I have received the following email (see sidebar, click here) from a number of Pelican Resort Club owners, with varying degrees of concern.
The resort has been taken over, and the name has been changed, and will no longer accept reservations, or allow stays after February 20th, 2011, until unspecified issues have been resolved.It is now the Simpson Bay Resort.
This purpose built resort has been an interesting case study in the 30 or so years it has been operating.
It suffered tremendous damage from hurricanes in the 90’s, resulting in special assessment of of around $2,000, over and above annual maintenance fees of about $400 at the time..
Owners have been receiving a number of conflicting emails over the last few months, conveying a sense of confusion and mixed messages regarding status of ownership of the management company, foreclosure auctions, the employees at the property,etc.
What’s really going on?
But none conveyed the urgency and the possibility that the resort would close, placing usage, and possibility timeshare ownership in jeopardy. As a matter of fact, most seemed to convey that these are more along the lines of administrative issues having to do with management, and unlikely to impact owners day to day experience.
The release from the new management company, the Simpson Bay Resort, is vague on exactly why the closure is necessary, or how long it will last. It does appear that it is may be a ploy to force the unions to negotiate, or perhaps to force the union employees out. An attempt to fire all the union employees was thwarted by the courts in December.
Pelican’s own web site still trumpets the benefits of vacation ownership.
A visit to the new Simpson Bay Resort website conveys the impression that everything is hunky dory, and is encouraging prospective owners to visit.Calling the number and asking for management takes you back to Royal Resorts, Carribbean. Royal Resort Management directs you to a web site which contains the same information in the sidebar.
Calls to RCI and Interval International have not yet been returned.
It is likely, when all is said and done, that things will return to normal for Pelican/Simpson owners, albeit at what cost is less clear.
In the short term, though, it also appears likely that owners in good standing with reservations over the next few weeks or months, may lose out on their vacations. While they are encouraged to make their mortgage and maintenance fee payments, regardless, there is no assurance that they will be able to go to their resort.
It is suggested that various other resorts in the region are going to make limited space available to Pelican owners, though the sizes of the units as well as the cost are uncertain. It is possible that Pelican owners will be simply allowed to rent unused space at the rate any timeshare owner would be able to pay.
Also at risk are any air fares or other costs already paid by owners who often plan their vacations a year in advance.
Right now there are more questions than answers, but we will keep on top of things as they develop.
I would particularly like to hear from Pelican/Simpson owners impacted by the developments.