Raintree — Letter to Doug Bech
Mr. Doug Bech,
I am a member, in good standing, at the Club Regina Resort Los Cabos. I have left several messages with Sharon Racine about some questions regarding the Special Assessment notice that the membership recently received, and also about next year’s regular maintenance fees. I have not received a return phone call. I am distinctly under the impression that this Special Assessment has not been well received. I can understand why.
Let me first transgress a bit, I just reviewed my account on the Raintree Vacation Club website. I see that next year our regular maintenance fees are going up, again, like they have every year since I joined.
I am a Vice President in charge of real estate, construction and facilities management for JPMorgan Chase. I manage over 4 million square feet of buildings. For the past year, because of this world-wide crises in the economy, I have been seeing costs declining significantly (10-25%), for labor, materials, and services. Our general administrative costs have also reduced somewhat (5%), but overall, our RE, construction and management services are well below what we budgeted last year.
The increase in our regular resort maintenance fees does not make any sense, unless your organization is grossly mismanaging these facilities. The money that you should be saving from this year’s reduction in costs should be accrued for future expenses so that Raintree does NOT have to raise maintenance fees. I would like to see how my resort maintenance fees are being allocated. Any good steward would strive to keep costs down and membership happy for potential sales in the future.
Please send me a breakdown of the increase in costs that would substantiate this increase in fees. I’d like to see an income and expense statement as well as a detailed breakdown of those items that are to be covered by the regular maintenance fees.
We received the Special Assessment (SA) letter recently. We’re not going to pay it. There is no legal substantiation for this SA. You made the rules and you have failed to follow them, but you expect members to follow those same rules. Read your contract. No formal vote was ever taken (surveys and verbal communication with staff are not votes). I never received a ballot and neither did any of the members. You have unilaterally taken it upon yourselves to initiate a special assessment without any formal input from members. You have breached the contract with the members by not following the protocol outlined in your contract.
You have also made offers, in writing, to other dissatisfied members to extend their special assessment payment up to 24 months. I and other members have not received any communication that there wer e other payment plans available. How can you do this and not extend it to the entire membership community as a whole? You do recognize that by offering other payment plans to only certain individuals, you have forfeited the right to collect ANY fees from ANY member, as outlined in your SA letter. If you continue to collect SA fees without all the members having the benefit of other payment options, you are in breach of the contract.
You have threatened to block reservations for those members that have not paid or committed to pay by July 15th. As I have stated, the SA is NOT valid. If you block or restrict any member from freely enjoying their rights to any resort, you will be in breach of the contract.
I will be more that glad to pay any SA, if it is first identified, with detailed cost estimates, which are shared with the membership, and the membership majority formally votes on an increase. I would suggest that you have a committee comprised of active members to oversee the ballot counting. I have to tell you that your credibility has substantially diminished and I would not trust anything coming from Raintree without a member oversight committee involved.
Furthermore, the second that you block or restrict me from using any resort, I will be filing a suit against you, the Raintree Vacation Club, Club Regina, the Boards of Directors and all senior managers of Raintree Vacation Club. And furthermore, the second that you block any other member, and I hear about it, and I will, I will file a suit against you, the Raintree Vacation Club, Club Regina, the Boards of Directors and all senior managers of Raintree. I’m sure that thousands of other members will follow suit, (no pun intended).
I don’t doubt that you understand the severity of the actions that the Raintree Vacation Club has initiated by imposing this SA and the threats that accompanied it. Instead of collecting over $40, 000, 000, the possibility of you having to defend against lawsuits, far exceeding that amount, is very real.
I suggest that you rescind the SA, immediately, return any money you have collected from=2 0members, and if you still feel that the SA is necessary, begin the process of asking the members for a vote to establish a Special Assessment for valid items needed at the different resorts. That is the way to handle it legally and morally. This will go a long way in making many members very happy. To the point that they will not malign Raintree or their resorts and you can continue to sell profitable memberships. Word of mouth is very powerful and at this point, I can certainly understand if members vilify The Raintree Vacation Club to anyone who will listen.
Jose M. Hernandez
Club Regina Los Cabos Member
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