts because there were 2 developers. Festiva already owns one half and the HOA owns the other half. Festiva is trying to get the current owners to sell them their interest so that they will have a controlling share in the HOA. They tell me that on e they have a controlling share, they will move to upgrade the remaining units and they are going to require the HOA to cover a portion of the costs. Basically. They told me that If i didn't buy in I was going to be responsible for the hoa's portion of the renovation. Also, I would not be able to participate in rci, I was never an rci member however. They also offered me a reduced rate but my maintenance costs are now double what I paid at celebration. It does seem like a scam but I don't want to be on the hook for the renovation costs and be stuck with the one week at celebration. Thus I felt like I had no choice. Oh and they told me that the renovation costs on the first 2 units are 2 million and rising because they were in such poor shape.

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  19. I ignored the calls I received in regards to switching to Festiva. I stated to the caller that if any changes would occur to my contract, it would be sent me in writing. Happy to say...I just received my annual maintenance & tax invoice for 2013 and it is the same as 2012(Celebration)

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  20. Good for you! Unfortunately, it seems that Festiva is NOT doing right by people who come in for the pitch. Something is very wrong here.

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  21. I just spoke with someone from Festiva to follow up on another matter regarding my ownnership at CWR. According to him, I am still with RCI with my points and nothing has changed. I should be getting my annual maintenance fee bill and he said that since I'm with RCI, I just need to deduct the RTX membership fee from the total and that would be the balance I pay.

    I'm really confused by the changes with Festiva, but hope that I can maintain my ownership as usual and continue to utilize RCI.

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  22. Greetings,
    I have misplaced my annual taxes/fees statement...does anyone have a good telephone number or website I can go to pay my bill that is due Jan 1st?

    Separately, I have paid my RCI fees through the next three years so am wondering what I need to do if CWR is taken off the RCI listing. I don't even know where my original CWR contract is at and don't know if it's possible to obtain a new one?
    Regards,
    DJ Henshaw
    Lieutenant, US Navy
    henshawdj@gmail.com

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  23. I would like to know what to do because they are calling me also to come down to Fl. I live in Va and I just thought we were to come down and switch over to Festiva and it would be better. They said over phone that we would be able to keep points longer 3 years now not 2 before we had to pay extra to keep them also it wouldn't be anymore membership fee anymore? Is any of this true are they trying to make us pay more to keep our points that we get every year? My timeshare is already paid for and I'm not going into anymore debt to keep what I have! please can anyone tell me what is going on and what to do I would appreciate it! I was planning to take kids to disney spring break and this is when they want to talk to me?? what should I do?????

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  24. This entire situation gets both sadder and more confusing with every post.

    Here's how I understand it...Festiva can not make anyone change over to their system. You purchased what you purchased.

    If you are coming down to Florida for a vacation and plan on attending this update, please let me know, I will be more than happy to attend with you and get to the bottom of this mess for you and everyone else.

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    1. I too am in the very same situation. I bought at CWR in 2000 and 2 years ago purchased more points as I like the way RCI works and I have had good luck using my points through RCI. Festiva has now blocked me from using RCI while they are adjusting points.....in my case lowering the number of points. I'm confussed and worried. I am scheduled for a meeting with Festiva when I go to Florida in April but i too have paid off my timeshare and don't want to go back in debt just to maintain what I alreday have. If anyone else can provide advise I would really appreciate it!!!!

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  25. What is going on? My annual RCI points allocation is 122,000 points.The annual allocation has now been REDUCED to 31,000 followed by this note..A Maintenance Fee Block has been placed on some portion of your points. Please call a vacation counselor at 1-877-968-7476 to address this situation.This is the RCI number. I called them and they told me to call FESTIVA. I called FESTIVA and I am waiting for an explanation.

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    1. Same thing has happened to us. 367000 points is now supposed to be 43500. Same RCI message. Called RCI and they directed us to a web link from Festiva with a letter indicating fraudulent activity by CWR and based on their audits adjustments were being made to owners accounts. Called Festiva got no additional info, asked to speak to supervisor, hasn't happened. Not holding my breath.

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  26. Ok, so now what. Just like the person above me, our previous allocation was 365,000 points. We were originally given 183,500 points when we purchased, and then offered an upgrade of an additional 183,500 points several month later for another $5,000. Now it appears that Festiva is reducing our points to 43,500!!! Festiva is saying that what CWR did regarding the points was "ILLEGAL" and our only recourse is to file a complaint. I called RCI and as of now we have a hold on our account for 2013 pending an update from Festiva. Talked to someone at Festiva and that went nowhere!!! Anyone have an answer on how to fight this, because to be honest, if 43,500 points is all we end with after all this, it is not worth it to me and my wife. We never would have purchased back in 2004 for only 43,500 points, the resort was really not worth that, and it still isn't. Of course, when you are 3,000 miles away fighting becomes pretty difficult. ANY Suggestions would be great.

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  27. James, please e-mail me at lisa@timeshareinsights.com. I would like to see a copy of this letter. Thanks.

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    1. Lisa I just sent you an email with a link to Festiva's site were the letter can be accessed.

      Delete
  28. I wrote to you on January 6 2013.Going from 122,000 to 31,000 annual pts. is no joke.What does FESTIVA base itself on to say that C.W.R. was not legal in the distribution of its pts? Is FESTIVA over & beyond registered contracts? We paid hard earned money to buy those pts. FESTIVA has their own pts. system----are they still interested in supporting RCI pts members ???? What about RCI in all this mess? Should we plan a group action?What about the D.B.P.R.

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  29. I don't think this is a joke at all. It is a very serious matter with implications for all Celebration owners as well as all timeshare owners...the next few years will see an increase in timeshare acquisitions.

    I would like to see the letter that Festiva sent you.

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  30. Lisa, things have gotten worse! Not only have my annual pts. been reduced to 31,000 but now my use year balance is -87,710 for 2013.I phoned FESTIVA again.They say that the contracts I signed with C.W.R. were fraudulent.FESTIVA has sent letters out explaining this to its members.The number of shares attached to the number of points seems to be the problem. What about our registered contracts? WHAT DO WE DO NOW????

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  31. As I said, I need to see the letter or communication that Festiva sent you whereby they "explain" this. Also, if any of you are in Florida or will be in Florida and will be attending the "update", I'd love to go along with you to hear for myself what is being said.

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  32. Lisa, can we hold the notary who signed the contract responsible? Since FESTIVA says that we signed fraudulent contracts with C.W.R.was the notary not watching out and doing her job . She signed as VERIFICATION OFFICER..ON BEHALF OF SELLER and AS NOTARY and she had the documents REGISTERED.
    I will send you the letter as soon as it is received.

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  33. Perhaps. But I'm not an attorney, so I can't say for certain. I really want to see the letter as well as the letter that gives the number to RCI (if they are different).

    This has SERIOUS implications and I will not let it die.

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    1. I never got a letter from Festiva but when I went on RCI to book something i realized my account had been blocked by them. I would tell you my story but its exactly the same as most of the recent posts. I purchased additional points and i feel like I got taken for a ride. I can't believe that Festiva can just simply reduce points and block RCI accounts!?!?! Why would I switch to a company that does this kind of stuff without communicating with the owners??? I am very frustrated as I want to use my RCI account which has never really failed me!!!!!! HHHHHEEEEELLLLPPPPPPPP!!!!!!

      Delete
    2. Festiva has NO bearing on your account with RCI. If your points were reduced, that is between CWR and RCI, not Festiva.

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    3. That is not what Festiva told me. Festiva is reassessing all contracts and lowering or as they say adjusting the points. This is clearly Festiva as they are the ones that put the hold on my RCI account and have bluntly told me they are lowering my points!!!

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    4. Martin and all Owners,
      Please read the Auguest 20, 2012 entry. The State of Florida was brought in at the beginning . That's the DBPR. Please understand no one bought RCI POINTS. What was sold was CWR POINT witch is back by inventory. RCI POINTS are assigned according to the inventory. You can go to the Osceola county records and look up your deed. Here is the link: 198.140.240.30/or_sch_1.asp
      Hope this helps you understand.

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    5. Anonymous can you please tell us who you are?? BTW that link soesnt work.

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  34. Lisa, i signed a contract with CWR/RCI on 2005 and paid almost $20,000 for 79,500 points annually. Every year I got 79,500 points, but this year i got only 43,000. I didn't purchased any additional points on the way, but this year when i paid the maintenance fee I also paid for RTX. Did i made a mistake paying for RTX? It can be possible to cut my points?
    Here you can find the letter Festiva sent out to CWR custumers.
    http://www.festiva-orlando.com/FOR-RCI-Long.pdf

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  35. Lisa...I have been checking for a holiday. Festiva has reduced my annual points so radically 122,000 to 31,000 that I cannot even book a 7 day holiday at my own resort .Other members will be in shock when they find out.This point reduction was done BEHIND our backs. I am furious!!Iphoned Festiva just to be told that I was lucky to have travelled in the past.!!! HOW RUDE.

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  36. Now we have a negative balance of -325000 points for 2013!!!! Still no answers. RCI puts it on Festiva and Festiva puts it back on RCI.

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  37. link to the festiva letter regarding these latest matters:

    www.festiva-orlando.com/points

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  38. We have owned since 2001 . We have a contract that says we have 340,000 points. Now we only have 31,000. Do you know of any lawyer that helps timeshare owners ?

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  39. Lisa...How much do 8400 shares cost in dollars? FESTIVA is not asking how much the owners paid for their 8400 shares in the YEAR they bought them.

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  40. I have an attorney following this blog. As for the rights Festiva has to lower your RCI points, I tend to agree that it's a matter between CWR and RCI, but am looking into the matter.

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    1. We also fell victim to this scam and were able to obtain a copy of the warranty deed we were tricked into signing. We were told we would be upgrading to a Platinum Membership by purchasing an additional 8,400 bi-annual shares Feb. 2008 from Celebration World Resort Marketing, LTD. The deed we inadvertently signed transferred our original shares purchased from B.L. Vacation ownership, Inc. Sept. 2006 to CWR, LTD. We didn't receive any refund or credit for our originally purchased 14,900 shares which we paid over $10,000 for.
      We have be left with only the 8,400 bi-annual shares.
      I suggest EVERYONE reading this blog check their deeds.

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  41. Hello

    I too was surprised to find out this morning that Festiva had lowered my points from 267 000 to 46 000 annually. I never got the letter, but I found out looking at my allocation on the RCI website this morning.... I then calles RCI who told me to talk to to FESTIVA. After talking to the supervisor, she gave me an address to send my complaint but would not give me a phone number. I too would have never bought the timeshare for 46 000 points.
    I would really like to know if there is anything we can do. Thank you for your help

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  42. If there is an attorney looking into this I'm sure there would be enough owners to help with expenses. I am one of thousands who over the last few years got taken for a ride by Celebration World Resort. Im not an attory but when I buy something I have to take the good with the bad and I would think that Festiva got a good deal purchasing CWR but are now weeding out the 'bad things' they didnt see when they purchased the resort. Festiva should be held responsible for what they purchased. I understand it wasnt Festiva who sold us these fradulant points but it's Festiva who now owns the resort and the 1,000's of owners involved. This just isnt fair to us. We all spent hard earner money for these points and surely there must be a legal way to either get our points back or the money we spent to get them!!! Please someone take this and run with it!!

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  43. We just realized we're in the same predicament as everyone else posting on this site. We purchased a 2BDR with Celebration back in 2000 for $11k. In 2002 we paid $6k to upgrade to points and received 85k pts every year. While we were at the resort in May of 2010 we decided to increase our RCI points and lower our mtce fees so we paid another $3K to change our contract to 252k pts every other year which lowered our mtce fees from $1200 to $200/year. We saw the points get deposited into our RCI acct in 2011. Today when I checked our RCI account online our points have been lowered to 31k. I'm livid. It would be one thing if they lowered it to our original points of 85k, but instead we paid $3k to lose points?! At least give me back my 85k points. My husband has spent most of the afternoon going back and forth between RCI and Festiva. Like others have said, RCI is directing all calls to Festiva. Festiva is blaming Celebration. I pulled out our paperwork and Lowndes Drosdick Doster Kantor and Reed PA were the closing agents. Even though we have paperwork stating we have 252k points every other year, the actual deed and title says 8400 odd biennial points. When I questioned it at closing they explained that these points converted to 252k RCI points and when we asked how it was possible, the salesperson said the resort is allowed to allot the points to members however they see fit. I doubt the RCI points paperwork will hold up in court. I’m perplexed at how RCI let this go for so long and why they didn’t question it back in 2010 when they received the paperwork from Celebration. If anyone has any further information or recommendation of a lawyer we’d be very appreciative.

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    1. Check the paper work you have from your additional purchase. we were lucky enough to ask for copies and found recently there was as warantee deed signing over our original purchase back to CRW Marketing, LTD which we were not made aware of and received no compensation for. if you reference your original contract number and current contract numbers with Osceola county clerk of circuit court you should be able to have them send you the deed you signed back to CRW.

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  44. We just realized we're in the same predicament as everyone else posting on this site. We purchased a 2BDR with Celebration back in 2000 for $11k. In 2002 we paid $6k to upgrade to points and received 85k pts every year. While we were at the resort in May of 2010 we decided to increase our RCI points and lower our mtce fees so we paid another $3K to change our contract to 252k pts every other year which lowered our mtce fees from $1200 to $200/year. We saw the points get deposited into our RCI acct in 2011. Today when I checked our RCI account online our points have been lowered to 31k. I'm livid. It would be one thing if they lowered it to our original points of 85k, but instead we paid $3k to lose points?! At least give me back my 85k points. My husband has spent most of the afternoon going back and forth between RCI and Festiva. Like others have said, RCI is directing all calls to Festiva. Festiva is blaming Celebration. I pulled out our paperwork and Lowndes Drosdick Doster Kantor and Reed PA were the closing agents. Even though we have paperwork stating we have 252k points every other year, the actual deed and title says 8400 odd biennial points. When I questioned it at closing they explained that these points converted to 252k RCI points and when we asked how it was possible, the salesperson said the resort is allowed to allot the points to members however they see fit. I doubt the RCI points paperwork will hold up in court. I’m perplexed at how RCI let this go for so long and why they didn’t question it back in 2010 when they received the paperwork from Celebration. If anyone has any further information or recommendation of a lawyer we’d be very appreciative.

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  45. I love how Festiva keeps telling me to file a complaint against CWR. My issues are with Festiva. It appears they are the ones violating my contract, as well as making changes to my ownership and timeshare contract without due process, without so much as a proper notice. It really appears to me they are trying to force the majority of us to default on our ownership so they can get rid of us by not honoring our contracts. That's how I feel anyways. I'm with you Martin, I would join a group to see what legal recourse we might have. As a side note, it appears that my account has now been set at 43,500 from 367500. The 43500 isn't even enough to book my home resort for the week I own in. Not sure how that is possible.

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    1. James I'm convinced Festiva will try to lure us all into their exchanged program since our RCI points are now virtually useless. Im meeting with them in April and I can already hear the sales pitch. I dont trust them and I probably will just walk away. I would rather purchase a timeshare somewhere else. But before we do that I would love to hear a lawyers perspective on this. Lisa seems to be on this so lets hope someone with Legal expertise takes this on. This just doesnt seem right!!!!

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  46. My RCI points were blocked early this year from being used. When I called RCI about it they said FESTIVA were doing maintenance on my account. I checked back a couple days ago and now my points have been reduced by nearly half from 61,000 to 32,500. Its interesting that the account was reduced 3 days after I made my maintenance fee payment. I've received no correspondence from FESTIVA regarding this loss of points and luckily found this website and subsequent links to FESTIVA's excuse for lowering points. As far as I'm concerned CWR lived up to the contract I signed with them. Its FESTIVA who is now trying to backdoor their way into messing with our existing contracts by saying what CWR did is illegal. If they are illegal contracts, shouldn't FESTIVA have figured this out when doing their due diligence when they purchased CWR? It seems like they are just trying to pass the buck instead of paying for the mistakes they made. Either way I will be filing a complaint with the Attorney General in Fl and will be contacting a lawyer.

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    1. You know, I just realized the same thing. It wasn't until a couple days after we paid our maintenance fee's that the block and and adjustments were made to our account. But I agree, FESTIVA is trying to screw somebody, and that clearly appears to be all of us.

      Delete
  47. Hello Lisa and everyone else
    Today is a sad day. I just found out that my RCI points also reduced from 133,500 to 31,000. called Festiva/RCI no help.
    what do we do now? if there is going be a class action or any kind of law suit , I will be in.
    please guys keep this post active as we can gather more members.
    I have not received the letter, but FESTIVA insist that it was mailed out..
    Lisa,, can you help me/us?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nathan and everyone else in here. This is a great blog and makes me feel like there are a lot of us in the exact same situation. Lisa we need a lawyer to take this on. How can we do this when we are literally thousands of people all over the world potentially?? Festiva has in my opinion gone back on their word. They should be legally responsible for any contracts signed by us and CWR as they purchased The CWR entity and all that goes with it....good and bad. They cant just pick the good and change the bad. legally there is something wrong with this. Everyone seems to have the same 8,400 shares which equal 31,000 RCI points. This is crazy!! Every day I get more mad than the last!!!!

      Delete
    2. Martin,

      Festiva should be responsible for a contract YOU signed with CWR years before they were even involved with the property? Are you serious? That isn't even half way believable. And to any of you that think this is Festiva's fault, you are sorely mistaken.

      Delete
  48. In the same situation as above..purchased in 2000,"upgraded" to reduce maintenance fee in 2009..received 201,000 points EOY,where had originally received 60,100 yearly. My rci account had been blocked recently and showed a negative balance for the last week and a half. Received same runaround from Festiva/RCI as others. However,logged onto my RCI account a few minutes back and the 201,000 points are back..with no block. RCI unable to shed any light and do not want to ask too many questions. Wondering what this means?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did the same thing and went back onto RCI and it was unblocked with the same points available to me. The kicker is when it comes time to have your next round of points deposited into RCI.....it will be a much lower number!! I dont think Festiva can take the points from RCI but i can tell you you wont see Festiva depositing 201,000 next time. My suggestion to you is to book something quick with the points you have!!!

      Delete
  49. Hello All, Received my letter today from Festiva now have RCI points worth virtually nothing. I will be only too willing to help with the campaign and would like to help as best I can in any campaign. I have looked at our original deeds and believe that any takeover of Celebration World all contract must be honoured by new company. ?? RCI not interested. Unfortunately just paid fees for this year so yes we are all being screwed by Festiva. Will keep in contact with you all as we will need support, alas I am not a Lawyer. I belive that Festiva want rid of us all without any compensation or indeed access to our holiday resort. Look forward to hearing developments. Janet

    ReplyDelete
  50. Isn't this going to really hurt RCI? You'd think they would want to work with us and help us in any way possible. There are lots of Celebration/Festiva owners who used to take multiple vacations which meant multiple exchange fees to RCI each year. Additionally, now that I no longer have enough points to take 1 vacation a year, I'm certainly not going to keep paying RCI's annual fee.

    ReplyDelete
  51. We received a letter today from RCI that our points were been put on hold. In fact it reads that resort ID 5389 Festiva Orlando Resort notified RCI that our assessment have not been satisfied.( This is a lie because I have a copy of the check that cleared the bank). So I started by calling Festiva and asking what is going on. They said that it was RCI doing. I then called RCI and they told me it was Festivas' doing. When we first bought in to Celebration World Resort we purchased it for 82,00 points. Today I was told that as of 1-9-2013 we have 31,00 ponts and that Festiva took away 51,00 points. I only hope that a lawyer would get involved and halp us out. Since they did this I would think that they would want to buy back their points or the time share. No way do they want to do this. Never again will we purchase a time share.
    Mario from Festiva gave me an address were we can file a complaint: It is as follows: Flordia Department of Business and Professional Regulation DTPR-DSCTMH NorthWood Center 1940 North Monroe Street Tallahassee, Florida 32399.
    He suggested that it be sent registered letter.

    ReplyDelete
  52. I called Festiva regarding this , and the person I spoke to gave me an address to write my complain

    http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/lsc/documents/complaint_english.pdf

    I am going to do it, how about everyone else?
    any other place to send the complain? or wait for a while ?

    ReplyDelete
  53. I have created another forum dedicated to this, in order to bring all resources together. please feel free to add your comments and complains..
    Hi Lisa , please take a look at it and give us your ideas/suggestions and make your attorney follow this forum as well.
    http://timeshare.freeforums.ne/index.cgi?board=cwr
    you can create new thread/topics but first check if there are any relevant topic you can add to it

    ReplyDelete
  54. When you look at your deed multiply the number of CWR POINTS X3.6, this will tell you how many RCI POINTS you should be getting.

    ReplyDelete
  55. We too are having difficulty with Festiva in Florida. I spent over 1/2hr on the telephone with each party involved. Festiva and RCI Each puts the blame on the other. We purchased at the Celebration Resort in 2009. Once again my husband not wanting to buy, however he gave in to me and now I regret it. However, I did get some information that may help all of us.
    Mario at Festiva said I could file a grievence with The Florida Department of Business and Professiona regulation. The address is as follows: DTPR-DSCTMH Northwood Center
    1940 North Monroe Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399. He said to send it registered mail. However he said to make sre that I said Celebration world Resort and RCI. Then I spoke to a Strwart at RCI and he said that Festiva decreased my 82,000 points once we paid our annual dues to 31,00 points and they removed 51,000 points from our account. Why they he had no idea. Only that is was done on1-9-2013. I did not join the Festervia Club since were are members with RCI. We as TimeShare Owners should have some recourse against Festevia. Either that they would buy back our Timeshares for what we paid for them or honor the original contracts from Celebration World Resorts.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Hi Lisa and members, I'm so glad I have discovered you all!!!!
    I was beginning to despair as I have been experiencing what each and every member has posted on here for the last week and didn't know who to turn too!
    On Monday 14th Jan when I called RCI I discovered that my points deposited by Festiva for this year had reduced to less then half, and when I queried this RCI staff asked me to call my home resort Festiva as they didn't know. In a state of shock & horror,I called Festiva and learned that a letter was sent out to me a couple of days ago explaining why my points have been reduced. I received this letter on thursday 17th. The so called letter looks more like a standard newsletter! it is not personalised in any form, makes no reference to my contract, my shares, my points, maintenance etc.
    Prior to me calling RCI on Mon and receiving Festiva's letter on Thurs, I had no idea about my points reducing to less then half.
    I am absolutely disgusted with what is happening, and I feel people responsible for this need to be dealt with by the law for breaching our contractual agreements.
    Does any body have a standard complaint letter which I could use and send to RCI, CWR and Festiva? I feel I need to file a complaint, what do members think?
    I Thank god for directing me to this site and I will stand alongside all the members here.

    ReplyDelete
  57. I am in same boat as most of u...but I had traded a few of my celebration world timeshares in to cwr and $5000 to get one small timeshare and more points....now I have aneg. Amount of rci points...mike kahn.. Mikedkahn@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  58. Someone...what is Mario's last name at Festiva?

    The business about CWR Shares (NOT POINTS) is correct. Multiply shares by 3.67 and with a bit of rounding, you get the number of RCI Points.

    The issues are the inventory...does it exist...and can Festiva change the contract?

    I'm keeping up with ALL of this and hope to have something concrete to report this week.

    Nathan...I'll take a look at the link, but my initial reaction is to keep everything in one place. You don't want people posting on different threads. Just a suggestion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I dont know a Mario at CWR but I did deal with a Marcio Cicci there a few years ago. Not sure he is still there.

      Delete
  59. Hi Lisa,I totally agree with you , that was my idea too.. until now there were none really dedicated to CWR owners.. even before when we have little issues.
    I did it so that I can add more key words for searching so that everyone and anyone will be able to get in contact with others..
    I have already had a link to this, when you visit you will know..
    if you like I can remove my forum.. and direct anyone to here. All I want is make everyone aware of this issue.. Thank you Lisa.

    ReplyDelete
  60. I agree. let's keep everything here so the group doesn't get splintered, the information is all in one place, and we don't start doing parallel efforts in two different places.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Lisa,
    I wish I had seen your blog prior to attending my update meeting yesterday at 8am at Festiva's Blue Heron because I would have certainly invited you to attend. I too was duped with the upgrade of my 2br lock out week 16 or 23,400 CWR points for 85,800 RCI points. They don't have the update at Celebration because of the shape it's in. In any event, Festiva is trying to strong arm CWR owners into purchasing their points and exchange system in my humble opinion. They explained the crooked works that CWR had been performing with all the bogus contracts for RCI points that didn't have adequate inventory to back what we all received. Festiva offered to deeply discount their points with a credit for my now reduced 1br in low season or 8400 shares timeshare (31,000 rci points). My 1br is equal to 2500 Festiva points and all owners are required to purchase a minimum of 3000 pts. So 5500 points would cost me $26,550 - $9250 (CWR credit) and then another $6200 off for my 2br Hawaii timeshare leaving a balance of $11,100. Another $11k was ridiculous. They also showed me their loyalty points program which consisted of 8000 Festiva points. This package was 29,600 - 18500 (2 CWR timeshares) for a balance again of $11,100. I disclosed when we showed up I had 2 CWR weeks or two deeded for 8400 shares but the salesperson didn't believe me until corporate called them back. So now my trade in was equivalent to 5000 Festiva points. So again to purchase another 3000 (which is the minimum) my final total was $11,100 and they refused to take my Hawaii resort that they previously agreed was worth $6200 citing corporate would not accept 3 trade ins. This makes no sense when two are CWR. I asked the head guy if Festiva had a set amount of money they had to take in? They never answered my question. Here's the sneaky part of Festiva on the 5500 point scenario I'm adding 3000 points to my 2500 points (given for CWR trade) that ultimately cost $11,100 and for the 8000 points scenario I'm adding 3000 points to my 5000 points (given for 2 CWR trades) yet still owing $11,100. My first cash trade for the 5500 points totaled $15,450 and my second cash trade for 8000 points totaled $18500, why do I still owe $11,100 for either when buying 3000 points but having a $3,050 difference in trade value. Something is very wrong here. Caveat Emptor! Do not get taken twice. Needless to say I did not purchase. Lastly, they are following your blog feverishly as they introduced it to me.

    Lisa, if the contracts are bogus and fraudulent, do you believe we can possibly go to court and have them voided and restored to the deeds that were done correctly? My two 2bdrm have been reduced to two 1 bdrm fraudulently.

    Thanks,
    Fred
    harridfa@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  62. In the "interesting" department, while I was on the phone I received a call from a number that I didn't recognize. There was no voice mail left. When I did a quick reverse directory search...much to my surprise (NOT)...the call was from someone at Festiva's corporate office.

    Festiva...did you want to say something to me or to the owners who have commented on this blog?

    ReplyDelete
  63. Publishing things on here is great and I hope we get more people involved but we need a lawyer to represent us and we need to pursue legal action against Festiva. I too am going to a meeting in April and fully expect the same that Fred heard. Its Rediculous!! It seems we are all at 31,000 points no matter what we had in the past.....and perhaps CWR did knowingly rip us off BUT......Festiva purchased CWR with all its problems and now are trying to make those problems ours. They didnt look deep enough into the CWR files before they purchased the property. THat is thier problem not the owners!! Please can someone take on this case!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Martin,
      IMHO,I honestly believe Festiva did know what was happening with CWR and saw this as an opportunity to twist our arms. I think they view us as being handcuffed. Our 8400 shares won't even allow us to stay at our home resort. They got with DBPR prior to the acquisition to ensure what they could and could not do. Why not allow CWR to go bankrupt and these issues don't exist? No, they chose to save the distressed property and deal with 11,000 owners that may have been duped. Sounds fishy to me...just saying!

      Delete
    2. Fredrick you may be right but that actually makes it worse if Festiva planned all this without informing us. We didnt even know CWR was for sale until it was sold. We should have known and been able to make decisions for ourselves. I know this business has a tarnished image and people dont trust timeshare companies but this is a perfect example of why!!

      Delete
    3. I thought we were "owners" at CWR. Don't "owners" get informed when something is sold.

      Delete
  64. We too just received the letter from Festiva Member Services alluding to the fact we could be one of the accounts with CWR that would be affected in regards to our RCI allotment of points. Our story sounds just like the countless other stories I have just read on this site. We, too, are dropping from 250,000 RCI points to 31,000 ....???? I also got the complete runaraound when I called the Festiva Members Services number on the letter and after many minutes of unresolved questions was told to call RCI to find out my point allotment. That person, of course, told me to call Festiva ....blah,blah,blah. Are none of our notarized deeds worth anything? Does Festiva have the right to arbitrarily delete our existing contracts and RCI point allocations? As we live in Canada, it is not realistic to drop in at CWR (Festiva Orlando) and talk about this with someone face to face. I can not believe Festiva has done this "auditing" without even having the decency to send us as owners a registered letter explaining what was about to change and that we are all finding this out when we go to use our supposedly good RCI points. I agree that Festiva took over CWR for better or worse and they are only interested in what is good for their books ... not their present owners. We feel duped and maligned as we felt we had signed legal documents paid for with our hard earned cash.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Louis & MaryAnn Sider-CanadaJanuary 23, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    Louis & MaryAnn Sider- Canada
    Yes we too just received the letter from Festiva Member Services on Jan.23rd alluding to the fact we could be one of the accounts with CWR that would be affected in regards to our RCI allotment of points. Our story sounds just like the countless other stories I have just read on this site. We, too, are dropping from 300,000 RCI points every other year to 31,000
    l emailed Festiva member services but no reply which l doubt there will be after reading all of the above.
    As with all of the owners here we bought our timeshares because of the amont of points we received and we sure would not of purchaed it otherwise.
    To us this was an enticement to sell us the timeshare and if Festiva wants to change the deal we received then they should purchase our timeshares back from us if we request it.
    This is some sort of fraud and Festiva along with all the other companies selling timeshares need to be investigated and prosecuted for falsely leading the prospective buyer on.

    ReplyDelete
  66. I am pleased to report that I had a 35 minute conversation yesterday with someone at the corporate offices of Festiva. Believe me, they are well aware of this blog and my efforts to do the right thing.

    I hope to have something official from them by end of week to post on the blog. In the meantime, please continue to post/add as you see fit.

    This is a very serious matter not only for all of you, but for timeshare owners everywhere as the coming years will see more and more financially insolvent resorts being taken over by large groups.

    ReplyDelete
  67. I'd say at a minimum right now, to air your concern, use the link in the letter sent by Festiva (www.festiva-orlando.com/points), to
    contact The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), and register a complaint. I did this and just received a confirmation from DBPR that an investigator will give me a call within 30 days. It's a start, and if enough of us do it, the more attention it will garner. Have a good day today.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Fair enough...but a very strongly worded caution here to you and everyone else...read my last blog post and be aware that scammers are now going through public records and contacting people who have filed complaints ASKING THEM FOR MONEY TO FACILITATE THE COMPLAINT.

    DO NOT FALL FOR THIS. These are scumbag companies preying on people who have already been wronged.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Glad I found this blog. Will be following closely. Funny how the common denominator through all the stories is "8400" shares and 31000 points regardless of what you paid or what you signed. Someone should go to jail for this. Thanks for your help Lisa

    ReplyDelete
  70. I agree with the last posting. THis is fraud and theft and stealing and whatever you want to call it but one things for sure.....IT IS WRONG!!! and someone needs to pay for this or make it right and give us back what is ours. I look forward to your posting Lisa!!

    ReplyDelete
  71. Hello all,
    I'm also an owner at CWR since 2001.
    This weekend we stayed at the resort. To our knowledge, Festiva had taken over the property and no big deal, since I haven't been affiliated with RCI for several years, I only use this resort.
    Well, we were invited to the "Update Meeting" or whatever they call it. We attended and one of my questions was "Why, when I checked in, I was asked if I was Celebration, or Festiva member?" Aren't they the same? didn't festiva took over Celebration?
    Well, obviously not! The sales person told us that Festiva bought the unsold units and we Celebration owners only had three options:
    Option 1- Switch to their program and pay around $5,000 (my original purchase with celebration was around 10,000 and is paid off).
    Option 2- Stay with Celebration HOA. We won't have the right to use the renovated units and we will be charged with HUGE assessments, since the HOA will have to cover for upgrade expenses.
    Option 3- Face foreclosure if we deny to pay those huge assessments and ruin our perfect credit.
    No need to explain how dissapointed we are, my wife left the room with tears in her eyes, feeling betrayed and manipulated.
    Now all we want is to get rid of it!!! I don't want to pay 5,000 more for something I already "own". I don't want to pay extra!
    What will happen if we don't pay the announced "assessments"? Will the HOA come after us? If nobody pays, will the HOA go bankrupt? What will happen with us? What is the way out?
    Thank you for this site, at least we feel we are not alone in this.

    ReplyDelete
  72. You are NOT alone and you are very welcome. As I said, Festiva is closely monitoring this blog. They are well aware of the situations.

    I can tell you that what owners are being told at thee "informative sessions" is not the whole truth, nor from what I can ascertain, even what Festiva management's stance is.

    As I know all too well from my years as a timeshare salesperson, what the salespeople say can is in many times is, vastly different from what management wants to say.

    Tell your wife to dry her tears! Don't do anything financially speaking right now until we get to the bottom of this. Do continue to pay your annual fees though as you do not want the property to be foreclosed on.

    Stay tuned everyone!

    ReplyDelete
  73. I just spoke with someone at Festiva and he informed me to submit a complaint to the Bureau of Compiance - Timeshare Editions in Florida of The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation which I will do tonight. He tried to convince me that Festiva is working with the Department to come to a conclusion and find compensation for us that were taken for a ride by the agents working with CWR. I'm not sure I believe anyone anymore. He informed me that the contract we all signed indicated 8,400 shares which as we all know equates to 31,000 points which is true. He informed me that the contracts only state 8,400 shares. Any RCI points mentioned or even written were not in the contract but only in the offer to purchase. The worst thing is its bi-annual where my original contract was annual.....probably like most of us. I feel like a fool and I'm now pissed at not only Festiva for doing things behind our back but also for the agents working with CWR a few years ago. This is crazy!! We as hard working families shouldnt have to fight to get back what is ours. I'm not holding my breathe! Lisa did you learn anything differnet when you spoke to Festiva??

    ReplyDelete
  74. Lisa,
    Thank you for all your help.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Lisa,
    I just finished letters of complaint to Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation and the Florida Atty. General as suggested by Festiva Orlando Resort in their letter to owners.
    For some those who can't understand why they have so many fewer shares here's what happened to us:
    We fell for a sales pitch that promised more points and less maintenance fees by upgrading to a Platinum Membership. We were told we needed to buy more shares and that would put us in the range for upgrading. We proceeded with the purchase and unknowingly a warrantee deed was slipped in with other papers which we signed, effectively signing over our original ownership of 14,900 shares(original cost $10,900.00) to CRWD without any compensation. No refund, no credit! To add insult to injury we were charged $4,250.00 to purchase 8,400 biannual shares necessary for our "upgrade" leaving us with 31,000 biannual RCI points. Generally not enough to vacation each year.
    In our case we were able to obtain a copy of this warrantee deed where we signed over our original purchase, which we never got to see prior to this time.
    Since we never had a copy of the deed transferring ownership we believed we had truly upgraded and that was the reason for our increase in RCI points value and never questioned the transaction.
    In short we had our timeshare stolen from us by Celebation World Resort Marketing, LTD.
    We suggest everyone check their deeds and if necessary contact appropriate agencies in Florida to see if they have been subject to the same type of fraud.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are the only one so far that actually gets it. None of this is Festiva's fault. These "agreements" we're initiated by CWR and signed by the owners long before Festiva had anything to do with the property.

      Delete
    2. That is true anonymous (please sign a name at least) however when Festiva bought the company they either should have know this was an issue and informed us or at least when they found out after they purchased they needed to suck it up and take it out of thier own pokets not us owners!! Yes CWR screwed us but now Festiva is trying to do it to us as well. This is now Festiva's issue not CWR and defenitly shoudn't be ours!! You must work for Festiva!!

      Delete
    3. I have gotten the sense that several of the posts from Anonymous people tend to sound like they are coming from Festiva employees trying to guide the discussion away from them and towards CWR. My major heartburn with this is that Festiva is just as devious as they claim CWR to be, since they have failed to properly contact any of us directly. No certified mail, addressed to me the owner. No mention to me by my contract #, just - this is what it is - and you have to take it. A company trying to do fair and honest business would make personal contact with each and every person affected by their decisions. I agree Martin, if they failed to do their due diligence when they bought the property, that's on them. And I have been sent proof by them that what I purchased and own is incorrect. Festiva, show me how what I own is not right. Lets start there. I'm not afraid to post my name to this!

      Delete
    4. Oops, correction to my post. "And I have NOT been sent proof by them that what I purchased and own is incorrect." I don't want to give anyone the impression otherwise.

      Delete
  76. Great information Janet. Thanks for sharing. Don't worry...I'm not being rah rah by any stretch of the imagination. I imagine that this blog is being followed and contributed to by a very tiny minority of CWR owners who are in similar straits but don't know it.

    The call from Festiva was a step in the right direction. It's obvious someone needs to do the right thing for all of you.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Janet,
    Could you tell me how you got your warrentee deed? I have all my paperwork I've ever signed with Cwr since I first bought. However I do not have a copy of any paper signing over my original contract. I would love to see these also.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We had asked for copies of our papers when we bought the additional shares.
      You should be able to get a copy from the Clerk of Court, Osceola County by referencing contract number from you original purchase and the contract number of your "upgrade". Also include the records book and page numbers.
      You may also want to call the Florida Bar Assoc. to get the number for an attorney specializing in timeshares/contracts
      Best of luck!

      Delete
  78. Good Morning All.

    Just to keep everyone updated...as you know I received a call last week from the corporate offices of Festiva. I had a long conversation and saw that as a first step in the right direction.

    I offered the company an opportunity to comment on this blog-which they might do in the future-but as a first step, I sent ten (10) carefully worded interview questions to the person that called me.

    I hope to have those questions and answered posted on this blog later this week.

    In the meantime, please continue to monitor the blog, feel free to add your thoughts and experiences and most importantly, reach out to other CWR owners and let them know of the situation.

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  79. Martin, I tend to agree with your statement. If in fact the poster is from Festiva, then say so!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you!
      posts from "Anonymous" are always trying to show that FESTIVA is a a nice GUY.
      I laughed at how stupid they are :) idiots.
      I am also trying to publish this matter to more places and hope search engines will bring more CWR owners here..

      Delete
  80. Hi Lisa,

    I have a title deed that says I have 19,800 points. Yet when I called Festiva, they told me I only have 11,200 points. Is that legal for Festiva to change my points even though my deed says 19,800?

    ReplyDelete
  81. Lisa,
    We had a very difficult time finding anything on the web regarding this and we are grateful to have found you.
    How can you make this for visible to search for?

    ReplyDelete
  82. Janet, I'm glad you found the blog. Here's the link to the specific thread: http://thetimesharecrusader.blogspot.com/2012/03/celebration-world-resort-festiva-and.html or of course you can just "favorite" it on your browser.

    To the anonymous poster above...that's what this thread is all about. Stay tuned.

    I have yet to hear back from the person at Festiva's corporate office. I agree with other posters though that if Festiva personnel are leaving comments, have the courtesy to identify yourselves rather than hiding behind "anonymous."

    ReplyDelete
  83. Hi everyone,
    I found an another interesting article about FESTIVA..
    http://www.ripoffreport.com/bbb-better-business-bureau/celebration-world-re/celebration-world-resort-laws-73064.htm

    ReplyDelete
  84. I too spoke to Festiva today after receiving their "letter". As others above, I upgraded with CWR and was issued a new deed for the additional points. After advising Festiva member services that I have two deeds (one original for 13,400 points and the new upgrade for 8,400), he told me that I had "sold" the original back to CWR. Obviously I questioned this and asked for proof of the sale, which after a very long delay he stated was on page 16 of my contract. He confirmed my email address and forwarded me the PDF which included the Warranty Deed that had been slipped into the paperwork during the upgrade selling the originally purchased timeshare interest for $10. If anyone else is looking for this, ask Festiva for a copy as they obviously have it in their files.

    Thanks to Lisa for getting this started, I'll be checking back for updates.

    ReplyDelete
  85. Aaron...if you could kindly e-mail me at lisa@timeshareinsights.com regarding your last post, I'd appreciate it.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Hello Lisa & fellow sad owners,
    I just read Aron's blog.Yes,I found the WARRANTY DEED slipped in whereby during the upgrade process the original purchased timeshare was sold for 10$.BUT I also found another WARRANTY DEED. This one does NOT have my signature .It indicates the number of my new contract and that I have been assigned 8400 yearly Points as set forth in the PLAN. This is completely false. My PLAN stipulates that I am to receive 122000 yearly points.

    ReplyDelete
  87. Aaron and Anonymous above. I have the exact same documents and warranty deed without my signature. My documents also indicate I sold my original unit for $10 in order to be eligible for this amazing offer!! Wow this is getting better every day. This screams for a class action law suit against both CWR and Festiva. I feel we need to be compensated or at the very least our orginal deeds be honoured. None of us have enough points to even stay at our home resort every year now!!
    The more I look at these documents the more I realize we were completely lied to and that is not right and someone has to pay for this.....and it's not us the owners!!
    Festiva says they are reviewing each contract but it's too late as they have already reduced everyone's points and this will likely take years to resolve if ever....so in the meantime our family vacations we have worked hard for are on hold and probably lost forever.

    If anyone from Festiva is reading this blog and has half a heart will post something to try and calm things down but obviously we havent seen anything heart felt from Festiva!!

    This is very sad and frustrating!!

    ReplyDelete
  88. Hi everyone,
    I sent an email to Festiva to asked about points reduction and this is what i received from them:

    "The prior developer of Celebration World--now Festiva Orlando Resort--sold faulty contracts. The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation is fully aware of this situation. We sincerely apologize for this unfortunate inconvenience. We have attached two letters that better explain the situation. Please review these letters and let us know if you have any questions. "

    Thank you,

    Member Services
    Festiva Hospitality Group
    521 College Street
    Asheville, NC 28801
    Phone: 866-933-7848
    Fax: 828-575-2344
    Email: memberservices@festiva.travel

    The attached letters are the ones we received on the mail.

    ReplyDelete
  89. This has happened to my elderly mother as well. I went to book a vacation for her and realized she now has 31000 points instead of 82000. When I called I was told I could contact the Attorney general and make a complaint. My mother said that she thought she was upgrading to lower her maintenance fees and she is still paying on what they charged her. I am so upset about this. She is not rich and buying this timeshare was a splurge in the hopes she could enjoy vacations with her family.Is there anything we can do?
    Shawna

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  90. Well...not the best news today...I had written to the contact Festiva gave us (The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation) not that I thought it would do a heck of a lot of good being it was a contact offered by Festiva themselves, but to at least do something initially. I received an initial letter back from FDBPR saying they'd address my complaint within 30 days, and then today received their official reply. It was not good. Basically saying in part: "The actions of the former developer and managing entity controlled by the former developer are unfortunate and some timeshare owners were taken advantage of and lost considerable money which will not be recovered. However, this is the situation as it exists"...."At this time we cannot address your complaint any further." As I said, I felt the complaint wouldn't get much traction in itself due just to the fact it was a contact provided by Festiva, but the whole letter reads almost as FDBPR is a division of Festiva, I say that obviously "jokingly," but the whole letter really goes absolutely no where. It's almost flagrant as to the ineffectiveness of the whole thing, another "state run department" that seems almost futile, no advice, no nothing, just bottom line to the whole thing being the quote from the letter which is above. Sorry....certainly not the best news, but thought it would be relevant to the situation.

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    Replies
    1. All,

      In my reply to Martin on 21 January I mentioned that Festiva IMHO dialogued with FDBPR prior to the acquisition of Celebration World Resort. Festiva has told us all to contact the same organization they used to verify they could stick it to us legally. Festiva could have allowed CWR to go bankrupt and wiped us all out, but they recognized an opportunity to make money off of us by twisting our arms if you will. If they truly were trying to help us, why charge us some ridiculous amounts of fees (i.e $11,000) just to participate in their club. After all, we already own something in their resort regardless of how small (8400 shares). I believe Festiva is comfortable in their position right now because ultimately they didn't commit the crime, yet they anticipate being the benefactor. It's going to take the LAW to right this wrong. WAY TO GO FESTIVA, AWESOME BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY ON YOUR PART!

      Delete
  91. It is also interesting to hear the different "buy in" levels that you've been pitched. I for one, am sick and tired of ALL timeshare companies, not just Festiva, play these inane pricing games when the hapless consumer never really knows what the bottom line is.

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  92. Lisa,
    You are so right...I told my wife that from now on I'm treating the timeshare market like the auto market. I want to see the dealer's invoice or else I'm not buying. Hello, resale market!!! I also have an awesome title for a new book..."The Truth About Timeshare".

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  93. Frederick...I've written two books on timeshare already and will be publishing an e-book later this year.

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  94. Frederick, I most certainly agree with you.It Will take the Law to right the wrong.CWR has to be held accountable for its illlegal behavior.As for FESTIVA SHAME on them for buying stolen property and preying on the helpless.
    United we stand divided we fall. It is time to get our act together and fight this problem the LEGAL way with as many owners as possible.We cannot predict the outcome but if we do nothing all is certainly lost .

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  95. How can we start to organize this?

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  96. Good Morning All.

    To the last poster SB123, this blog is the first step in organizing anything.

    This issue has received a LOT of attention from owners, Festiva, other organizations and at least one investigative reporter.

    My goal in writing this blog remains to bring important issues to light and to provide a forum for discussion.

    In order to have as much pertinent information at my disposal as possible in order to both forumulate the full and correct story and to be fair, I'm asking readers of this blog to forward me any and all documentation regarding the issue.

    I've submitted ten (10) questions to Festiva and have been promised an answer to these questions this week.

    Please continue to read and post. If you know any other CWR owners, please let them know of this blog as well.

    This is an issue that has major implications for any timeshare owner.

    I look forward to gaining as much information as possible from all sides.

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  97. Hello Lisa,
    I am sure everyone appreciates what you are doing collectively for us. However what information is it you are asking to receive from us. Are you asking for copies of our agreements for points etc. / contract / deed or simply an explanation regarding our dissatisfaction with Festiva and their blatant disregard for our concerns. We have just written to the Office of the Attorney General (Pam Bondi), State of Florida, PL-01, The Capitol, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1050 - and also to Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations, Div of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes, 1940 North Monroe Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399. Many thanks, Reg and Donna

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  98. Just another CWR owner who finds herself in the same boat as everyone else. We have owned 380,000 for over 10 years (a 3 BR and a Jr. suite) and travel extensively through RCI. I just spoke to Manny at Festiva and was given the same story about how CWR duped us in the "upgrade" to lower our maintenance fees. Everyone keeps talking about a class action lawsuit. Whether we sue Festiva, CWR, their CEOs, or all of the above, let's go for it! Is there anyone in FL who can contact an attorney who specializes in these matters? What's the deal with the investigative reporter? Lisa, I love what you're doing here but we need answers now! We need to take some action. I would jump in with an attorney and start this myself but, as I'm several states away from FL, can't meet with him/her. Please, someone contact a FL attorney and, at least, ask them to look at the blog and consider a class action lawsuit on our behalf.

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  99. Hello and thanks for writing. I'm looking for the actual documents in order to put together a full timeline of dates, events and names.

    All I'm looking for is to get a complete story and get some restitution from someone for the owners that have been wronged.

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  100. Hello, I went on to RCI today and found out that my 86000 points were now 31000 points. I contacted Festiva and the robots have the same answers over and over, to contact the FDBP. When they say that, I know contacting them is a waste of time. I don't even want affiliation with them anymore but just not paying will harm my credit. They offered me a chance to die en leiu for 1800, but I feel losing 55000 points alone is all the payment I should have to worry about. Please help with any information. justthe2ofus0310@yahoo.com

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  101. Kirsten, I understand your and everyone's frustration. This is as you can imagine, a big deal with lots of parties involved...owners, Celebration, Festiva, RCI, the DBPR, etc.

    As I said, Festiva contacted me as they are monitoring this blog. I sent them a list of ten (10) questions on January 26th. I have not received answers back as of today.

    The important thing to remember here is that this is not an easy matter for anyone to resolve in a short period of time.

    My goal is to get the correct story out and make good for the owners. I'm willing to hear and publish ideas here on the blog.

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  102. Due to a technical error...also known as I hit the wrong key, the newest comment was accidentally deleted. My apologies.

    Here is the comment from an anonymous poster:

    "Well i just heard from Festiva again. They are willing to process a deed in leiu for full forgiveness of debt now for 500.00. I stopped paying for the past couple of months because of this whole situation. Does anyone think this is a bad idea?"

    ReplyDelete
  103. Lou & MaryAnn SiderFebruary 5, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    I don't quite understand this last input. Could you please explain in more detail as we are going to a meeting in April as CWR owners and want to be prepared.

    ReplyDelete
  104. Lou & MaryAnn SiderFebruary 5, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    With relationship to Anonymous what amount of debt are they forgiving for $500.00 and what do you receive with the new deed in regards to using your points. We are very interested as we are attending a meeting at CWR for this updat.Am very interested in what to expect and what our options will be.

    Lou & MaryAnn Sider

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  105. What does deed in lieu mean?

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    Replies
    1. It basically means you return the property back to the developer for consideration of the loan you might have. If you have a balance of say $10,000, they may take back the deed and ask you to pay $2,000 and then you are free of the debt. If you own outright like I do, I am thinking of calling them and asking to do a deed in lieu of, basically giving them back what I paid $25,000 for 10 years ago so I don't have to continue to pay the maintenance fee's for a resort I can no longer use since I lost 300,000 points in this whole fiasco.

      Delete
  106. Hi Lisa

    I purchased time sharing with Celebration World Resort in Florida in November 2006. I bought 15,300 shares of CWR who are affiliated with RCI Vacation Exchange wich made 49,000 RCI points a year.

    In may 2011, CWR called me to make me an offer. The maintenance taxes and fees were increasing every year so they told me that they had a good plan for me. They would buy my 15,300 shares and sell me back 8,400 shares and I would have 230,000 RCI points every 2 years. The maintenance taxes and fees are based on the shares you own so they would be lower, exactly 236.63$ a year . I didn’t want to make a transaction by phone so I went there on the third of August 2011 and we proceeded like I said before. My 230,000 RCI points where supposed to be on my RCI account on the first of January 2012. Concord Servicing Corporation were servicing for CWR for the loan.

    At the end of October, I received a letter from Festiva hospitality group. They had purchased the development rights, unsold inventory, management rights and loan receivables at CWR. So the loan was transfer to Festiva Development Group, LLC. All payments were transfered on the first of November 2011.

    I never had the 230,000 RCI points and when I called Festiva they never heared about that. I still had the 49,000 RCI points that I had before. Last week I received a letter telling me that the ratio of RCI point with the shares will now be of 3.6.(My 8,400 shares by 3.6 make 31,000 RCI points). They tell us that after advising RCI and maintenance taxes and fees are paid. Not before.

    My maintenance taxes and fees are 473.26$. I paid everything before the due date. They told us that the other developper wasn’t doing good. But since the 15th of november 2011 my money goes every month in there bank account for the loan of the transaction with CWR. How can they not honour CWR’s engagement but taking the money of it.

    I already fill two complaint one with DBPR and the other one with Attorney General Pam Bondi.
    If you need more information or documentation feel free to ask.
    I will follow your blog.

    Philippe

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  107. Hello Lisa,I also lost alot of points here. I was getting 98,900 point per year since 2004. Now I'm getting 41000 per year. My wife and I are so upset. We paid the balance off in 2 years. The costs are starting to increase every year. I was thinking about not paying another dime for using RCI or Festiva. I was thinking about just cutting my losses. Is this a good ideal.

    Im Detric and thank you for your help

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  108. I received an e-mail today from Grahame Lloyd in the UK who for some reason is unable to post on the blog. I have his permission to both post his comment and use his name. Here are his unedited comments:

    Hi Lisa

    I was unable to post this to the blog, so sending it direct for you to publish if OK!

    I have been a UK owner at CWR for nearly 10 years and as such feel that my remoteness is very frustrating. I was aware that CWR had been having financial difficulties for a number of years. Accordingly, I asked RCI UK what was the position if CWR went bust. Their reply was that my points would be transferred to another resort. They now deny this, of course! In the last 3 weeks I have sent 10 emails to RCI US and RCI UK and they eventually called me today. All they would say was that they were totally in the hands of Festiva and were not responsible for points allocation. This, of course, leads to a number of questions:

    Who agrees the weeks points value for a resort?
    Is a resort ever visited on a regular basis to ascertain standards?
    Are they aware of the points being allocated to owners?
    Are they aware of the content of the issued deeds and how the RCI name is an integral part?
    Is the RCI points certificate worth more than the paper it is printed on?

    It doesn't need me to answer these questions - afterall, RCI is a very financially aware company. The only conclusion to be deduced is that RCI was complicit with the way CWR were selling it's timeshares and cannot morally wash their hands of the whole affair and say it is nothing to do with them.

    Last June I complained to Festiva and got a long letter back from Tobias Weas Esq (Festiva Attorney) in which he stated that "your points were automatically deposited into an RCI account because there was a signed participation agreement between RCI and CWR - all inventory being pre-ceded to RCI" (till 2099).

    I would be happy to pass a copy of this letter to the moderator of this web site if required.

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  109. Thanks Grahame for your comments.

    Your comments regarding RCI hit a nerve with me. Several years ago I wrote an article chastizing both RCI and II for basically abdicating their responsibility to the end user by having sales people at resorts around the world "pitch" the benefits of their exchange companies, regardless of if what was being said was true or not.

    Unfortunately, consumers don't have a full understanding of the truth until they try to use their timeshare and/or run into situations like this.

    There's no easy solution to any of this. I've said for years now that timeshare must made some serious changes to it's very core.

    Back to the issue at hand...still no answers from Festiva and I'm still working on establishing the full story with a timeline so that your story can gain more attention and hopefully a fair resolution.

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  110. Hi Lisa, Our story is we're from Ireland went to Florida in 2007 to get married and with the wedding money bought 133,500 rci points and paid in full at the time since the exchange rate was very good. We were sold points not shares in CWR we even have the sheet that they used to sell the 'points' it lists the various amounts of points and the prices. Being from Ireland we had limited knowledge of timeshares so we checked everything out that we could whilst in Florida. It wasnt until we returned home that we were posted the contracts etc due to some admin delay which conveniently took it past the cool off period. Then we realised that it stated we had a deed for week 45 value week, from the sales pitch we were told it was a holiday week which was why it attracted the max amount of points. I emailed marcio cicci to query this and he assured me this was all normal and not too worry about the actual shares but just the points and that he had sold us less shares and more points since its the points we needed to take vacations. we still have these emails saved and printed. If there is anything you want or need let us know and we will email it to you. We have emailed festiva requesting the date that they knew something was amiss with cwr contracts as we feel they held it back until fees and taxes were collected. I also dont believe Festiva purchased cwr with out having done all financial and structural checks and surveys on the property and in fact feel they knew these flaws in the contracts existed and purchased it for that very reason, Its almost a form of entrapment.We are following this blog and are also happy to assist in any legal case that may ensue with others in the same position. Lisa is it worth us complaining to the FDBR? or anyone else that you feel will help.
    Thanks Keith and Tricia Ireland.

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  111. I'm having the same points issues as everyone else. I see that festiva had a lawsuit against them in 2009, filed by the Missouri attorney General. Festiva lost that lawsuit and had to pay over $300,000. I'm not sure how many people were involved, but I don't think it was as many as this potential lawsuit could have. There were other issues with festiva in New Orleans. I'm not sure what happened with that lawsuit. So obviously festiva has some ethical issues on record, which I think would work in our favor. They also have had 179 complaints filed with the better business bureau in the last 3 years!! I don't think that's normal for an honest company!

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  112. I bought a home that was a foreclosure and got it for a good price. I had an inspection done to look for potential issues that would come with the house. I would imagine that festiva would have inspected cwr to look for issues that they might not want to deal with.

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  113. Does festiva have to pay rci money based on points we get because why does festiva care how many points we have? They must be losing money somehow for this to be an issue

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  114. Many thanks for this blog, Lisa. I am in the same position as others. I am at Festiva/CWR as I write. Your blog has done a good job prepping me for my 'owner update' scheduled for Feb 15.

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  115. Hey George. We are scheduled for our owner updat in April. Maybe we should print all these messages from all the wronged people and pass then out outside of CWR/Festiva Resort.....

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  116. I purchases my time share at CWR in 2005. I paid appox $15,500 for 133,500 points My daughter paid half that amount and of course received half of my amount. My points are now down to 41,000 and hers are appox 37,000. I spoke to Montell Jones at Festiva and he emailed a copy of my contract and told me he would contact me the next day to go over it. It is now almost 2 weeks and have not heard from him.
    I contacted DBPR in Tallahasee and they are mailing me a complaint form.They also told me they have no record of other complaints aganist Festiva.
    I am very upset about this. I don't understand how I can pay double of what my daughter paid on the same day and have almost as many points as she does.
    There has to be something that can be done.
    Mr. Jones clainms letters were sent out in December explaining all of this. I never received.
    I am suppose to go to Festiva this year and listen to their presentation but have not booked a date as of yet. I have no intentions of spending any more money for this time share.
    I really think we need to ban together and start a class action suit. This cannot possible be legal.

    ReplyDelete
  117. I think that we should also hold RCI responsible for letting this happen. I called them today and was told there is no way to register a complaint. I do not believe this. I would rather FESTIVIA get kicked out of rci and stop paying for festiva and have my credit hurt.

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  118. I have filed a complaint with Pam Bondi, Florida's attorney General. You can call them to get a form or do it online. I also filed a complaint with the Florida dept of ag and consumer services, again you can go to website and print a form or do it online. I did both online. I have also contacted an orlando television station channel 13 and wrote an email explaining things. Their website is cfnews.com if anyone else wants to contact them too.
    can you file a class action lawsuit seeking to have your points reinstated because seeking money would probably not amount to much. The recent lawsuit against RCI only amounted to $12 per person.

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  119. Time Share Ponzi Scheme

    1.Celebration World Resort Marketing, Inc., and Celebration World Resort Marketing, Ltd., marketed the time-share units in Celebration World Resort.
    2.In the Declaration of Covenants, the developer names Celebration World Resort Owner’s Association, Inc. to manage, maintain, and administer the Resort Facility.
    3.BL Vacation Resort, Celebration World Resort Marketing, Inc., Celebration World Resort Marketing, LTD., and Celebration World Resort Owner's Association had a pattern of practice of fraudulently inducing prospective purchasers to buy “Celebration World Shares”. Each time-share unit sold was allocated “Celebration World Shares” based on the value of the time-share unit sold. Purchasers were told that they could trade in their week to RCI International for approximately 6-8 times the value of their “Celebration Shares”. For example, purchasers were told that if they bought 8400 Celebration World Shares, they would receive 65,500 RCI Points every year.
    4.For each week any Owner purchased, Celebration World would in effect have to deposit 6 to 8 weeks into RCI to give the Owner the RCI trade value promised.
    5.When an Owner deposited their week into RCI, Celebration would in effect deposit the Owners week and unsold units (or depositing weeks of units not reserved by any member) into RCI to cover the additional weeks needed to honor the agreement between Celebration and the Owner.
    6.No Maintenance fees were paid on the vast majority of the week’s Celebration World deposited into RCI, and no other money was received by Celebration World in exchange for the weeks deposited into RCI.
    7.Celebration World continued to market the time-shares at Celebration World Resort, under the same premise, with full knowledge that the process would have to implode at some point.
    8.In essence, Celebration World Resort was operating a Time-Share Ponzi scheme, where vacation points are sold to early purchasers and deposited into RCI from units sold to later purchasers, who were promised the same return.
    9.Somewhere around 2010, Celebration World upped the ante and started marketing to early owners through “Owner Updates”, wherein it inflated the value of the “Celebration Shares” even more. Owners were told they could upgrade their Celebration World Shares, and that 8400 “Celebration World Shares” every other year would enable them to trade into RCI for 231,000 points every other year. Celebration World knew it was in financial trouble, and instead of correcting the problem, it compounded the problem.
    10.On August 14, 2012, a Name Change was filed with the Florida Department of State, changing the name of the management company to Festiva’s Orlando Resort Owner’s Association, Inc.
    11.Festiva’s Orlando Resort Owner’s Association, Inc. has the same Federal Tax Id as Celebration World Resort Owner’s Association, Inc. In effect, it is the same entity bearing a different name.
    12.On December 23, 2011, CWR Borrower, LLC., Celebration World Resort, LTD., Celebration World Resort Marketing, LTD., deed over all interest in Celebration World Resort to CS CWR Holdings, LLC.
    13.CS CWR Holdings, LLC., is owned by Festiva Development Group, LLC.
    14.Festiva Development Group, LLC. is owned by Festiva Hospitality Group, LLC.
    15.Festiva become aware of the fraud, admits to the prior wrongdoing of Celebration World Resort Owner’s Association, Inc., and all others above, but claims that it has no liability as to the fraud perpetrated by Celebration World Resort Owner’s, Inc, Celebration World Resorts, Ltd., Celebration World Marketing, Ltd., and Celebration World Marketing, LLC.

    Those are the facts that I dont think Festiva would dispute.

    Im postng another post right after this, as mine was too long for one post...

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  120. We all disagree as to Festiva's liability. I think they are liable. When Festiva acquired Celebration World, it could not acquire all of the assets and none of the liability. Florida Statute 721.17 states: “721.17 Transfer of interest.—Except in the case of a timeshare plan subject to the provisions of chapter 718 or chapter 719, no developer, owner of the underlying fee, or owner of the underlying personal property shall sell, lease, assign, mortgage, or otherwise transfer his or her interest in the accommodations and facilities of the timeshare plan except by an instrument evidencing the transfer recorded in the public records of the county in which such accommodations and facilities are located or, with respect to personal property timeshare plans, in full compliance with s. 721.08. The instrument shall be executed by both the transferor and transferee and shall state:
    (1) That its provisions are intended to protect the rights of all purchasers of the plan. 2) That its terms may be enforced by any prior or subsequent timeshare purchaser so long as that purchaser is not in default of his or her obligations.(3) That so long as a purchaser remains in good standing with respect to her or his obligations under the timeshare instrument, including making all payments to the managing entity required by the timeshare instrument with respect to the annual common expenses of the timeshare plan, the transferee shall honor all rights of such purchaser relating to the subject accommodation or facility as reflected in the timeshare instrument.(4) That the transferee will fully honor all rights of timeshare purchasers to cancel their contracts and receive appropriate refunds
    Should any transfer of the interest of the developer, the owner of the underlying fee, or the owner of the underlying property occur in a manner which is not in compliance with this section, the terms set forth in this section shall be presumed to be a part of the transfer and shall be deemed to be included in the instrument of transfer. Notice shall be mailed to each purchaser of record within 30 days after the transfer unless such transfer does not affect the purchaser’s rights in or use of the timeshare plan.
    In essence, even if you had not provided for the protection on the Purchasers as per the statute, then the above referenced terms would be added to the transfer as a matter of law. That being said, the purchasers retain all of their rights, including their right to sue Celebration World for fraud. Festiva’s liability is statutory.
    In the very least, Celebration World Resort Owners Association was guilty of Breach of Fiduciary Duty. It simply changed its name to Festiva's Orlando Resort Homeowners Association. It has the same tax id. It is the same entity, so Festiva cannot get around the Association's Breach of Fiduciary Duty.
    I believe everyone effected has a claim against Festiva and Celebration World for Declaratory Judgment (Declaring contract null and void), Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Fraud in the Inducement, Constructive Fraud, Rescission of Contract, Unconscionability (of contract), and Restitution.
    I am not just an attorney. I was at the time-share presentations. My ex Wife bought one in 2005 and went to the Owners update in 2010. Her points went from 231,000 every other year to 31,000 every other year.
    I'm sending a demand letter to Festiva and fully expect they will not respond, or will not meet my demands.If I file suit, I'd like to know if anyone else who is similarly situated is interested in joining in the suit.
    Keith Will Wynne, Esq.
    1001 E. Baker Street Suite 101
    Plant City, Florida 33563
    Phone: 813-567-5894, Fax 813-567-5896
    Email: Keith@KeithWillWynne.com

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    Replies
    1. Keith,

      I am certainly interested in participating in whatever action is necessary to recover my property that Celebration World Resorts and affiliates stole from me. I'm no lawyer (my daughter is) but have felt from the outset that Festiva knew about this corruption from the beginning as indicated in my reply to Martin on Jan 21 and Anonymous on Feb 1. I had two (2)Bedroom units that were 23,400 CWR points each which were essentially stolen from me and now deeded to two (1) bedroom units or 8400 shares/points each. I want those fraudulent deeds rescinded and my original deeds put back in place. What do you think?

      Delete
    2. If something can be done I'm in.

      Delete
    3. I'm in, too. Thanks Keith

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    4. Keith,

      Thanks for your brilliant entry. My wife and I (Canadians) are prepared to join your suit. Hopefully it will be a 'class action suit'. We were major investors with Celebration World (now Festiva) and would like to hear from you. Email longman.rd@gmail.com

      Delete
    5. I would also be interested in joining any action against Festiva/CWR/RCI. Please keep us all updated.

      Delete
    6. Count me in!! I have been away for a week and came back to read all the new blogs with some encouragement. I firmly believe now that Festiva did know what they were doing and this needs to be corrected. Keith please let me know if there is anything you need from me. I have been an owner since 2000 and have thouroughly enjoyed my timeshare until now!! martin.fischer@live.ca

      Delete
  121. ok, i have spoken with a florida attorney and this is what she told me to do:

    mail a certified letter to festivas office (i am going to send one to DBTR-DFCTMH Northwood center 1940 north monroe street tallahassee, fl 32399 and one to the corporate office one vance gap road asheville, nc 28805) in the letter you need to state what you bought from celebration and that they need to honor this or else they are in breech of contract. also mention if you contacted any other agencies like the fl attorney general add that in your letter. tell them you need a response in 30 days or you will seek legal action against them!

    if you haven't filed complaints with the florida attorney general start filing them.
    the more people that file they better.

    if you want to contact a lawyer make sure you find one in the same zipcode as the resort, which is 34747

    hope this is helpful

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  122. Also mailing certified letter to member services festiva hospitality group 521 college street Asheville, nc 28801

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  123. We have to figure a way to get together and file a class action lawsuit. I feel that is the only way we will get this resolved.

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  124. Lisa: it's now over 2 weeks since you said that Festiva would respond to you within a week (Jan 23). So what have you heard from them? In particular, did they answer the 10 carefully-worded questions you sent them on Jan 28 - answers to which you also expected within a week?

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  125. Keith, thanks for the great information and your time and effort in presenting it here. I would be interested in joining a suit.

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  126. Thought I would throw this in for good measure this morning from VacationBetter.org:

    Further, most state timeshare laws require truth in advertising, protect purchasers’ timeshares from the developer’s debt, and assure that purchasers receive detailed information about the timeshare plan they are buying, including the type of timeshare interest, how to use the product, management and budget information and much more. State timeshare laws usually apply whether the vacation product is called a timeshare, fractional, private residence club, vacation club or points product.

    While this sad situation current affects a minority of owners of Celebration World Resort/Festiva, it has much larger implications for anyone who owns timeshare.

    This is a very fluid situation...stay tuned for updates.

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  127. I agree with Carolyn, we need to get together and file a class action lawsuit. If we can do this I am most definately in!!
    Keith thank you so much for the indepth and valuable information.
    Lisa thank you so much for all your effort, I am following this blog religously as it has given me my strength back. CWR, Festiva and RCI as a collective have inflicted upon its legit owners tremendous upset and distress and they can't be allowed to get away with this.

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  128. Maybe Lisa can advise us on what our next step should be and how we can go about a class action suit.

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  129. Lisa maybe you can help us figure out what to do next and how to go about a class action suit

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  130. Lisa do you have any ideas on how to go ahead with a class action lawsuit? I am sure everyone would appreciate you help

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  131. Keith,

    We are ready to join a class action suit. Please tell us what to do.

    Thank you Keith & Lisa

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  132. I am not an attorney so therefore can not offer any legal advise. I will however say that previous class action lawsuits in the timeshare industry have proven extremely difficult to win and in one of the recent cases against RCI,, the "compensation" was paltry at best.

    This is not to sway anyone to one "side" or another, just stating what has happened in the past with some class action lawsuits.

    As I've said, this blog is being closing monitored by any number of individuals and companies alike.

    There seems to be any number of huge issues at hand that may not only affect all of you, but thousands of other timeshare owners around the world. I addressed some of those issues yesterday when I spoke at the National Timeshare Owners Association meeting. (Contact me if you would like membership information.)

    Keep the comments and the documention coming in and do help to spread the word.

    I have no intention of simply letting this issue go without some sort of resolution...it's simply too big and affects too many people.

    As an update, I have still not received word back from anyone at Festiva. I would hope that they are truly interested in doing the right thing for the owners that have been adversely affected due to the dispicable actions as you've all outlined.

    I am honored to be able to provide you, the timeshare owners, with a forum and hopefully a way of getting things made right.

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  133. So festiva wants us to not have any RCI points so that we are forced to join RTX travel, an exchange program that is owned by festiva hospitality group. Things that are often done behind people's backs are done to deceive and are probably illegal. It's all about the money. Just my thoughts.

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  134. Let's face it, festiva is not going to do ANYTHING until they are forced to. Because in their diluted minds they bought Cwr and in doing so absolved them of any wrongdoings done by the previous owners thus voiding our RCI points contracts. They have a long record of deceit if you search festiva hospitality group in numerous states. They are probably banking on majority of people talking but not acting on their wrongdoings

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  135. Hi Lisa,
    You mentioned that a class action suit in the TIMESHARE industry was extremely difficult to win.
    WHY is that so? IS THE LAW NOT THE SAME FOR EVERYONE?

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  136. The following is a comment sent to us by 'dmsog', we will not be intimitated by this.
    Reg and Donna

    11th of Feb, 2013 by dmsog

    Before you attempt any kind of lawsuit against this company you should be forewarned that Festiva has ways (use your imagination) of convincing a court judge to tear up your (formerly binding) contract and allowing them to rewrite it to their advantage. This happened to hundreds of us at their Atrium Resort in Saint Maarten. Many of us walked; save your sanity and do the same. The deck is stacked against you.

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  137. The attorney General won against them in Missouri and they are settling out of court with people in New Orleans.

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  138. I'm with Reg and Donna!! We have nothing really to lose do we?? I feel like this issue is growing and that is a good thing. Festiva needs to make this right just to save their image. They knew what they were doing going into this and now its time to save their name but they need to do it very soon!!!!!

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  139. Regarding the class action lawsuit...I mean NO disrespect to anyone and please understand that I want nothing more than for all of you to have these wrongs "righted." Of course the law is the same for everyone. Unfortunately, history has not been kind in many cases of consumers vs. large companies.

    To "dmsog" who e-mailed Reg and Donna...if you have something to say, say it publically. For you to e-mail Reg and Donna personally...I don't really understand it. It smacks of a "warning" from a company, which I don't like. If I'm wrong, I invite you to post directly on the blog.

    Additionally, laws in Saint Maartin are quite different than laws in the United States.

    I did hear from my "contact" at Festiva today. He did not respond to my questions, but invited me to meet with him personally when he will be in town next week. I will meet with him and report back to all of you.

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  140. http://m.fox8live.com/default.aspx?pid=2705&wnfeedurl=http%3a%2f%2fwww.fox8live.com%2fstory%2f20958990%2ffox-8-defenders%3fclienttype%3drssstory


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  141. http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/story?section=news/abc11_investigates&id=6789555

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  142. Lisa even if they meet with you there's no guarantee they will tell you anything different then we already know. There's also no guarantee you'll get the truth, just their version of it.

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  143. I know. However, they reached out to me and whatever they say will be reported here.

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  144. I agree with Martin, we really don't have anything to lose. We're stuck with useless points that really aren't worth the maintenance fees we pay on them. Plus it's at a resort that I'm sure none of us or anyone we know would really ever want to go back to after this.

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  145. Could these people potentially be helpful to us?

    Www.Thecontractbreakers.com

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  146. l agree with everyone is thinking that we have nothing to lose.l really think there are a lot of CWR/Festiva owners out there and not just a few but how do we reach them. lt would be nice to be able to supply this information to everyone that has a metting schedules at CWR.Festiva before they attend. we have a meeting scheduled in April and am not looking forward to it.

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    1. I have one in April as well. It should be interesting. I really hope this doesnt die and that we get as many people involved as possible. There must be list of owners somewhere we can get our hands on?!?!

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  147. I agree, we really don't have anything to lose at this point. If someone hear something about the class action lawsuit or Keith let me know.
    Philippe

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  148. Thank, Lisa.

    I would like to join. Please let me know the action I should take.

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  149. Mr. Lloyd in the UK who has been unable to add to the blog wanted me to post this for him this morning:

    Hi Lisa

    You have previously posted my comments about RCI's involvement with the CWR debacle. Here's another observation which may be of interest.

    While at CWR last May, like many others , I was invited to an "owner update", which was, of course, coercion to invest $20000 or more in Festiva. Part of the "encouragement" was the benefit of using RTX. They produced a colour glossy brochure with a number of world-wide resorts illustrating the exchange possibilities.

    Co-incidentally I was staying at 2 of them within the following 6 months. While at these resorts (one in Florida and one in the Canaries (Tenerife) I enquired what was the arrangement and was informed that they neither knew of Festiva or RTX or any arrangement! I am sure that no further comment is necessary!

    I followed up with Mr. Lloyd to see if he had a copy of this brochure and was told that the salesman would not let him have it.

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  150. Same song, different verse. What would happen if I just stopped paying the maintenance fees? I am willing to forfeit the $12K we spent to purchase the shares just to get out of this situation. Would Festiva take the property/shares back?

    Thanks for any advice.

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    1. Joel,

      I felt the same way as you. I have (2) 1 bedrooms vice (2) 2 bedrooms as a result of this ponzie scam. As Lisa mentions below, they more than likely won't take the property back because their business is selling timeshares not buying them or recouping them unless there is default by the owners. Again, this is why I have such strong feelings that this (the scam) was Festiva's way of twisting folks arms to get even more money out of them. They didn't want to lose clientele; they wanted to gain more clientele. They realize many of us are stuck with what amounts to very little and they could capitalize from it if we remain passive. I admit I don't want anything to do with Festiva or CWR anymore, but I am going to fight tooth and nail to get my original property restored to the levels of ownership pre-ponzie scam.

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  151. Joel...they may, chances are they won't. Very few resorts do this...and it's to everyone's detriment that they don't.

    If you stop paying the fees, they will most likely eventually start foreclosure process which is not a good alternative for you.

    I'm going to try to get clarification next week what options, if any, Festiva is willing to offer.

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  152. Has anyone gotten a letter from festiva saying their points were being reduced to 31,000 or did everyone find out through RCI? I didn't find out until I went to book a trip, not very professional at all

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  153. Are any members going to the board of directors annual meeting, I just got the info in the mail? I live out of state so it's hard to plan a trip to Florida with 10 days notice! I would love to go and hear what they have to say about things!

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  154. Just found out from an owner that the annual meeting will be held on Wednesday February 27th at 10:00 in the morning at the Maingate Lakeside Resort located at 7769 West Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway (Highway 192)in Kissimmee.

    Annual meetings should be announced MUCH more in advance than this. However, I hope as many of you as possible attend this meeting.

    It is quite disheartening to see the small turnout at most annual HOA meetings. I realize of course that many owners are not in town when the meeting is being held and even more can not afford to fly in just for this purpose.

    It is an issue that ALL timeshare owners need to address with their home resort. Unfortunately, the resort's HOA counts on the fact that many owners will not be there. Sad commentary indeed.

    Please get the word out to as many CWR owners as possible as this will be a very important meeting.

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  155. IRENE
    I'm from Australia, same situation. We are looking for some kind of class action. I have kept all my paperwork and I am sending it tomorrow to DBPR. I will also contact Keith to give him my support.
    POWER To THE PEOPLE !!!

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  156. Hi Lisa and all CWR owners.
    I am from Quebec in Canada and I am willing to fly next week to the annual meeting(arriving the 26th and leaving the 28th)and I would like to know if there are some owners that are going to be there or thinking about being there. I am interested by a class action lawsuite and I would like to meet others owners and maybe Keith? Lisa, will you be there?

    Please answer me on the blog or on my email philippepigeon@bell.net

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  157. Philippe, great question. I would like to hear from other owners to get a sense of who is planning on attending.

    Unless I receive a proxy from an owner, I, as a non-owner can not attend. I would be very happy to meet with you however when you are in town.

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  158. Lisa, they gave us proxies, if you wanted to go I could mail you mine

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  159. Philippe and all other C.W.R. owners,

    My husband and I are from Montreal , Canada and we are also planning on attending the annual meeting being held on the 27th of February. Something has to be done concerning this dreadful situation and we think that a class action lawsuit is the way to go.We are anxious to discuss with other owners and hopefully with Keith and Lisa.

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  160. I received a proxy today and do not want to sign it so they can vote how every they want. Most of us are from out of state how do they expect us to be there in a weeks time. This is crazy. I would think they would have to send a notice more than a week out.
    They are doing this so that no one shows up. What happens if my proxy does not get there in time? What will happen to my vote?

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  161. Does any one know what will happen if we stop paying the maintenance fees?

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  162. Lisa, Have you met with Festivia yet?

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