Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Chairman Of “Timeshare Consumers Association” Behind Libellous Websites

November 11, 2008 by Timeshare News

The Organisation for Timeshare in Europe (OTE) welcomes the recent verdict in a libel case against Alexander (Sandy) Grey, Chairman of the self-styled “Timeshare Consumers Association, which has been consistently critical of the reputable timeshare industry.”

The High Court found that it was Sandy Grey himself who was behind the so-called “Crimeshare – Timeshare Frauds and Scams” and related Websites. The Website not only included personal attacks against employees and directors of timeshare companies and OTE, but also produced so-called “black lists” falsely incriminating reputable timeshare companies.

Even though Grey denied his involvement; the Judge – Mr Justice Eady, found that Mr Grey had published the Crimeshare website on all five of the domain names which formed the basis of the High Court claim. Grey was ordered to pay the substantial costs involved in proving his responsibility for publication. Over a number of years Grey had denied that he was behind these sites and had even signed court documents to verify his false denials. Despite this, he continued to portray himself as an independent advisor on timeshare issues to consumers, the media and government. It is believed that up to 1.5 million individuals may have relied on his “advice” over the years.

More than 200 companies were “blacklisted” by Grey including publicly traded companies such as RCI - the timeshare vacation exchange company, the Organisation for Timeshare in Europe (OTE), to which most European developers belong and ARDA - the American Resort Developers Association.

Peter van der Mark, Secretary General of OTE said of the judgement:

“OTE is very concerned about the legitimacy of a number of private organisations set up around Europe to purportedly provide “consumer advice”. These companies have absolutely no link to the industry or to any government authority. We would advise consumers to exercise caution in dealing with any organisation that refers to the so-called Crimeshare blacklist, Mr Grey or the TCA.”

OTE provides guidance and advice on timeshare through its website www.ote-info.com and offers a free of charge arbitration service for timeshare owners who own at OTE member resorts. Consumers may also contact TATOC – The Timeshare Association - on 0845 2302430 for further advice.

Over the past few years OTE has worked successfully with a number of different European consumer organisations, including European Consumer Centres, ConSeur in Brussels and with TATOC, to name just a few. OTE has valued and continues to value constructive comment and criticism of the timeshare industry by consumer organisations as it contributes to the maintenance of a high level of best practice for the timeshare industry. This has for example resulted in all European Consumer Centres having input into OTE’s 2005 Code of Conduct through a meeting organised by the European Commission and OTE.

OTE tried to establish cooperation with the TCA in 1999 but its Chairman Mr. Grey personally refused any cooperation. It now appears, from the judgement of the High Court on 28 October 2008, that for the past five years Mr Grey has been responsible for publishing serious and false allegations about many of the leading brands in the timeshare industry in Europe.

Club La Costa is also involved in High Court proceedings against a company over unfounded and serious allegations. It is believed that the defendant company had worked closely with Sandy Grey. High Court proceedings continue.

More about OTE:
OTE is the pan-European trade association representing the timeshare industry throughout Europe. It promotes best practice in the industry for the benefit of both consumers and the industry. All members are bound by a code of ethics that ensures the protection of consumers’ rights. OTE provides information and advice to consumers and offers a free conciliation service to consumers dealing with its members.

OTE represents the majority of timeshare companies in Europe which are responsible for some 65-70% of all timeshare sales. These include major hospitality groups such as De Vere, Hilton, Sol Melia, and large independent timeshare developers, namely the Petchey Leisure Group, Club La Costa, Hapimag and Seasons Holidays.
Filed Under: 01. Full List Of Timeshare News, Europe, Organization for Timeshare in Europe

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Tony’s guide to eating and drinking on the Golf del Sur

Tony's guide to eating and drinking on the Golf del Sur

(LAST UPDATED SATURDAY 4th of June 2016)

Click Here for a printable version of the guide.

http://www.dri-members.co.uk/tonysguide.doc

Knowing that we love it out here on the Golf del Sur people are often asking me for recommendations for restaurants and bars so I thought I would try and put something together hopefully it will be useful to someone.

At the top of the Golf del Sur as you meet the one way system. The first turning is into the Golf del Sur Golf Club where you can get drinks and a bite to eat etc but it is a bit expensive being a golf club. Turning left at the main road you can walk down to San Blas (I will cover San Blas later) but for ease of navigation I will follow the one way system.

As you follow the one way system you come to a big round glass building which is our new Medical Centre and Pharmacy. Within the same building is "Excellent Medical" where they have general doctors and various specialists covering most areas of medicine there is also a dentist and optician as well as beauty treatments etc.

Also within the medical centre building next to the pharmacy there is a very nice little cafe, a nice little place to stop for coffee or a bite of breakfast or afternoon tea.

If you turn left at the Medical centre and go around the right hand bend you will see on your left the reception for Las Adelfas II, If you go down the side of reception towards the pool you will find "The Waterfall". This is an excellent restaurant and bar run by a lovely family. The bar is open from 10am to 11pm everyday, breakfasts, lunches and snacks are available and a full restaurant menu available in the evenings. The food is excellent and definitely recommended we eat here quite often as it is also our local. The staff are great and always make you feel welcome. Sunday afternoons there is entertainment from 4pm to around 7pm we always have a good time and the atmosphere is brilliant. Wednesday evenings there is a quiz at 8pm we nearly always eat in the restaurant and enjoy the quiz. Thursday evenings they offer 2 courses for €13  including entertainment also very popular.

If you go back to the main road and continue walking around the one way system there is an entrance on your left to the Palms where there is a nice bar with a restaurant. The Palms have cabaret on some nights of the week. Tell Babs the owner that Tony sent you! (922738809)

Following the one way system down will lead you to Grandee O'Donnell's on the left, a good Irish bar with a lot of sports on television, they seem to have up to 4 different sports on the numerous televisions all at the same time but only sound from one sport thank goodness. They also have cabaret on in the evenings. Grandee's have now started serving food, I think Thursdays is Steak night and Mondays is Curry night. The food is good and very reasonable too!

Across the road from Grandee O'Donnell's is small supermarket that is open from 7:30am until about 11pm. Behind the supermarket there are another couple of bars, Sundowners, Legends and the Caddy Shack.

As you go down the one way system on your left is the road to Sunningdale one of the Club de Costa resorts, if you go in and have a look around you will see their restaurant "Zachary's", a nice restaurant with entertainment most nights of the week. Next to this road is a big plot of land with a big sign that is currently advertising Zachary's restaurant.

Anyway just after this plot is another road on the left that leads down to an excellent bar/restaurant called "The Mill" the menu is good and very competitively priced. We have eaten here a few times and found the food to be excellent and big meals very good value! The Food is typical pub food but good portions.

A little further around the one way system and on your right you will find the Winter Gardens, you can walk through the Winter Gardens to get to the Marina area near Santa Barbara. The restaurant at the Winter Gardens "Rendezvous" is run by the same people who run the bowls (922 738602) excellent menu and good prices in what is now a very nice and classy restaurant highly recommended! Nice friendly service and you may well remember Amanda and Stuart who both used to work at Tasca Macos at Sunset View. Below the restaurant overlooking the bowling rinks is the Bowls bar and Bistro where they do good food all day long (excellent breakfasts) and in the evenings they have a nice varied menu and the food is very good indeed they are also having entertainment on some evenings downstairs in the Bistro.

The bowling itself is great fun and can be booked by calling in to the bowls reception next to the bar or by telephoning 0034 922 738683 or by emailing julielincoln@tenerifegreenbowls.com

If you have bowled before it is 11€ each for 2 hours plus 1.50€ to hire a set of bowls and 1.50€ for shoe hire. If you haven't bowled before I recommend booking for the Wednesday 11am special price session which includes Coaching a game and the hire or bowls & shoes followed by lunch for just 20€ each!

Continue to the end of the road and the road to the right leads down to Santa Barbara! (If you turn left and left again The Mill is at the top of that road too). When staying or just visiting at Santa Barbara you have the choice of the Pool Bar or the restaurant upstairs but the nicest place to relax and have a drink is the Ocean Breeze bar just after you walk through reception. The bar has been very tastefully done and overlooks the resort and the ocean. For those wanting a drink later on with some entertainment the old Disco has been refurbished and is now called the W Pub. The pool bar is good for snacks & happy hour of course! The restaurant upstairs is a "Melrose"restaurant. Not eaten there yet but had a couple of good reviews.

If you walk out of reception at Santa Barbara and turn left you will find after a short walk, La Marina (922738049), Bistro 27 and a bit further on the Golden Bay Chinese (922738447), you can also walk up to Rendezvous through the Winter Gardens from here too.

It is also possible to walk down to the Marina area down a windy path red paved path by the side of the Aguamarina apartments that leads down to the restaurants along the sea front


(If you were staying at Santa Barbara it would be easier to go down to the Pool area and go through the gate and turn right as this also leads down to the Marina area. Just outside the gate there is a new Beach bar where they do drinks and a few snacks.)

When you are at the bottom of the slope if you turn left along the path towards Santa Barbara at the end of all the restaurants and shops there is a new bar / cafe called Lava Bar. (You can also find it by leaving Santa Barbara by the pool exit and turning right along the path the Lava Bar is the first place you come to) They make excellent home made cakes, cornish pasties and pies. During the day it is a cafe but in the evenings it changes to a nice Italian restaurant.

As you walk down you will find several restaurants, including a Mexican Mis Cuates (922736501) an Indian Nawaab, Trasmallo Steakhouse (922708247) La Marina II (922708198) most of them we haven't eaten at recently but they have seemed busier lately so maybe they are much improved. Two that do stand out are Sakura (922738393) and Harbour Lights (922736677). Sakura is a restaurant where they serve a range of dishes from Thai to Chinese to Japanese. If you want a really lovely meal go into Sakura and tell Jimmy that Tony sent you and you want Tepanyaki! At the back of the restaurant they have a Tepanyaki area which seats only about 16 people, this is without doubt our favourite restaurant on the Golf. At the Tepanyaki we order depending on how many of us there are, typically Fillet steak, Chicken, Duck, Sea Bass & King Prawns, a couple of portions of Fried Rice, one Noodles and one Vegetables mmm lovely my mouth is watering now just thinking about it!

The food is cooked in front of you on the Tepanyaki plates and the smells and flavours are to die for and watching the chef cook is an experience in itself and not to be missed!

Harbour Lights is further around towards the Harbour, they do a typically English menu but cooked very well with home made food and everything is always fresh and very tasty tell John the owner that Tony recommended you.

Going back up to the one way system from Santa Barbara there are a few restaurants within easy walking distance including a small Italian "Golf Park" (922738136) on the corner. A few yards down trom the Italian past the charity shop is 
"Tapas 'n' Chill", and this is really good, it is only a small restaurant with around 12 tables, the menu makes your mouth water and the food lives up to expectations every time. We usually go in parties of 4 or 6 and order two Tapas each which we all share. That will be plenty of food and I am sure you will enjoy it.

At the end of the block between the first block and the second is a little windy path that leads up to Mamma Roma's (922738098) an excellent Italian restaurant, we have eaten here a lots of times and really enjoyed the food and the surroundings.

On the next block there is "Dabda's" a very nice Tapas and Wine bar, we had lunch there with four friends and the food was very nice indeed, they have expanded into the shop next door and whilst it isn't cheap the reports I have had is that the food is very good so well worth a visit. There are 2 more restaurants the Polynesian Isles and the Aberdeen Steak House. Recent reports are pretty good and certainly very cheap 3 courses for 7.95€!

If you are walking then before that if you turn right down towards El Nautico a nice looking apartment block with an outside bar and a restaurant now named "Azzurro", The restaurant itself and the setting are outstanding and from what I hear the food is very good the chef/owner has come from a restaurant in Los Abrigos.


Continue walking passing a nice Ice cream shop and up the slope you will come to San Blas, this is also an easy walk from RTCC. On your left opposite San Blas is my favourite resort Sunset View.

The restaurant at Sunset View is Island Spirits where they offer very good food during the day and in the evenings, I can recommend this place we have eaten there and found it excellent with lovely service from Ian and Nicola the owners. They have a special steak night on Monday's where they do two Fillet steaks and a bottle of wine for €30. On Thursdays they have a special menu with excellent entertainment and a really nice friendly atmosphere.

Opposite Sunset View before you get on to the top square there is a little restaurant / takeaway called Bibo where they serve Caribbean food which is excellent I had Curried Mutton the other day and it was so tasty cooked for hours served with rice and a lovely sauce delicious and cheap too!

The top square hosts a number of restaurants and entertainment 7 nights a week. You have the Great Wall a very good Chinese restaurant, Inside the top square there is entertainment every night, we have Jo Cassidy who is our compère nearly every night as well as a good caberet act at around 9.30pm.

Next to the Great Wall is a new restaurant yet to be named, it should be opening in July 2016, it has been bought by a Spanish couple, no idea what sort of food they will be serving but will find out and post it when I know.

Next to the new restaurant is Magnums Wine Bar, nice place for a drink before or after your meal at one of the many restaurants. Next to that is "The Emerald Lounge" an Irish bar that opened has been open for a couple of years, one of our favourite places to stop for a drink. Next door is "Black Magic" another bar we go to occasionally. Opposite the Great wall is the Tavern a popular place for a pre-dinner or post-dinner drink. Next to the Tavern is another bar that is currently being refurbished I will post what it is when it opens. Next door is Arcadia an excellent restaurant and one of our favourite places to eat at any time of day. The food is excellent and the staff lovely. Next door to Arcadia is J'R's Sports bar, this has recently been split to a restaurant "Country Kitchen" and a sports bar next door great for football lovers.

As you walk down towards the middle square you will pass the Kohinoor (922738828) and next to that is the Taj (922738801), we have now eaten at both of these Indian restaurants and they are both good if you like Indian food.

On the middle and biggest of the squares there are 3 restaurants La Opera, "55" and a new Slovakian restaurant "La Martima" we have eaten there a few times and the food is lovely. Next to La Martima is La Cava an Italian restaurant.



On the right you will find Nutters, a nice little restaurant and great for Breakfast as is La Taberna which is just off the main road at the front near Hiperdino Express.

Next to La Taberna is "Electra" I have received glowing reports about the food here but not tried it myself yet, no doubt we will get round to it one of these days.

At the bottom of the middle square there is a restaurant that offers typical Canarian food, not tried it yet but seems quite popular.

To the right of The Bar is the new "Haweli" Indian restaurant it has been refurbished with a new kitchen. We have eaten here several times with friends and it is excellent, when we can't be bothered cooking or going out we get a takeaway from Haweli (922 738209) or The Taj.

On the bottom square we have "Hatties" overlooking the ocean they are a daytime only coffee shop where they make their own lovely cakes and pastries. They are open from 9am until 5pm and closed on Tuesdays. Great place to go for coffee or afternoon tea.

Near the church you have "Bar 180" obviously a darts theme with reasonably priced drinks quite a few locals drink here.

On the back road the first place you come to is Taboo's a night club for the young ones amongst us. They are running Taboo's as an Italian restaurant during the evening until midnight when it becomes a nightclub again. They have done a brilliant job on the restaurant side and most of the locals are calling it La Strada at Taboo's as Marcello the chef who worked at La Strada is now running the restaurant and the food is lovely and very well priced. They have a takeaway Pizza place attached that I understand is good if you like Pizza!

Next to the Taboo's is Gullivers Steak House, excellent food but can be a bit slow but hey you are on holiday right! Always worth checking out the specials mmm. Definitely need to book for this (922738303).

Next to Gullivers is the Wok Direct Chinese (922738381)Currently Closed

El Inti the Peruvian restaurant is closed.

Simpsons (922738456) is what used to La Strada is currently closed.

Pate de Oro (922738482) is open and serving fantastic Tapas or main courses so we can heartily recommend eating there.

If you now go back to continue up the one way system there is a road on the left to Fairways Village where they have two restaurants, the first you come to is Buon Italia a fairly new Italian restaurant that gets good reports. Just behind down some steps is the Oasis Bistro (922738985). Good food and friendly service, we have eaten there a few times and it has always been very good.

Walking back to the one way system and turning left up the slope there is a road to the right which takes you to Royal Tenerife Country Club, they have a pool bar which is ok if you are staying there. On the outside of the complex next to receptions is "Café Med" specials every night excellent food and service. I asked Lesley the owner to send me details of their hours etc and they are: -
We are open Tuesday to Sunday and closed Mondays.
We open from 10am until 11pm.
We serve a full breakfast and lunch menu from 10am until 5pm & then switch to our evening menu which is served until 10pm.
We also offer a takeaway service.
We offer specials most nights including fresh fish, homemade pies, pork chop & chicken & chorizo.
We try to accommodate any requests from our customers and as we shop and make everything daily, we are happy to fulfil any request we can.
Our menu already has items suitable for those who are gluten free but with advance notice we can fully cater for this.

We offer free wifi to customers and we show all sports live.
Telephone: 922 738 063
Email: cafemed13@gmail.com

That is just about it for now all of this without leaving the Golf del Sur that can't be bad can it! Nearby you have Los Abrigos for lovely fish restaurants and numerous other places to visit, restaurants to eat at and bars to drink at but that is another story.

If you travel off the golf up to Las Chafiras near the roundabout at the opposite end of the block to McDonalds is an oriental restaurant "Shan" they do fantastic Duck served various ways and all are delicious, definitely one of our favourite restaurants.

I hope this is useful for anyone coming out to the Golf del Sur. If you try any of the restaurants tell them that you got the recommendation from Tony's Guide.

Happy holidays

Tony Pearce
tony@dri-members.co.uk

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Circle broken by CIB petitions

Circle broken by CIB petitions

MANCHESTER, UK: Two Cheshire based companies that offered to help owners dispose of valueless timeshare products and also marketed a potentially worthless cash back scheme have been wound up in the High Court following an investigation by the Companies Investigation Branch (CIB) of the Insolvency Service.

CIB’s investigation found that Full Circle Management Ltd (which traded under the style of FC Management) targeted existing timeshare owners, who were invited to attend a presentation at which they were persuaded to pay the company a fee, in return for which they were promised they would be “rid of the [timeshare] problem once and for all”. Clients were also invited to participate in a cash back scheme through which they were offered the opportunity to earn back what they had lost on their timeshare investment. The cost of the combined options varied between £1,800 and £8,000 and the company signed up nearly 450 clients between September 2006 and March 2008, generating a turnover of more than £2m. However, the enquiry found that almost £1m of that sum had been diverted to a Gibraltan company under common ownership and could not be accounted for.

Furthermore, CIB’s investigation also established that the timeshare disposal contract was not legally binding on the timeshare management company who, in the event of default by Full Circle, would continue to look to the client for outstanding management fees; a fact that was not made known to the client by Full Circle. As at February 2008 the company had potential future annual management fees of more than £150,000 but less than £12,000 in its bank account.

Regarding the cash back scheme, the investigation established that Full Circle had received more than £280,000 as agents for the cash back providers (in addition to £95,000 in sales commission) but that, as at March 2008, had handed over only £107,000 of that sum. As a result, 51% of clients are prevented from pursuing their claim to cash back, having not received the required paperwork, whilst the potential of the scheme for the remaining clients cannot be assessed.

Recent information reveals that the company ceased to trade in July 2008, having been abandoned by its management team, who are ex-patriots living in Spain and who failed to co-operate fully with the investigation.

Full Circle’s sister company, FC Management Ltd, although dormant, was also wound up by the Court on the grounds that its name was identical to the trading style of Full Circle and could lead to confusion in the minds of the general public.

In winding the companies up the District Judge commented that Full Circle’s business model appears to be one that significantly disadvantages the public.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Siam Park Opens from Canarian Weekly newspaper

SPLASHING TIME - 19.09.2008
AT LAST, we have splashdown! After months of speculation, Siam Park’s magnificent, multi-million-euro, aquatic attraction is open to the public following a mammoth inaugural ceremony on Monday evening.

It was a memorable occasion, made even more memorable with the news that the park would be opening two days later to the public.
More than 2,000 guests attended the private event, including Thailand’s HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, who cut the ribbon to open the proceedings, and Bishop Bernardo Alvarez, who gave his blessing to the park. Loro Parque President Wolfgang Kiessling, and Christoph Kiessling, Director of Siam Park were also among the dignitaries, as were Paulino Rivero, President of the Canaries, and Ricardo Melchior, the Cabildo President.

Hundreds of press were drawn to the occasion from all over the world, and they were not disappointed as a spectacular firework display welcomed everyone to this incredible world of water.

The guests enjoyed traditional dishes from Thailand and Spain, and were treated to an exhibition of surfing and Thai dancing among other attractions, plus a demonstration of the mind-blowing three-metre, artificial wave which is the highest in the world.

Siam
Park officials were relieved after such a long delay – the park should have opened last spring but it suffered minor technical problems – Siam Park is expecting around 600,000 visitors a year.

The big question on everyone’s lips for months – “how much will it cost to get in?” - has been answered as well. And surprisingly, considering the phenomenal array of attractions available, the prices are reasonable. Adults will pay 28 euros (25 for those with residencia), and children 18 euros (17 with residencia). You can also pre-book your tickets on the internet.

This magical, mystery park, situated between junctions 28 and 29 on the TF1 and well-signposted, is based on the ancient
kingdom of Thailand and is already seen as one of the biggest and best-themed water park in Europe.

Among the exciting features is a dare-devil, hair-raising water ride – the
Tower of Power – which has a breath-taking 28-metre drop and a memorable finale. The Volcano is just as scary, enveloping riders in darkness as the speed builds up and a spectacular laser show is revealed.
And if you want to prove your mettle, challenge your pals to a contest on the Nagar Racer, a head-first, six-lane race from top to bottom. You can also slither through the inside of the Jungle Snake, then catch your breath while experiencing a swirling ride on a five-seater raft, plunging headlong down the Mekong Rapids.

You won’t to miss the Dragon, with its mammoth jaws open wide as it hurtles closer and closer, higher and higher in a gravity-defying experience.

There are 14 major water attractions, plus five bars and restaurants in which to relax and catch a second wind. But it all sounds too much for mum and dad, there is plenty of tranquillity in the park to enjoy. The
Sawasdee River, for examples, meanders through the park, and you can sit and soak up the atmosphere as you drift along, taking in the waterfalls, exotic islands and the spectacular aquarium.

For youngsters who may find the going a little hard, there is the Lost City, where they can splash about to their heart’s content in their very own fun-packed world, designed with safety in mind.
The carp, provided by Loro Parque and now basking in the Floating Market, will appeal to all visitors to this aquatic kingdom, as will the sea lions, also from Loro Parque, frolicking on Sea Lion Island.

All in all,
Siam Park is a must – the perfect family day out.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Interval International Affiliates Slovakias First Timeshare Resort

greenhill[1]

 

Greenhill Skiing & Wellness Club

Greenhill Skiing & Wellness Club Joins The Quality Exchange Network

Interval International, a leading provider of vacation services, has announced the affiliation of Greenhill Skiing & Wellness Club, the first timeshare resort in Slovakia.

“While this is the first resort in Slovakia, this is the fifth affiliation in Eastern Europe in the past 12 months and is a further example of our continued success in the region,” says Darren Ettridge, Interval International’s vice president resort sales and service (Europe). “Timeshare is proving to be a popular concept in central and Eastern Europe and this is evidenced by the growth in the number of resorts.”

Located in the popular Slovakian vacation destination of Donovaly, the stylish new timeshare resort with spa facilities is scheduled to open in December 2009. The resort is being developed by Greenhill Investment, a Slovakian development company and will have 40 timeshare apartments on completion.

Donovaly is a part of Low Tatras National Park, and is one of the biggest ski resorts in Slovakia. It is also renowned for its annual dogsled racing championships.

“We are delighted to have affiliated the very first timeshare resort in Slovakia“, says Joachim Mezger, Interval’s director of sales for Europe. “This is an excellent new property with good wellness facilities and it will be attractive to our members in central and Eastern Europe.”

Interval International operates membership programmes for vacation owners and provides value-added services to its developer clients worldwide. Based in Miami, Florida, the company has been a pioneer and innovator in serving the vacation ownership market for more than 30 years. Today, Interval has a network of over 2,400 resorts in excess of 75 countries and offers its resort clients and nearly 2 million member families high-quality products and programs through 28 offices in 17 countries. Interval is an operating segment of Interval Leisure Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: IILG), a leading global provider of membership and leisure services to consumers and business-to-business customers in the vacation industry.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

INVESTIGATE: STAY AWAY FROM ETOO? TOO RIGHT - mirror.co.uk

INVESTIGATE: STAY AWAY FROM ETOO? TOO RIGHT - mirror.co.uk
Penman & Sommerlad 28/08/2008

Timeshare firm grilled over rip-off fees and hidden costs

Timeshare outfit ETOO wants to be your "first choice" for selling unwanted weeks. Here's why we think you should make it your last.

In the past six years, ETOO - aka the European Timeshare Owners Organisation - has taken up to £17.5million in fees from people desperate to off-load timeshares they either don't want or can't afford.

Yet the firm's own figures show they have sold just one in five.

And even that deeply unimpressive figure depends on your definition of the word "sold".

Demetri and Pat Demetriou found out exactly what "selling" their timeshare through ETOO entails.

They paid the firm £1,910 after it promised to sell their two timeshares. They were told to travel to Portugal, at their own expense, to meet a buyer. Smelling a rat, they invited us along.

There we confronted ETOO salesman Mark Walker in a cafe. He seemed more interested in his fry-up than the Demetrious' problem, but he offered to take the timeshares off their hands in part-exchange - if they stumped up yet more money to join his Club Class Concierge.

Other victims have told us how they have been pressured into paying a membership fee of, typically, £850. For what exactly? ETOO says it is to pay for their £75,000-a-month TV, newspaper and online advertising budget - for ads like the one banned by the Advertising Standards Authority this week.

In it, a voice says: "Looking to sell your timeshare or points? You need to speak to ETOO... ETOO should be your first choice to purchase, sell or exchange your timeshare." The ASA got more than 50 complaints about the advert from people feeling they'd been ripped off. They said it failed to mention they had to pay an upfront fee, sign a year-long contract and might have to pay travel costs to attend a presentation overseas.

But ETOO hit back, saying the level of complaints was "minimal" and blaming "over-zealous telemarketing executives" - the same excuse they gave us.

They provided figures showing that, during a recent six-month period, 11.5 per cent of members got a sale. But older figures show that out of 20,554 members since 2002, just 4,106 timeshares were sold - a "success" rate of 20 per cent.

The ASA said: "Even allowing for the time lag between registration and sale, and for a generous margin of error, the information provided showed the vast majority of clients were unlikely to be able to sell their timeshare or points, as claimed."

The ASA upheld all complaints and ordered that the ad must not be broadcast again.

That is welcome news for David Tubb, from Stamford, Lincs. He is still chasing the £850 he paid to ETOO earlier this year.

Told that a buyer had offered £8,186 for his timeshare, he agreed to fly to Malaga to complete the deal. He ended up in an eight-hour Club Class sales pitch, where he was asked to hand over another £9,000 and they'd take the timeshare off his hands.

David was also promised £10,000 cashback in three years' time from Cashback Europe PLC.

Etoo, Club Class and Cashback Europe all use the same Gibraltar mailing address. Which is also the address of the "independent" trade body International Timeshare Resale Association.

Says it all, really.

He offered to take the timeshares off their hands.. if they paid to join a holiday club



Friday, August 15, 2008

Diamond Resorts International® Acquires LCI Travel

Diamond Resorts International ® (DRI) a global leader in the vacation ownership industry, has successfully acquired LCI Travel, the largest independent distributor of vacation ownership for Diamond Resorts in Europe.

Diamond Resorts International ® (DRI), a global leader in the vacation ownership industry, has successfully acquired LCI Travel, the largest independent distributor of vacation ownership for Diamond Resorts International ® in Europe.

LCI is a sales and marketing company with Preview and Call Centers strategically located in Wakefield, Nottingham, and Rotherham, England.

Glyn Margrave, owner of LCI, has been appointed to the position of Sales Director, United Kingdom for DRI. “We have worked with Glyn for many years, and we welcome him and the 120 LCI team members into the Diamond Resorts International® family,” said Neil Cunliffe, DRI European Sales Director.

Simon Crawford-Welch, Ph.D, RRP, DRI’s President and Chief Operating Officer, said that the acquisition of LCI increases sales and marketing distribution for DRI Europe. “Diamond Resorts International® is committed to continued expansion and bottom-line growth, and acquiring LCI creates significant synergies for us and provides us with the opportunity to expand our growing European portfolio of travel services and benefits,” Crawford-Welch said.

Diamond Resorts International®, with global headquarters in Las Vegas, Nev., is one of the largest vacation ownership companies in the world with more than 110 branded and affiliated resorts and nearly 23,000 guest beds in 14 countries with destinations 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 and members through the branded service of more than 5,500 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, visit www.DiamondResorts.com.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Bogus Holiday Club in Wales wound up!

Three North Wales based companies that provided timeshare-type products, have been wound up in the High Court following an investigation by the Companies Investigation Branch (CIB) of the Insolvency Service.

CIB’s investigation found that Key Select Holdings Ltd, Key Select Services Ltd and Key Select Promotions Ltd had traded as Key Select Club which operated a scheme whereby customers, for a fee of between £3,000 and £9,000, would receive each year a certain number of points which could be redeemed for holidays. The investigation found that the scheme received £107,250 in joining fees from members but after just 12 months of trading the officers abandoned the companies without providing the accommodation and holidays that the members had contracted for. The members of the Key Select Club were also misled into believing that the Key Select Club was associated with a third party holiday provider, that the Key Select Club would operate until 2062, that 10% of the subscription fees would be deposited into an escrow account which did not exist and that upon ceasing to trade in March 2007 that their membership would be transferred to another provider although no such agreement had been made.

CIB’s investigation was unable to establish how many members the Key Select Club had although only 10 members successfully booked holidays and a further 5 members attempted to book holidays but were unsuccessful.

In addition, due to the abandonment of the companies and the absence of books and records the investigation was unable to account for the joining fees. The companies also failed to comply with various requirements of the Companies Act 1985 and appeared to be insolvent.

The registered office of Key Select Promotions Ltd, Key Select Services Ltd and Key Select Holdings Ltd which were incorporated on 22 and 23 September and 4 October 2005 respectively, is at County Arcade, 24 Meliden Road, Prestatyn, Denbighshire, LL19 9RT.

The petitions against Key Select Promotions Ltd, Key Select Services Ltd and Key Select Holdings Ltd were presented on 5th June 2008 under s124A of the Insolvency Act 1986. The companies were compulsorily wound up by the court on 29th July 2008.

The Insolvency Service carries out confidential enquiries on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform through Companies Investigation Branch.

The Insolvency Service administers the insolvency regime investigating all compulsory liquidations and individual insolvencies (bankruptcies) through the Official Receiver to establish why they became insolvent. The Service also authorises and regulates the insolvency profession; deals with disqualification of directors in corporate failures; assesses and pays statutory entitlement to redundancy payments when an employer cannot or will not pay employees; provides banking and investment services for bankruptcy and liquidation estate funds; and advises ministers and other government departments on insolvency law and practice.

All public enquiries concerning the affairs of the companies should be made to: The Official Receiver, Public Interest Unit, PO Box 326, 17 - 21 Chorlton Street, Manchester, M60 3ZZ. Tele: 0161 934 4182
Email: piu.north@insolvency.gsi.gov.uk

Further information about the work of The Insolvency Service is available from http://www.insolvency.gov.uk

Source: The Insolvency Service

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bluegreen Corp to be sold to Diamond Resorts International?

BOCA RATON, FL: Bluegreen Corporation (NYSE: BXG) (Bluegreen(R) or the
Company), a leading provider of Colorful Places to Live and Play(R),
announced that today, July 21, 2008, it has signed a non-binding letter of
intent relating to the acquisition of the Company at a price of $15.00 per
share by Diamond Resorts International (Diamond Resorts), which would
value this transaction at approximately $500 million, exclusive of
Bluegreen’s outstanding debt. The acquisition is subject to the completion
of due diligence and the execution of definitive agreements.

Under the terms of the letter of intent, Bluegreen has granted Diamond
Resorts an exclusive right of negotiation through September 15, 2008,
during which time Diamond Resorts will conduct more extensive due
diligence.

Diamond Resorts, based in Las Vegas, Nev., is one of the largest vacation
ownership companies in the world with 110 branded and affiliated resorts
in 14 countries with destinations throughout the continental United States
and Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe, more than 360,000
owners and members and more than 5,500 associates worldwide. In April
2007, Diamond Resorts acquired Sunterra Corporation for approximately $750
million.

It is envisioned that the definitive agreement whereby Diamond Resorts
would acquire Bluegreen would include a customary “go shop” provision
permitting Bluegreen to actively seek transactions that would provide
greater value to its shareholders.

Alan B. Levan, Chairman of Bluegreen’s Board of Directors commented,
“Bluegreen had previously announced that we were positioning the Company
with a view towards pursuing strategic alternatives at some point in the
next three to five years. When Diamond presented our Board with this
unsolicited, attractive offer, we believed that it was in the best
interest of our shareholders to pursue this transaction at this time.”

Mr. Levan is also the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Woodbridge
Holdings Corporation (”Woodbridge”), which owns 9.5 million shares of
Bluegreen’s outstanding common stock, and has indicated that Woodbridge
would be supportive of a transaction with Diamond at the terms stated in
their letter of intent.

Any proposed transaction is subject to numerous terms and conditions,
including, but not limited to, satisfactory completion of due diligence by
Diamond Resorts, the signing of a definitive agreement, and approvals by
Bluegreen’s Board of Directors and the Company’s shareholders. There can
be no assurances that negotiations will lead to the signing of a
definitive agreement, that financing for the transaction will be
available, that any proposed transaction will be accepted or approved by
the Company’s Board of Directors and shareholders, or that the sale will
be completed based on the signing of the non-binding letter of intent or
the execution of a definitive agreement, or that Bluegreen will identify
any alternative transaction that would provide greater value to its
shareholders.

Additional information regarding the terms and conditions of the
non-binding letter of intent will be filed today by Bluegreen on Form 8-K,
and will be available at www.sec.gov.

For additional information about Diamond Resorts International(R), please
visit www.diamondresorts.com

About Bluegreen Corporation

Bluegreen Corporation (NYSE:BXG) is a leading provider of Colorful Places
to Live and Play(R) through two principal operating divisions. With more
than 186,500 owners, Bluegreen Resorts markets a flexible, real
estate-based vacation ownership plan that provides access to over 40
resorts and an exchange network of over 3,700 resorts and other vacation
experiences such as cruises and hotel stays. Bluegreen Communities has
sold over 56,300 planned residential and golf community homesites in 32
states since 1985. Founded in 1966, Bluegreen is headquartered in Boca
Raton, Fla., and currently employs over 6,000 associates. More information
about Bluegreen is available at www.bluegreencorp.com.

CONTACT: Bluegreen Corporation
Tony Puleo, 561-912-8270
Chief Financial Officer
tony.puleo@bluegreencorp.com
or
INVESTOR RELATIONS:
The Equity Group Inc.
Devin Sullivan, 212-836-9608
Senior Vice President
dsullivan@equityny.com

SOURCE: Bluegreen Corporation

Thursday, June 26, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DIAMOND RESORTS INTERNATIONAL(r) HIRES BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AND
OPERATIONS EXPERT AS VICE PRESIDENT, OPERATIONS, LATIN AMERICA

Las Vegas, Nev. - June 25th, 2008 -- Diamond Resorts International(r)
(DRI), a global leader in the vacation ownership industry, has appointed
Bill Tsao, as Vice President, Operations, Latin America, for DRI. Tsao
will initially be responsible for developing, implementing and managing
DRI's growth and operations strategy in Latin America, including resort
acquisition and development, sales and marketing and resort operations.
Tsao will report to President and Chief Operating Officer for DRI, Simon
Crawford-Welch, PhD, RRP.

"Providing additional choices in resort destinations and penetrating new
markets is key to DRI's growth and success strategy," says
Crawford-Welch. "Bill's extensive experience in the Latin American
market will drive new sales opportunities and well-planned expansion
into high-demand destinations. His expertise will be invaluable in
fulfilling our worldwide commitment to greater choice and comfort for
our owners, members and guests."

Tsao has over 16 years of experience in the timeshare industry,
including positions as Vice President of North and Latin American
Business Development for International Cruise & Excursions (ICE) and
Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Raintree Resorts, a
multi-site, multi-national timeshare development and sales organization
operating primarily in Mexico. During his tenure at Raintree, Tsao
designed and implemented an innovative consumer affairs department
strategy as well as having direct P&L responsibility for sales and
marketing operations which included targeted products and programs for
the Latin American consumer marketplace.

"As a global hospitality brand we're looking beyond our traditional
marketing demographics for additional growth opportunities," says
Stephen J. Cloobeck, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DRI.
"Bill's vision for our Latin American operations is ambitious,
achievable and well aligned with our desire to deliver our brand tenets
of simplicity, choice and comfort coupled with superior,
customer-focused hospitality worldwide."

Diamond Resorts International(r), based in Las Vegas, Nev., is one of
the largest vacation ownership companies in the world with more than 110
branded and affiliated resorts and nearly 23,000 guest beds in 14
countries with destinations 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 and members through
the branded service of more than 5,500 team members worldwide, Diamond
Resorts International(r) is dedicated to providing its guests with
effortless and relaxing vacation experiences every time, for a lifetime.

For more information, please visit DiamondResorts.com

Contact: Kimberly Perette
Tel US: (702) 261 1005
Tel International UK: +44 (0)1524 845517

Friday, June 20, 2008

DIAMOND RESORTS INTERNATIONAL(r) APPOINTS SALES & MARKETING EXPERT AS VICE PRESIDENT, MARKETING, EASTERN REGION

DIAMOND RESORTS INTERNATIONAL(r) APPOINTS SALES & MARKETING EXPERT AS
VICE PRESIDENT, MARKETING, EASTERN REGION

Las Vegas, Nev. - June 20th, 2008 -- Diamond Resorts International(r)
(DRI), a global leader in the vacation ownership industry, has appointed
Joel Lazar, RRP, as Vice President, Marketing, Eastern Region, for DRI.
Lazar's more than 20 years of vacation ownership and fractional
ownership marketing experience will be leveraged to generate a
significant number of tours for DRI's Eastern operations, including
resort destinations in Tennessee, Missouri, Virginia, St. Maarten and
Florida. Lazar will report to James R. Danz, RRP ("Jim"), DRI's Chief
Marketing Officer.

"Joel has proven abilities in attracting qualified prospects through
innovation in communication and product design across many facets of the
real estate industry," says Jim Danz, "His addition to the
industry-leading DRI marketing team will enable us to deliver consistent
tour flow to current and planned sales centers in DRI's Eastern Region."

Prior to his engagement with DRI, Lazar held senior management positions
with The Owners Club, Intrawest Resort Ownership Corp., Cimarron Golf
Resort and Hilton Grand Vacations Club. As the Corporate Vice President
of Sales and Marketing for Transeastern Homes, Lazar helped the company
gain recognition as the fastest growing homebuilder in the country.
During his tenure, Transeastern sold nearly $2 Billion in new homes and
successfully launched 20 communities. Lazar earned the Florida Home
Builders Association's Marketing Executive of the Year award in 2004.

"Building a world-class organization requires team members with
experience, passion and a desire to deliver excellence in everything we
do," said Simon Crawford-Welch, DRI's President & Chief Operating
Officer. "Joel's engagement is another step toward a dominant global
hospitality brand that will set higher industry standards in sales,
marketing, resort operations and customer service worldwide."

Lazar has served on the American Resort Development Association's (ARDA)
Board of Directors and as chairperson of the ARDA Membership Committee.
Lazar has been frequently interviewed by and quoted in major industry
and consumer publications, and is a much sought after speaker at
industry events.

Diamond Resorts International(r), based in Las Vegas, Nev., is one of
the largest vacation ownership companies in the world with more than 110
branded and affiliated resorts in 14 countries with destinations
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 and members through the branded service of more
than 5,500 team members worldwide, Diamond Resorts International(r) is
dedicated to providing its guests with effortless and relaxing vacation
experiences every time, for a lifetime.

INDUSTRY VETERAN APPOINTED VICE PRESIDENT, MARKETING, WESTERN REGION FOR DIAMOND RESORTS INTERNATIONAL®

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

INDUSTRY VETERAN APPOINTED VICE PRESIDENT, MARKETING, WESTERN REGION FOR DIAMOND RESORTS INTERNATIONAL®

Las Vegas, Nev. - June 12th, 2008 -- Diamond Resorts International® (DRI), a global leader in the hospitality industry, has appointed Brad H. Benson as Vice President, Marketing, Western Region for DRI. Benson’s nearly 20-year span of industry, experience will guide marketing initiatives for all DRI's western operations including key destinations in Hawaii, California, Nevada, New Mexico and Arizona. Benson's appointment supports DRI’s quest to build an innovative, dynamic and experienced global marketing team led by vacation ownership marketing expert, James R. Danz ("Jim"), DRI's Chief Marketing Officer.

“Brad epitomizes DRI's theme of 'DRIven(SM) to Excellence' as demonstrated by his impressive track record, commitment to success, proven leadership skills, and a desire to dominate the marketplace,” says Jim Danz, “His background and operational philosophy fit well into our brand tenets of simplicity, choice and comfort.”

Benson has held senior marketing positions at Wyndham Vacation Ownership (Fairfield), The Shell Group, Hilton Grand Vacations Company, Vacation Internationale and most recently as Project Director - Marketing for Marriott Vacation Club International’s Grand Chateau in Las Vegas. Benson was a winner of the prestigious Gold “ARDY” for prospect generation during his tenure at Hilton Grand Vacations Company and he is involved with teaching a course on timeshare marketing at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration.

“It is encouraging to see many of the industry’s most well respected and proven professionals actively pursuing DRI to be a part of our team,” said Simon Crawford-Welch, DRI’s President & Chief Operating Officer. “Since acquiring this company in April of 2007, we have been gradually and systematically building a world-class organization across all functional areas of the company. Brad's addition to our marketing team is one more step that allows us to lead the pack, execute innovative marketing programs and generate hundreds of thousands of cost effective tours on a global scale.”

Diamond Resorts International®, based in Las Vegas, Nev. is one of the largest vacation ownership companies in the world with more than 110 branded and affiliated resorts in 14 countries with destinations 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 and members through the branded service of more than 5,500 team members worldwide, Diamond Resorts International® is dedicated to providing its guests with effortless and relaxing vacation experiences every time, for a lifetime.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Spanish holiday club scam costs holidaymakers millions

Spanish holiday club scam costs holidaymakers millions

By Tony Bonsignore | 00:01:00 | 01 June 2008

An elaborate "holiday club" scam cruelly targeting happy holidaymakers heading for the beaches of Spain has already netted million of pounds, the Office of Fair Trading has revealed.

The scam starts with criminals handing out bogus scratchcards asking have you won a luxury holiday? to departing holidaymakers at UK airports. All the cards are in fact "winners", although the prize turns out to be nothing more than a trip to a lengthy sales presentation, according to the OFT.

The sales presentation, backed up with flashy brochures to take away, offers people the chance to spend thousands of pounds on membership of an exclusive holiday club, which in turn appears to offer access to a wide range of high quality holidays in resorts such as Benalmadena, Fuengirola and the Canary Islands. The selling techniques used are classic high pressure ones, it is reported.

However, victims of the scam soon discover that the contracts they sign are nearly worthless, the OFT says. In many cases the club offers little more than a simple internet booking service, no better than they could access on any high street.

The average loss incurred by victims of the scam is £3,000, it was revealed.

The OFT Scambuster team last week handed out thousands of similar fake scratchcards at four regional UK airports to draw attention to the problem. Staff from the European Consumer Centre were also on hand at Malaga airport, while hard-hitting ads warning of the dangers have been posted on airport walls and in inflight magazines.

Mike Haley, head of consumer protection at the OFT, said that every year thousands of holidays were ruined by the scam. He urged holidaymakers persuaded to attend such a presentation to ask three questions:

* Can you take away the contract to consider at your leisure?
* Is everything you are promised in the presentation in the contract?
* Do you know exactly what you are getting for your money?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, then the OFT advises to simply walk away, Haley said.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Letters from Marty Kandel

I have received 3 letters from Marty Kandel to post for members to read.

The first is a letter explaining the rationale behind the recent levy and in this letter Marty recognises that there are members who for reasons of age or health or change of financial circumstances are no longer able to use their points or pay the management fees. Members have been given 30 days if they should choose to do so to give back their points at no cost to them, normally management fees etc would have to be up to date.

This letter can be found using this link.

http://www.dri-members.co.uk/siteimg/drimem.pdf

The second letter gives the best explanation of how the various parts of Diamond work and how the the various parts interlink that I have ever read. I urge everyone to read this.

http://www.dri-members.co.uk/siteimg/driops.pdf

Finally there is a letter that deals with communications between members and Diamond and to my mind shouldn't need sending assuming we are all nice decent people but I know that there have been those who have been extremely rude to Diamond staff and this is totally unacceptable in any society.

http://www.dri-members.co.uk/siteimg/dricomms.pdf

I urge all members to read these letters it will give you a greater understanding and should you wish to dispose of your points the opportunity you need but remember this is a time linked offer!

Tony Pearce

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Diamond Introduce New Member Benefit



Diamond Resorts announce New Member Benefit

As from October 2008 members will be able to book 2 day, 10 day or any number of days in most of the Diamond resorts. Check in can be on any day of the week. You are able to book now but the holidays must be taken in or after October 2008.

Points are calculated at 10% of weekly value Sunday to Thursday (inclusive) and 30% of weekly value Friday and Saturday.

*Minimum 2-night stay required. In some resorts nightly stays are not available due to the resort type, i.e. canal boats, where the itinerary is a week long or in affiliated resorts. ** Subject to availability. Note: Nightly stays replace the current mid-week and weekend split stays, apart from those resorts where nightly stays have not been possible to implement.

A cleaning charge will be made by the resort for all bookings of 4 nights or fewer whether booked as a short stay or in addition to a 7-night stay.

Good news plus there is currently loads of availability right through the summer, if you don't know how to find it make sure you read the FAQ on my site, I have recently re-written it for the new diamondresorts.com website and I would recommend everyone take a few minutes to read through it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Interval International And Diamond Resorts International® Sign Exclusive, Long-Term Global Affiliation Agreement

Interval to Provide Full Range of Exchange, Travel, and Reservation Services

Interval International and Diamond Resorts International® announced they have entered into a long-term master affiliation agreement comprising more than 110 existing resorts worldwide, as well as any properties developed during the term of the agreement.
In addition to the affiliation, Diamond Resorts International® has selected Interval Resort & Financial Services to provide a comprehensive package of customized programs, including back-office points-based reservation and travel service at THE ClubSM, the points-based, flexible vacation exchange network at Diamond Resorts International®.

“We’re extremely pleased to expand our relationship with Diamond Resorts International because our companies share a commitment to quality and outstanding service,” noted Craig M. Nash, chairman and chief executive officer of Interval International. “With its vision for growth and enhancing the value of vacation ownership in new markets, we’re prepared to support Diamond’s efforts in achieving even greater success.”

“Interval International has been and will continue to be a great partner for us. My family’s companies have been associated with Interval for more than two decades,” said Stephen J. Cloobeck, chairman and chief executive officer of Diamond Resorts International®. “We’re so confident in Interval’s commitment to deliver great service to our owners that we’re leveraging its global infrastructure to handle a significant portion of our reservation services.”

Interval’s relationship with the Cloobeck family began with the affiliation of The Jockey Club in Las Vegas in 1984 and continued with the Polo Towers Resort, the first purpose-built vacation ownership project on the Las Vegas Strip. After completing the acquisition of Sunterra Corporation last spring, Cloobeck converted it from a public company, folded it into his existing company structure, and created Diamond Resorts International®.

Further reinforcing the value of ownership, all members of THE ClubSM at Diamond Resorts International® will be enrolled as individual members of Interval International, as well as Interval Gold®, its premier membership program. This gives them the opportunity to exchange their accommodations for those at other resorts in Interval’s worldwide network, as well as the ability to relinquish their resort weeks toward the purchase of cruise, golf, and spa vacations. They also will enjoy an extensive menu of benefits, including discounts on resort Getaways, access to a personal concierge service available 24 hours a day via phone and e-mail, complimentary Hertz #1 Gold® membership, and worldwide hotel and dining discounts.


About Interval International
Interval International is a leading provider of exchange, travel, and leisure services to resort developers and vacationers worldwide. Based in Miami, Florida, the company has been a pioneer and innovator in serving the vacation ownership market for more than 30 years. Today, Interval has a network of more than 2,300 resorts in over 75 countries and offers its clients and nearly 2 million member families high-quality products and programs through its 28 offices in 17 countries. Interval is part of IAC, which owns and operates more than 60 diversified brands in sectors being transformed by the Internet, online and offline. Other IAC companies include Ask.com, HSN, LendingTree, Match.com, and Ticketmaster.


About Diamond Resorts International®
Diamond Resorts International®, based in Las Vegas, Nevada, is one of the largest vacation ownership companies in the world with more than 110 branded and affiliated resorts in 14 countries with destinations 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 and members 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.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

All Diamond Resorts now added to the website

I have spent the last couple of days adding all the Diamond resorts to the resort report area I have copied over the last couple of resort reports from the old site and where I could I have done it as the person who sent the report in so that you can go in and edit your own resort reports. If you have sent a resort report in the last couple of years please do go and see if yours is in the new Resort Reports and if not please go to the Old Site Resort Reports and copy and paste your report into the new resort reports area.

This especially applies if you have added an Interval International resort report as I haven't added those it took me so long to add all the Diamond resorts in I thought I would leave it to you to add the Interval reports. Go on have a go it will be good practice for your next resort report!

When you go to the reports area, do take the time to have a good look around to see how it works as there is a lot there that you can use when adding your own resort reports including reading all the recently added reports etc.

One little quirk with the resort reports, when you first log into the site it is best to go to the Resort Gallery or the Members forums before going to the resort reports we don't know why yet but sometimes you get a "You don't have permissions message" coming up if you go straight to the resort reports. If going to the forums doesn't solve it just click on the little login link on the resort report page and that should solve it in the future. We are looking at it to find out why it is happening

If you have been into the Members forums lately you will have seen several members with a "Countdown" to their next holiday, if you want one of these go to the "How To's" forum and the instructions for adding your countdown is there along with instructions for lots of the other new features on the site.

In the forums we now have a thank you button if a post has been useful to you and as well as the normal quote button there is a little button with "Quote" marks that allows you to multi quote from several messages if that is applicable. Oh and don't forget my offer to create an avatar for you from your own picture if you don't have the tools to resize and crop pictures yourself, just email me the picture and I will sort it out for you.

Keep those resort reports coming and don't forget to add your pictures to the new gallery.

Happy Holidays

Tony Pearce

Friday, February 15, 2008

Diamond Resorts International® Announces Creation of Owner Advisory Board

Diamond Resorts International® Announces Creation of Owner Advisory Board

Las Vegas - February 14, 2008 -- Diamond Resorts International® (DRI), a global leader in the vacation ownership industry, has established an Owner Advisory Board (OAB) as part of its continued commitment to building a consumer-centric company with extraordinary service for the company’s more than 360,000 owners and members worldwide.

The OAB members will contribute and share in discussions regarding new projects, new products and new programs with DRI corporate leaders. DRI recognizes the importance of listening to owners as this insight is essential to DRI’s development and joint mission to grow critical, enduring owner/management relationships. The OAB will allow DRI management to gain first-hand perspective and advice from those who have chosen vacation ownership with the company.

“One of the aspects of the business model for Diamond Resorts International® is to focus on an open communications platform with our owners and members. Feedback from the those who have chosen vacation ownership with us is a significant, driving force in the decisions we make,” says Stephen J. Cloobeck, Chairman and CEO of DRI. “With customer feedback and guest satisfaction at the forefront of our hospitality brand, establishing the Owner Advisory Board was a natural step for us to take in order to provide effortless vacation moments for every guest, every time.”

Representatives from the United States and Europe sit on the Owner Advisory Board.

Diamond Resorts International®, based in Las Vegas, Nev., is one of the largest vacation ownership companies in the world with more than 110 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 and members 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 DiamondResorts.com

Contact: Kimberly Perette
Tel US: (702) 261 1005
Tel International UK: +44 (0)1524 845517

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Diamond Resorts International® Hires Tax Professional as Vice President and Tax Counsel

FOR RELEASE JAN 29th PST

Diamond Resorts International® Hires Tax Professional as Vice President and Tax Counsel

Las Vegas - January 29, 2008 -- Diamond Resorts International® (DRI), a global leader in the vacation ownership industry, has appointed Keith Holmes as Vice President & Tax Counsel. Holmes joins a strong finance team reporting to David Palmer, Chief Financial Officer of DRI.

Prior to joining DRI, Holmes held the position of Vice President and Tax Counsel with Caesars Entertainment, Inc., providing tax and legal counsel on development, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, federal, state and international tax planning, structuring, audit defense & compliance. Holmes also served as a tax consultant to international clients in the gaming and lodging industries during his nearly 10 year tenure with Arthur Andersen LLP.

"Keith brings with him a wealth of experience in all areas of tax law, M&A and corporate finance,” says Simon Crawford-Welch, Ph.D., RRP, President and COO of DRI. “We welcome his expertise and experience to ensure that every transaction and opportunity is fully researched and structured in such a manner as to ensure compliance and optimal benefits to Diamond Resorts International.”

Holmes received a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Nevada, Reno, Juris Doctor at Pepperdine University Law School and L.L.M. in Taxation from Georgetown University Law Center. He is a member of the State Bar of California.

“Keith’s experience will be leveraged to create and enhance tax efficiencies in existing operations and evaluate tax aspects of expansion opportunities,” says David Palmer, Chief Financial Officer of DRI. “Having an internal resource will ensure timely decisions and consistent communications with our external tax service providers to support our plans for sustained growth and profitability.”

Diamond Resorts International®, based in Las Vegas, Nev., is one of the largest vacation ownership companies in the world with more than 110 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 and members 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 DiamondResorts.com

Contact: Kimberly Perette
Tel US: (702) 261 1005
Tel International UK: +44 (0)1524 845517

Friday, January 11, 2008

INDUSTRY VETERAN APPOINTED AS PRESIDENT OF EUROPEAN OPERATIONS FOR DIAMOND RESORTS INTERNATIONAL®

INDUSTRY VETERAN APPOINTED AS PRESIDENT OF EUROPEAN OPERATIONS FOR DIAMOND RESORTS INTERNATIONAL®

Las Vegas - January 8, 2008 -- Diamond Resorts International® (DRI), a global leader in the vacation ownership industry, has appointed Martin M. Kandel ("Marty") to the position of President for European Operations, reporting to the President and Chief Operating Officer for DRI, Simon Crawford-Welch, Ph.D, RRP.

Prior to joining DRI, Kandel held the position of Chief Executive Officer at Accor Première Vacation Club providing the experience and leadership to build a large, profitable operation, which saw average year-on-year revenue growth in excess of 30%. At Accor, Kandel was responsible for more than 1,100 employees, 19 resort properties and 17 sales offices throughout Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia, and $100,000,000 in annual sales. Kandel also served for 11 years as CEO of Accumen Sales & Marketing Group, a Florida-based timeshare development, sales, marketing and travel company.

"Marty brings with him a wealth of experience in all areas of the timeshare business, and a particularly strong focus on sales, marketing and product and property development," says Simon Crawford-Welch. "His engagement to lead our European operations underscores our desire to offer better products, value and service to our members and owners worldwide."

Kandel is a former Maryland Assistant Attorney General appointed to the Governor's Task Force on Timesharing and selected to author state timesharing legislation as well as policies for regulatory agencies. He remains a member in good standing (inactive) of the Maryland Bar.

"Europe is an important part of our growth strategy," says Stephen J. Cloobeck, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DRI. "Marty was instrumental in Accor's success, and his vision for our European operations is equally as ambitious and well aligned with our brand goals and desire to deliver superior, customer-focused hospitality service on a global scale, regardless of geographic boundaries."

Kandel is a trustee member of American Resort Development Association (ARDA) and in 2002 was appointed to the Board of Directors. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Australian Timeshare and Holiday Ownership Council Limited (ATHOC).

"Our owners' opinions will be key to future resort developments and improvement to our European operations," Kandel says. "With the strong team that currently exists in Europe, and an owner-centric commitment, I am certain we will deliver exactly the kind of quality product that will ensure our owners expectations and satisfaction, and the success of Diamond Resorts International® worldwide."

Diamond Resorts International®, based in Las Vegas, Nev., is one of the largest vacation ownership companies in the world with more than 110 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 DiamondResorts.com

Contact: Kimberly Perette
Tel: (702).261.1005

List of new Diamond Resorts

Whiski Jack at the Northstar https://www.diamondresorts.com/europe/Resorts.aspx?property=WJR

The Sandcastle at Birch Bay https://www.diamondresorts.com/europe/Resorts.aspx?property=SBB

Franz Klammer Lodge Telluride https://www.diamondresorts.com/europe/Resorts.aspx?property=FKL

The Miners Club Park City https://www.diamondresorts.com/europe/Resorts.aspx?property=MCC

Cimarron Golf Resort Palm Springs https://www.diamondresorts.com/europe/Resorts.aspx?property=CGR

Kona Reef Hawaii https://www.diamondresorts.com/europe/Resorts.aspx?property=KRH

Club Regina Los Cabos https://www.diamondresorts.com/europe/Resorts.aspx?property=CRL

Club Regina Puerto Vallarta https://www.diamondresorts.com/europe/Resorts.aspx?property=CRP

Club Regina Cancun https://www.diamondresorts.com/europe/Resorts.aspx?property=CRC

Casa San Felipe Hostal Oaxaca https://www.diamondresorts.com/europe/Resorts.aspx?property=CSF

Hostal Las Cúpulas Oaxaca https://www.diamondresorts.com/europe/Resorts.aspx?property=HLC

Villa Vera Puerto Mio - Zihuatanejo https://www.diamondresorts.com/europe/Resorts.aspx?property=VVZ

Villa Vera Puerto Isla Mujeres https://www.diamondresorts.com/europe/Resorts.aspx?property=VVM

Villa Vera Acapulco https://www.diamondresorts.com/europe/Resorts.aspx?property=VVA