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View Full Version : So you think you want to own a Gold Crown 5* Hawaiian Resort..



aliikai2
07-14-2005, 05:12 PM
:soapbox:

Well, after several years of listening to Gold Crown 5 Star mainland resort exchangers complain about the lack of amenities, I have come to the inescapable conclusion that I would be very happy if all our resorts became RID rated instead of Gold Crown.

Why?

1st, when an exchanger comes into a Gold Crown location based Hawaiian resort expecting spa tubs, in suite laundry, on site restaurants and swim up bar service , heated pools, A/C, etc based upon what they have at their Gold Crown mainland owned resort, they tend to feel cheated, and take it out on the staff, the other guests, the owners that are there, and on the score that they give the resort. :pissed:

Now if those same exchangers come to a rid resort, they accept the resort for what it is, a nice clean , well appointed and close or on the beach, and are happy :banana:

The only real difference between the two ratings is a couple of amenity points, and trying to keep up with these ever changing requirements costs money, that could and should be spent on maintenance items and keeping the resort in great shape.

What caused me to reassess this was what occurred recently to one of our Hawaiian resorts, the Lawai Beach Resort in Poipu on Kauai.

As of December of last year, LBR lost it's Gold Crown status, and everyone panicked, except me. I think this is a good thing, and if more of us owners would let the board know that chasing this award isn't important. Just keep up the good work of maintaining our resort and don't have some knee-jerk reaction to raise annual fees by 20% to cover improvements that we as owners don't need.

Those of you that have been around Tug for a few years know that we also own at the Pono Kai in Kapaa also on Kauai. Last year we ( Pono Kai owners) had several discussions regarding why the PK fees were higher than LBR.

The reasons were that the PK had suffered some neglect under RCI management, that we are purchasing the land that was leased on a 10 year contract and had a delinquency rate of almost 20% :wow:

Well, we( PK) fired RCIM about 3 years ago and hired BlueGreen, and started making tremendous improvements is all facets of operations.

BG bought about 300 weeks that we had forclosed on by Finova during the Developers bankruptcy, and continue to purchase our forclosed units, placing them back on a fee paying basis :wavey:

In Just the past 2 years the PK has completely refurbished down to the bare walls 64 units in 4 of our major buildings with 4 more to go in 2006 and 2007.

PK's fees for a 1 bedroom this year were $598.20 while the LBR average was $542., and PK isn't expecting any increase while LBR is tossing around up to a 20% ( $108.40 ) increase to attempt in vain to recapture a GC rating that quite frankly a 15 year old resort can't hope to compare to the newest generation of GC resorts.

Well, I will now climb down :soapbox: , fwiw. :D Greg

BoardGirl
07-14-2005, 09:43 PM
:wow:

What a great post.

I'm thrilled about what you said about pono kai. I'm in BG points and was planning to book into pk when we get our new points in 06. It's incredibly affordable, points-wise.

I had people telling me, don't do it, it's not a nice resort, it's not in a nice area. Use your points to get a week to deposit in RCI to trade into something better...

Well, I wasn't going to do that for several reasons. Partially because I don't really care if it's GC, I'm no luxury hound - getting to go to Hawaii at all in this lifetime is a luxury. And why should I spend all my points on an elusive Hawaii exchange thru RCI that I'd also have to pay rci for if I even lucked into getting anything? Nah, that's just stupid... I'll stick with BG, they've never let me down before... I'll have a sure thing, ocean front. besides, in the bg mag that shows up, they always give a rundown of what they're doing where. They aren't interested in letting stuff get run down.

You have just confirmed a few things for me about exchangers, Bluegreen and Pono Kai.

Now, are you telling me that RCI used to manage properties? oh my...

aliikai2
07-15-2005, 05:01 PM
The Pono Kai gets a lot of guff from those folks that think the traffic in Kapaa is so bad, of course they are the ones driving through town either going to the North Shore or driving to the Poipu or Waimea area, and that is ok since it leaves our favorite Hawaiian resort just below the radar, unless you read the Ultimate Kauai Guide books recommendations, they rate it as a Gold Bar for value.

Is it a Marriott or an Embassy?

No, it is just a great resort on 11 acres of ocean front flat property so those of us that can't hike can stroll to our buildings, then up the elevators to the 2nd or 3rd floor instead of packing your luggage up 3 flights of stairs.

Is it new? Nope, the buildings were built in the late 70's and early 80's.

So then what is so special about the Pono Kai?

In Hawaiian the word Ohana means family, and the Pono Kai is like coming home and being with family. Many of the owners bought here when II rated it 5 Stars, of course since it was one of the very first Hawaiian Timeshares..

We have owned or stayed at the EVR both Poipu and Kaanapali, the Cliffs Club, the Pahio resorts, Kona Coast, Lawai Beach, Kona Hawaiian Village, the VI( Sunterra Pacific) resorts, Kahanna Falls, Gardens of West Maui, The Imperial , and our very favorite resort is the Pono Kai.

It is a little older, well maintained ( sound familiar?) and suite us very well, add that to the central location, and the great staff, it is hard to beat..

Yes, RCIM and as far as I know they still do manage several resorts, fortunately not ours :rotflmao:

fwiw, :D Greg

Kathleen C
07-15-2005, 06:26 PM
Nice pictures, I belong to Bluegreen and find the exchanges through their system to be nice resorts. Not everthing has to be Gold Crown to please people. A clean, well maintained place with friendly staff is worth it's weigh in gold. :slap:

T. R. Oglodyte
07-15-2005, 06:32 PM
You also didn't mention that, as RID resort, the VEP filter will be less restrictive when/if you make trades.

lawren2
07-16-2005, 04:07 PM
I'm thrilled about what you said about pono kai. I'm in BG points and was planning to book into pk when we get our new points in 06. It's incredibly affordable, points-wise.

I had people telling me, don't do it, it's not a nice resort, it's not in a nice area. Use your points to get a week to deposit in RCI to trade into something better... You have just confirmed a few things for me about exchangers, Bluegreen and Pono Kai.

Now, are you telling me that RCI used to manage properties? oh my...

Whoever told you those mistruths about Pono Kai should be shot! Or maybe we should shake their hands? It is a delightful resort and I would stay there again in a heartbeat.

Yes RCIM ( not RCI ) picked up the management of the Glen Ivy resorts when those lovely folks declared bankruptcy and ran off with a lot of people's money. TUGger John Cummings knows the story much better than I do. They still manage many of those resorts inlcuding: Laguna Surf, San Luis Bay Inn ( the original building, Sunterra manages the addition ), Havasu Dunes.

Having owned 2 RCIM resorts I'm not of the same mindset about them. They manage to keep my fees down and my resort ratings up. Desert Breezes elected to leave RCI-M 3 years ago and it's been nothing but MF hikes since.

I think part of Pono Kai's issues were hurricane Iniki. But then I don't own there and don't know the intricacies of the situation or understand the Pacific Fantasy portion either.

At any rate I still exchange for nothing into the sister resorts and still can use Pono Kai when it has availability ( which is less now but still there ).

BoardGirl
07-16-2005, 04:21 PM
Whoever told you those mistruths about Pono Kai should be shot! Or maybe we should shake their hands? It is a delightful resort and I would stay there again in a heartbeat.


Hee hee... Well, it's just a lucky thing for me that I don't tend to follow the crowd on anything. I've found people get annoyed when they give me advice I don't take but eventually they quit offering it! I have my own reasons for doing things, and it just seems impractical to spend points to give to RCI who I would then have to pay for the chance at a Hawaiian exchange... with no sure thing! this one is just so Obvious!

I actually think it was another bluegreener, so maybe most bg's think that way now and I'll be able to slip on into pk with relative frequency!! I'll keep the secret.

JWC
07-17-2005, 07:24 AM
Whoever told you those mistruths about Pono Kai should be shot! Or maybe we should shake their hands? It is a delightful resort and I would stay there again in a heartbeat.

Yes RCIM ( not RCI ) picked up the management of the Glen Ivy resorts when those lovely folks declared bankruptcy and ran off with a lot of people's money. TUGger John Cummings knows the story much better than I do. They still manage many of those resorts inlcuding: Laguna Surf, San Luis Bay Inn ( the original building, Sunterra manages the addition ), Havasu Dunes.

Having owned 2 RCIM resorts I'm not of the same mindset about them. They manage to keep my fees down and my resort ratings up. Desert Breezes elected to leave RCI-M 3 years ago and it's been nothing but MF hikes since.

I think part of Pono Kai's issues were hurricane Iniki. But then I don't own there and don't know the intricacies of the situation or understand the Pacific Fantasy portion either.

At any rate I still exchange for nothing into the sister resorts and still can use Pono Kai when it has availability ( which is less now but still there ).

Lawren,

I am the TUGger John Cummings. I am a moderator on this web site and my user iD is JWC which are my initials.

I own a 1 BR Imperial unit at San Luis Bay Inn that I bought from Glen Ivy when the resort first opened. Actually, I had nothing against Glen Ivy as they were very upfront and honest in all our dealings with them. You can thank them for the PSE program which I think is great. RCIRM just continued on the with the Glen Ivy system. Most of the executives and managers at RCIRM were ex Glen Ivy folks. You are absolutely correct about the Maintenance Fees. Ours have been very stable over the past many years. Another TUGger is very unhappy about Desert Breezes no longer being part of RCIRM.

Sunterra tried to take over the whole San Luis Bay Inn resort a few years back but the owners voted them down by a 3:1 margin as we are all pretty happy with RCIRM.

daventrina
03-21-2006, 03:03 AM
[SIZE=4]
:soapbox:
As of December of last year, LBR lost it's Gold Crown status, ...

This happend to many resorts. because RCI changed the rating system. AND they didn't even tell anybody...

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