Ken May's ''legacy'' at RCI

Started by Carolinian, November 03, 2007, 20:27:05

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Over the past eight years, I have seen most of Ken May's letters and emails to RCI resort affiliates.  Now that May has been sacked as CEO of RCI, his email dated November 1, 2007 will, thankfully be his last.

That email is interesting in that May lists five things he contends are the legacy of his time at the helm of RCI:
1) the partnership with major operator Leisure Link to rent out RCI weeks
2) the Registry Collection
3) Endless Vacation Rentals (renting timeshare deposits, not magazines)
4) RCI Points
5) Endless Vacation Magazine

I really don't get his crowing about the magazine at all, as it is just as dull now as when May arrived at RCI.  Maybe the Registry Collection is a good thing, but the other three together constitute a major abandonment of the formula upon which RCI founder Christel deHaan built a great exchange company.  Indeed, they threaten to kick the props out from under the ownership/exchange model of timesharing.

When one considers that Kenny Points Boy May (as longtime timeshare columnist The Shadow recently called him) was the godfather of the rentals/points era at RCI, he can correctly be viewed as the Darth Vader of timesharing.  It is unfortunate for timesharing that RCI did not sack him after 8 days instead of waiting 8 long years to do so.  Much damage has been done in the interim.

Can a new man at RCI right the ship?  It is doubtful.  The Points system is so dependent on the rentals to stay afloat that eliminating the rentals would probably require completely unwinding the RCI Points system.  That now has enought members, they RCI would not risk their howls to do so on their own (although when they lose the class action lawsuit, they may have no choice).  The way RCI is going, they are likely to wreck the Weeks system before long, and that will have a ripple effect since one of the things that props up Points is being able to loot Weeks inventory.  It is only a matter of time until the chickens come home to roost.

The best thing RCI could do right now is entice Christel deHaan to come back as a consultant and give her a blank check to reconstitute the RCI executive leadership.  Still it will be tough.  Points Boy has set RCI on a course that will fly it into the ground, and it will take a real effort to pull up in time.

It is good to see the back side of Ken May, but it was much too long in coming.



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