The Other Victims of the Royal Oasis Timeshare Owners Fiasco
Monday, March 3, 2008
Let’s face it. Timeshare owners at Royal Oasis got a very bad deal. And unless the new owners (Harcourt Development) step up in a big way, or the courts are able to enforce actions against the previous development company, then nothing will ever make up for what the owners of timeshare weeks at Royal Oasis have lost in dollars and vacation time.
But as I wrote in the Timeshare Owners Blog last November 5, timeshare owners are not the only victims of the problems at Royal Oasis. Somewhere between 800 and 1000 people lost their livelihoods when Royal Oasis timeshare closed in 2004. While several million dollars in severance money has already been paid to some Royal Oasis timeshare company employees, other employees have yet to receive anything. According to the February 25 online edition of The Bahama Journal, the Bahamian government still needs to disperse nearly $600,000 in severance pay to past employees of the timeshare resort.
Minister of State Zhivargo Liang says, “There still are some of the (former) Royal Oasis workers who have complaints about either not having been paid or not being paid sufficiently, etc. Those people are being interviewed with a view to getting what the exact details are of their complaints. Following upon that, determinations are being made as to what ought to happen in respect to payment for them.”
Liang believes that the monies owed involve approximately 100 people who had to choose between agreeing to accept an amount of money they thought was incorrect or gambling that waiting it out would lead to further investigation and ultimately the receipt of the correct amount.
Timeshare Resorts Are More than Vacation Destinations
When you take a timeshare vacation at many of the high demand destinations, it may seem as if timeshare resorts are a dime a dozen. Lose your job at one, and there are plenty of other timeshare resorts where you can apply for work. But the truth is, timeshare resorts are a valuable part of a community’s economic structure. Lose even one, and the stability of that structure is threatened.
A timeshare resort employs anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand employees at most locations. For many of the employees, this income may be the sole source of livelihood for them or their families. When a timeshare resort closes, not only are thousands of employees impacted, but vendors, who supply goods and services to the property are hurt as well.
In the case of the Royal Oasis timeshare resort, located on the edge of the famous Bahamian International Bazaar, traffic at the street shops and restaurants dwindled, causing the permanent closing of many of these businesses. And then there’s the impact on the tax base. Most timeshare resorts mean tourist taxes and real estate or property taxes paid into a community. In the case of Royal Oasis timeshares, damage to the local economy included loss of casino taxes as well—a painfully large chunk of tax revenue that simply disappeared overnight.
You may love timeshare or hate it depending on your experience with in the past. But the bottom line remains: when a community loses a timeshare resort for any reason, everyone from owners to employees to the community itself is seriously hurt by the loss.
As you sit at your desk this Monday morning, here is a video from Grand Bahama Island that is sure to make you long for the warm sunshine and sugar sand beaches of a Bahamas timeshare vacation.