Monday, August 28, 2006


Timeshare Owners Looking For Answers

Two timeshare owners at the now condemned Tyne Beach Terrace want to know what recourse they have since the vacation home club has been closed for almost two years.

The beach-front property was damaged by the twin hurricanes in September 2004 and has yet to come back on-line.

In the months that followed, the tiles began coming up, the electrical installations shorted out and the inner walls became contaminated with mould and mildew.

Salt water also destroyed the electrical components, the concrete and sheet rock walls.

Danish owner Peter Munksnaes had begun repairs on the building in excess of $200,000, but had to stop the work on the 20-unit, four-storey building in December 2004 after a Grand Bahama Port Authority inspector order condemned it.

The timeshare owners say they have been following the plight of another set of owners at the Crowne Plaza Golf Resort and Casino at the Royal Oasis.

That resort property was also shut down in September 2004 and is still closed. Convinced they had no other refuge, the timeshare owners there took legal action against the resort owners.

A group of timeshare owners at Tyne Beach Terrace say they have enjoyed coming to Grand Bahama and are asking what recourse they now have concerning their timeshare unit.

William Mooney and John Curtis both purchased timeshare in 1999 and loved coming here with their wives.

"We bought two weeks in Tyne Beach, week 51 and 52, Christmas and New Years for a total of 80 weeks," said Mooney.

"We'd use them together with our wives when we come here. We love it. We've enjoyed every time we've ever come, it's been a great experience. We love the Bahamian people."

In fact, Mooney of Atlanta and Curtis of Virginia, say they were influential in bringing over a neighbouring family for one week, who decided to purchase a home here and become winter residents.

"We're a little bit upset because we spent our money and we have nothing to show for it and as much as we would like to come back, there's a duplication," said Mooney.

"I'm retired and you have limited dollars in retirement. So when you make a plan like that, you're really upset when it falls apart."

While the men understand and appreciate that the building was damaged as a result of natural disasters, they would still like to use what's left of their 70-plus weeks and be able to come back.

The men aren't looking to get their money back, they know Tyne Beach has nothing to offer now.

Curtis says their greatest concern is that after paying for their time, all of a sudden they saw a couple things happen – their annual fees went from $275 to over $700 with additional assessments which they were told were sanctioned by the Government.

Now, they want to know what Munksnaes plans to do with the property: rebuild or settle.

They say they are not sending any more money to the club despite requests to do so because there is nothing there. And, they are having a hard time hearing anything from the government.

"I don't know who exactly to go to. There are laws that are enforced by Nassau, but they're not protecting us. We don't hear anything. What are the laws, I'm eager to find out," says Mooney.

Tyne Beach spokesman Peter Adderley says the owner is waiting to hear from the insurance company to settle their claim which carries a value of $2 million. The offer from the insurance company to date is $400,000.

"We're taking the matter to court. We're being represented by two of the finest attorneys in the country and we're confident."

According to Adderley, the members have been able to utilize the RCI exchange programme and go elsewhere as a result of being members of the resort.

"Our office has remained open to be able to facilitate all of the exchanges to our members. Needless to say, this is a popular location and they have experienced a disadvantage of not being able to stay here, he said.

"Having waited two years now on a settlement from the insurance company, we're in the process of selling one or two units to utilize those funds to rebuild the resort."

Adderley says it was thought that after providing all of the necessary and historic details, from engineers and contractors, that there would have already been a settlement.

Meanwhile, he adds that every effort is being made to maintain the site.

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