Sunday, December 16, 2007

DIAMOND RESORTS INTERNATIONAL APPOINTS INDUSTRY VETERAN AS VICE PRESIDENT, RESORT OPERATIONS, NORTH AMERICA

DIAMOND RESORTS INTERNATIONAL APPOINTS INDUSTRY VETERAN AS VICE PRESIDENT, RESORT OPERATIONS, NORTH AMERICA

Las Vegas – December 11 2007 -- Diamond Resorts International® (DRI), a global leader in vacation ownership, has appointed Steve Hicks to vice president of Resort Operations, North America. Hicks joins a strong executive team committed to delivering the highest standards of guest satisfaction and hospitality.

Prior to joining DRI, Hicks held the position of vice president of Resort Operations at ResortCom and was president of the Hospitality Division at Shell Vacations, LLC, where he directed all aspects of the Hospitality Management Division including its 22 vacation ownership resorts, 1500 employees and more than 30 homeowner associations.

“Steve is a tremendous asset and his proven track record in developing exceptional hospitality teams across multiple resorts is second-to-none,” says Simon Crawford-Welch, Ph.D., RRP, President and COO of DRI. "At Diamond Resorts International® our goal is to build a world-class, customer-focused organization—the strongest in the industry. Steve's appointment is one more step toward that reality."

Hicks will be responsible for managing and expanding DRIs North American resort portfolio which currently includes almost 60 properties in Hawaii, California, Florida, Nevada, Tennessee, Virginia, Canada, the Caribbean, Mexico and more.

“I am excited to join a company driven to revolutionize the vacation ownership industry,” Hicks says. “With experienced management, a strong financial platform, innovative products, exceptional team members and the satisfaction of its owners at the core of its brand strategy, I look forward to contributing to the success of Diamond Resorts International® as an industry leader."

Hicks, a Registered Resort Professional, is highly regarded as a timeshare industry expert and is a frequent speaker in peer workshops and at roundtables. He is also designated as a Certified Hotel Administrator through the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

“Our planned growth strategy will require excellent and experienced management at every level of our organization,” says Stephen J. Cloobeck, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DRI, “Steve offers a hands-on management style that will drive our North American operations to provide better, more consistent, brand-aligned levels of resort amenities and customer service.”

Diamond Resorts International®, based in Las Vegas, Nev., is one of the largest vacation ownership companies in the world with nearly 100 branded and affiliated resorts throughout the continental United States and Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe. Offering simplicity, choice and comfort to its more than 360,000 owners through the branded-service of more than 5,000 team members worldwide, Diamond Resorts International® is dedicated to providing its guests with effortless and relaxing vacation experiences every time, for a lifetime.

For more information, please visit www.DiamondResorts.com

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Diamond Resorts Press Release

LEADING VACATION OWNERSHIP COMPANY LAUNCHES GLOBAL HOSPITALITY BRAND

Las Vegas - December 4 2007 - Diamond Resorts International® (DRI)
officially announced the launch of its new brand strategy with a
series of global initiatives designed to consistently provide the
highest standards of satisfaction, hospitality and guest experiences
throughout its nearly 100 resorts.

The rebranding initiatives follow the April 2007 acquisition of
Sunterra Corporation by Diamond Resorts.

The primary brand tenets simplicity, choice and comfort were
developed over a series of months based on extensive owner and
customer research. "Simplicity reflects our owners' desire for
simpler products and simple elegance in our resorts," says Stephen J.
Cloobeck, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DRI. "It is being
brought to life through upgraded accommodation standards, a complete
make over of our points-based system, renamed THE Club(SM), and an
internal audit geared toward simplifying all of our day-to-day
operations for efficiency and profitability."

Choice and comfort are also at the forefront of operational
changes. "Our owners demanded greater choice and we are delivering it
as seamlessly as possible" says DRI President and Chief Operating
Officer Simon Crawford-Welch Ph.D., RRP. "Over the next twelve
months, a well planned and deliberate growth strategy will provide
our owners with more vacation choices in more diverse destinations
around the world. In addition, each of our branded-service programs
will offer home-away-from-home comfort `touches' designed to exceed
every owners' expectations."

A new tagline, - Relaxation. simplified, reflects the changes that
simplicity, choice and comfort will bring to a typically hectic and
stressful process. DRI's more than 5000 team members, led by a team
of seasoned timeshare industry veterans, are committing themselves to
providing owners with clear, simple communication and the delivery of
a seamless branded hospitality experience to its more that 360,000
owners worldwide.

"Internally, we've already started the process of integrating our
brand tenets into every facet of our business," says DRI Chief
Experience Officer Patrick Duffy. "With resorts in 14 countries and
more than 50 nationalities represented in our owner-base, simplicity,
choice and comfort will become the global language driving our
innovative customer-centric training and hospitality programs. In an
increasingly competitive industry, our sustainable competitive
advantage will be achieved by consistently exceeding our customers'
expectations."

DRI expects its new brand initiatives to be fully deployed and
embraced in each of its resorts and operations by Q2 2008.

Diamond Resorts International®, based in Las Vegas, Nev., is one of
the largest vacation ownership companies in the world with nearly 100
branded and affiliated resorts throughout the continental United
States and Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe. Offering
simplicity, choice and comfort to its more than 360,000 owners
through the branded-service of more than 5,000 team members
worldwide, Diamond Resorts International® is dedicated to providing
its guests with effortless and relaxing vacation experiences every
time, for a lifetime.

For more information, please visit www.DiamondResorts.com

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

New president and chief operating officer responsible for global operations.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Internationally recognized timeshare veteran joins leading hospitality company
Las Vegas - November 27 2007 - Diamond Resorts International® (DRI) has announced the recent appointment of vacation ownership veteran Simon Crawford-Welch, Ph.D., RRP, to the position of president and chief operating officer responsible for global operations.

Crawford-Welch has held several executive positions in international sales, marketing and operations in all aspects of the leisure industry and has over 20 years of experience in the vacation ownership industry. He holds a doctorate degree with an emphasis in hospitality marketing and strategic management and is the author of dozens of articles and a textbook on the subjects of marketing and strategic management.
In his new position, Crawford-Welch will guide DRI team members worldwide toward the vision of becoming a unified and customer-centric hospitality brand. "Simon is the perfect candidate to lead our company," says Stephen J. Cloobeck, Chairman and CEO of Diamond Resorts International®. "His experience, integrity, professionalism and honesty are invaluable to building Diamond Resorts International® as the global leader in the vacation ownership industry."

The American Resort Development Associations (ARDA)-where he served on the Board of Directors and the Association's Executive Committee-has recognized Crawford-Welch for his achievements in the industry. "Simon has a rich history in leadership roles at ARDA, and he has played a valuable role in timeshare becoming a viable and valuable consumer product," says Howard C. Nusbaum, ARDA's president and CEO. "His experience, expertise, and commitment to the ethical sales and marketing of timeshare make him an outstanding addition to the team at Diamond Resorts International®."

Crawford-Welch's vision for the company is equally ambitious. "I'm excited to join such an innovative organization," he says. "We're in the process of revolutionizing the company, building an organization based on transparency, responsibility, accountability and our customers' needs. By effectively delivering on our brand promise of simplicity, choice and comfort to our more than 360,000 members, Diamond Resorts International® will become the envy of our industry."

Diamond Resorts International®, based in Las Vegas, Nev., is one of the largest vacation ownership companies in the world with nearly 100 branded and affiliated resorts throughout the continental United States and Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe. Offering simplicity, choice and comfort to its more than 360,000 owners through the branded-service of more than 5,000 team members worldwide, Diamond Resorts International® is dedicated to providing its guests with effortless and relaxing vacation experiences. For more information, please visit www.DiamondResorts.com

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Name Change

I have had a lot of members asking me why the name change to "Diamond Resorts International European Collection Ltd" as it is a bit of a mouthful compared to "Club Sunterra Ltd"! I must admit I was confused too so you aren't alone!

I emailed Stephen Cloobeck and got a reply followed by a phone call explaining the rational and as it has all become clear to me now so I thought I would share the information with you.

It seems that in the Sunterra days the legal name of the portfolio of European resorts and the members club were the same "Club Sunterra". This is no longer going to be the case, in future the name of the company world wide is and will continue to be Diamond Resorts International, the Club Sunterra that was the members club is in future just going to be known as "The Club" and it will be one club for the whole world with points being interchangeable both here and in the US, Hawaii etc, there won't be a difference between us and the US members as there is at the moment, all members worldwide will have the same access to availability as every other member!

Because we have previously been LSI, GVC, Sunterra back to GVC and then Sunterra again, and because we have grown by the acquisition of Global Vacation Club and Thurnham Vacation Club the company has become extremely unwieldy and operated in a completely different way to the way the US club worked. What Stephen is doing is removing all the unnecessary baggage and streamlining things so that the whole of Diamond Resorts International will be one company with one points club.

The change from "Club Sunterra" to "Diamond resorts international European Collection Ltd" is just the legal "Trust" name of the company that holds all the European resorts, there is also the US Collection, the Californian Collection and the Hawaiian collection. None of these will be used for commercial purposes they are just the legal "Trust" names of the various regional portfolios of resorts.

We will continue to pay our management fees based on the European resorts and the US members will pay the fees for their resorts but there will be no difference between when it comes to what we can book. This is coming soon but not here yet, an awful lot of work is going on in the background including a global website for all members of "The Club" with global availability!

I hope this has helped remove some of the confusion, it is obviously different to the past but it sounds like it is going to be a lot better in the near future!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Monarch baggage pricing review

Following a recent review of our pricing policy, we are writing to inform you that we will shortly be implementing a charge for the carriage of hold baggage on board scheduled flights with Monarch. The charge will apply to all bookings made from 19th September 2007 for flights departing from 1st November 2007 onwards.

As an airline we incur baggage handling costs for hold baggage and it is now common practice amongst airlines to charge for hold baggage, in order to keep flight prices as low as possible.

We recognise that many of our passengers do take hold baggage when flying with us, so we have made the process of selecting and paying for bags as easy as possible and given you a choice of when you make payment.

Save up to £6 per bag by paying for hold bags online!
To save time and money, you can make payment online as part of your flight booking, or through the online 'change' or 'check-in' functions. The charge for online payment is £3.99 per bag, per one way flight. Each passenger can take up to 5 bags in the hold with a total weight of up to 20kg per passenger (up to 30kg for Silver & Gold members).

Alternatively you can opt to pay through our call centre at £8 per bag, per one way flight or when you reach the airport, paying £10 per bag, per one way flight.

Hand baggage goes for free!
You can avoid paying for bags altogether by carrying hand baggage only. For no charge, you can take up to 10kg in a single bag measuring up to 56cm x 45cm x 25cm. Visit the 'Baggage' page on flymonarch.com for more details.

Avoid the bag charges by booking today!

We have also taken the decision to remove priority baggage for Vantage Club members. Due to increasing airport operational complexities this service has become difficult to deliver, therefore we have taken the decision to remove it.

We look forward to welcoming you on board a Monarch flight soon.

Kind regards

The team at Monarch

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Message from Stephen Cloobeck Chairman of Diamond Resorts

Dear Member,

As you know, since Diamond Resorts International® purchased Sunterra I have been conducting a review into the member usage and relative costs of the European Resort Collection with two purposes in mind: to reduce, if possible, the operating costs; and to increase member choice.

It is therefore with great pleasure that I am now able to offer Broome Park Mansion House apartments, situated within the Grade I listed hall, for reservations. Broome Park has always been an immensely popular UK destination, especially for the golfers amongst the membership, and so having more availability here will be a great benefit. Further information about the apartments, their facilities and the points values will be made available to you in the very near future.

In addition, during the company-wide recent review, it became evident that one resort in particular was more expensive to operate than others, and furthermore was not as popular with members as our other locations. This resort is Carlton Court in London which, as you can imagine, is expensive to run because of its city location. Analysis of a number of years’ reservations established that the resort was not well utilized by members, possibly because of the myriad of hotel choices in such a large city and the related costs involved in such a stay. It was therefore proposed that this resort be taken out of the Club Sunterra Trust and European Resort Collection.

Please let me assure you that this decision has not been taken lightly and has involved a strict process to ensure that the proposal is fair. FNTC, the Trustees of Club Sunterra, was consulted and agreed that the proposal was in the members’ best interest. There followed a Club Sunterra Board meeting attended by all Board members, including your elected member representatives John Davey and Harry Taylor. After what I understand was a lengthy and considerable discussion there was unanimous agreement by the Board to sanction this proposal as well as to include the new rooms at Broome Park Mansion House.

In recent months I have written and spoken with many of you, explaining how I am committed to improving resorts and services for the members. The addition of the Broome Park Mansion House apartments to THE Club is just one example, while the withdrawal of Carlton Court will help facilitate some of the initiatives planned for the future of Diamond Resorts International®.

In terms of booking, the Broome Park Mansion House apartments will be available for your reservations later this year. All existing reservations for Carlton Court will be honored and those members will be contacted individually.

I hope you are happy with the new addition to the UK Resort Collection, and that you can understand why the decision has been made to withdraw Carlton Court. I am looking forward to new and exciting times with Diamond Resorts International® and am committed to keeping you informed of future changes.

Yours faithfully,

Stephen J. Cloobeck
Chairman & CEO
Diamond Resorts International


3865 West Cheyenne Avenue, North Las Vegas, Nevada 89032 • 702.804.8600 tel • 702.804.8601 fax • diamondresorts.com

Sunday, June 17, 2007

AGM & Your New Member Director

Home again having really enjoyed our 4 weeks in Tenerife, we are only home now for 8 days before we go to Venice prior to departing on the Members Cruise! It is 10 years since we last did a cruise when it was our 10th anniversary so when we saw it advertised by Sunterra we thought it looked good so we booked it to celebrate our 20th anniversary! We are away from the 22nd of June until the 2nd of July as we are spending the Friday night before the cruise and the Saturday and Sunday after the Cruise in Venice! Am I a romantic or what eh!

I spent the day in Blackpool and I enjoyed meeting a lot of you at the AGM. It was especially nice having so many members coming up and thanking me, it is much appreciated.

All in all it was a very simple AGM with nothing much raised from the floor and only 17 questions in writing compared to last years 70! Al Bentley confirmed that Stephen Cloobeck has asked him to stop on for another year which is good for the Club and the news was well received by the AGM attendees. It seems that at some date in the future the name will change to what Al expects to be Diamond Resorts International assuming the lawyers can agree all the brand issues. This will probably involve another EGM some time in the future as it did when we changed from GVC to Sunterra. There was a presentation by Sarah Hulme going through the various areas of Member Services followed by a presentation by Suzana Gomeric covering the resort refurbishments etc, this was finished by showing a DVD which looked great apart from being a bit too long.

The election for a new Member Director was won by Harry Taylor and I am sure Harry will do an excellent job for us and commiserations to the other candidates, unfortunately 4 of them didn't turn up so were ineligible to be candidates as you have to present yourself to the AGM. I think we deserve a bit more commitment than that don't we!

The votes were counted by Philip Broomhead and the individual candidates received the following votes.

Harry Taylor 2,736,100
Mark Harris 1,451, 200
Roger Jones 929,000
Roy Swainson 509,800
Colin Greenword 295,000
Vincent Howard 293,000
Martin Hening 125,000
Christopher Johnson 86,800
Roy McCaslin 41,500

Congratulations again to Harry and Happy Holidays everyone!

Advance passenger information: information for air travellers between the UK and Spain

This is very new and will affect many of us this year so it is important you are aware of it. At the moment it only affects you if you are going to Spain but it is to be brought in for the whole of Europe later this year!

Advance passenger information: information for air travellers between the UK and Spain

What is happening?

The Spanish Government have introduced new requirements meaning that air carriers have to provide certain personal information about all travellers on their aircraft to the Spanish authorities before the aircraft leaves the UK. This information is sometimes known as 'advance passenger information' ('API' or 'APIS' data)
When do the requirements come into force?

You can expect to be asked to provide this information any time. However, the full API regime will come into force from 19 June.
What information will be sent?

They will need the information contained on the photograph page of your passport - such as your full name, date and place of birth and passport number.
What will this information be used for?

The Spanish authorities will use the information for law enforcement purposes.
How will the data be collected?

The data will be collected either at the airport, when you check in, or in advance, usually when you make your booking. It will help to speed up the check in process if you provide your data before you arrive at the airport.
What if I have already made a booking?

Some carriers have made arrangements to collect your data in advance via a special web site. Please check with your carrier for full details. We strongly recommend you provide your API data on-line before you arrive at the airport, wherever possible. This will help to speed the check in process for you and other passengers.
Can I expect disruption at airports?

There may be some disruption at airports. If you are travelling to Spain, from the 19 June, you are advised to allow extra time to check in for your flight.

I am not a UK passport holder. Does this apply to me?

Yes. This will apply to all passengers leaving the UK and travelling to Spain, regardless of nationality.
I recently travelled from continental Europe to Spain and was not asked for this information. Why was that?

The requirement to provide API data does not apply to flights departing from countries within the Schengen free travel area. The countries within the Schengen free travel area are: Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Austria, Greece, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden.
What if I don't want to provide this information? Will I be allowed to travel?

Your air carrier is legally required to provide this information to the Spanish authorities. If you refuse to give this information the airline may refuse to allow you to travel.

More information can be found here http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/aviation/international/advancepassinfo?page=1#1000

Monday, February 19, 2007

Website and Sunterra News

A couple of members have reported problems accessing certain pages on the
website, I have finally got to the bottom of this and it seems this is
happening when you log in to the wrong page. It is really important that
the page you bookmark for the website is

http://www.sunterra-members.co.uk/members

as long as you include /members you will have no problems accessing any of the site. You can always tell if is the right homepage as the correct page has a blue background whilst the wrong home page background is white.



A bit of news about the sale of Sunterra, it seems there are now just 3
companies currently carrying out their due diligence prior to making an
offer for Sunterra Europe. All three companies are private companies
rather than a public one like Sunterra which I think will make life a lot
easier for all of us as they can get on with things without having to
worry about the SEC or reporting everything to shareholders.

All three companies have resources that they want to invest in the resorts
and I am told that they intend to run Sunterra as a separate company rather
than merge it with anything the currently own, at least in the short to
medium term. This should mean that we won't see too many changes when the
deal is done. This deal is expected to be completed in the next eight
weeks! As I get more information I will obviously let you know.