Editorial: Timeshare nuisance

POSTED: 01/16/12 12:55 PM

The timeshare industry is booming, but the sector is surrounded by so much bad news that it is becoming a nuisance rather than a pillar of our tourism driven economy.

Profits seems to be flowing into the coffers of companies that are not even on our island – in at least one instance it goes directly to the gambling capital of the world, Las Vegas.

But that same company, Diamond Resorts, is giving the timeshare industry in St. Maarten a bad name by charging the whole-owners at its Royal Palm Beach Club extortionate maintenance fees.

It seems that companies like Diamond Resorts, the Simpson Bay Beach Resort (the former Pelican Club) and others like the Rainbow Beach Club spend an uncanny amount of time in court, fighting with their beloved clients about the one thing that seems to interest these companies more than anything else: money.

If Diamond Resorts ever gets away with charging whole-owners $50,000 per year in maintenance fees for a $300,000 condo, it is more than likely that the whole timeshare industry will blow itself up in an explosion fueled by greed and creative accounting.

It is high time that our Parliament speeds up the work on the timeshare legislation DP MP De Weever has initiated. It is now needed more than ever, not only to protect defrauded timeshare-owners, but also to protect our fragile economy.

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