Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Playa Grande Resort Timeshare is a Must See in Cabo

The Playa Grande Resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, has been listed on the Top 25 Timeshare Rental Resorts list by RedWeek users, and for good reason. This hacienda style, all suite resort sits on eight acres of secluded beach stretched along the Pacific Ocean side of Baja California. The dramatic setting and luxurious accommodations set the perfect scene for your dream beach vacation. Unbelievable as it sounds, timeshare rentals at this first-class resort can start as low at $47/night.

Amenities at the Playa Grande Resort include infinity pools, an outdoor Jacuzzi with sunset views, multiple swimming pools with splashing waterfalls, and children's play areas as well as Kids Camp activities. The suites have features such as private balconies, kitchens or kitchenettes, and even water purification systems. Distinctive up-scale touches include marble floors, granite countertops and handcrafted furniture and d├ęcor.

An easy 10-minute walk will get you to downtown Cabo San Lucas for great shopping, fine dining and exciting nightlife. It’s even easy to stock your timeshare kitchen from Costco or Wal-Mart, where you'll find the prices comparable to the U.S.

Known as the "Jewel of the Baja Peninsula," Cabo San Lucas certainly has something for everyone, from white sandy beaches to world-class scuba diving locations. Some of the best sports fishing in the world is right at your doorstep - you can pull in a game fish for your timeshare dinner table, or to mount and take home for display. At the southern tip of the town is the well-known local landmark sea arch "El Arco de Cabo San Lucas," a distinctive rock formation. You can see many sea lions here who also find this a popular spot.

The Playa Grande resort is located on Baja California's most exclusive and private beach in what has become the up-scale vacation destination of Cabo San Lucas. You might be amazed to find yourself luxuriating on vacation in such a place, and it's affordable by renting beautiful budget timeshares at this resort. Soon you'll be adding your own raves to reviews such as these:
"We've stayed at many of the resorts in Cabo and Playa Grande is, hands down, our favorite resort."
"This resort is beautiful and luxurious, and there's simply nothing more to be said. We've been coming back for 8 straight years.”
"Playa Grande is the most comfortable resort we have ever stayed at. We also enjoy deep sea fishing and catch marlin every year. We would highly recommend Playa Grande to anyone who is planning a trip to Cabo."

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Westin St. John - Virgin Grand Villas Timeshare Resort Makes Top 25 List

The Westin St. John - Virgin Grand Villas resort has been listed on the Top 25 Timeshare Rental Resorts by RedWeek users. Located on 46 acres of beautiful real estate on St. John Island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, this is a premier beach resort. Plan your vacation with a timeshare rental, and experience why the Westin St. John is rated so highly.

This resort has it all from a Kids Camp to water sports (no charge for the toys). The outstanding fitness center and health club is also no charge. There are 6 lighted tennis courts (no charge), and in-room high speed internet (no charge.) From the stunning sunsets to the reggae and calypso music in the lounges, a stay at this resort will get you into the true Caribbean vacation mode.

The U.S. Virgin Islands are America's own Caribbean vacation getaway and St. John has been called "a wonder of unspoiled beauty." The smallest of the U.S. Virgin Islands, fully two-thirds of the island is a National Park. Funds to purchase fifty percent of the acreage that is now the National Park was donated by Laurence Rockefeller, and the park was dedicated in 1956.

In 1962, Congress approved legislation extending the park's boundaries to include 5,650 acres of offshore submerged lands, containing beautiful coral formations and rich forms of tropical marine life. Here at Trunk Bay is the much acclaimed 650-ft underwater marked snorkel trail for which St. John is so famous.

The park contains several of the Caribbean's best beaches, 20 well-maintained hiking trails, historic ruins, archaeological sites and the 1,277-foot peak of Mount Bourdeaux. The park rangers offer numerous guided tours and hikes to show off the island's more than 800 species of plants and 160 species of birds. There are 30 pristine white sand beaches on the island, all within easy reach of the Westin St. John resort. The resort offers car and jeep rentals on site so you can easily explore this amazing island.

St. John celebrates Caribbean life with several musical festivals and celebrations. The last week of June is Carnival, which continues through America's Independence Day, and that stretches into a week's worth of fireworks and celebration.

A Caribbean vacation in a budget timeshare rental at top-rated Westin St. John - Virgin Grand Villas…what more could you ask for!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Read and Write Timeshare Resort Reviews on RedWeek.com

Picture your last timeshare vacation. It was everything you wanted: a beautiful destination, luxurious accommodations, and you even learned about some great deals and places to explore while you were there. You were so pleased with your experience, you wished you could share it with the world. At RedWeek.com, you can. As a member of Redweek.com, you have access post your review on any of our 5,000 worldwide timeshare resorts, and read what others had to say about their experience.

The Resorts are Listening
Think no one is listening to or reading your review? Think again. Reviews on RedWeek.com are critically important to travelers and the resorts themselves. They are listening and becoming more active to make corrections and improvements based on your feedback and input.

The Largest Source of Consumer Reviews
RedWeek.com has the largest source of timeshare resort reviews by consumers, and we encourage consumers to read the reviews when considering where to go on their next vacation. We also want our members to write a review after their travels so others can learn about their experience, good or bad, before they decide where to travel.

Legacy Ratings History
The RedWeek.com system for reviews and ratings has been in place since 2002, and we do not modify a resort review unless it contains slander, foul language, or promotional material. We also do not remove older reviews so that users can see the progress a resort has made over the years to improve their facility, or if the resort is on a downhill slide, they'll see that too.

So, if you ever wished you could see a review on the timeshare resort you wanted to buy or rent before you went there, visit RedWeek.com today. For even more details on each resort, and to participate in conversations with other timeshare owners, visit our timeshare forums.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Exciting Events to See While Visiting your Oahu Timeshare

Hawaii is nothing if not a celebration of life, and nowhere on the islands are there as many celebrations and festivals as on Oahu. Plan to vacation with an Oahu timeshare rental and attend a few of these exciting 2010 events.

The Waikiki Shell on Earth weekend, April 23-24, is a part of the Kokua Festival. This extremely popular event benefits the Kokua Hawaii Foundation which promotes eco-friendly living, and is sponsored by local music sensation Jack Johnson. Products and services from green companies, alternative energy demonstrations, and information from environmentally active groups from around the islands are featured. You can also enjoy booths of local Polynesian food, and your kids will have fun with interactive games and crafts just for them. All of this to the backdrop of an exciting line-up of musical artists.

The Waikiki SPAM Jam is April 24th. This street fair is a tongue-in-cheek tribute to the inordinately high consumption of Spam found in the Hawaiian Islands. Taking place 1pm to 4pm along Waikiki's Kalakaua Avenue, the entire family will have fun sampling Spam as served up by a variety of Honolulu's finest restaurants. Two entertainment stages will offer non-stop performances ranging from hula dancers to local musicians. And don't miss the hilarious Mr. and Mrs. Spam contest. All proceeds go to benefit Hawaii's Food Bank.

For a true Polynesian experience, be in Hawaii for Lei Day Celebration, May 1st. This cultural celebration includes food booths and musical entertainment, but the stars of the show are the hundreds of beautiful flower leis. Meet at the bandstand at Queen Kapiolani Park in Waikiki and learn how to make leis for yourself. This festival concludes on May 2nd with the colorful - and fragrant - ceremony honoring Hawaii's alii (royalty) at Moana Ala and Kawaiahao.

Also in May will be the 18th Annual World Fire Knife Competition. Held at the Polynesian Cultural Center, competitors from around the world vie for the title of the world's best fire knife dancer. These stunning performances of twists and turns and never-before seen innovative performances with the flaming nifooti will have you on the edge of your seat.

As you plan your family Oahu timeshare rental vacation, add these festivals to your itinerary. As you can see, there's much more to Hawaii than lazing on the beach!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Westgate Unloads $350M in Assets to fund Timeshare Division

The timeshare division of Westgate Resorts is the focus right now for David Siegel, president and chief executive officer of Westgate Resorts. Siegel is working towards unloading $350 million worth of real-estate and noncore assets to raise money for their timeshare division. A total of 60 assets are up for sale including hotels, airplanes, mobile homes and thousands of acres of undeveloped land in Central Florida.

The challenging economy has affected Westgate Resorts, like many other time-share developers. They have been struggling financially since the market first started to take a turn in 2008. To stay afloat, the company has cut more than one-third of its staff and now liquidating non time-share assets is the next step.

"We're selling our non-time-share assets to raise cash for our time-share operations," Siegel was quoted as saying.

Carlton Advisory Services is handing the sale. Those interested can view the portfolio at CarltonExchange.com. "We definitely have a lot of interest," said Scott Stay, an asset manager for Carlton. "These are selling closer to distressed pricing, but they're not distressed assets." All reasonable bids will be considered.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Timeshare Resale Forum was Hot Topic at the ARDA Convention

Article written by guest blogger: John Locher, VP of Marketing for RedWeek.com

The American Resort Development Association’s (ARDA) convention was another successful event in the midst of a turbulent period in the timeshare industry. Even in a disruptive time for timeshare companies there are glimmers of hope and change for the consumer. The Timeshare Resale Forum was the biggest topic on the agenda and it was full of concerned companies and solution providers, most of which were legitimate options for consumers. In a time of change for timeshare industry this is a good time to clean up the bad practices and set some policy in place to help timeshare owners.

ARDA leadership, headed up by CEO Howard Nusbaum, called for a healthy and transparent secondary market. This is essential to the overall success of the timeshare industry. Consumers who love their timeshare want more options and fewer scams. But getting best practices and regulations mutually agreed upon is a tall order.

During the Resale Forum the mood began somewhat tense when a gathering of competitors, with various business practices, started discussions with an unpredictable and contentious feel. Mr. Nusbaum did his best to set a nice tone for the meeting and at the end he even asked if anyone had a burning issue they wanted to share, but no one stepped up. The biggest problem was that the task at hand was to draft resale survey questions for the ARDA International Foundation’s upcoming resales survey. This was something everyone was told about ahead of time, but, instead, many were attempting to vent and express their own agenda for the resale industry.

Some overall problems in the resale industry are that heavy up front fees, unsubstantiated promises to the consumer and blatant scam companies are badly tarnishing the legitimate business of others. ARDA’s proposed Model Resale Act attempts to put some policy in place for this but it is up to the state policy-makers to adopt in what will certainly be their own interpretation. There is a long road to a better secondary market for consumers and RedWeek.com is working as part of this effort.

Consumers can best help themselves by using common sense and doing research on the company they may consider to help rent or sell their timeshare. Visit the BBB.org (www.bbb.org) to check the rating of a Website or timeshare resale company. Conduct a simple Google search on the company name and read through a few pages of links to see what you find. You can also review the resales guidelines at the ARDA.org Website.

Timeshare is a wonderful commitment to a vacation lifestyle at wonderful locations and resorts. It is not for everyone and should never be entered into with any thoughts of investment. Using your timeshare is always the best option and timeshare rental if you are not going to use it provides cash back in your pocket to cover annual fees. There is always exchange and selling it once you really decide you are done.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Celebrate Spring in Bloom in your Timeshare

Spring has sprung! Even though Old Man Winter isn't giving up without a struggle and the occasional snow squall backs us up a step or two, temperatures are on the rise, flowers are starting to bloom, and its time to pack winter away. One of the best ways of celebrating the official arrival of spring is to see the glory of spring in bloom. And where is the best place to do that? Wildflower National Park, of course!

Also known as Great Smokey Mountains National Park, this is where spring bursts upon the planet in thick, stunning floral tribute, up hillsides, down canyons, over glens - acres and acres of colorful flowers. Rent a Gatlinburg timeshare in, TN, the "gateway" to the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. An easy few miles drive from your timeshare, and each day you'll find yet another trail to hike, another forest to explore.

Great Smokey Mountain National Park has over 800 miles of trails, for all kinds of activity levels and all kinds of interests. There are trails for walking, trails for hiking, trails for biking, and trails for horseback riding. And all them are surrounded by blooming wildflowers. In fact, Great Smokey Mountains National Park has over 1660 different spring wildflowers, more than any other national park in North America. Imagine being inundated with brilliantly colored azaleas, rhododendrons, trilliums, dogwood, orchids, and enveloped with the sweet smell of violets, or the heavy perfume of irises.

If you're starting to get spring fever, and an itch to get outdoors, plan to attend the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage, an annual five-day event hosted by Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Scheduled April 21 - 25, 2010, there will be outdoor events in the Park, and indoor programs in various venues around Gatlinburg. Activities consisting of everything from natural history walks, to motorcades, to photographic tours, to art classes are a perfect way to celebrate spring like you never have before.

So stay in a timeshare rental in Gatlinburg or near-by Pigeon Forge, and take your family on a spring outing that is sure to create memories to last through the winter, until you can return next year and enjoy the glories of spring all over again.

(Photo by nps.gov)

Monday, March 22, 2010

New Timeshare Software Presented at ARDA Convention

SPI Software presented their exciting new timeshare software for the first time at the American Resort and Development Association (ARDA) Convention last week. The new software will assist timeshare resorts in developing newer and more efficient ways of handling owner servicing, reservations, marketing and sales.

The OrangeWeb software allows timeshare resorts and vacation clubs to more effectively manage all facets of operations. “We are very excited to unveil OrangeWeb and to answer the industry need for an integrated web strategy," noted Matt Brosious, Vice-president of sales and marketing for SPI.

What does this mean to you, the timeshare owner? Let's walk through it. For example, when you first buy your timeshare, you will automatically receive an email welcoming you as a new owner or as a new vacation club member. You'll know right from the beginning that not only is your business valued, but also that the resort company is in step with current technology.

When a resort makes it a point to stay up to date with technology, it gives you the benefits of always having the latest information at your fingertips. This can include such things as electronic statements and billing, for managing your maintenance fee bill. You may already be used to paying most, if not all, of your monthly bills on line. Soon, with SPI's software, your resorts will be on line, too.

Other SPI software features include a number of self-servicing options for you. These will include such things as access to the latest resort news, the ability to maintain contact information, review usage history (including points), view billing history, check resort availability, and make a reservation request.

If you are not yet comfortable making payments on line, this new software will still allow your resort to maintain an automated customer account which will eliminate human error and create more accurate data for your file.

Another "behind the scenes" advantage of this SPI software that will benefit you as an owner is automated routine scheduling of maintenance activities. A check list for each unit will ensure that plumbing and electrical, as well as such things as replacing worn carpeting and re-painting, is all performed routinely. Gone will be the days when you walk into your timeshare and have to deal with maintenance issues that should have been taken care of without your intervention.

With SPI's new software, resorts will be coming on-line, and the exciting results are certain to enhance your enjoyment as a timeshare owner.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Re-Cap of ARDA Timeshare Industry Convention

As the American Resort Development Association’s (ARDA) timeshare industry convention for 2010 comes to a close, here’s a re-cap of some of the highlights of the week. Attendance and exhibitors were lower than previous years, but, that was expected based on the state of the economy. Those companies who are at the core of the timeshare industry were represented, which means the right people were there to participate in key discussion.

One of the hot topics was regarding the often controversial Model Resale Act which ARDA has been working on that would regulate legislation guidelines for state and federal policymakers regarding timeshare resales.

Social media was huge topic for break-out sessions and general discussions around the convention. Twitter and Facebook are here to stay and businesses must be participating in these social spaces or be left behind. There was a great opening keynote speech from Andy Sernovitz, author of the book Word of Mouth Marketing.

RCI, one of the Wyndham Worldwide family of companies, received seven awards at the ARDA gala ceremony and dinner, including the ACE Philanthropic Award for its work with Christel House fundraising efforts and education.

The Holiday Inn Club Vacations brand had 10 people and projects nominated and received the highest honor in the timeshare industry: the ARDA Gold.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

For a Memorable Timeshare Vacation Stay at Marriott's Crystal Shores

For a truly memorable timeshare rental vacation, plan to stay at Marriott's Crystal Shores resort on Florida's Marco Island. Marriott's Crystal Shores is one of Marriott's newest Vacation Club resorts (the first phase opened in March, 2009) and quickly was listed as one of the "Top 25 Best Timeshare Rental Resorts" selected by RedWeek.com users.

The largest of the "Ten Thousand Islands" located on the Gulf of Mexico off Florida's southwest coast, Marco Island is 6800 acres (4 miles wide and 6 miles long), and just 90 miles from Miami. This large barrier reef island is surprisingly diverse with high sand hills, slash pine forests, quartz sand beaches and mangrove swamps.

Marriott's Marco Island beach resort offers Gulf-front, Gulf-side and Gulf-view villas. The wrap-around balconies and floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors allow for unobstructed views of frolicking dolphins and spectacular sunsets. There are two pools, including a shallow pool for the little ones, and a water slide. The Kid's Club also offers many activities to keep the younger set busy. The resort boasts beachside dining, easy access to all of the activities of Naples, and tours to Everglades National Park.

Marco Island is known for some of the best "shelling" of any beach destination in the world, where you can find hundreds of shells at low tide. Archeological studies have revealed that around 6000 years ago the Calusa Indians (probably descendants of the Mayans), who inhabited the island, found good use for the many shells. They built large mounds using millions of shells, where they lived in fine protection from hurricanes. They also used shells to build burial mounds, one of which can be seen when you take the fascinating self-guided historical tour of Marco Island.

Other activities on Marco Island include parasailing, boating, and charter fishing, both off-shore and on Florida's inland waterways. The calm, warm waters of the Gulf offer wonderful opportunities for swimming and the sugar-sand beaches are perfect for sunbathing and relaxation.

As you consider your next timeshare rental family vacation at Marriott's Crystal Shores, read what one RedWeek reviewer said: "Just got back from Marriott's Crystal Shores. Like everyone has said, gorgeous, classy, and attention to detail is what sets this resort apart."

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Nine Marriott’s Listed in the Top 25 Timeshare Rental Resorts

Did you see our recent list of the "Top 25 Timeshare Rental Resorts" as selected by RedWeek.com users? Nine resorts on the list are Marriott’s, the most of any one company.

Marriott has its roots, as it were, in a Washington, D.C., root beer stand opened in 1927 by J. Willard Marriott and his wife, Alice. As customers gratefully sought relief from the sweltering summer heat of the area, the little place to get a cool drink became so popular that the Marriotts opened a chain of stands that eventually became a chain of restaurants and hotels.

Today Marriott International is run by their son, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, J.W. (Bill) Marriott, Jr. Under his guidance Marriott International boasts about 3,150 lodging properties located in the United States and 67 other countries and territories.

In 1984 Marriott expanded into the lucrative timeshare industry, the first major hotelier to do so. Today Marriot's Vacation Club International has over 400,000 timeshare owners across North America, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean. Known for its innovative approach, Marriott is the company that created the concept of floating time in response to consumer concern over the inflexible fixed time. It's "Gold Standard" service and accommodations has made Marriott resorts some of the most sought-after luxury vacation destinations in the world.

Here’s how the Marriott’s rank on our list and what our members have to say about them:

On RedWeek's Top 25 Timeshare Rental Resorts list, Marriott's Frenchman's Cove, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, comes in at #24. RedWeek member review: "Had a great trip here. Loved the accommodations, staff and the setting."

Marriott's OceanWatch Villas at Grande Dunes, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is #14. RedWeek member review: "This is a great property with excellent amenities. Staff is always very helpful. Everything is kept up very well, very clean, good location, nice beach. Top notch accommodations."

At #13 is Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club, Kapolei, Hawaii. RedWeek member review: "My family and I just returned from Ko Olina and can't wait to go back next year. We're already booked. The resort is beautiful and immaculate. The staff is friendly and efficient."

Marriott’s Aruba Ocean Club, Palm Beach, Aruba, checks in at #12. RedWeek member review: "I've been an owner at the Aruba Ocean Club for 8 years. My family and I look forward to our time there year after year. The timeshares are very roomy, clean and beautifully decorated. You won't be disappointed."

Marriott's Aruba Surf Club - Palm Beach, Aruba, is #9. RedWeek member review: "I have found the Surf Club wonderful for a family vacation. The villas are very spacious, very clean and the staff is VERY friendly and helpful."

Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club, Lahaina, Hawaii and Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club – Lahaina Villas, Lahaina, Hawaii come in at #7 and #6 respectively. RedWeek member reviews: "For a Wonderful time great sunsets and excellent choice of restaurants Maui Ocean Club is the best!" "We just returned from our week at the Lahaina Villas. We were absolutely thrilled with it! Everything is very high end -- great beds, linens, kitchen, laundry, bathrooms -- and we loved the shady, grassy area between the pool and the ocean."

At #4 is Marriott's Crystal Shores, Marco Island, Florida. RedWeek member review: "Just returned from a great vacation at Marriott's Crystal Shores. Beautiful place, exceptional service, stunning ocean front view. Great beach and sunsets are spectacular. We would definitely return."

And at #3 on the Top 25 list is Marriott's Maui Ocean Club – Napili Villas - Lahaina, Hawaii. RedWeek member review: " We absolutely love how the Napili Tower. It's a beautiful resort."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Florida Continues to Crack Down on Timeshare Resale Fraud

Florida's Attorney General, Bill McCollum, is once again in the news as he leads Florida in another crack down on fraudulent timeshare resale companies. McCollum has unveiled ongoing investigations into at least 17 timeshare companies and their affiliates throughout the state for deceptive trade practices, including action against a major timeshare resale company with what McCollum calls "a significant settlement that could yield as much as $1.3 million in consumer refunds."

"Florida's consumers are trying to make prudent financial decisions," the attorney general noted, "but many timeshare resale companies are blatantly scamming people by promising sales or refunds and failing to provide services even after taking hefty up-front fees."

Timeshare resale complaints have recently surpassed mortgage-related complaints as the most commonly reported consumer complaint received by the Florida State Attorney General Consumer Hotline. The initiative was launched in 2009 in response to the growing number of timeshare resale complaints received by the Attorney General's Office.

Common complaints about these companies include false claims that entice consumers to pay up-front fees. Frequently the company states it already has a buyer in place. Other complaints assert that a company misrepresents the actual services it will provide, fails to honor cancellation policies, and fails to comply with state and federal telemarketing laws.

A recent lawsuit filed by the Attorney General's office is against Resales Buy Owner.com, Inc. The suit contends that the company "engaged in a systematic pattern of deception that improperly induced consumers to pay up-front fees for timeshare resale services that were never provided." Florida's AG office has also announced that their investigation of Virtual, Inc. (doing business as Realty Trade) has resulted in a payment of $800,000 to 799 consumers.

The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) suggests that to keep from becoming a victim to fraudulent practices make sure to understand clearly the specific services of the resale company before signing a contract or paying a fee. When in doubt of a company's reputation, ask for references and speak with past sellers.

When looking for a reputable timeshare resale company with a national reputation look no further than Redweek. Redweek has been given an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau. In addition, Howard Nusbaum, ARDA president, has been quoted as "highly recommending" Redweek.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Welk Timeshare Resorts Announce Record Sales

The Welk Resorts have announced record sales in 2009 of the Welk Resorts Platinum Program – a multi-resort, points-based, timeshare ownership program - beating its budget by 15%. “Even in these rough economic times we found that adhering to our core competency in providing an excellent product at affordable prices helped us achieve over $72 million in net revenue,” stated Welk Resorts President Jonathan Fredricks.

“We’ve also concentrated on retaining a consistent, excellent and well-trained staff, many of whom have been with us for more than two decades," added Don Dubin, Sales and Marketing Director. The Welk Resorts offers high-quality accommodations and top-rated service at popular destinations such as Escondido, California; Palm Desert, California; Maui, and Branson, Missouri and serves over 40,000 families.

The Welk Resorts are a legacy from the famed band leader, Lawrence Welk, who had the top popular music show on ABC television for 27 years. He then created the Lawrence Welk Network and syndicated his show for another 8 years. For the past 15 years the original programs have aired on PBS.

As the story goes, in 1964 Lawrence Welk went for a drive through the country side north of San Diego, planning to invest in a grove of orange trees. Instead he bought a motel and a nine-hole golf course. When he staged one of his television shows there fans began to flock to the area, and the resort grew to include a live-performance theater, more golf, and timeshares.

The company continues to be family-owned, with Lawrence Welk's grandson, Jonathan Fredricks, acting as president. Fredericks believes that running the company based on his grandfather's sense of ethics and the importance of always giving his fans the very best he could is what makes the Welk Resorts so successful.

The company' newest resort is being built in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Sirena del Mar is a luxurious 7-acre resort perched high on the cliffs of the Cabo San Lucas peninsula, affording spectacular sunset views. The first phase, scheduled for opening during the spring of 2010, has presold 70%.

Some of the Welk timeshares for rent and for resale include:
Lawrence Welk Resort Villas (Pictured above)
Lawrence Welk's Desert Oasis
Lawrence Welk Resorts Mountain Villas
Villas on the Greens at the Welk Resort

Friday, March 12, 2010

ARDA Convention for Timeshare Industry leaders Starts March 14

Today, there are 1,641 resorts in the U.S., with 4.7 million timeshare owners, and timeshare resorts in over 100 countries. When you make the decision to either own a timeshare or rent a timeshare for your vacation needs, you are joining the timeshare community. This means that you also become a partner with the American Resort Development Association (ARDA). And just what is the ARDA?

The ARDA, based in Washington, D.C., was established over 40 years ago to represent the vacation ownership and resort development industries. Today the ARDA has over 1,000 members, including timeshare owner associations and resort management companies. Almost 1 million timeshare owners are represented through the ARDA Resort Owners Coalition (ARDA-ROC). Through ARDA-ROC owners "can be part of an effective grassroots lobbying coalition of timeshare unit owners dedicated to preserving, protecting, and enhancing vacation ownership."

The mission of the ARDA is to promote the growth and development of the timeshare industry. This is accomplished by several means, including all-important Advocacy: "ARDA actively engages in lobbying efforts focused on the establishment of a legislative environment that fosters industry growth and that further enhances consumer confidence and protection." ARDA also serves its members through such things as education and ethics enforcement.

The 2010 annual ARDA Convention for industry leaders is slated to take place March 14-18 in Las Vegas. This year the convention will focus on such subjects as understanding the consumer-generated changes in the industry brought about by word-of-mouth marketing movements such as Twitter and Facebook.

“Attendees will walk away from this year’s convention with a renewed sense of enthusiasm and energy for this terrific vacation product called timeshare,” said Howard Nusbaum, ARDA president and

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Video Clip: How to Sell Your Timeshare on RedWeek.com

Are you new to RedWeek.com? Do you want to post your timeshare for sale but you don’t know how? We’re very pleased to provide you with this quick video clip that outlines the process for How to Sell Your Timeshare on RedWeek.com.

In less than 2 minutes, you can easily see what steps you need to take in order to post your timeshare resale on RedWeek.com. Here’s an overview of what is involved:
  1. Review your ownership documents and find out if your resort allows you to sell the unit yourself and if there are any transfer fees.

  2. Go to RedWeek.com and create a timeshare resale posting. RedWeek.com membership is required. To find your resort, use the search or browse feature.

  3. Click “Sell Your Timeshare”. Then in just a few minutes you can click to easily list all the details of your unit. You can make changes to the listing at any time.

  4. A RedWeek.com timeshare resale posting is just $59.99 for 12 months. Interested members contact you via email to learn more.

  5. RedWeek.com also offers a third party timeshare escrow service for transactions.

  6. If you don’t want to do it yourself, a full service resale option is also available.
Plus, RedWeek.com has received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, so, you can feel confident that you are listing your timeshare with a reputable company that cares about its members.

See the video now:

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

RedWeek.com Timeshare Website Earns A+ Rating from Better Business Bureau

RedWeek.com, the largest marketplace for timeshare rentals and resales, holds an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau — a rarity in the timeshare industry. Since its launch in 2002, RedWeek has served owners seeking to rent or sell their timeshares and provides travelers with budget friendly timeshare rentals and timeshare resales.

“RedWeek.com has earned an A+ rating —BBB's highest rating,” said Niki Horace, BBB’s vice president of marketing and public relations. “We encourage consumers searching for timeshares or a timeshare company to conduct thorough research by visiting www.bbb.org where you can make informed decisions on ethical companies based on their BBB rating.”

By becoming a BBB Accredited Business in 2006, Redweek.com chose to be thoroughly evaluated by the BBB and agreed to adhere to their Code of Business Practices. The Code is built on the BBB Standards for Trust; eight principals that summarize important elements of creating and maintaining trust in business.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Timeshare Rental vs. Hotels and Vacation Homes

When you plan your vacation one of the main decisions is what kind of lodging you and your family will be using. Do you know the difference between timeshares, vs. hotels and vacation homes? Most people automatically think of hotels, but as you become more savvy as a traveler you're learning that there are better options than a cramped, expensive room.

One is renting a vacation home. A vacation home is generally a second home owned by a private individual who uses it part of the year and then rents it out to vacationers when they are not in residence. The main advantage to renting a vacation home as opposed to staying in a hotel is that they offer much more living space, which is almost necessary if you are vacationing with your children. You'll also have the kitchen which will help in feeding the family, both for convenience and cost savings.

All sounds good until you start to compare renting a vacation home with renting a timeshare. The advantages of renting a timeshare start out the same as for the vacation home - living space, fully-equipped kitchen. At this point the many advantages of a timeshare rental leave the vacation home in the dust.

First and foremost, the timeshare is attached to a resort. Every timeshare rental will have the resort's amenities included. A vacation home rental might have a hot tub, maybe a swimming pool (although due to liability, insurance rates are high which precludes most vacation home rental owners from having even small swimming pools). Besides swimming pools that could even be called water parks, resorts can offer many more on-sight activities such as tennis, volleyball, golf, arcade game rooms, etc.

Remember that with a vacation home you are responsible for tidying up, including trash and garbage. One of the joys of staying somewhere on vacation is being pampered, including simple little things like having your trash emptied. And when you cook in your timeshare kitchen it's nice to know that someone else will take out the garbage.

Also keep in mind that a vacation house rental has no on-sight manager. If something goes wrong with the plumbing, the television, the neighbors, or any number of other annoying problems, without immediate access to a manager help can be a long time coming, if ever. And remember - this is someone's personal property - woe be it if one of your children breaks the owner's personal possessions.

Renting a timeshare gives you living space, a kitchen, maid service, immediate access to an on-sight manager for all maintenance needs, concierge services, huge swimming pools, often a children's playground and kiddie pool, and other wonderful advantages too numerous to list. Rent a timeshare - it's a slam dunk!

Monday, March 08, 2010

Do you Know the Benefits of RedWeek Timeshare Exchange?

As a timeshare owner, you know the value of a prepaid vacation. You may have bought your unit with the excitement of returning to the resort you love, year after year. Or, maybe the thought of trying a new travel destination was the most appealing and those who like that option can benefit from the flexibility of timeshare exchange.

The RedWeek.com timeshare exchange program is unique because it does not require that you have a resort affiliation. Unlike RCI or Interval International (II), no matter where you own a timeshare resort, you can exchange through RedWeek.com. This system is quite a benefit to timeshare owners because it gives you access to ALL timeshare resorts, rather than just a sub-set, as is the case with II and RCI. See a full comparison of the RedWeek.com exchange program as compared to others.

Unlike the traditional timeshare exchange programs, RedWeek.com gives you access to ALL timeshare resorts in the world, and you can see your choices before you bank your week. If you have a high value week, you can deposit it and potentially get multiple lower value weeks in exchange. If you have a low value week, you'd simply pay the difference - getting access to otherwise unavailable weeks for a fraction of what it would cost you to rent.

Ready to take a look at the timeshare exchanges available to you? Get a free timeshare exchange valuation and we will send you an offer for RedWeek Exchange Points within 24 hours, or the next business day.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Looking for a Timeshare Resale?

Renting a timeshare is often cheaper than staying in a hotel, but if you buy a bargain timeshare resale you can really save! In fact, some are priced so low, that you just take over the maintenance fees. Take a look at what some timeshare owners have posted on RedWeek.com and save big on your future vacations. From beaches, to mountains to deserts, no matter what type of vacation you enjoy, you'll find a timeshare resort close by. These bargain timeshare deals are sure to move quickly, so, gets your today!

Here’s just a sample of the timeshare resales you’ll find:

Ocean Sands Beach Club
At Ocean Sands Beach Club in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, you can enjoy the pleasures of beachfront living without the hustle and bustle of a large beach community. This unit is a two-bedroom, two-bath that sleep six and has an ocean view. Price $0. Maintenance fee: $649.

Marriott's Mountain Valley Lodge
Breckenridge, located just 98 miles west of Denver, is a charming town with Victorian homes and historical buildings dating back to the Gold Rush days. Marriott's Mountain Valley Lodge is located in the heart of town, overlooking Quicksilver lift which serves 41 ski runs. Studio, 1 bath, sleeps 4. Price $0. Maintenance fee: $1000.

Planet Hollywood Towers
Planet Hollywood Towers by Westgate is a vacation ownership resort that is fully integrated into a complete casino and entertainment complex, directly on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip in Nevada. You'll enjoy the convenience of on-site indoor access to all the amenities of Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino. 2 bedroom, 2 bath, sleeps 8. Price $0. Maintenance fee: $379.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Caribbean Timeshares Await You on the Unique Island of Barbados

PhotobucketCome visit Barbados, a unique Caribbean island. Rent a Christ Church timeshare in or St. Philip timeshare and explore an island that has one foot in and one foot out - of the Caribbean scene. Barbados is located on the far eastern edge of the Caribbean Sea, its western coast along the Caribbean Sea and its eastern coast in the Atlantic Ocean.

The total land area of Barbados is a respectable 166 sq. miles. A huge North Atlantic Ocean sub-marine mountain range rises above sea level in only one spot, creating the island of Barbados. Like many of its Caribbean neighbors, Barbados offers beautiful white, and pink, sandy beaches along calm, turquoise waters. However, the rough and tumble waves from the Atlantic Ocean on its east coast offers a water sport lacking at most other Caribbean Islands - surfing.

Another unusual water activity is taking a submarine ride. You can dive 150 deep into the Caribbean Sea aboard an 80-ft submarine, for the remarkable experience of seeing the incredible sea life teeming at that depth.

Barbados was a British colony for three centuries, winning its independence from Great Britain in 1966. Maintaining membership in the British Commonwealth of Nations, Barbados also keeps Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state. This island-nation affectionately calls itself "Little England," and is known for many British influences on daily life, including everything from place names, to driving on the left, to afternoon tea.

Among the historic attractions for visitors is the Barbados Museum, built in the former British Detention Barracks. Many of the museum's individual galleries are housed in actual prison cells.

By planning a timeshare vacation on Barbados you'll discover a remarkable island. As its coastline changes from tranquil to wild, so does its interior. Undeveloped areas contain tropical woodlands and mangroves, while other areas are dotted with large sugarcane estates and wide, gently sloping pastures. Even in its life style there are contrasts, where you'll enjoy a pronounced laid-back atmosphere punctuated by explosive nightlife. Barbados does seem to have it all for a great timeshare vacation.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Rent an Oahu Timeshare for the Na Hoku Hawaii Music Festival

Plan now to rent an Oahu timeshare and attend the amazing musical event, The Na Hoku Hawaii Music Festival, to be held May 26-30, 2010. The beautiful melodies and vibrant rhythms of Hawaii's music will be showcased over an incredible 5 days.

Everyone who has visited Hawaii, or dreamed of a Hawaiian vacation, knows how the special music unique to these Islands can bring up images and emotions like no other. From traditional chants by paus (drums), to meles (songs), to chords strummed on a ukulele, Hawaii's exceptional musical heritage is recognized world-wide.

The Na Hoku Hawaii Music Festival has evolved out of a desire to promote a better understanding of Hawaii and its culture, music and arts, to the world. A Hawaiian version of the Grammies, the Na Hoku Hanohano Awards were created 30 years ago, and now in 2010 for the first time a music festival for the public will be presented in conjunction with the Awards.

Headquartered at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu, the Festival will offer entertainment, workshops and speakers on Hawaii's music, culture and arts, spread across Waikiki at 25 different venues including hotels, restaurants, lounges and shopping centers. Over 100 best-selling and award winning Hawaiian artists will perform, including Grammy-nominated Henry Kapono, five-time Na Hoku Hanohano Award winner Kaumakaiwa Kanaka'ole, Danny Kaleikini, who has performed at the Hawaiian Hilton for over 30 years, and Ku'uipo Kumukahi, the "Sweetheart of Hawaiian Music”.

The Festival kicks off with a sunset rooftop cocktail party where Hawaiian music, dance and cuisine will be enjoyed by you and the kamaaina (locals). The next four days will be filled with workshops, panels, lectures, speakers and films so, it’s a good thing you have your timeshare rental for the whole week. Each evening you'll be able to enjoy more outstanding musical performances at sunset. The Festival culminates on the fifth day where it began, with the Na Holu Hanohano Awards.

(Photo shown is Kawika Kaiupileokalani Kahiapo provided by nahokuohawaiimusicfestival.com)

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Grand Pacific Timeshare Resorts Green Initiative

Timeshare owners concerned about the environment will be please to learn that Grand Pacific Resort Services (GPRS), has formed a “Going Green Committee” to create new operational strategies for implementing environmental initiatives to reduce impact, and satisfy owner and guest expectations for environmentally conscious hospitality practices.

The program covers four areas:
  1. Water
    • Linen and towel re-use program
    • Shifting laundry operations to off peak hours
    • The use of low flow shower heads and water aerators
    • Installation energy efficient commercial washers / dryers

  2. Air
    • Each room has a standardized ambient thermostat setting
    • Guest education regarding air conditioning usage and open windows

  3. Energy
    • Energy management controls on hot water systems to reduce gas usage
    • Compact fluorescent lighting for each room (CFL)
    • Installation of “Cool Roof” products for resort roofing

  4. Waste
    • Recycling containers available in each unit and at the elevators
“Thinking Green is not just the ‘right thing to do;’ in the long run it is fiscally responsible and adds to the overall stay experience” said Vice President of Resort Operations Nigel Lobo. “Our terrific in-house Going Green Squad is comprised of representatives from each one of our resorts. They are continually coming up with great ideas and solutions as we do our part to think and act Green.”

GPRS is one of the oldest and largest timeshare vacation ownership companies in California. Some of their more popular resorts include: Grand Pacific MarBrisa Resort, Grand Pacific Palisades, Coronado Beach Resort, Carlsbad Inn Resort (photo shown above), Carlsbad Seapointe Resort and the Southern California Beach Club.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Travel Tips for Your Mexico Timeshare Vacation

Spring Break season is upon us, and many of you will be heading to a Mexico timeshare. The resorts south of the border offer sun, sand, snorkeling and great nightlife. Even though it's a quick trip from the U.S. mainland, when you travel to Mexico, you are heading into a foreign country. Here’s some travel tips to prepare you for your entry experience into Mexico.

Entry Requirements
You will need either a passport book or a passport card when traveling by land or sea. The passport card is invalid for air travel so you must have a passport book if you will be flying to your Mexico vacation. For more information on these documents visit the U.S. State Department's travel website.

Mexico will also require you to have a Tourist Card. This two-part document is your "permission" by Mexico to enter the country. You can get them from your airline when you check in, or at Mexican Immigration upon arrival.

Be sure to bring a black ball-point pen with you to fill out the forms as there won't be any to borrow. Do not deface or lose the bottom portion of the form that is given back to you when you pass through Mexican Immigration. That portion must be returned to Mexican officials when you depart the country.

Be sure to keep your Tourist Card and all of your travel documents in a secure place. Unless you will be traveling extensively from your point of entry you shouldn't need to carry them with you.

Going Through Customs
Mexico has instituted a "European-style customs inspection system, with a twist." Here's the way it works: You will complete a customs declaration form, and then you'll choose to either declare or not declare if you are bringing in items beyond your allowance.

If you declare items, your belongings will be searched and duty collected. If you are not declaring items you will be required to push a large button on a post mounted inside the customs area. This is the "red light/ green light signal" that is the unusual aspect of Mexican Customs. After pushing the button you'll randomly receive either a green light - which means you can pass on through customs without your luggage being searched, or a red light which means you will have your bags investigated. The screener is looking for contraband, and for items that you may have failed to declare on your customs paper.

Knowing what to expect, and having all of your documents in place, before entering Mexico will help you arrive at your Mexico timeshare destination ready for a relaxing vacation this beautiful country. For ideas about where to rent timeshares for a fun-filled Mexico vacation, see our previous post “Planning a Mexico Timeshare Vacation.”

(Photo shown is The Royal Sands, Cancun.)