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"Look on my works ye mighty and despair"...  Is the age of timeshare fading from memory?
"Look on my works ye mighty and despair"... Is the age of timeshare fading from memory?

Press release -

Feet in the desert. Timeshare industry giants disappearing into history

Once unstoppable moneymaking powerhouses, leading timeshare companies are gradually being reduced to inert apartment complexes.  We examine the history of four industry leaders, what they once were, and where they are now...

Anfi Del Mar

Anfi Beach Club started selling in 1992, followed by Puerto Anfi in 1994, Monte Anfi in 1997, and Gran Anfi in 1998.   Anfi Del Mar, comprising of all 4 clubs proceeded to break every single site sales record in the timeshare industry over the next two decades

Norwegian billionaire founder Bjørn Lyng founded Anfi as his last project, having already made his fortune in industry.  Anfi was arguably the highest quality timeshare development in the world:  Sand was imported from the Caribbean to create a powder white beach, a 200 metre heart shaped island was created in the bay adorned with manicured lawns and exotic plants, an exclusive marina, and gardens flashing with streams and waterfalls greeted the fortunate guests

With a 200 strong sales team and similar number of OPCs (touts) spread around Gran Canaria Anfi was a conveyor belt of money.  Lots of people got very rich

On January 5th 1999 the law changed but Anfi, under the leadership of Calvin Lucock (and Sales/Marketing Director Neil Cunliffe ) did not. 

Spain enacted a strict timeshare law designed to protect consumers from high pressure sales.  Anfi, along with most other resorts, chose to ignore the new rules.  Presumably the fear that revenue might suffer outweighed the fear of legal consequences, and for a while no repercussions manifested.   

In reality though Calvin, Neil et al may not have realised but the sun had already begun to set on Anfi's 'Wild West' days.  The fun might not be over just yet, but they were on borrowed time.

In 2015, the first case against Anfi reached the Spanish Supreme Court. Anfi lost, and kept losing. Anfi is now being forced to pay compensation money to owners with illegal contracts.

Anfi has over €48 million in cases against them so far.  They have been accused of criminally (but fruitlessly) hiding assets to avoid paying up.  

Club la Costa 

Roy Peires opened Club La Costa in 1984 when he purchased his first resort, Las Farolas, on the Costa del Sol. Peires expanded rapidly in the 1980s and 1990s. In 2013 he rebranded as CLC World Resorts & Hotels. 

Currently there are 32 CLC World resorts, including holiday accommodation, luxury yachts and canal boats.

Roy Peires keeps direct control of the developments and direction of CLC. Peires, originally from South Africa, turns 70 this year and shows no signs of slowing down.

CLC World, like Anfi, opted to ignore the new laws.  They too are paying a heavy price.  So far around €20 million in compensation awards have been issued against the company, a large portion of which have been won by European Consumer Claims (ECC) on behalf of mis-sold CLC members.

CLC World laid off its sales staff in October 2020, originally “until further notice”. Barely a month later they closed their sales teams indefinitely and Club la Costa (UK) PLC was placed into administration.

A few weeks after that, four of CLC's Spanish companies went into liquidation; Even though CLC told its owners that their memberships would not be affected, the activity sparked concern among CLC members and observers alike for the future of the club 

Silverpoint

Formally Resort Properties, Silverpoint sold timeshare at Hollywood Mirage Club, Beverly Hills Heights, Beverly Hills Club, Palm Beach Club and Club Paradiso all on the island of Tenerife. 

Resort Properties was founded in the eighties by British businessman Bob Trotta, who ran operations with marketing man Danny Lubert, before they left to create First Property Group in Dubai

Mark Cushway now headed up Resort Properties, then Silverpoint Vacations. 

Cushway took the company down a path of suspect “investment” schemes (called the ELLP) involving a share of accommodation profits from the hotel group.  These profits materialised for the first year encouraging investors to double down.  After the second round of investments the company went into liquidation.  The investors lost everything.

Silverpoint had also disregarded the Spanish timeshare legislation.  There were hundreds of judgements against them but their enforced liquidation meant that many clients despite having won in court, never received their compensation payments.

Silverpoint was heading for financial disaster from the moment the courts started awarding judgements against them.  Perhaps the ELLP scheme was a last cash grab, when they knew the company was going under anyway

Diamond Resorts Europe 

Diamond resorts were known for a quality product and some spectacular resorts in the USA.  Their 1989 expansion into Europe provided equally desirable accommodation and sales burgeoned accordingly. 

With nearly 50 resorts  in Europe, Diamond were one of the industry's heavyweights, at one time being ranked the 8th largest timeshare company in the world

This size, power and reputation of Diamond Resorts afforded their buyers in Europe some of the strongest security and credibility associated with holiday ownership.

In November 2017 however, all sales and concierge staff were summoned to meetings at various locations around Europe, all at the same.  Only 7 weeks before Christmas, staff at Diamond's European locations were told to clear out their desks and prepare for the closure of the offices. 

Falling sales were part of the problem, but a flawed fractional product ominously boded future problems with returning clients. 

Mounting compensation claims for illegal contracts in the Spanish resorts sealed the fate of Diamond's foray into Europe

Diamond Europe still retains minimal in-house sales personnel at their resorts under franchise agreements, but nothing like the numbers in halcyon days of the 1980s and 1990s.

An idea whose time has passed

"Timeshare used to be streets ahead of the rest of the travel industry," says Andrew Cooper - CEO of European Consumer Claims.  "People were sick of arriving at hotels that were nothing like the glossy pictures from the brochure.  Timeshare came along and offered to guarantee standards at exclusive clubs.  It would cost more, but people were happy to pay.

"Timeshare was fresh and exciting, a young upstart that tore up established travel concepts, disrupting the standard travel model.

"Unfortunately the upstart got lazy.  The model stagnated and the rest of the travel world not only caught up, they overtook timeshare which itself is now the outdated system.

"New member sales have dried up.  Existing timeshare members are desperate to escape the commitment.   The business as it stands, really doesn't have a future.

"Getting out of a timeshare is not easy.  If you find yourself stuck in an unwanted membership, the best way forward is to contact an independent consumer association for advice.  Or call a reputable timeshare claims firm, for a free, confidential chat."

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European Consumer Claims (ECC) are the UK & Europe’s leading timeshare release & claims specialists

ECC help timeshare owners from across the UK to release themselves from unwanted timeshares all over the world, and to recover money where possible.

We are expert timeshare release & claims consultants operating from a growing network of offices throughout the UK and a number of Europe’s timeshare “hot-spots”

Our mission is to help timeshare owners who wish to rid themselves of unwanted timeshare (and the associated long-term fee commitments) and to recover monies wherever possible.

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