Who Owns What at this Timeshare Resort?

Sometimes, no matter how hard I try, I just can’t bring you the whole story. So I am sharing as much as I know.

The Mountain Press is an online news publication that covers events in the areas of Gatlinburg, Sevierville, and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee—all of which are excellent timeshare resort destinations.

On September 12, The Mountain Press ran a letter to the editor, from Marcus N. Bressler, president of the board of directors of Laurel Point Condominium Association, Inc. The link above, should take you to the letter.

In Mr. Bressler’s letter, he explains that The Mountain Press had previously printed a press release from Festiva Development Group, and that some of the points of the release were inaccurate.

I am going to summarize this, as best I understand it. According to Mr. Bressler, the press release dealt with the purchase, by Festiva Development Group, of timeshare intervals previously owned by Peppertree Vacation Clubs, Inc., as well as assets of various resorts previously belonging to Peppertree and its subsidiaries. He said the article “implied” that Festiva had purchased the management contract Peppertree once held at Laurel Point Resort in Gatlinburg.

Laurel Point timeshare resale

As Mr. Bressler explains, Cendant Corp. did purchase the assets and management contracts owned by Peppertree Resorts Ltd., in 2002. RCI Resorts Management, was, at that time, a division of Cendant, and became the management agent of Laurel Point Resort. In 2003, the Laurel Point Resort Board of Directors hired Defender Resorts Inc, to replace RCI Resorts Management, for a period of 3 years.

In January 2006, the resort entered into a new management contact with SPM Resorts, Inc of Myrtle Beach. Except for 156 unit weeks that were assigned to Peppertree/Equivest Vacation Club and 17 weeks assigned to the Trust, there are no assets owned by Laurel Point Condominium Association Inc, which could have been purchased by Festiva Development without the knowledge of the Laurel Point Resort Board of Directors.

To get to the very bottom line here, based on Mr. Bressler’s letter: “Festiva is merely the controlling agent for those 156 unit week owners who still remain in their Vacation Club, as well as the 17 unit weeks still in the Trust, and have nothing to do with the business of the resort except to pay the maintenance fees due on Jan 1, 2008, and to vote those 173 unit weeks of the Laurel Point Condominium Association.”

Let me add that while I searched the archives of The Mountain Press, I was never able to find any press release or article referencing Festiva or Peppertree, published by The Mountain Press in the past two years. Neither could I find any other news articles on this topic. That’s not to suggest they don’t exist – I simply could never find the original referenced article.

So here’s my suggestion, if you own Festiva timeshare, Peppertree timeshare, or Laurel Point timeshare, or you are thinking about purchasing a timeshare or timeshare resale at any of these locations, take the time to ask the logical questions. If you have concerns about the homeowners association or the property management company take a little extra time, do your own due diligence and satisfy your own curiosity that you understand the situation.

I am not suggesting that there are any problems at ANY of these resorts, only that if something is unclear to you, make that extra effort so that you understand what you own or what you are buying. It’s good advice when buying or selling timeshare resales and it’s good advice in all your business dealings.