Thursday, April 28, 2011

How to View the Royal Wedding Online

April 29, 2011, means just one thing - the Royal Wedding of William and Kate. As the future king of England and his lady first speak their vows in Westminster Abby, then attend a huge reception at Buckingham Palace hosted by Queen Elizabeth II, and finally dance the night away at a more intimate party hosted by William's father, Prince Charles - you can bet it will all be done amidst much pomp and ceremony.

If you aren’t leaving town for your London timeshare to attend the Royal nuptials yourself, in this day and age, viewing live feeds online is just like being there. You can watch the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton on a number of different online sites, including:

PBS NewsHour coverage of the event will be streamed live by Ustream, starting at 9.30am London time (4.30am ET/1.30am PT).

CNN will stream “various angles of the day’s events” live on CNN.com as well as through its iPhone, iPad and Android apps starting at 9am London time (4:00am ET/1:00am PT).

YouTube is going to stream the entire ceremony live on the official YouTube channel of the British monarchy, also known as the Royal Channel, starting at 10am London time (5:00am ET/ 2:00am PT).

Find a complete listing of online sites for live viewing of the Royal Wedding here.

(Photo credit - galatiansfour.blogspot.com)

RedWeek.com Makes Its Mark on the Timeshare Marketplace

Leading timeshare marketplace, RedWeek.com®, added another “R” to its name in the form of a registered trademark. With a registered trademark, RedWeek.com has exclusive rights to the term RedWeek for promoting timeshare rental and resale properties.

“This is a huge step in preventing the trademark infringement that has plagued us from the onset,” said Maurice Aubrey, RedWeek.com president. “Now that we hold a registered trademark, we have the legal right to protect our name from being used by other companies that may harm our reputation.”

Founded in 2002, RedWeek.com has attracted more than 1.5 million registered users. Timeshare owners from around the world come to RedWeek.com to advertise their timeshare units for rent and resale. As a result, travelers are able to find amazing deals on condo-style timeshare resort accommodations at a fraction of what is being charged by the resorts and developers.

To learn more about RedWeek.com or timesharing visit www.redweek.com.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Jazzing it up at Your Timeshare in the Caribbean

Are you, or do you have, a cool mom? Consider the gift of cool jazz for Mother's Day, with the added bonus of a vacation in the Caribbean! Rent a timeshare and send your mother (or yourself) to beautiful Saint Lucia for the Saint Lucia Jazz Festival.

The Saint Lucia Jazz began in 1991 in the capital city of Castries as a new and exciting way to increase tourism to the tiny Caribbean island. Celebrating its 20th year in 2011, the festival will run from April 30 - May 8th, culminating on Mother's Day.

The Saint Lucia Jazz Festival encompasses multiple shows of acoustical/straight ahead jazz, new age jazz, fusion, rhythm and blues. The acts come from the United States, Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and Europe representing French, Latin, Reggae and New Orleans genres.

Headlining this year’s festival and introducing St. Lucia to Go-Go music is Chuck Brown, and R&B superstars John Legend and Trey Songz. The exciting lineup of performers also includes Ledisi, Taj Weekes, and Anacaona, an all girl group offering a unique blend of afro-Cuban jazz. Funk jazz legend Maceo Parker will also perform along with the Bad Ass Brass Band, among many, many others.

The shows range from formal performances to intimate late night open air venues and late night club venues, and open air picnic style events, which allow Saint Lucia Jazz to offer unparalleled variety and ambience.

In 1999 the event was expanded to create a more festive atmosphere and allow the Saint Lucian public and visitors to participate in the events at little cost and quite a few free events as well. For example, “Jazz in the South” offers shows in the village of Laborie and the towns of Vieux Fort and Soufriere.

Since its establishment The Saint Lucia Jazz Festival has grown in both size and stature, making it the Flagship of the St. Lucia Tourist Board’s marketing efforts. It is considered to be the “Premiere Jazz Festival” of the Caribbean region.

The Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort in Castries has timeshare rentals available for the festival dates, and will put mom in the center of festival excitement and cool music.

Find Caribbean Timeshares


(Photo credit - stluciajazz.org)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

3 Timeshare Resale Scam Red Flags

Timeshare resale scams. Still in the news and still a hot topic of conversation.

One of the longest running threads on the RedWeek Timeshare Forums (over 2 years) is about timeshare resale scams. Well-intentioned people are still falling for them, and are still losing thousands of dollars in "upfront fees" in the process.

If you are thinking of selling your timeshare, the best advice is to go through a reputable company and pay no upfront fees.

Why do timeshare owners still fall for these scams? Well, it comes as no surprise that the scammers are good at what they do. Just the right amount of sympathy. Just the right amount of information. Just the right kind of promise.

Here are some clues that you're tangling with a potential scammer, and should hang up the phone and run away:
  1. They Called YOU
    …Or sent a postcard. If they are soliciting you, then they have their own agenda. They'll give you no chance to do your own research, which is what you should be doing - investigate all the steps that selling your timeshare involves before you commit to anything.

  2. Guarantees
    Nobody can make a guarantee. Nobody reputable, that is. If they do give you a guarantee, ask for it in writing. If they go so far as to send you something, look at it with a fine-toothed comb. Odds are it's generic, open-ended, and written in double-talk legalese - and unenforceable.

  3. Upfront Fees
    This is the clincher. Under no circumstances should you ever give anyone upfront fees. Timeshare owners are becoming more knowledgeable about this red flag, so the scammers are getting more creative. They might not ask you to send money to cover administrative fees, but if they require you to send money to cover the closing costs of the sale, that's just another way to have you send thousands of dollars and you'll never hear from them again. Keep in mind that the seller is not - ever - required to cover the closing costs, regardless of how they spin it.

In any and all situations, if the person says "first send me money" you know that it is a scam. Whether it's a timeshare company, a real estate firm, or even a consumer advocate lawyer. And if you're starting to think that just maybe they are legitimate, contact the Better Business Bureau. While the BBB has no legal power to prosecute, it can give you information on the company's rating, whether or not complaints have been filed against it, and how - or even if - those complaints were resolved.

RedWeek.com, the largest on-line marketplace for timeshare rentals and resales, holds the coveted A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, and is an excellent resource for timeshare resale listings. The website offers an easy video instruction on How to Rent, Resell or Exchange Your Timeshare, along with a timeshare resource section that will answer many of your questions.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Bluegreen Timeshares Invite you to See the World in Branson

Bluegreen Corporation has announced its resorts are the ideal place for guests attending the See the World in Branson events. Multiple Bluegreen resorts are convenient to this event, occurring this spring from April 1, 2011 to May 31, 2011. Time share rental vacationers to the Branson area will love taking advantage of all everything these resorts have to offer, while also checking out the variety of events going on especially for See the World in Branson.

The See the World in Branson celebration, which is organized by the Branson Area Receptive Association (BARA), is an annual Springtime event that gives vacationers and locals the chance to discover cultures from across the globe. Local theaters, hotels, restaurants, and retail venues will be representing countries from all around the world during this month long International festival.

"We wanted to make this a fun event and allow everyone's creativity to shine," said an event organizer. "Whether you choose to visit Mexico, Israel, Greece or Scotland, we have venues that are decorated accordingly and highlight the culture of that particular country."

By staying at one of the Bluegreen properties for the See the World in Branson international festival this spring, guests will have the chance to visit participating venues throughout the city to take in the culture and traditions of countries from just about every continent, while also taking advantage of the amenities the resorts and the area have to offer.

Bluegreen offers numerous places to stay, close to all the action at See the World in Branson, including The Falls Village Resort in Branson. Right in the Ozark Mountains the family friendly Falls Village resort allows guests to take in the scenery and spend a day outdoors fishing at the nearby Ozark lakes. Time share rentals available here during April and May start at just $71/night.

Big Cedar Wilderness Club in Ridgedale is just a short drive from all the exciting things to do in Branson, while providing vacationers with the chance to explore nature’s beauty, including Table Rock Lake and spectacular Dogwood Canyon. Then you can unwind in the lazy river, the pool, and the hot tub. Guests will find endless ways to spend the day, both on land and on the water. Time share rentals available here during April and May start at just $50/night.

Founded in 1966 and headquartered in Boca Raton, FL, Bluegreen Corporation is the leader in providing "Colorful Places to Live and Play" through its vacation ownership resorts. "Our more than 3,500 employees are passionate about delivering extraordinary experiences for our owners, travelers and business partners."

Find Branson Timeshares

Friday, April 22, 2011

Ten Tips for Securing the Perfect Timeshare Rental


You can’t go wrong with renting a timeshare when traveling with children, friends, or simply want something more than a standard hotel room. Every savvy traveler should know these ten tips for finding and negotiating a successful timeshare rental.
  1. Shop Around: Don’t settle for the first timeshare rental you see. Take the time to contact several owners – even if they aren’t advertising the exact week you want. You may find they can change their reservation with the resort for the week you want.

  2. Negotiate: Because you are dealing directly with the timeshare owners and not the resorts, prices are often flexible. Ask if the rate is negotiable, or make an offer less than the asking price.

  3. Verify: It is always a good idea to contact the resort directly to verify that the owner you are dealing with actually owns at the resort, and the unit advertised is what the owner has reserved – be sure to ask about the view too.

  4. Sign a rental contract/use escrow: The best way to ensure that your vacation investment is safe is to use a rental escrow service. However, there is a fee. If you prefer the do-it-yourself method, be sure you have a rental contract in place. RedWeek.com offers a sample timeshare rental contract to its users.

  5. Don’t Pay 100% up Front: When dealing with a stranger over the Internet, it is best not to pay 100% of the rental fee up-front. Offer to pay 50% to secure the reservation, and the other 50% when you receive confirmation from the resort that the reservation has been placed in your name.

  6. Payment Methods: Never, ever pay by wire transfer as it is a method most often used by scammers. Before making payment, ask yourself if you will have proof of payment, is the payment secure, and what is your liability coverage in case something goes wrong? RedWeek.com has put together a payment method comparison page to help you determine the payment type that works for you.

  7. Confirm your Reservation: Don’t take the owner’s word that the reservation has been placed in your name. Call the resort personally and verify that the reservation is in your name and ensure that the owner cannot change the reservation back to his/her name at a later date.

  8. Take Your Rental Contract with You: Your rental contract should have all the information you need if a problem arises: the owner’s name and contact information, and the resort and unit information.

  9. Let Others Know About your Experience: After a successful timeshare rental experience, be sure to add your resort review to the RedWeek.com resort page and also send a letter to the timeshare owner letting him/her know of your experience and that you would be happy to serve as a reference to future renters.

  10. Become a RedWeek.com Member Today. Use our unique Posting Alert function and be notified of new rental weeks as soon as they hit the market.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Timeshare Companies Support Earth Day

Earth Day 2011 is being celebrated on April 22, all over the world. And odds are that your favorite timeshare resort is going green and doing its part, too.

Earth Day was started over 40 years ago as an "environmental teach-in" by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson. Earth Day has gained in momentum every year since its debut in 1970, inspiring awareness and appreciation for the Earth's natural environment.

In 1990, Earth Day's original coordinator, Denis Hayes, took the American event global, and organized Earth Day events in 140 nations. Now Earth Day 2011 will be celebrated in over 175 countries, with individuals, corporations, and governments participating in and focusing on environmental issues. In 2009 the United Nations designated April 22 as International Mother Earth Day.

The travel industry is well aware of the importance of green tourism, especially in the light of statistics that show that the majority of travelers and vacationers support the global movement of green initiatives. In November, 2010, the first World Green Tourism event dedicated to the investment and development of sustainable tourism, took place in Abu Dhabi.

Many timeshare and vacation club companies share this desire to support the earth so that it can continue to support its people. For example, many timeshare resorts in Florida work toward being a Certified Green Lodge, a prestigious designation awarded by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Marriott was the first U.S. lodging company to follow the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), tracking reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, among other "green" projects that include reducing water consumption per available room by 8.2 percent, increasing LEED® (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) registered and certified hotels from 18 to 67, and seeding $2 million to jumpstart an Amazon rainforest preservation project in Brazil.

The Walt Disney Company is well-known for its conversation efforts that span the globe, so it comes as no surprise that Earth Day is a Big Deal day for Disney. "I’m very proud to say that connecting with nature is an everyday passion for the 62,000 cast members at Walt Disney World Resort," said Jackie Ogden, Vice President of Animal Programs and Environmental Initiatives, Disney Parks. "As part of this commitment, cast members are challenging themselves for Earth Day 2011 to double the 10,000 conservation pledges they made last year to reduce their carbon footprint."

Some of the things they plan to do that might give you some good ideas include:
  • Raising thermostats by two degrees in the summer and lowering them by two degrees in the winter.

  • Using reusable shopping bags, utensils and drinking containers.

  • Recycling anything and everything possible.

  • Minimizing the use of pesticides and fertilizers.

  • Reducing water use by installing low-flow shower heads and turning off the faucet while brushing teeth.
Happy Earth Day, Everyone!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

San Francisco Timeshares Make Easter Travel Fun

The big Easter celebration in San Francisco is a long-running tradition. Rent a San Francisco timeshare and join in the fun. This is truly a kid-friendly event that the entire family will enjoy.

San Francisco's 20th Annual Spring Celebration & Easter Parade occurs on Sunday, April 24, 2011. The day-long event is 10:00am to 5:00pm, with the parade beginning at 2:00pm on Union Street.

Everyone is getting into the act as the annual event celebrates and showcases the diverse community of San Francisco, featuring some of Union Street's best restaurants where you're served in an outdoor bistro setting. You'll have a chance to sample all kinds of food from funnel cakes to pausas, from seafood chicken gumbo to garlic chips to Hawaiian smoothies.

A variety of children's and family activities are the focus of the celebration and include large inflatable bounces, kids' rides and games, a climbing wall, a hands-on children's activities area, costumed characters, a petting zoo, a pony ride, and entertainment from some of the Bay Area's best musicians.

Since its inception this event has been known as the Biggest Little Parade in San Francisco. Over the years the parade has grown until now almost 50 units enter, reflecting the unique community of the Bay Area.

"The event is not your average Street Fair or formal Parade," says a spokesperson. "It can best be described as wonderful, wacky, elegant and fabulous, with everything from rollerblading cows and creative self-propelled mini-floats to garden areas, sophisticated fashions and beautiful classic and art cars. It's a special event for the entire family."

There is even an Easter Bonnet Contest (see photo). Categories include Best in Show, Best Couple, Best Family, Best Pet, Best Children, Best Merchant, Most Elegant, Largest Hat, Most Comical, and Most Creative.

Since your San Francisco timeshare rental offers you spacious accommodations, you and your family will have plenty of room in which to design, create, and otherwise show your genius at award-winning Easter Bonnet making.

(Photo credit - sresproductions.com)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

4 Easter Activities Near your New York Timeshare

Are you looking for a different way to spend Easter? How about heading to a big city? Rent a New York City timeshare and head out for these fun activities:
  1. Staten Island Historical Society Easter Egg Hunt
    Saturday, April 23, 2011, 2:00 pm.
    Decorate a paper egg basket in high Victorian style. All decorations are provided. Hunt for up to 6 candy-filled eggs in an 1800s townhouse specially decorated for the season. Meet the Easter Bunny and take photos with him. Refreshments are even served.

    And remember - the Staten Island Ferry ride across New York Harbor is Free!

  2. Barnyard Easter Egg Hunt at the Queens County Farm Museum
    Saturday, April 23, 2011.
    Ongoing throughout the day. The Farm Museum will hold its annual Egg Hunt in the orchard. "Whiskers" the bunny will be hopping around the farm to greet children and pose for pictures, so bring your camera. Dance the "Bunny Hop", play egg toss and egg rolling games on the farmhouse lawn. Visit all of the farm animals, and even take a hayride.

  3. Spring Eggstravaganza at the Queens Zoo
    April 23 - 24, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm.
    Visit the Zoo for an egg-stravagant Easter event! Take part in an egg hunt, meet the Easter Bunny, and enjoy a variety of spring-themed activities that include meeting the zoo’s Flemish giant rabbits - weighing in at almost 20 lbs., Herman is one of the largest bunnies you’ll ever see.

  4. 5th Avenue Easter Parade (see photo above)
    April 24, 2011, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm.
    On Easter Sunday, (April 24, 2011) you have the opportunity to see Easter bonnets to the extreme as "paraders" wander along Fifth Avenue from 49th to 57th Street, which is closed to vehicular traffic. Unlike most New York City Parades, the Easter Parade is a far less organized event and folks wander the street admiring extreme Easter Bonnets and pets dressed in Easter costumes.

    "This parade doesn't have any floats or marching bands but it is a spectacle nonetheless. From around the world people come to New York City to participate. Outfits range from elegant to outrageous. From outfits accented with live animals to the latest high fashions, there is a little bit of everything for the parade viewer," says one review.

(Photo credit - politifi.com)

Monday, April 18, 2011

4 Easter Events Near Your San Diego Timeshare

There are lots of fun Easter activities and events across the country. Plan a San Diego timeshare rental family vacation and enjoy this late April Easter in all of its glory. Besides hippity-hopping on a great beach, here are 4 traditional San Diego Easter celebrations for more family fun.
  1. Easter Brunch and Egg Hunts at the Hotel del Coronado, April 24, 2011. Six egg hunts, for children of all ages, are planned between 10am and 12:45pm on the seaside Windsor Lawn. A Holiday "Craft Egg'stravaganza" and a visit from the Easter Bunny will also be part of the celebration. The Hotel is known for its magnificent Champaign Easter brunches, and this year the buffet, accompanied by entertainment and music, will be offered in both the beautiful oceanfront Ballroom, and the luxurious Crown Room. Look for 5-foot high Easter bunnies and eggs made completely out of chocolate as part of the fun decorations.

  2. Easter Egg Hunt – Julian, April 24, 2011. In contrast to the elegant Hotel del, you can celebrate Easter with an egg hunt and special apple pie in the historic gold mining mountain town of Julian, just an hour's drive from downtown San Diego. Here you can enjoy Easter amidst the blossoming of spring flowers, and blooming cherry and apple trees. An added bonus will be a short drive off the mountain to see the Anza Borrego Desert State Park awash in color as this year's especially wet winter allows the desert to burst forth in a stunning carpet of flowers.

  3. Easter Brunch and Egg Hunt – Temecula, April 24, 2011. Another unique town just an hour's drive from San Diego, Temecula is the heart of southern California's wine country. Here you can enjoy Easter brunch at the Vineyard Rose, and Easter Egg hunts will be held every hour during the day, starting at 11:00am. Adults can have fun watching the festivities while enjoying live musical entertainment and a complimentary glass of sparkling wine. Oh, and the Easter Bunny will also be there from 10:00 am to 4:00pm.

  4. Sunrise Service. A number of non-denominational Sunrise Services will be held around San Diego on Easter morning. Mt. Soladad, Balboa Park, and Cabrillo National Monument on Point Loma are three of the most popular.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Timeshare Close-up: Parkway International Resort

Parkway International Resort in Kissimmee, FL, provides the intimacy and serenity of a smaller timeshare resort. Rated a Five Star Resort by Interval International, this 144 unit property offers two-bedroom, two-bath timeshare villas that can accommodate up to six people. Complete with full kitchen, living room and dining area, the villas feature a king-size bed and whirlpool spa tub in the master bedroom, two twin beds in the second bedroom, and a sleeper sofa in the living area.

Situated on lush grounds just a mile from Walt Disney World, staying at the Parkway International Resort puts you n the heart of Orlando where you can select from over 5,000 restaurants, 168 golf courses, and 95 different attractions.

The resort's amenities include a swimming pool, kiddie pool, tennis court, arcade game room, poolside Tiki Bar and Grill, children's playground, shuffleboard, nature trails, a fitness room, and a barbecue and picnic area.

Reviewers have this to say:
"The perfect sized resort, and only 5 minutes to Disney's Main Gate. Not one of those gigantic, humongous resorts.....here you get to know the staff - and they're wonderful. A big, deep pool surrounded by trees and lush tropical plants, never crowded at the pool either."
"I stayed at Parkway and I loved it. The units and grounds are extremely well kept. It's a smaller resort than a lot of the large ones therefore it has a more intimate feel to it. Can't wait to go back."
"The pool was nice and we really like the nature trails. Hard to believe we were minutes from everything but it still had an isolated feel. This was our second year and we enjoyed it more this year than last. The staff is wonderful."

Parkway International Resort is currently listed on RedWeek with 2 rentals: $93 - $171/n, and 5 resales: $1 - $6,000.

Parkway International Resort

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Timeshare Travel: Celebrate Easter with Disney Magic

Disney is gearing up to celebrate Easter in a big way this year. Rent a timeshare and plan a very special family Easter vacation.

An Orlando timeshare rental will put you in the middle of these fun Easter activities at Walt Disney World:

At Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom Park Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny will be out greeting guests during the entire week leading up to Easter. And on Easter Sunday, April 24, a parade is scheduled that features an Easter theme with Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny and Mickey and Minnie dressed in their Easter finest.

And be sure to meet the Main Street Poodle Society Ladies and the Mobile Azalea Trail Maids in Town Square on Easter Sunday. They also will stroll down Main Street with Mr. and Mrs. Bunny in the pre-parade show.

On Easter Sunday in Epcot there will be Easter egg hunts for children ages 3 to 9 every 20 minutes from 10 a.m. to 5:20 p.m. at Heritage Garden at the American Adventure Pavilion. Easter egg relays will also be held for children ages 6 – 12 at Future World West Garden every 40 minutes from 10:40 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. You might even find cupcake stations set up where kids can decorate a special Easter treat.

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom the "Good Times Gathering Spot" returns to Camp Minnie-Mickey from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. through out Easter week. You'll be able to meet Thumper and Miss Bunny, listen to Pocahontas tell stories, and even groove to a D.J. The Easter Bunny will greet guests at 2:30 p.m. Easter Sunday (April 24).

You will also have an opportunity to join Easter religious services at WDW on April 24th. Disney’s Contemporary Resort will host a Protestant service (9 a.m.) and Catholic Masses (8 a.m. and 10:15 a.m.) in the Fantasia Ballroom on Easter Sunday.

Rent an Anaheim timeshare and enjoy a special Easter brunch or dinner at Disneyland.

Goofy’s Kitchen Easter Dinner is where you'll be joined by Goofy and his Friends to celebrate Easter as only Goofy can arrange. All the regular buffet items will be available along with a few Easter surprises.

At the other end of the spectrum, enjoy a special Easter dinner menu at the elegant Napa Rose, the award-winning restaurant located in the Grand Californian. The seasonal menu offers unique fresh tastes such as Portobello mushroom bisque "Cappuccino," and strawberry sage barbeque duck breast. Reservations are required.

Easter celebrations are even found at the various Disney resorts. For example, rent a timeshare at Disney's Vero Beach Resort in Vero Beach, FL, where the popular Easter egg hunt will once again get underway at 7:00 am to 9:00 am Easter Sunday morning. An amazing Easter buffet will be offered at Shutters where you can enjoy chilled seafood, spring pea bisque, and a special holiday Beef Wellington.

The White Rabbit from “Alice in Wonderland” will greet guests at various times throughout the day in the resort lobby.

For Easter festivities your family will always remember, plan a Disney timeshare rental Easter vacation.

(Photo credit - disneyparks.disney.go.com)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Grand Timber Lodge Timeshares Owners Donate to Wounded Warriors

The 3rd annual Wounded Warrior Family Ski Week (WWFSW) is being held this week, April 11-17, 2011, in Breckenridge, Colorado. All of the needed lodging was donated by Grand Timber Lodge timeshare owners. Southwest Airlines donated airfare for all the families flying to this Event.

"We would like to thank all of the Breckenridge Grand Vacations owners who generously donated their timeshare weeks to the 2011 Wounded Warriors Ski Week," said Michael C. Millisor, President of Breckenridge Grand Vacations. "Due to the generosity of these owners, we received enough units to accommodate 11 families, as well as the 5 counselors who will be available to assist these families during their weeklong stay at Grand Timber Lodge."



The eleven families that are participating come from around the USA. All the service members were wounded in the Iraq War within the last 6 years. Their injuries are varied and include amputations, serious injuries to the back, abdomen, arms and legs; paralysis, burns, traumatic brain injuries and post traumatic stress disorder.

The Ski Week includes four days of snow skiing and snowboarding under the direction of the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center and their adaptive ski instructional staff.

In addition there are four hours of a Healthy Marriage Program conducted for all adults, and a Youth Discussion Program for all children over the age of ten.

WWFSW is a partnership of the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center (BOEC), the Robert H. and Bonnie Miller Charitable Fund and the Wounded Warrior Disabled Sports Project. This Project provides a snow skiing/snowboarding experience for permanently, severely injured service members from the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts and the Global War on Terrorism.

The purpose of this Project is to support the recovery and family bonding of these injured service members through spending a week of snow sport adventure and retreat in the incredible beauty of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Couples marriage enrichment and children's programs are included as part of the weeks activities.

Although the goal of donated timeshare weeks has been met for 2011, donations are still welcomed. Please send your donations to:

Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center (BOEC)
Attention: Wounded Warriors Family Ski Week Project 2011
PO Box 697
Breckenridge, CO 80424

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Paradise Found at Marriott Vacation Club Resorts in Hawaii

Enjoy a taste of paradise in Hawaii at six distinct Marriott Vacation Club resorts on the islands of Kauai, Maui and Oahu. For a limited time, guests can take advantage of a relaxed and carefree vacation with daily dining credits to use during their stay.

The new "Escape! Taste of Paradise" package provides vacationers with a $25 daily dining credit* to use at various on-site food and beverage locations at these pristine resorts which offer spacious guest rooms and one, two- and three-bedroom villas with all the amenities of home.

Guests can choose from luxury beach resort in Kauai, such as Marriott’s Kauai Lagoons, Marriott’s Kauai Beach Club and Marriott’s Waiohai Beach Club where you can indulge in luxury Kauai two bedroom villas. “Hawaii’s Island of Discovery” awaits with award winning beaches, signature golf courses, Kauai day spas and dramatic coastline views.

Additional properties participating in this exciting offer include Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club, a picturesque Ka'anapali Beach Club on Maui, which provides guests with easy access to favored local attractions and restaurants in Lahaina, including Longboards Ka’anapali. The resort also features a one-of-a-kind 3.5 acre super pool for unrivaled poolside fun.

On the secluded western shore of Oahu, guests at Marriott's Ko Olina Beach Club within the Ko Olina Resort will find themselves amidst a 642-acre gated community that features seven crystal clear lagoons and is nearby the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa.

Resort amenities include spa services and exceptional dining at Chuck’s Steakhouse and Kolohe’s Beach Bar & Grill.

To make reservations, with the “Escape! Taste of Paradise” call 1-800-VILLAS-9 and use the promotional code D60.

*The offer is valid through 12/31/11 and daily credit may be used at on-site food and beverage locations including The MarketPlace, which features one-stop shopping for grocery items, souvenirs, sundries and more. Credit must be used daily and may not be rolled over, used against room rate or redeemed for cash.

Marriott Vacation Club is a worldwide leader in vacation ownership. In 1984, Marriott became the first branded hospitality company to enter the timeshare industry, adding its signature quality, service and hospitality expertise.

(Photo credit – Marriott.com)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Bluegreen Receives Gold ARDY Award

Bluegreen Corporation, "A leading provider of Colorful Places to Live and Play®," has announced that it has taken a Gold Award from the 2011 American Resort Development Association (ARDA) Awards. Bluegreen Corporation was presented the Gold Award in the Advertising, Promotion and Communications Division for its Owner Upgrade Kit, a brochure presented to timeshare owners in 2010.

This annual competition honors organizations and businesses in the timeshare and resort industry that have achieved the highest level of excellence in a variety of different categories. The ARDA Awards Program recognizes nominees based on outstanding sales and staff accomplishments, product design and advertising.

“We are not only proud, but honored to receive the Gold in the highly-competitive Advertising, Promotion and Communications Division for the 2011 ARDA Awards,” said Izzy Pycher, Vice President of Creative Marketing at Bluegreen.

“Bluegreen strives to provide owners with the highest quality creative products and services, such as the Owner Upgrade brochure, to enhance the perceived value of their Bluegreen vacation ownership experience.”

Bluegreen was selected as a finalist in 18 categories, each of which fall under a larger division including Resort Design, Management and Administration, and Advertising, Promotion and Communications. Each category entered by Bluegreen included competition from other organizations and business in the timeshare and resort industry, including Marriott, Holiday Inn, Hilton, Disney RCI and more.

Bluegreen Corporation was founded in 1966 and is headquartered in Boca Raton, FL. Since 1996, Bluegreen has managed, marketed and sold a flexible, real estate-based vacation ownership plan with more than 222,600 owners, over 54 owned or managed resorts, and access to more than 4,000 resorts worldwide.

Popular Bluegreen resorts include: The Fountains, Orland, FL, situated on 54 acres of natural landscape on beautiful Lake Eve where timeshare rentals start at just $50/night; Big Cedar Wilderness Club, Ridgedale, MO, a wilderness resort nestled in the heart of the Ozark Mountains and surrounded by nature's magnificent beauty where timeshare rentals start at just $65/night; and Harbour Lights Resort, Myrtle Beach, SC, located in the Fantasy Harbour Complex in the center of Myrtle Beach where timeshare rentals start at just $53/night.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Rent a Timeshare and Celebrate Thailand's New Year

"Happy New Year!" What, again? Yes, and this time it's being celebrated in exotic Thailand. Rent a timeshare in Thailand and celebrate that country's traditional New Year, "Songkran," April 13 - 15, 2011.

Songkran, believed to have been adapted from an Indian festival, has been observed for centuries, and now has also become a party for foreigners and an additional reason for many to visit Thailand to experience this unique immersion in another culture.

Traditionally, Songkran was a time to visit and pay respects to elders, including family members, friends and neighbors. Water has always played a big part in the celebration. Originally it was poured over Buddha statues to cleanse them, then captured as "blessed" water and given for good fortune to elders and family members by gently pouring it over their shoulders.

That traditional "blessing" activity has morphed into Songkran being one big water fight party. Nowadays, the emphasis is on fun and water-throwing rather than on the festival's spiritual and religious aspects. As Wikipedia explains it, "Thais roam the streets with containers of water or water guns (sometimes mixed with mentholated talc), or post themselves at the side of roads with a garden hose and drench each other and passersby." Of course, it doesn't hurt that this is a great way to cool off during Thailand's hottest month.

In addition to "throwing water," Songkran is also celebrated with colorful parades, and ceremonies where birds and fish are set free. In Phuket, the festivities center around releasing baby turtles into the sea. Many beautiful sacred ceremonies are conducted by Buddhists, and sand dome-shaped shrines, called stupas, are built by Buddhists in the courtyards of monasteries.

Timeshare rentals are available at the Q Signature Spa & Resort on Cheongmon Beach in Koh Samui, and at Marriott's Phuket Beach Club.

Staying at Marriott's Phuket Beach Club you can participate directly in the Songkran ceremony releasing baby sea turtles. In 2002, Marriott donated $45,000 to launch the Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation. The Foundation's mission is to raise funds and increase awareness for the plight of the critically endangered giant leatherback turtles that nest in the area.

Local villagers patrol the beach at night during the breeding season, protecting the turtles while nesting, and keeping records of the number of eggs laid. When necessary the eggs are taken to a hatchery where the baby turtles are protected from elements of nature and human exploitation, and are then released in the special ceremony celebrating Thailand's New Year.

(Photo credit - Wikipedia.org)

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Timeshare Tax Q & A

Tax Day will soon be upon us. That comes as no news to most Americans, but what might be news to timeshare owners is how to think of timeshares and taxes together.

The following basic Q & A will give you some things to start thinking about.

Q: How soon after purchasing a timeshare can I list it for deductions?
A: You have to own a timeshare for at least one year before you are eligible for any income tax deduction.

Q: Is the interest on my timeshare loan deductible?
A: To be deductible, the interest must be on a loan that is considered a mortgage. In addition, you are allowed interest as a tax deduction on a primary home and only one other home, which can be a timeshare. If you own more than one timeshare or vacation home, you can only claim interest deduction on one.

Q: Can I deduct the property tax of my timeshare?
A: If your timeshare property tax is explicitly separate from your maintenance fees, it is deductible. However, if you are not billed directly, or separately, for the property tax, and instead it is part of the total maintenance fee billed, it is not deductible.

Q: Are my timeshare maintenance fees and other special assessment fees deductible?
A: In a word, no. All annual fees and special assessment fees are generally for the maintenance and upkeep of the resort, and just like improving your primary home, the costs are not deductible.

Q: If I rent out my timeshare do I have to report the rent as income?
A: In almost all cases the rent you receive is considered income and thus must be reported as such.

Q: What about donating my timeshare to charity?
A: Deduction of a timeshare donation is based on "fair market value," which may not be the same as your original purchase price, or even what the developer is currently selling units for. And your donation must be for ownership of the timeshare. If you donate the use of a week, that is not deductible.

Q: What if I sell my timeshare?
A: If you have owned the timeshare for more than one year and you receive a profit on the sale it is considered a capital gain, and must be reported.

If you take a loss on the sale, you may not deduct it. However, if you rent your timeshare out on a regular basis and do not personally use it, the loss might be allowable as a business loss.

These have been basic answers to basic questions, but since tax law is complex, in order to avoid any IRS penalties it is imperative that you hire a certified accountant to help you with your taxes in relation to your timeshare.

For a more in-depth look, read this series of timeshares and taxes articles written by David H. McClintock, CPA.

(Photo credit - irs.gov)

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

3 Marriott Maui Timeshare Floor Plans

Marriott has three timeshare resort options on Maui. If you're investigating the choices that are offered by Marriott regarding floor plans in its Maui timeshare resorts, here is some good information for you.

Marriott's Maui Ocean Club is the original structure of this timeshare resort. It's a converted hotel that offers one-bedroom, two-bath, and two- bedroom, three-bath accommodations. Each unit features a king bed, separate bath, and lanai in the master suite, kitchenette with microwave, mini- refrigerator, and dishwasher, and TVs with DVD players. There are 9 floors with 442 suites.

On-site amenities at Marriott's Maui Ocean Club include a luxurious 3.5-acre superpool with a water slide, waterfalls, and children's area, poolside bar, beachfront access to over one mile of Ka'anapali beaches, on-site spa and fitness center, fabulous dining and an array of amenities that provide fun for all ages

Marriott's Maui Ocean Club is located in the town of Lahaina and overlooks Maui's Ka'anapali Beach. It's also just blocks from Whaler Village for great dining and shopping. Location is perfect for whale watching in the winter.

Your second option is Lahaina Villas at Marriott's Maui Ocean Club, and your third choice is Napili Villas at Marriott's Maui Ocean Club, the newest resort to be built on this property.

Both Lahaina Villas and Napili Villas offer nothing but the best with fully equipped kitchens, in-room washer/dryer, upscale furnishings, and beautiful ocean or mountain views.

One-bedroom and lock-off units that sleep four with a queen sleeper sofa and king bed are featured by both Lahaina Villas and Napili Villas. Also offered are two-bedroom units sleep eight with two king beds and two queen sleeper sofas. Three-bedroom units sleep ten with a king bed in the master and guest bedroom, a full-size bed in the third bedroom, and two queen sleeper sofas.

Both of these resorts have their own smaller outdoor pools, but share all the amenities of Marriott's Maui Ocean Club as listed above.

Timeshare rentals at Marriott's Maui Ocean Club start at $143/night, at Lahaina Villas at $129/night, and at Napili Villas at $107/night. All three resorts also have timeshare resales listed on RedWeek.com.

If you own a Maui Timeshare, let us know which resort is your favorite and add your comments below. Aloha!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Plan a Gone With The Wind Historic Timeshare Vacation

The 150th Anniversary of the start of the Civil War is being commemorated with numerous activities in 2011, and it's only fitting that the most famous literary work ever written about that war and time also be remembered. As it happens, 2011 marks the 75th Anniversary of Margaret Mitchell's momentous Pulitzer Prize winning novel, "Gone with the Wind."

"Gone with the Wind" is one of the most popular books of all time, selling more than 30 million copies and being adapted into an Oscar-winning movie. Rent a timeshare in Helen or Marble Hill, Georgia, just an hour from Atlanta, and enjoy Anniversary events and programs that celebrate the life and times of Margaret Mitchell and Scarlet O'Hara.
  1. The Margaret Mitchell House. You can tour Mitchell's small apartment in a 3-story revival home on Peachtree Street in Atlanta, and see where Mitchell typed out her manuscript on a Remington typewriter. Also available for visitors are two Mitchell-related exhibitions, Margaret Mitchell: A Passion for Character and The Making of a Film Legend: Gone With the Wind.

    A special Anniversary program will be held May 14, 2011. "Experience 150 years of history with this special program by delving into the entire Gone With the Wind story and travel through time, including Civil War soldiers in the heart of Atlanta, the city in the 1920s when Margaret Mitchell wrote the book, and the lasting legacy of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel."

  2. Visit Margaret Mitchell's Final Resting Place. In August, 1949, Mitchell was hit and killed by a speeding taxi as she crossed Peachtree Street, and was buried at Oakland Cemetery, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Popular guided walking tours of the lovely cemetery take place very weekend from March 12 - November 27, 2011.

  3. Margaret Mitchell: American Rebel World Premiere. A gala dinner will be held on June 9, 2011 at the Georgian Terrace Hotel in Atlanta. As a way of celebrating Georgia Public Broadcasting's 50th Anniversary, the event will showcase the world premiere of a G-PBS original production "Margaret Mitchell: American Rebel."

  4. "Home of Gone With the Wind." Jonesbro and Clayton County, just 15 miles from Atlanta, is Mitchell's ancestral home, and the area has been designated by the Mitchell Trust and the Georgia State Legislature as the official "Home of Gone With the Wind."

    The 75th Anniversary will be celebrated here June 10-11, 2011, with a 6-stop living history tour, complete with costumed storytellers as they parallel Jonesboro’s history with the characters and stories found in Gone With The Wind.

(Photo credit - southernliterarytrail.org)

Monday, April 04, 2011

FTC Court Order: Shut Down Timeshare Scam

Reuters news agency posted an article on March 31, 2011, saying a telemarketing operation that preyed on timeshare owners desperate to dump their properties was shut down after the Federal Trade Commission won a temporary restraining order in U.S. District Court in Tampa, Florida.

The government alleged that tens of thousands of unsolicited calls were placed by St. Petersburg-based Vacation Property Services, Inc. and two related companies since 2006. Saying they had buyers ready to make a deal, the property owners were asked to send payments of $200 to $8,000.

Telemarketers even offer phony congratulations to the victims, the government said in court filings. When the fees were questioned, they were told they were to cover sales-related costs including a title search and processing fees.

After the payments were made, the FTC said, it became clear there were no buyers lined up. When the timeshare owners complained and asked for refunds, they were ignored or rejected. This led consumers to lodge hundreds of complaints against the telemarketing companies.

The FTC also charged the company with making hundreds of thousands of telemarketing calls between November 2009 and November 2010 to people registered on the national Do Not Call list, a violation of federal law.

In addition to Vacation Property Sellers, Timeshare Experts, Higher Level Marketing, (dba Vacation Property Services) as well as principals Albert M. Wilson, David S. Taylor and Frank M. Perry, Jr. were named in the court order. Between 2007 and 2008 Wilson and the same companies were named in a series of complaints and subsequent settlements with the Florida Attorney General, in which the businesses agreed to stop the practices the FTC cited.

Up-front fee resale scams have proliferated in recent years as the timeshare resales market collapsed during the economic downturn. The FTC shut down a similar operation, Timeshare Mega Media, in the fall of 2010, that was operating from a Fort Lauderdale-area boiler room.

“In a time of high unemployment and reduced access to credit, these twin promises can be alluring to consumers caught in difficult economic straits,” the FTC said in a statement.

The investigation into Vacation Property Services involved the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Florida Attorney General’s office, the Florida Department of Agriculture and

Consumer Services, and St. Petersburg police. Read the Reuters article in its entirety.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Welcome to the Ultimate Blog Party!

Ultimate Blog Party 2011 Let's Party! Welcome to the Ultimate Blog Party, hosted by 5 Minutes for Mom. This is where Bloggers are encouraged to post a party on their site, and part of our party is a giveaway for you! Just follow the instructions below to enter to win a FREE 2-year Membership to Redweek.com, a $29.98 value!

RedWeek.com is all about family travel and budget travel. Timeshare rentals are a great way for families to have an affordable, budget-friendly vacation while at the same time getting spacious accommodations, resort amenities (think swimming pools with waterpark features, tennis, arcade game rooms,), and a kitchen for further money-saving on meals.

RedWeek.com is the largest online timeshare marketplace where owners post their timeshares for rent and families looking for budget prices on great accommodations can get a real bargain.

Owners also post timeshares that are for resale - again where you can find great bargains - as well as timeshare exchanges. Honest reviews about the resorts are available, as well.

It’s so great to have you here to visit. Please feel free to browse around and see the many articles about family-friendly travel, including resorts, activities, festivals, and fun! You might also be interested in our specific Kid-Friendly section.

Here’s how to enter:
Browse our web site at www.redweek.com to learn about the features of Redweek.com - you can even watch the instructional videos if you like - then leave a comment on our blog below mentioning something you learned about RedWeek.com that you think other mommy bloggers - and daddy bloggers - would like to know.

Want extra entries into the contest? Do one or all of the following!

• Follow us on Twitter and send us an @redweektravel message there telling us your favorite feature RedWeek.com.

• "Like" us on Facebook and post on our wall what your favorite thing about RedWeek.com is.

Make sure we have a way to reach you, by leaving your email in the comment. One winner will be chosen at random by using random.org. The contest ends April 8th at 11:59 Pacific Time. We will announce the winner Monday April 11th.

And, don’t forget to head over to the Ultimate Blog Party (#UBP11) on the 5 Minutes for Mom web site! Discover many other blog sites and tell your friends when you found something you like. This is our first year participating in the Blog Party, so, welcome and thanks for learning more about budget travel accommodations available on RedWeek.com. Now - Let's Party!

UPDATE: The winner of our Blog party (chosen by random.org) is: Disney Go To Girl! Thanks everyone for visiting.