New “Timeshare News” Channel: A Work in Progress

New “Timeshare News” Channel: A Work in Progress

Combining results from sources like Google News and Yahoo! News, our new Timeshare News channel will provide instant access to the latest news stories from the world of timeshare.

One of the great things about our blog software is that it allows for the hosting of separate channels, in which we can create syndicated feeds from specific search results. By making subtle adjustments to the query criteria, we can offer a channel composed of the latest timeshare news found on the biggest online news sites.

The end result is our new “Timeshare News” channel. We’re still tweaking the query criteria, so bear in mind it could be several days before we get the kind of results we want. At this time, the feed is picking up a variety of old stories, some of which are seemingly random. This means we have to adjust our filter to allow for only the freshest, most relevant news stories in this channel. You can view our progress on this channel by clicking the “Timeshare News” link in the upper-right-hand corner of the Timeshare Owners’ Blog homepage.

Once these details are finalized, this channel has the potential to gather an impressive quantity of timeshare news onto one syndicated webpage. Ultimately, one will have a hard time finding a higher concentration of timeshare news stories anywhere else on the internet.

Stay tuned for more upcoming new features from the Timeshare Owners’ Blog!

Cendant Corporation’s “De-Merger”

Cendant Corporation’s “De-Merger”

Cendant’s decision to split itself into four publicly traded companies has many folks wondering what Cendant will do next.

For what we can assume to be a wide variety of reasons, Cendant Corporation announced on October 24 that a plan has been approved which will ultimately separate Cendant into four separate publicly traded companies by next summer. Cendant itself describes the break-up as a strategy to increase shareholder value, while some cynically say that the giant conglomerate is insulating certain of its holdings from possible legal trouble. Regardless of the reasons why, Cendant has been very busy in the past few weeks, possibly accelerating the break-up and reorganizing its corporate structure.

As Cendant is one of the major forces in timeshare today, timeshare owners and prospective timeshare buyers would do well to keep up-to-date with these stories. Google News is a good resource, as one can track these stories by date, as they happen. Cendant’s original press release gives some details on the intent behind the de-merger as well as the possible future fate of these companies.

Don’t think this story affects you? Not only is Cendant heavily involved with timeshares around the world, this corporation also owns an impressive share of the global travel, lodging, and leisure industries. Cendant is a massive conglomerate which currently numbers a wide array of subsidiary companies among its holdings. Take a look at the Hoover’s fact sheet for Cendant Corp., and you’ll see what I mean.

Seventh Annual Timeshare and Resort Investment Conference Returns to Orlando

Seventh Annual Timeshare and Resort Investment Conference Returns to Orlando

Guest speakers to include a number of CEOs and other major players in the industry.

From today, October 17, through October 19, The Peabody hotel in Orlando hosts the seventh annual Timeshare and Resort Investment conference. This gathering has attracted some of the most successful, high-profile companies and individuals representing the vacation and hospitality industries.

Timeshare owners might find some interesting information in these presentations, but for the most part these sessions are geared toward investors and developers who want to break into this lucrative industry. Fractional ownership, condo hotels and other recent timeshare trends will be explored, as well as legal issues and marketing challenges.

The list of speakers is very impressive, including a number of CEOs from the biggest names in the timeshare world.

As I glanced at the schedule of presentations, I didn’t notice any sessions specifically dealing with industry ethics. It might be a good idea for future conferences to devote more coverage to this issue.

This conference follows close behind the latest Timeshare and Resort Investment conference, held in Dubai in late September of this year. 

For more on the Timeshare and Resort Investment conferences, visit the official site at http://www.timeshareinvestment.com/orlando/orlando.html.

As Details Emerge After Katrina, Resort Developers Release Findings

As Details Emerge After Katrina, Resort Developers Release Findings

Here are some resources to find online information about resorts, hotels, and timeshares damaged by hurricane Katrina.

Cleanup and rescue efforts along the Gulf Coast of the United States are proceeding as smoothly as can be expected. However, only in the past several days have we been able to get a clear picture of the scale of the devastation.

Lodging Econometrics, a Portsmouth, New Hampshire-based organization founded in 1995, collects information on hotel properties. While no hotel/timeshare companies are mentioned by name, some alarming figures and facts can be found at http://www.lodging-econometrics.com/site/news/Katrina/KatrinaRelease.htm.

Marriott has been more forthcoming than most other hotel companies, though it has received some criticism for its policies regarding cancellation fees. In a release dated September 2, 2005, Marriott stated:

“Cancellation fees for individual (non-group) bookings at hotels directly affected by the hurricane, or in areas experiencing mandatory evacuations, are being waived for arrivals through October 1.”

Considering that most hotels should be undergoing repairs until April 1 of next year, this statement seemed to indicate that guests with reservations at these hotels from October through April were being charged a cancellation fee, since the hotels in question will almost certainly remain uninhabitable throughout this time. Marriott may have changed this policy since then, as recent releases from Marriott do not mention cancellation fees. Though this issue does not apply to most timeshares, consumers are advised to watch out for added costs regardless of which company runs their home resorts. All things aside, Marriott has done a great job of keeping the public informed, and you can find more information on Marriott properties affected by Katrina by going to http://marriott.com/news/detail.mi?marrArticle=101556.

If you own timeshare in an area affected by Katrina, I would strongly suggest that you attempt to make contact with your home resort immediately if you have not already done so. Only your home resort can adequately answer any questions you have about fees, special assessments, repairs, and conditions in the areas surrounding the resort.

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