Archive for the 'Florida Timeshares' Category

Attorney General Bill McCollum of Florida Warns Consumers

Friday, January 30th, 2009

Attorney General Bill McCollum
News Release
July 13, 2007

Media Contact: Sandi Copes

Phone: (850) 245-0150

Attorney General: Beware Foreign Timeshare Investments

~ Advisory follows increase in number of complaints reported to the Attorney General’s Office ~

TALLAHASSEE, FL – Attorney General Bill McCollum today issued a consumer advisory, encouraging Floridians to be cautious when booking timeshare reservations or vacation memberships in foreign countries, particularly Mexico. The Attorney General noted that his office has received an influx of complaints from citizens who have been scammed by less than reputable travel companies offering ideal vacations to these locations but often falling far short of operating under fair business practices.

( Click Here to READ FULL ARTICLE )

Entanglements Sows Seeds of Confusion – Bluebeard’s Castle / Wyndham ?

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Entanglements Sows Seeds of Confusion

To confuse federal and state authorities about the affiliations between the entities that develop the interval time-share properties and the actual companies that manage the properties, and the various subsidiaries, it is common within the time-share industry to create companies with similar names, and shuffle subsidiaries like dominoes or playing cards. When heat is pressed against one-card, the shuffler simply rotates (changes the company name and owner) to another hand. It is this technique that keeps law enforcement agencies and consumers from investigating the fraudulent patterns of ownership.

Consider these facts with respect to BlueBeard’s Castle Hilltop Villas III. As of January 1st, 2007, Fairfield Resorts, Inc. has been listed as the owner/developer of BlueBeards Castle Hilltop Villas III. In the spring of 2007, this same company purchased Wyndham Vacation Resorts, Inc. Wyndham Vacation Resorts, Inc has a principal address of 8427 South Park Circle, Orlando, FL 32819. In fact, Fairfield Resorts, Inc. also has a principal business address of 8427 SouthPark Circle, Suite 500, Orlando, FL 32819. The company that issues the deeds to purported owners of the time-share units has the same address as the purported developer.

However, instead of retiring the Wyndham Vacation Resorts name as is typical when a majority owner takes control, and desires to spread the successor’s brand name, the old and subdued Wyndham Vacation Resorts, Inc is still prevalent upon the website, and most stationery.

In recent times, there are numerous instances when a consumer has contacted Fairfield but instead they are told that the company has been sold to or bought by Wyndham Vacation Resorts. Consumers with unsettled complaints are referred to either the “new” company or some company claiming to be an affiliate of the “new” company.

At the same time that is displaying images and symbols that suggests the website is owned and operated by Wyndham, an affiliate of Wyndham Worldwide Corporation, called Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, LLC, operates a nearly identical website at This website makes no mention as to whether or not it is owned by or associated with Fairfield Resorts, Inc. no exact street address is listed, however when one attempts to contact the company, the website refers a reader to instead of, the website of the alleged purchaser.

In clicking on websites that Wyndham Worldwide claims to be official affiliates, the is not amongst the ones listed.

Equivest St. Thomas, Inc. is a subsidiary of Fairfield Resorts, Inc., claims a telephone operator employed by Fairfield. Fairfield Resorts, Inc. also operates its own title and recording business at the same address used by its other subsidiaries.

Despite its questionable customer service record, SPM Resorts, Inc. has been expanding its business partnerships. The Timeshare Beat, an online research website featuring timeshare news, claims that SPM Resort, Inc. has taken over management responsibilities for The Blue Tree Resort at Lake Buena Vista in Orlando, Peppertree By The Sea in Myrtle Beach, SC, and Outer Banks Beach Clubs I and II at Outer Banks, NC.

Aside from commentary from numerous consumer-oriented websites, public files from a Consumer Proctection Agency paint an unflattering image of SPM Resorts, Inc., and its executive officers, as well as details of alleged unsavory and/or illegal acts that the company is apparently willing to do collect upon a perceived or fabricated debt.

Consumer Allegations of Fraud, Deception, and Identity-theft Unanswered
According to public records, at least one consumer has alleged a billing and identity-theft scheme against persons associated with SPM Resorts,Inc. On or about JULY 19TH, 2006, public records indicate that a consumer sent a certified letter to SPM RESORT MANAGEMENT, 1051 SHINE AVE, MYRTLE BEACH SC 29577 to the attention of “Tom Anderson”, an alleged Executive Vice-President of the company. The consumer demanded documentation that evidenced the legality of the billing practices of SPM Resorts, Inc. In other words, why was SPM Resorts, Inc. sending invoices to persons who claimed they had no relationship with the company, who claimed they did not own or buy any time-shares associated with the company, who claimed they had no outstanding loans with the company or their affiliates, and who stated they did not wish to be associated with SPM Resorts, Inc? None of the questions were answered or responded to by Mr. Anderson or SPM Resorts, Inc.


Hotel Lays Off Workers Amid Expansion Plans – Hilton Grand Vacations

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Hotel Lays Off Workers Amid Expansion Plans
Wednesday, January 21, 2009

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Timeshare companies are taking a beating because of the economy and it’s costing Central Florida residents their jobs.

Hilton Grand Vacations, which is headquartered in Orlando on Metrowest Boulevard has laid off full-time employees from its staff of 3,500.

Eyewitness News reporter Robert Maxwell has learned that there were 187 company wide layoffs at the Hilton Grand Vacations.

A Hilton representative said they plan to expand in Orlando’s tourist corridor and was eager to talk about expansion plans.

“We see a lot of opportunity for tourism and so we are very bullish on Orlando,” said a Hilton representative.

In a statement released by Hilton’s corporate headquarters the international hotel chain confirmed that a number of full-time positions were eliminated across the organization, specifically at the Hilton’s Grand Vacations division where timeshares are sold at sprawling resorts.

What’s unusual about the Hilton layoffs is they come at a time when the Hilton family has big expansion plans in Orlando.

Hilton proudly told Channel 9 its timeshare properties are growing with the first phase of Club Parc Soleil, which is a seven phase 52-acre project south of Sand Lake Road.

A Hilton hotel is planned for the Old Knights Inn on International Drive and next to the Orange County Convention Center, the 1,400-room Orlando Hilton is set to open in the summer of 2009.

Channel 9 tried to find out why they cut jobs while there were plans to expand in Orlando, but no one at the Hilton executive office would discuss the layoffs.

“I’m sorry sir, but we cannot comment. We gave you a number you can call,” said one representative.

WFTV called the number, but the corporate spokesperson wouldn’t detail the job losses only the expansion.