Club La Costa attempting to close Las Farolas resort

Started by terence_oldham@hotmail.co, January 16, 2011, 08:38:24

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terence_oldham@hotmail.co

All

I dont know how many members are active on this site who own at this resort but CLC have written to all owners (December 2010) in an attempt to get people to agree to close this resort by shifting their ownership to a different CLC resort.   There only offer is to exchange ownership to their Marina Del sol resort they claim is better.  CLC claim that they own the vast number of weeks anyway at Las Farolas through their points system

I for one will not agree to this arrangement and wonder what other people think are my options regarding claiming from CLC for their actions.  I will write to CLC and ask what are the alternatives are, as getting their hands on a hundred apartments outright must be very profitible for them to sell on even in the hard times of Spain.


Terence ???


Boss Man

I wonder what their reasoning is behind this ?

Cost cutting maybe ?

Willself

Mr. Boss Man.

One thing is for certain, they CLC. cannot loose!! Firstly they gain Properties, they can Now!! Sell out-right.
Two, they ensure they do not lose-out on maintenance-fee's!! They simply Re:-Brand them..even if the
members, complain...fine they only need to increase  fee's, plus spend little or no monies on the resort..
So members have a poor experience, whilst paying high fees into the bargain..
For them...its a win-win situation...

Suebe

Quote from: terence_oldham on January 16, 2011, 08:38:24
All

I dont know how many members are active on this site who own at this resort but CLC have written to all owners (December 2010) in an attempt to get people to agree to close this resort by shifting their ownership to a different CLC resort.   There only offer is to exchange ownership to their Marina Del sol resort they claim is better.  CLC claim that they own the vast number of weeks anyway at Las Farolas through their points system

I for one will not agree to this arrangement and wonder what other people think are my options regarding claiming from CLC for their actions.  I will write to CLC and ask what are the alternatives are, as getting their hands on a hundred apartments outright must be very profitible for them to sell on even in the hard times of Spain.


Terence ???


I am on the committee of Las Farolas and am concerned about what the future is for Las Farolas.  No mention was made of any problems at the AGM apart from the fact that members would be offered alternative accommodation at MDS during the winter months (effectively closing it during the winter) as has happened over the last couple of years since the big credit crunch!  At the moment, the letter was intended to see if those who never (or hardly ever) used the resort at all but only used their weeks for exchange purposes - the argument being that MDS has better exchange power than Las Farolas.  I on't know if there is any way of proving this!

There is a procedure to follow if the resort is no longer viable (and I am well aware that encouraging members to transfer ownership will make it less viable than it is now!!).   According to the constitution, a special general meeting has to be called and members vote on what the future of the resort will be.  The trustees would also have to be involved as they hold the weeks in trust for the club.  As you say, at least 75% of the weeks are now in the Vacation Club points system (held in trust for members of this system) so this will give them a good voting power, if it is ever put to the members of VC.  Any owners are supposed to have a share of any proceeds from the sale of a resort - if any profit is made!!  It is not supposed to be CLC that gets the money!!!  But who knows??!!

There is discussion about this on www.clcmembers.co.uk forum if anyone is interested.

Needless to say, I will be making sure(as far as is possible) that members's interests are protected.  there are a few things happening at CLC resorts which make me wonder whether they are having to consolidate their 'holdings'  So many members of handing back weeks and points because of rising costs that it must be hitting them somwhere.

Sue
Sue B

anneepotter

We too are in a bit of a confused state regarding this offer.
Several emails to CLC have   been sent and only today we heard from them but it is basically just reiterating what was stated in the original letter.
I have asked if there is any legal representative dealing with the matter but they so far have not advised on that but did clarify that once the paperwork sent on to them they will deal with everything.
I am a bit concerned at the simplicity of the whole proposal and also of the lack of information from Las Farolas owners. Surely the other owners have issues too!

steve

The only way the owners would benefit would be if clc moved owners to the more prestigious Santa Cruz Suites at California Beach as a gesture of good will and loyalty, but dont hold your breath, but maybe worth persuing though.

Lulu

All,
We used to own in the points system with CLC and went to Las Farolas Royale but not the other LF.  I take it they are not trying to close the LFR, tho I reckon they would get good money for the appts there as they are beautiful and there aren't very many for the private gated complex there.  Still thats not the point for you guys that own there.  I agree that to transfer you to California suites or somewhere would be a good compensation but I can't see it happening as its a Gold Crown and I think that only LFR is Gold.  MDS is pretty nice and the location is good so its not a bad deal.  I will be interested to see what happens.  It would be amazing if they wanted to sell the complex as they get so stacked out in the summer months it would be even worse without it!  I'm glad we got out and altho we lost out at least we don't have the worry like some of you obviously do.  Good luck!

terence_oldham@hotmail.co

Lulu for info

I own at CLC LF Royal the gold crown side at las Farolas and all they offered me in the letter was a move to a basic apartment in MDS.  I wrote to them nearly two weeks ago and no answer other than the standard reply stating that they would get back to me in under 21 days.

Seems that all they want is to get there hands on the vast majority of apartments so they can sell on.  There was always a mixture of units there in private hands, my guess is that this will greatly increase.  I dont believe they care if points members can find a resort in high season, its all about making money in the short term.

Terence

daviday

It's an incredibly bad time to be selling apartments in Spain at the moment - they'd have to more or less give them away. I'd say that there must be another reason.

Suebe

Quote from: daviday on January 25, 2011, 18:54:01
It's an incredibly bad time to be selling apartments in Spain at the moment - they'd have to more or less give them away. I'd say that there must be another reason.

Hi Terence
I will check this out for you as you are supposed to be offered an equivalent standard of apartment ie GC.  The main complex is called Marina del Sol and within that complex are a number of resorts, one of which is also called Marina del Sol.  there are also GC resorts within the complex, eg Sierra Marina, Marina del Rey.  Were you offered a specific apartment?

Phil Bickmore confirmed that members would be offered like for like when another member queried this.

I am also surprised that they have taken time to get back to you as they seem to be getting in touch with members quickly in order to encourage them to transfer.  There has been more take up of the offer, but not everyone is doing it. 

We have one week at Las Farolas and at the moment are not taking up the offer.  There are also a hardcore of owners who use their weeks every year and do not want to exchange and will not be interested in a transfer.  There has been take up of the offer but not in great numbers as yet.

I am still trying to find out how CLC know what the trading value is of the MDS weeks.  I was told that these had been worked out but that does not seem to be the case.  They have not confirmed anything with RCI.
Sue B

icairns@talktalk.net

 :'( Hi All,

I also have received numberous telephone calls from CLC about transferring from Las Farolas Royals to a standard at MDS. Incidentally letter received after management fees were paid. I spoke with RCI last Friday and the administrative rep I was speaking had not heard anything about this matter.

The staff I have talked with seem unaware that my LFR is Gold Standard and only last week I was told; quote "We expect your completed transfer paperwork signed and in the post to us within seven days." This after a previous call to CLC agreeing to sort out any exchange when I visit at the end of May, and can now only consider this call as a threat.

I have taken exception to this. I joined CLC at Las Farolas, as a timeshare member a good 20+ years ago. I upgraded to Royale the year it was opened and have struggled with the ever increasing management fees ever since, but I still love my LFR03 week. Originally in was for perpetuity! What do CLC think they are playing at?

Disgruntled, but pleased that it would appear that I am not the only one holding out. It would be unwise to agree an exchange without viewing what was on Offer.

Dom

Suebe

Hi Dom

I am passing your comments on to Phil Bickmore, the Club Secretary.  You should not be put under that pressure to transfer, especially if you don't want to.  I checked with Phil about what was being offered to LFR owners.  He assured me that you would be offered GC at the main complex (also known as Marina del Sol).  There are GC resorts within that complex as well as Silver Crown and standard accommodation.  Gc resorts are  Castillo del Rey, Marina del Rey, Sierra Marina and Marina del Mar.  Phil told me that:
' LFR members choosing to transfer are mainly being offered Marina Dorada or Marina del Rey, with Castillo del Rey also being considered, which are all lovely units. The offer was expanded to include Sierra Marina units to give them more choice.'

What exactly have you been offered?  If it is of any use to you, I do have a plan of the whole complex, showing unit numbers, etc.  I can send it to you (and anyone else who would find it useful).  You can then go back to member Services and ask them if there is availability in specific apartments.

We are not transferring and there are others who are not going to. 

Sue



You can specify what you want and owners have been given a choice of apartments. 
Sue B

AlyT

Don't know where Las Farolas is but I had a terrific 2-week holiday a few years ago at Club la Costa at Marina del Sol, using bonus weeks through Dial an Exchange. A strange thing about it, though, was that some of the properties were owned as permanent residential accomodation. The timeshare operator had bought the resort from a builder who had not been successful in selling the properties but some of them had been sold!
I should have thought that the only reason they could want you to move from LF is to then sell the land for development or do so themselves.

Suebe

Las Farolas complex also has some individual owners.  It is not all owned by CLC.  I think it was first built as a private residential complex.  perhaps the builder found it easier to sell to CLC for timeshare.  As private owners have sold up, so CLC has acquired them.  There are still a number of private owners.  They pay a fee of around £1500 each year as their urbanisation contribution (for maintenance of communal facilities.  Timeshare owners pay at least £500 per week owned!!

So CLc cannot just sell the complex outright - if that is their eventual intention.
Sue B

steve

Hi Sue B,
£28.84 weekly maintenance for outright owners or £500 weekly maintenance  if your a  poor old timeshare owner, sure goes to show how club la cost make there money, not forgetting the initial upfront purchace cost, OUTRAGEOUS!!!. :o

Suebe

Exactly!!  I know of someone whose parents bought when CLC were first selling timeshare.  They bought two weeks for around £5000 when they could have bought an apartment outright at the time for around £10,000 (circa 1987).  Don't their family wish they had bought outright now!!!
Sue B

toprobroy

As some of you know, Club La Costa interfaces with the Independent Members Website.
In their forum, the following statement is made by Members Services:

QuoteFirstly, I should say that I find it impossible to believe that a Member Services Operator advised someone that Las Farolas was "definitely closing". I am more inclined to believe that this is a preset assumption or opinion that was built into the specific members' mindset ahead of the discussion. Closure of the resort has not been, and is not, a consideration at this time.

It is correct that some owners have been contacted offering them the option to move their ownership, but this in no way should be construed as anything more than a pro-active reaction to a specific trend that suggests some owners may wish to, or benefit from, a change of resort.

That said, the procedure for terminating a club is contained within the club Constitution. Closing a club would have to be discussed fully by the Committee and voted on at a Special General Meeting by the members. To my knowledge, no such discussion has taken place nor any such meeting called, much less a decision to unwind the Club made.

I am afraid this is all I can tell you as anything else would be pure conjecture.
 

jerryg

Las Farolas was CLC's first timeshare development, units being purchased from the site developer. It was their flagship resort. I purchased 2 fixed weeks in 1987. I was pursuaded in 1996 to trade in these for Points. (bad decision!!) Until recently Las Farolas was fairly remote and quiet, good in some ways, bad in others. The on site restaurant/bar prices have always been way above anything else locally, but unless you went off site you were a captive audience and had to pay the price.  Prices at Marina del Sol are similarly out of step with other local competition.  Now more local development has increased competition so CLC are probably not making as much (I am aware that the facilities are franchised out, but CLC still benefit) Previous contributors to this thread have correctly stated that there are a substantial number of privately owned apartments, and indeed all the villas, at LF, so it is only the CLC owned apartments that they can attempt to dispose of. My perception is that they have always tried to discourage 'private enterprise' from flourishing on the site, but I was pleased to see the small shop/bar still going late last year. 
If you own fixed weeks at LF you probably own them 'in perpetuity'. That means exactly what it says, so I think CLC will have to come up with a tasty offer to persuade you to change.
Best bet would be to sell! In the meantime sit tight.
My view is that CLC want to continue to move 'up market', hence resorts like California Beach etc, but they seem to have lost sight of the fact that a lot of people are happy with a more basic accommodation at a sensible price. I don't know if anyone knows about the future of places like Benal Beach, Club Olympus etc. These are not wholly owned CLC resorts, but availability is getting more difficult.  I guess CLC think that LF no longer meets their requirements, never mind the poor hard pressed punters. In the current climate I'm surprised that they are doing this now. I would have thought any income was better than less or none. I seriously think that timeshare has had it's day, and I personally will be getting out this year or next. There are other choices, and you can even rent CLC accommodation on the open market, but you will probably have to fight off the sales sharks! The above are my own personal views, and apart from extortionate maintenance fees, I have no particular axe to grind.   

rakuso66

i am also a member at las farolas and have also been asked to move my mebership to MDS. i bought the week at las farolas because i liked the resort and it was more quite than MDS.
i have been offered the oppotunity to give my timesahre back to club la costa but i must give it back by august.
if i do not return all paperwork back to club la costa by august i will have to pay another years maintainence fees.
i would rather wait to see what happens about the sale of las farolas and what else club la costa may offer as i am not willing to move my week to MDS or anywhere else.
what would be the best thing to do????
Rav

lawnmower60

If you tried to sell your timeshare you would get nothing for it so seeing they are giving you the chance to get out for nothing take there offer you can always rent weeks from other members of this forum who cannot use them
Brian

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