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Atrium newsletter 200% assessment
Posted by: Rowboat (
Date: October 10, 2006 11:18PM

From the Atrium's newsletter (of today):

Festiva Resorts must pass along the never welcome news that a 10% increase in your annual maintenance fees and a

special assessment fee equal to two times (annual owners) or one times (biennial owners) your annual maintenance

fees per unit week are required from you as an owner in order to provide the funds necessary to satisfy the

previously mentioned needs.

Link to full story:


We own 3 weeks in March and 2 in Nov. Just read the newsletter and went into Island Shock... What seems to be going

on with these management companys. Artium had excellent management and was always had excellent maintenence. Simon,

the previous owner, even improved the property and units each year. Now the new owners, Festiva, say they are

running a loss and cannot keep up with improvements or even maintain the existing building. With an 80% sold

assessment on 85 units they would receive over $4,000,000. Seems a little excessive. We are also considering moving

on.... but with such a big investment in the island it will be hard.

There is a bright side maybe, JMB has a lot of information on their web site and quotes Stefan Fox a St Maarten


Stefan Fox is a St. Maarten attorney. (American attorneys really can’t file suits in St. Maarten. It’s a foreign

country with totally different laws, and court proceedings are all in Dutch.)

We wrote to Stefan about this mess. His reply:

“Time share rights are considered lease rights under the laws of the Netherlands Antilles. A sudden increase in

maintenance fees is unlawful, as long as the 'owners' have not signed up to same, in the very same lease / time

share agreement or in the association documents. So the content of the time share agreement is of essence.”

Our agreements only allow an increase in maintenance fees up to the St Maarten consumer price index, there is no

provision for any special assessments.

I know this is just the beginning of this problem for all timeshare owners on the island. Lets hope it gets resolved

quickly before the Island economy goes south.

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Re: Atrium newsletter 200% assessment
Posted by: Bahraine (
Date: October 16, 2006 10:01PM

The newsletter I received today is the first I have heard about any assessments on to timeshare owneres on the island. What happens if we do not pay the assessment? The newsletter did not mention any consequence if it is not paid. I would appreciate any information you may provide regarding this issue.

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Re: Atrium newsletter 200% assessment
Posted by: Alisa (67.129.194.---)
Date: October 17, 2006 08:45AM

My husband and I also received this newsletter yesterday along with a payment book for the special assessment. We will not pay this. It is not in our contract that we have to pay anything other than our maint. fees. We are going to contact Festiva today and if they do not cooperate then we will seek legal advice. Please let me know if you find out any other info.

Thank you!

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Re: Atrium newsletter 200% assessment
Posted by: Rowboat (
Date: October 17, 2006 12:51PM

We own 5 weeks at the Atrium. My assessments will be over $7000. This is
outrageous. If we all have the same lease contracts that state, they, the resort can only increase maintenance fees the NA CPI and in the last paragraph state that no changes can be made to this agreement without the parties agreeing, we should have legal rights to refuse payment of the special assessments.

Atrium owners please contact me if you would like to fight this, as I will forward a copy of my lease to Stephan Fox, Attorney, on St Maarten for review. We have previously used Stephan on other matters on the Island.

I have also talked to Claire Collins of Festiva. Call her at 866-933-7848 to complain. She could not come up with a legal argument for the assessments. They seem un prepaired for discesnsion. She said they would take each case by itself.

We need to fight this now. If they get away with it this time, what will stop them from doing it again. There is always a wish list, why would a company like Festiva buy Artium if the books were so bad. Is the $4,000,000 assessment to pay for the building. Their numbers do not add up. They must abide by the lease we signed. What good is it if we can not enforce it.

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Re: Atrium newsletter 200% assessment
Posted by: Alisa (67.129.194.---)
Date: October 17, 2006 03:07PM

Well I just called Festiva and they were absolutely no help. Basically because the previous owner did not know how to run a business it is up to us to make up for it. Any legal action you are going to take count me in! I am not paying this assessment.

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Re: Atrium newsletter 200% assessment
Posted by: Elaine Coughlin (148.61.13.---)
Date: October 17, 2006 03:34PM

I called that number and here's what I got - October 17, 2006 - 3:20 pm
Spoke with Owner Services - Dawn. She explained that when Festiva purchased,
it was later discovered that The Atrium wasn't being operated properly and it
needs a new generator - $200,000 plus reserve funds, etc. She said this is
hopefully a one time deal but could offer no guarantees and nothing in

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Re: Atrium newsletter 200% assessment
Posted by: Bahraine (
Date: October 17, 2006 03:38PM

My friend an I each own a week at the atrium every other year. Let us know if you will be pursuing any legal action, we are in

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Re: Atrium newsletter 200% assessment
Posted by: WWII (
Date: October 17, 2006 09:35PM

200,000 for a generator? They're collecting 4 million? I'm sure the owners could finance these improvements over time. I don't own there, but I have seen some of the units. They've always been excellently maintained. Good luck.

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Re: Atrium newsletter 200% assessment
Posted by: JerseyMike (
Date: October 17, 2006 10:24PM

And to expect us to pay this by January is unheard of. Where's the business plan? Did they just think this up? Mike

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Re: Atrium newsletter 200% assessment
Posted by: Susie (
Date: October 17, 2006 11:00PM

At least you got a little advance warning about when it was due. Look at Sapphire where the assessment was due before the bill even arrived!!!

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Re: Atrium newsletter 200% assessment
Posted by: james crismale (
Date: October 18, 2006 12:40AM

my family and i have owned at the atrium for almost ten years.
we own 4 weeks.
in years past everything has run smoothly, even in the worst of times.

article 9 is explicit as to the payment of the maint.fee and the timely-ness.
i do not agree with the action that this new management tean has taken and my intend is to chalenge it. an additional fee of $6, uncalled for.
i believe that article 16 of my contract speaks to this.:
"jurisdiction for resolutions af all disputes and claims". since this is a legal matter i have reached out for advise.
i have in fact contacted Dr.Nilda Ardiun, on the island.she is the attorney that was involved with the pelican fiasco. she advised me that the owners "us" should aproach this problem as group for best results. if you agree contact her she has a website.

thank you,


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Re: Atrium newsletter 200% assessment
Posted by: Val & Sal (
Date: October 21, 2006 03:31AM

Rowboat and all other Atrium owners,

We were elated to find this site. We just received our newsletter with 200% assessment and were livid! We have owned a week at the Atrium since its inception and no intention of paying this ridiculous amount of money. What was Simon doing with our maintenance fees all of these years? Our previous newsletters would always tell of the improvements being made!! What's ironic is that Rich Hartnett and his brother, David, were the ones who sold us our week before Atrium was completed. We were on an RCI exchange at Pelican and took a tour. I've done some web research and come up with some not so nice facts about Festiva and complaints about special assessments from other timeshare owners at their other resorts.

Please count us in with whatever class action we can pursue. We will also contact Festiva and voice our opposition, as we are not paying this ridiculous and I;m sure unlawful amount of money.

Val & Sal from New York

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Re: Atrium newsletter 200% assessment
Posted by: SXMaholic (
Date: October 21, 2006 07:33AM

What is going on in SXM? I own at Sapphire and they are also doing the same thing. Is it a conspiracy among these places? There must be a loophole somewhere since they all seem to be doing it now.

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Re: Atrium newsletter 200% assessment
Posted by: sal (
Date: October 21, 2006 03:23PM

i believe that sapphire was once managed by simon. i am not possitive.

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Re: Atrium newsletter 200% assessment
Posted by: Rowboat (
Date: October 21, 2006 08:30PM

A group of Atrium owners has formed to litigate this 200% assessment and the 10% increase in maintenance fees. If we fail to confront the Festiva Resort management now, we will allow the terms and conditions of our leasse to change. Please understand your lease terms and conditions are binding by NA law. If you submitt to an arbitary assessment you have lost your rights in the future to litigate. There has never been an owners association to govern any changes to the lease. Read your agreement, they can not change it without your agreement. If you pay the assessment you have agreed to it and you have no recourse.

If you would like to join the Artium owners fighting this assessment and fee increase please contact me. We have a very good chance at winning this one.

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