Azure Resorts is yet another of the infamous late Bob Trotta companies under the umbrella of Limora Group. The products sold were the same as those peddled by their sister company in Tenerife, Silverpoint. They operate out of the Golden Sands Resort in Malta and as we reported some time ago they laid off around 70 staff from their sales team. Since then they have launched new products Azure X and Azure XP. So what are these products?
Azure X is a new kind of membership product which uses a “digital leisure currency” called XP, this “currency” can according to Azure be used across all the leisure products offered by Azure. This according to Azure means that members do not have to purchase into each new product that they come up with.
They way they explain it is that weeks from any time of year or even accommodation units can be used across all the classes of their membership. In theory, this gives members access to boats, cars, motorhomes, lodges, cruising and hotels from their “ever-expanding portfolio”.
The duration of membership is 25 to 30 years, yet they claim it is also flexible. Apparently, members who decide to use more XP each year, the membership can be accelerated with the duration and end date being brought forward. They also claim that with Azure X you are in control. The question here is what about availability?
They also claim that members of other products who are happy with what they already have need not acquire Azure X membership. This product was not available to upgrade by members of other products without payment, yet they will accept trade-ins of previous products purchased as part payment.
Over the years we have seen many products similar to this such as Leisure Credits, Monster Credits and of course the original points systems, all have promised so much yet, in reality, they do not deliver on those promises.
As with all these “club memberships,” availability will always be a problem, there will always be more members than what is available on the inventory. To give an example, a resort using the traditional timeshare concept of fixed weeks and apartments, the resort is only able to sell 51 weeks in each apartment, once these are sold that is it, no more new members. By changing to these “virtual currency” systems they can increase their membership base. This is where we end up with that old scenario of “no availability”.
Azure are also still offering other products alongside Azure X & XP membership, these include timeshare weeks, fractional yacht ownership (Silverpoint also sold this product in Tenerife), UK lodges and UK lodges freehold. The last two we have seen as the Excel Lodges Participation Scheme which is very similar to the Company Participation Scheme sold by Silverpoint.
As with all these types of products, there will also be an annual cost, the dreaded maintenance fees, yet Azure does not mention this in their X magazine called WOW Living, which is sent out to all members.
As always, it will be some time before “members” realise they have not purchased what they were promised, then it will be too late!
If you have purchased Azure X or XP Inside Timeshare would like to hear from you and your experiences, use our contact page and get in touch.