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New Orleans Evacuates, Flooding Stabilizes

New Orleans Evacuates, Flooding Stabilizes

The situation in New Orleans is extremely grim in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina.

New Orleans is undergoing a total evacuation due to widespread flooding from Lake Pontchartrain caused by hurricane Katrina. I tried to contact several resorts in the area, but with no success. Though reports are conflicting, I’m going to summarize what I know so far about conditions in this city and the other areas affected by Katrina.

Yesterday, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin issued a statement saying that because of rising floodwaters, the entire city would have to be evacuated. The rising water is carrying sewage, human bodies and industrial waste, and it is feared that these contaminants will pose health risks to any who stay behind.

Today, people taking shelter from Katrina in the New Orleans Superdome have been relocated to the Astrodome in Houston, Texas.

Yesterday the death toll was reportedly 55 in New Orleans, 80 in Mississippi. Estimates vary widely, but the number of people dead or missing is likely to increase in the next few days. Rescuers in New Orleans are primarily focused on helping survivors rather than counting the dead.

Reports say that the flooding has been stabilized, and that the French Quarter remains dry. Because the French Quarter lies at a slightly higher elevation than the rest of the city, it may escape with only minor flooding. However looting is widespread throughout the city. At this time there have been reports of at least one shooting. There is no electricity, no fresh water, and minimal phone service. Contaminated floodwaters pose a severe hygiene risk, and cannot be pumped out of the city until the levves have been repaired. Because of this, only rescue personnel are allowed to enter the city at this time.

Mayor Nagin also advises that it may take as long as 12-16 weeks before people can enter New Orleans again.

For local news coverage of the situation in New Orleans, go to http://www.nola.com/.

Hurricane Katrina Hammers New Orleans, Timeshare Resorts Unreachable by Phone

Hurricane Katrina Hammers New Orleans, Timeshare Resorts Unreachable by Phone

The first major hurricane to hit New Orleans in thirty years, Katrina has caused widespread damage. Though initial estimates are optimistic, very little information is available now.

A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration infrared satellite shows the center of Hurricane Katrina making landfall in Plaquemines Parrish, La., at about 7:10 a.m. Monday morning.

Earlier this morning, Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Louisiana peninsula at a speed of 145 mph. The eye of the storm moved within 30 miles of New Orleans late this morning, and this storm’s effects have been felt through most of Louisiana and Alabama and nearly all of Mississippi.

The information so far has been sparse, though optimistic. Official news sources say that for the most part, the many levees and dams that surround New Orleans are holding back dangerous high waters from both the Mississippi river and Lake Ponchartrain. Because most of New Orleans lies below sea level, the city is especially vulnerable to a hurricane of this force. One troubled area is the neighborhood of the Ninth Ward, where severe flooding has occurred. There have been reports of many buildings being stripped of their roofs by heavy winds.

Though the current damage estimates fall short of previous worst-case scenarios, the situation in New Orleans is extremely dangerous. Earlier, panels from the roof of the Superdome were dislodged by high winds. These panels slammed into the nearby Hyatt Regency Hotel, causing massive structural damage to a hotel that has already been battered by the storm. Most of the guests were taking shelter in a third-floor conference room, and there are so far no reports of injuries or fatalities among those seeking shelter at the Hyatt. On Lake Ponchartrain’s south shore, floodwaters have completely submerged the ground floors of many homes and businesses.

Earlier I made several attempts to communicate with two timeshare resorts located  in the French Quarter. I was not able to reach anyone. When more information becomes available, I will post it here.

Hawaii Timeshares Boost Hawaiian Tourist Trade

Hawaii Timeshares Boost Hawaiian Tourist Trade

Timeshares on the Hawaiian Islands prove especially stimulating to the local economy, according to recent findings.

According to a recent article, Hawaii’s tourism industry is experiencing record growth this year. What is more interesting to note is that timeshare owners receive much of the credit for this development.

This article went on to state that the number of timeshare owners who visit Hawaii annually is estimated to be around 500,000. The average price of a Hawaiian timeshare was given at $26,000, which may seem a bit low, though data here might reflect prices in the resale market.

A high-level Hilton Grand Vacations Club representative remarked that the level of occupancy in time-sharing unts can sometimes surpass that of hotel rooms/suites rented on a nightly basis. He also remarked on the exchange value of Hawaii timeshare, which is more valuable than timeshare in any other location in the world. Local residents even buy Hawaii timeshares, often solely for their exchange value.

Timeshare is becoming more and more entrenched in tourism-based economies everywhere. In a few years, it could become the backbone of Hawaii’s tourism industry. Under the aegis of a number of large resort companies, new Hawaii timeshare resorts are scheduled for construction in the years to come. This reflects the growing number of large hotel brands realizing the profit-making potential of timeshare, and increased consumer confidence in the product itself.

For more on this, visit the article at:

 http://khon.com/khon/display.cfm?storyID=6640&sectionID=1156.

A Few Words on Orlando Timeshare

A Few Words on Orlando Timeshare

Most first-time timeshare owners buy their first timeshares in Orlando. Like any timeshare purchase, a buyer should consider the pros and cons before putting ink on a contract.

Florida has more timeshares than anywhere else in the world, and Orlando has the most timeshares out of any region in Florida. RCI and Interval International show a  combined total of about 100 timeshare resorts in the Orlando area. Though there is clearly a high density of resorts offering vacation ownership in this part of Florida, the demand for Orlando timeshares is so high that new resorts are being scheduled for development all the time. Within the industry, it is said that most first-time timeshare buyers choose to buy their first timeshares in, or near, Orlando.

This has a twofold effect. On one hand, this situation creates a wide variety of options for timeshare buyers to choose from. On the other hand, a high consumer demand creates plenty of opportunities for timeshare scammers to ply their nefarious trade.

Before you buy Orlando timeshares, here’s some timeshare advice.

-Orlando is a great place for a high-intensity vacation, but if you’re looking for peace, quiet, and relaxation, keep in mind that even during some low-demand weeks, Orlando is jumping with activity. Plan any Orlando timeshare purchase accordingly! (Of course, if you’re looking for a relaxing vacation, you can get what you’re looking for and save a bundle if you buy time during Orlando’s slow season).

-In Orlando, the word “resort” can describe a wide range of different properties. Some have less-than-amenable amenities. Be sure that you know what you are getting before you buy.

-Anyone buying timeshare in Orlando is likely to be approached by people working for a resort development company. Sometimes these people offer cut-rate theme park tickets or other incentives -provided that the prospect attends a timeshare sales presentation.  While high-pressure sales pitches are frowned upon by ethical timeshare salespeople, the high demand for Orlando timeshares attracts a wide variety of people to the scene. Some of these will not hesitate to apply high pressure tactics to prospective buyers. Others are most certainly scammers. Investigating the resale market is almost always preferable. Due to the availability of inexpensive timeshares on the market, there are a lot of budget-friendly options available for the resale buyer. Also, when buying timeshare directly from an owner, a buyer doesn’t need to sit through a hard-sell presentation.

Though navigating the world of Orlando timeshares can be tricky, owning timeshare in Orlando can be immensely rewarding. The exchange value of Orlando properties is traditionally very favorable.  An Orlando timeshare purchase might be a smart move if you are buying timeshare for the exchange value. Location is another important consideration. There is so much to do in the Orlando area that a family could vacation here for twenty years and continually find new places to explore, or new activities to enjoy. As stated before, the sheer variety of options and amenities offered by resorts in Orlando allows a timeshare buyer to find the exact combination of amenities and facilities that he or she is looking for. Whether you are an avid golfer who wants a high-class resort with a first-rate course, or if you want to camp out under the stars at a wilderness retreat, Orlando probably has what you’re looking for. It may take some time to find the right resort, but in Orlando, chances are you’ll discover your ideal vacation spot.

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