Friday, December 18, 2015

Important Update Regarding Celebration/Festiva/RCI Case

The Class Action suit involving the old Celebration World Resort, Festiva (who took it over) and RCI has been going on for a very long time.

This week, Finn Law Group provided us with this update which I am reprinting in its entirety:

To all prospective class members of the Festiva/Celebration World/RCI litigation:

On December 15, 2015 the parties agreed to settle the proposed class action lawsuit and filed a motion with the court to preliminarily approve the class action settlement.  Attorneys for the parties are scheduled to attend a court hearing on January 25, 2016 regarding the motion to preliminarily approve the proposed settlement.  The link below provides you access to the Motion for Preliminary Approval (without Exhibits), the Proposed Notice, and the Settlement Agreement.  All of these documents are available to the public.

If the judge preliminarily approves the settlement, a notice will be mailed to all class members and there will be an administration process.  As part of the administration process, attorneys with the Finn Law Group, P.A. will be available to answer questions the class members may have regarding the settlement.

Please be advised that the judge has not decided whether to preliminarily approve the settlement.  Therefore, we are unable to answer questions regarding the terms of the proposed settlement until the proposed settlement is preliminarily approved.  Please know that at this time, as a potential class member, Finn Law Group is not your legal counsel.  As such, its attorneys cannot impart legal advice to non-clients.  You have the right to obtain your own attorney at your own expense.

The below link has the above referenced documents and additional information regarding the case. 


Friday, December 11, 2015

Show Me Your Numbers

ARDA, the American Resort Development Association, has come out with its latest finding showing that a family of four saves $18,160 over the cost of 18 years by purchasing a timeshare over using a hotel room.

Here's the link to the infographic:

Here's the numbers they used:

Average Hotel Stay
$3,000 annually for 18 years
Total Cost $54,000

Assuming a 7 night stay, that comes to $428.57 per night

Average Timeshare
$20,000 cost of purchase
$15,840 average maintenance fee ($880 per year)
Total Cost $35,840

Showing a cost savings of $18,160 over an 18 year period.

I'm throwing it open here...agree, disagree?

Show me your numbers.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Looking to Purchase a "Red" Timeshare Week? Read This

Ah, the “good old days” of categorizing timeshare weeks by color.  Remember hearing “Orlando is all red, all the time” or “the reason you can’t trade your week is that you own a green week”?

If you’ve owned a timeshare for any length of time, you may yearn for these times, or worse, not know that neither RCI nor II uses color codes anymore.

RCI used to use a red/white/blue system, where red weeks were the highest in demand.  Interval International used red/yellow/green, where again, red weeks were the highest in demand.

While color codes were simple, the truth of the matter is that they were far from accurate.  Resorts located in Orlando, Florida and in the Bahamas for instance, all used to be “all red, all the time” when anyone who has been to Orlando in September or Las Vegas in July clearly knew that was not the case.  In reality, Orlando in September was white or yellow at best, while the Bahamas in August may have really been a blue or green week.

Interval International was the first to stop using their red/yellow/green designations in favor of their vastly improved Travel Demand Index.  Now, weeks are rated on a numerical scale where 100 means “average demand”, so that week 51 in Orlando is rated a 150, while week 39 in September is rated a 80.  Similarly, the Bahamas range from a 70 during weeks 37 and 38 to 150 weeks 9 through 14.

Several years ago, RCI discarded their red/white/blue weeks classification system in exchange for their TPU (Trading Power Unit) system which assigns a numerical value to each week based on several criteria including; the classification, demand, supply and use for your specific week, the resort and the region it’s located in, the size of the specific timeshare unit and how far in advance of the usage week you have deposited it.

NOTE:  The numerical “point” value assigned by RCI applies only to week-based timeshare and must not be confused with the “points” assigned to RCI point-based timeshare.  They are two completely different systems and TPUs do not apply to point-based timeshare.

All of these changes are crucial to both getting the most out of your timeshare and when considering a timeshare purchase on the secondary market.

If you’re confused about timeshare weeks, talk to your exchange company and don't forget to investigate the "other" exchange companies that your home resort never mentioned. 

If you are considering buying a timeshare on the resale market, and the company/broker/individual/platform advertises a “red week”, this should be considered a warning flag that the seller is not operating with the most recent information.