Aroma formally Spice and Brockwood Hall

Started by charlie1, April 01, 2013, 12:05:08

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charlie1

I have heard from different sources that Aroma have purchased Brockwood Hall and other resorts are likely to be considered.
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charlie1

Timeshare Weekly is an Independent website working with those who share similar ideals. We are here to guide the consumer make the very best of timeshare. We encourage positive change and solutions. Your either living in the problem or your living in the solution. Contact graham@timeshareweekly.com

Carolinian

Bad news for timesharing.  Is this resort developer controlled?  What exactly did they buy?  Unsold developer inventory?  Management?

This sets off alarm bells over the appearance of First Resorts timeshare management company, a slimy Bullfrog operation from South Africa at TATOC, since Aroma is also a Bullfrog operation.  In South Africa, The Bullfrog has doubled teamed resorts with his points clubs and his management company to push the members out and sell the resorts for other purposes for his own profit.  first Resorts was even a sponsor of the last TATOC meeting.

Member controlled resorts need to protect themselves from takeover-oriented points clubs.  Stouts Hill has shown one way to do it - amend the governing instruments so that each member gets one vote in the AGM no matter how many weeks they own.  That chops the points clubs down to size.
 

charlie1

At this stage it looked like out right purchase of the resort. We will have to see how this unfolds as I understand that there are other UK resorts that will be considered. I wont draw any conclusions until this is rolled out. We have seen what is taking place in Lanzorote as this has been discussed on other threads. This could take a different route.
Timeshare Weekly is an Independent website working with those who share similar ideals. We are here to guide the consumer make the very best of timeshare. We encourage positive change and solutions. Your either living in the problem or your living in the solution. Contact graham@timeshareweekly.com

Carolinian

Quote from: charlie1 on April 01, 2013, 18:25:03
At this stage it looked like out right purchase of the resort. We will have to see how this unfolds as I understand that there are other UK resorts that will be considered. I wont draw any conclusions until this is rolled out. We have seen what is taking place in Lanzorote as this has been discussed on other threads. This could take a different route.


Certainly, an outright purchase would not impair the rights of existing timeshare members there unless they sold their rights, too.  I am aware that there have been at least two UK resorts where members did all agree to sell out.  Some governing instruments may provide for certain majorities binding the entire membership.

Brockwood Hall's website shows nothing of it as yet.  It does show that they sell both whole ownership and quarter-shares in their lodges, and have a license to use week based timeshare that runs to 2043:

http://brockwoodhall.co.uk/ownership/page_3.html
 

charlie1

During the course of this year we will be seeing a lot more of Aroma within the UK. Timeshare owners will find themselves sitting in on Aroma presentations. There are a number of UK resorts that will be vulnerable and perhaps even welcome Aroma sales forces and the possible acquisition of their resorts. Don't be surprised to see them play a more active role with RCI.
Timeshare Weekly is an Independent website working with those who share similar ideals. We are here to guide the consumer make the very best of timeshare. We encourage positive change and solutions. Your either living in the problem or your living in the solution. Contact graham@timeshareweekly.com

Carolinian

Quote from: charlie1 on May 08, 2013, 19:21:05
During the course of this year we will be seeing a lot more of Aroma within the UK. Timeshare owners will find themselves sitting in on Aroma presentations. There are a number of UK resorts that will be vulnerable and perhaps even welcome Aroma sales forces and the possible acquisition of their resorts. Don't be surprised to see them play a more active role with RCI.


Too bad that TATOC is on The Bullfrog's payroll, and will almost certainly keep its mouth shut.  If it were doing its job in representing its core constituency of timeshare committees, it should be spreading the alarm about what The Bullfrog has done in taking over and crashing resort after resort in South Africa.  The resort there that I own at fought him off, but others have not been so lucky.

This is one place that Sandy Grey will sorely be missed.  He understood about the BUllfrog
 

charlie1

Sources tell me that the sale of Brockwood Hall to Aroma will go through in June. Also I have been told to hear of a change in ownership of RCI Europe soon.
Timeshare Weekly is an Independent website working with those who share similar ideals. We are here to guide the consumer make the very best of timeshare. We encourage positive change and solutions. Your either living in the problem or your living in the solution. Contact graham@timeshareweekly.com

Carolinian

Timeshare owners and resort committees need to familiarize themselves with the business practices of The Bullfrog, owner of Aroma / Spice, in his native habitat of South Africa and learn what to watch out for.  His methods used in South Africa are likely to be visited upon the European timeshare community.

The main thing to remember about the Bullfrog is that he is out for control and to use that control for his own financial benefit, often to the detriment of members.

In South Africa, The Bullfrog has used a network of points clubs combined with an in-house management company he owns to gain absolute control of timeshare resorts.  He uses the votes of weeks ceded to his points clubs to install himself and his employees in the director slots of resorts.  Due to the fact that many members do not send in proxies, it takes a lot less than half to put in directors.  The Bullfrog usually takes one director's slot himself, and usually makes himself chariman of the board.  The rest of the directors will be The Bullfrog's employees.  One of them he uses in South Aftica is a former police general of the apartheid era.  Then he hires his management company to manage the resort, usually on a very long term contract.  With the board and management in his control, a formerly member-controlled resort becomes Bullfrog controlled.  One of the things The Bullfrog has been doing in South Africa is crashing resorts, usually with members being put in positions that many turn over their ownerships to The Bullfrog's companies.

Another thing he has done in South Africa is run members from one points club to another, with a large fee for the privelege, on the thought that if they don't swtich one of the points clubs will decline and be less useful to members.

In Europe, The Bullfrog has had one points club, that has not been that successful, Flexi-Club, which is a similar name ot one of his South Africa points clubs  Alone, it did not have enough of a footprint in timesharing to be a threat to takeovers of resorts.  Now he has a second points club, and more recently a management company in Europe. Together in a few years, they might give him the ability to put his South African plan into action in Europe.  And it now also looks like one of those points clubs may be buying the developer rights of one or more resorts.

A new twist from what he has done in South Africa is that Aroma is being sold with an ''exit program'' pitch.  That means in a few years, he will have timeshare weeks on which he owes maintenance fees to resorts but he will not have them coming in from members who have exited.  Resorts he deals with need to think this through and ask some tough questions.  What is he REALLY going to do with those weeks when they are no longer cash flowing for him?  I cannot see that ending well for resorts.  Any answer he gives needs to be carefully dissected.

Members of Flexi-Club should also be concerned about offers to ''convert'' to this new points club, with a big price tag.
 

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