Welcome to this week’s Letter from America, it is not the article that was actually scheduled for today, but is a last minute replacement. The original will be published at a later date.
Tahoe Beach and Ski Resort HOA Election Results
Jake Bercu and Al Fong Declared the Winners!
By Irene Parker
September 28, 2018
Tahoe Beach and Ski Resort held their annual meeting and election for two board positions September 22, 2018. The two board members running for another three-year term were Alfred Fong and Jacob Bercu. Three other candidates were on the ballot.
Typically, voting is private, but the math indicates that Diamond Resorts voted for Pat Hanna and Laurence McGill. One owner reported that Hanna and McGill both stated they were in contact with Jason Toste, vice president at Diamond and one of the three board members named in the Point at Poipu lawsuit. They said they wanted to work with Diamond Resorts. According to the owner reporting, this made owners suspicious, as the association has made numerous attempts to work with Diamond Resorts to resolve affiliation and operations issues, to no avail.
Diamond Resorts controls 23% of the inventory at Tahoe Beach and Ski Resort and, in the opinion of the member reporting, who wishes to remain anonymous, Diamond has had a difficult time following the rules of the association.
Another twist to all this is the revelation that a member of the board at Tahoe Beach and Ski is now running for the board at Lake Tahoe Vacation Resort, a Diamond property. This was not disclosed to the owners. When questioned about his motives for running for the Lake Tahoe Vacation Resort, he stated that he was interested in gaining useful information about Diamond Resorts.
The letter below is from an owner at Tahoe Beach and Ski Resort. The candidates supported by Diamond campaigned on the fact that Diamond is a new company with new management and that Diamond has changed their ways and we need to work with them. There have been many complaints about Diamond posted on various complaint sites and the Attorney General of Arizona has issued an Assurance of Discontinuance after receiving hundreds of complaints from Diamond members accusing the company of unfair and deceptive sales practices. Diamond did not admit wrongdoing. Based on the letter below and the daily posts on our member sponsored Diamond Advocacy group, we feel improvement in customer relations is warranted.
In addition to Jason Toste, Kathy Wheeler was a board member named in the Point at Poipu lawsuit. They are the authorized owner-representatives for Diamond Resorts at Tahoe Beach and Ski. Owners said they have had reports from other TBSC owners that Diamond sales agents and employees at Lake Tahoe Vacation Resort, Kaanapali Beach Resort and Historic Powhatan have been claiming for the last six years that:
- Diamond owns Tahoe Beach and Ski Resort,
- Diamond manages Tahoe Beach and Ski Resort,
- Diamond guests have full access to the private beach at Tahoe Beach and Ski Resort.
Owners also reported that Diamond Resorts also occasionally claims that when they take over Tahoe Beach and Ski Resort, owners will have to pay a large special assessment to renovate the resort, just as they are now doing at Tahoe Seasons Resort.
The owner’s letter:
Hello, Tahoe Beach and Ski Owners.
I do not believe Diamond is our friend, and I know many of you feel the same.
Gini and I were pricing a Safari Rose Sunset Cruise rather late the other evening. A lady approached us and offered assistance. As we were setting up the cruise details, she asked if we would like a discounted price… sure! The key to the discount was to attend a Diamond Timeshare presentation. She asked if we were current timeshare owners and when we said Tahoe Beach and Ski, she looked us in the eye and said, “We want your beach. Diamond wants your beach!”
This made us even more curious about what they had up their sleeves, so we agreed to attend their presentation. The next afternoon, we met with their salesperson Alejandro. When we affirmed our Tahoe Beach and Ski ownership & our lack of interest in Diamond membership, he made statements to the effect that:
- Diamond owns Tahoe Beach and Ski,
- Diamond manages the daily operations at Tahoe Beach and Ski Resort,
- It’s only a matter of time before DR takes over and totally renovates the resort.
He then asked what would I accept for my Tahoe Beach and Ski timeshare… $1,000, $5,000, or $10,000? He then offered $10,000 credit on any Diamond program purchase in exchange for my current deeded timeshare.
Please help Al and Jake keep Diamond out of our resort. I want my family to continue to enjoy this closely knit, small-town ownership community that we all love.
Comments from Irene Parker:
Congratulations to Jake and Al and to the efforts of many hoping to regain control of our vacations. It was suggested I throw my hat in the ring for Diamond’s US Collection election. I did this with the understanding that it is impossible to win, so agreed for the purpose of letting our voice be heard. We’re grateful to learn, at least at Tahoe Beach and Ski, a real owner really representing other owners can happen.
To me it would be simpler to have meaningful discussion as to our concerns about questionable sales and marketing practices, rather than engage in this nonsensical battle I call Timeshare Wars. Through our Diamond Advocacy Facebook, Inside Timeshare, and members who found us on the internet, we have heard from 531 Diamond members in the U.S., all but a handful reporting that they experienced unfair and deceptive sales practices. It is my belief Diamond has a product, but over promising and making false claims should not be a part of the selling equation. I feel “The customer is always wrong” because of the automatic; “You signed a contract” will be the downfall of this industry, as Diamond is not alone in the onslaught of member and owner complaints. Why can’t we just talk? I have always said that half a problem goes away when confronted.
If you have any views or comments on this or any other article published, then use our contact page and let us know, we welcome your views and insights.
That’s the end of another week, join us again next week for more insights into the world of timeshare, have a great weekend.