Daily Archives: May 17, 2006

Barbados Government Enters Time-Share Vacation Hucksterism – But Shuns The Words “Time Share”

Anyone who has been to Disney World, the Bahamas, Hawaii or other tourist destinations has experienced the army of street people handing out pamphlets – promising everything from free meals, free boat trips and accomodation to free toasters.

Everything is Free!…. if you will only give us 30 minutes of your vacation time to listen to a presentation about "AN EXCITING CONCEPT"….

The "Exciting Concept" always turns out to be Time-Share Vacations, but the hawkers of the "Exciting Concept" will do everything they can to avoid using the words "Time Share". Why? Because for the last 30 years or so, no matter what new term is coined to describe it, the Time Share concept and industry has left a trail of fraud, financial ruin and heartache around the world. These projects are not all bad, of course – just most of them.

Hucksterism As An Industry

In the 70's and early 80's, the concept was called "Time Share", then it morphed into "Co-ownership", "Holiday Ownership", "Multi Ownership", "Group Ownership" and now we have "Fractional Ownership" – but a dung pile by any other name still smells as sweet… (Forgive me, Bard, just couldn't help it)

Proponents will say that true "fractional ownership" is not the same as "time share", and while this is technically true, in the end the differences are about the same as the difference between two unwashed armpits after a hard day's work.

A Google search for the words "time share frauds" and "fractional ownership frauds" returns an astonishing 40 million or so hits and makes for some interesting reading.

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Gems Of Barbados Money Pit Just Keeps On Going and Going and Going… Now Entering Into Time-Share "Fractional Ownership" Scheme

The Government of Barbados is planning to give more of our prime public land to that money pit known as "Gems of Barbados" so GEMS can get into the Time Share game. Here is what Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Noel Lynch, disclosed in the Barbados House of Assembly yesterday. It is a tad convoluted, but all the best government "investment" schemes, uh, plans are, so stay with us…

- Barbados will "vest" (that means "give") the St. Lawrence Gap public land of the former Dover Convention Centre to Hotels & Resorts Ltd. – the company that runs the Gems of Barbados fiasco, uh, hotels.

- 54 condominium units will be built on the land to add 176 more hotel beds for Hotel & Resorts Ltd.

- Government hopes to sell most of these "fractional ownership" units to "non-residents" (as if any Bajan would buy a timeshare in Barbados!)

- 80% of the units would be marketed in a rental pool for a minimum of nine months per year.

- The minister told Parliament that part of the receipts from the initial sale of the units would be ploughed back into upgrading Time Out At the Gap and other Gems properties. (Note: Not profits – "receipts")

OK OK – WE GET IT NOW!

This is a scheme to pour yet more public funds into the Gems of Barbados hotel fiasco organization – except that the Government of Barbados is out of money. So… the government has to convert public land into money to give to Gems. See? Easy!

This is a Scheme To Convert Public Land Into Cash – To Give To Gems

Aside from the question of whether public funds should be given to a hotel chain that is in competition with other hotels and resorts owned by private citizens – just how much money and land does the Government of Barbados intend to throw at Gems? Is there a plan? Are there profits? What about all the past money thrown at these questionable resorts?

Minister Lynch Pushes "NEW CONCEPT" !

Remember what we said earlier about Time Share hucksters never using the words "time share" and always coming up with "Exciting Concepts" and "New Concepts" ?

Well… here is a bit of what Minister Lynch had to say, as reported in The Nation Newspaper

Earlier, Lynch pointed out that this new concept had been accepted in the international tourism industry where many developers were unwilling to invest in both the real estate and management of hotels.

There was a distinct move globally, he added, to separate the ownership of the real estate from the management of the properties.

"This is going to be a pioneering effort on behalf of the Gems of Barbados to create this condominium concept that allows for 'fractional ownership'. Under this arrangement the owner buys a condo but puts it back into a rental pool to be managed by a hotel. It may be new to Barbados, but it has been happening all over the region," he said.

Oh yes Mr. Minister, this "new concept" is "new to Barbados" – but it is not so new elsewhere. And a rose is still a rose… and a dung heap is still a dung heap…

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Gambling (in more ways than one) at GEMS' Time Out At The Gap

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business, Offshore Investments, Politics & Corruption, Traveling and Tourism

Barbados Moving To Curb Land Speculation?

Barbados Chief Town Planner Mark Cummins has been making noises that he is not happy that some people have lands approved for development – and then leave the land undeveloped for decades.

Cummins gave an interview to The Nation News that is worth reading – but regarding his statements, the question is… how much of what Mr. Cummins says is Mr. Cummins the person, how much is Mr. Cummins the Chief Town Planner, and how much is government policy?

After reading the interview, one still has to ask, "Just what is the policy and the law regarding property development in Barbados?"

Some folks have recommended viewing chicken entrails when trying to discern Barbados government land development policy. We prefer counting fish taken from the port and starboard side of the boat.

Either method of interpreting Barbados land development policy is probably valid and as accurate as any other.

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Barbados Property Owner Attempts to Interpret Government Land Development Policy using a Chicken Foot Voodoo Stick

(Courtesy of Ye Olde Curiosity Shop)

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Filed under Barbados, Island Life, Politics & Corruption