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Re: Atrium newsletter 200% assessment
Posted by: Beatrice Najim (
Date: November 06, 2006 01:02PM

We have been owners at the Atrium for more than 12 years.We wish to join in any legal procedure. We are owners at Pelican Resort and have had a special assesment there also.Only the reason for that made sense. We had to purchase the resort from the bankrupt owner to prevent it from closing totally. In the case of Festiva it sounds more like a fast money grab. First we need to form an Owners Association and try to get the address list from the resort. If that fails, we have to petition the court for it. That is how it was done at Pelican by the owners very succesfully. As far as I know the year round residents at the Atrium do pay a different form of maintenance fee, more like a fixed monthly electric and water bill. So who knows how they are thinking to approach that.

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Re: Atrium newsletter 200% assessment
Posted by: Richard Hartnett (
Date: November 08, 2006 04:40PM

Having been involved with Atrium since 1997 I feel the need to speak up about the miss-truths being circulated recently. For those of you that were owners during the Pelican ownership days I was the one that met with you individually and explained that Simon Macauley and his investors were purchasing the resort and he was going to restore the then dilapidated and outdated resort, which was done. I then spent the next 4 years living at the Atrium, making friends with many of you. I have always been upfront and honest about the operation and I feel the need to explain in detail the recent changes that have taken place.

During the past six years I have been associated with Festiva Resorts. I was one of the first people to join Festiva and while helping build the company from 4 employees to over 700, I have seen first hand the integrity and fiduciary responsibility Festiva and its principals maintain. The only thing now occurring is honoring the commitment to maintain and improve the vacation experience of the owners of Atrium Resort for the long term.

Festiva did not assume control of the resort until late September, 2005 and immediately began subsidizing the resort. The audited financial statement showed a 2005 loss of $342,000. It is not Festiva’s responsibility to subsidize the resort but only to pay an equivalent maintenance fee on unsold units. In fact, the rental income (on unsold units) and ancillary revenues created by the management company produced 37% of total revenues for the resort in 2005. If maintenance fees are not increased and Festiva only paid the maintenance fees on unsold units, the resort could only operate for eight months a year.

As for the special assessments of $3.5 million, Festiva worked for the past year with the management staff and outside professionals to determine inefficiency, identify health and safety issues, and to address the aging infrastructure and unit case goods. While expensive, implementing these improvements during a twelve month period will make the resort almost new, be cost effective, and place it on solid footing for many years to come. A preliminary budget and overview of the improvements is available from Festiva’s owner services department.

You can agree or disagree about the decision but let me assure you that all funds collected from Atrium owners are used only for the resort operations and renovations. All funds collected are deposited into and remain in Atrium bank accounts until disbursed and a financial audit is performed annually.

Finally, Festiva is committed to managing the resort prudently and in a financially responsible manner. While we always welcome comments, suggestions and constructive criticism, we do not believe misinformation and myths are beneficial to the owners. In fact, enticing fellow owners with emotions and inaccurate information into a high risk and costly lawsuit is irresponsible and only costs, you, the members more money in the long run.

I hope each of you will independently obtain answers to your questions before making a rush to judgment.

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Re: Atrium newsletter 200% assessment
Posted by: sunny (
Date: November 09, 2006 08:40AM

according to a previous newsletter simon states that he (simon) was paid a generous price (or words to that effect) for his buy-out. does anyone know what that price was?


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Re: Atrium newsletter 200% assessment
Posted by: David S. Fox, Esq. (
Date: November 11, 2006 08:04PM

Timeshare holders should be apprised action is being undertaken to challenge the actions of Festiva. "Notice of Dispute" of the assessed charges should be made prior to remitting any funds. Consumer complaints may be filed with the offices of the North Carolina Attorney General by anyone challenging the assessments. Only by collective action can effective results be obtained. The timeshare holders need an association to represent their interests now that the number of timeshares exceeds the % interests on the resort owner. Everyone should continue to voice their concerns and dispute the assessments. Non-payment of any increases is the best self-help method notwithstanding the threats of late charges.

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Re: Atrium newsletter 200% assessment
Posted by: Joe b (
Date: November 12, 2006 02:45PM

I'm so happy I found this site. I would like to be contacted about any legal action over this assesment. I have had nothing but negitive experience with the managment of the Atrium since I bought my timeshare in Dec. 2003. The only word they know is NO!, once they got your money they are not interested in helping the owners. There was suppose to be an owners board once they were 80% sold, still have not heard anything about that. My lease says that the mainteance fees can not be raised more than the CPI of the Government of the Netherland Antilles, can anybody tell me what the current CPI is, is Festiva just picking a price to raise the fee. There is also a item in the lease that says any new owner of the Atrium must honor the terms in our lease. I have not seen any copy of the operating rules and regulations for at least the last two years, not sure if I got one when I bought.
The Atrium has never kept the owners up to date with anything that's going on, and the past newslwtters have include wrong information and when brought to the attention of Gillin, she just blew me off, and refused to make any corrections.

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Re: Atrium newsletter 200% assessment
Posted by: Val (
Date: November 13, 2006 01:38AM

Joe B,

You can contact "Rowboat" ( to let him know that you'd like to join the rest of us Atrium owners in our class action. He and his wife are in St. Maarten now and have been meeting with the attorney who will represent us all. Your lease is like all of ours. The CPI for the past few years has been 3%. We have been advised not to pay anything right now pending attorney's advice.

Val from NY

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Re: Atrium newsletter 200% assessment
Posted by: LEE (
Date: November 14, 2006 04:52PM

I too was taken back by this special assessment from Festiva. We have always been happy with our unit and have gone from a studio, to one bedroom and then the penthouse just three years ago. I guess we should not have been so naive. After having been promised in our contract to exchange 3 weeks in a two bedroom for one week of our penthouse should we bank it, I learned last winter, it will not be honored as per Gillian. As far as banking with RCI that is a big joke. I have three weeks we have been trying to use since 1994 and can never get any resort we request, even though we bank a year ahead of time. Right now I'm trying to get the 2nd week in 2007 at The Atrium, our home resort, but cannot get it for the past two years. Last year we ended up paying for the week. I guess it is BUYER BEWARE as timeshares go. I guess our Paradise has turned into ?????

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Re: Atrium newsletter 200% assessment
Posted by: Robin Joslin (
Date: November 16, 2006 10:18PM

I may agree that certain special assesments may be required but in all my years in commercial and residential property management,I have never seen an assesment so mismanaged. I was told by Claire that they had already spent the money on a Generator and that it was to late for us to stop them. Secondly that they were requiring us to pay twice what was required so that they would have a reserve. Upon requesting a spread sheet or a detailed discription of proposed expenditures they said we can not provide that. I have been doing cpi Calcs for thirty years and I cannot make their numbers work. My contracts do not provide for this assesment. I have not gotten a return call for five weeks to clairify. I will be on board. Should we escrow our Maintenence fees? When I complained about management policies as to using free weeks I was told that Gillian would not allow. I forced the issue and they did comply in the end for one week. When questioned Festiva reps told me there was nothing they could do because they had agreed to keep all employees for three years. I feel that this was couched by Festiva very poorly. When we signed for our first unit I was assured by Festiva owner "Don" at the Bucanneer that he did not operate like other Management Companies, That he was hands on. When I requested to speak with him 5 weeks ago I was told that this was not possible. I may be reached at

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Re: Atrium newsletter 200% assessment
Posted by: Rowboat (
Date: November 21, 2006 09:44PM

Atrium update. Over 100 Atrium owners have organized and retained council on Sint Maarten. I would like to thank this forum and the other SXM internet forums plus JMB for making this possible. We are still looking for the other 3300 owners that are unaware of our pending litigation. Please contact me at if you are an Atrium owner and would like to join our email group (120 plus) and receive updates or join in the litigation.

We also urge all atrium owners to contact the NC Attorney General and file a complaint as Festiva Resorts is headquartered in NC. The site for NC AG is

Thanks for the support from all the Timeshare owners on SXM that have helped the Atrium owners get organized.

Rowie & Pat

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Re: Atrium newsletter 200% assessment
Posted by: Leslie Quarles (
Date: December 05, 2006 10:46AM

I've been coming to St Maarten since 1995, and just returned today from a 2 week stay on the island. Note: I own 2 weeks at the Atrium and 1 week at the Royal Palm.

PLease let me know how the 2007 Atrium timeshare assessment should be paid under protest. I don't want to risk futher abuse, for example losing my timeshare interest(s) for non payment

Also, is there only one (1) timeshare owner agreement applicable for all owners?

PLease Let me know how I can support efforts to protest the excessive 2007 Atrium special assessment?

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Re: Atrium newsletter 200% assessment
Posted by: riptide (
Date: December 05, 2006 12:22PM

dear mam,

You can support the protest by contacting

you are also welcome to join in the legal action. a great many of us T.S. owners with hundreds of collective weeks have joined


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Re: Atrium newsletter 200% assessment
Posted by: Guy Taylor-Smith / Sally Horsfield (
Date: December 06, 2006 06:55PM

We own a week at the Atrium. We have just found this web page and are very interested in knowing what the current situation is. Is there a lawyer dealing with the situation on St Maarten at the moment?
Kind Regards Sally Horsfield.

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Re: Atrium newsletter 200% assessment
Posted by: Riptide (
Date: December 06, 2006 09:06PM

if you were to email you will be filled in on the details.


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Re: Atrium newsletter 200% assessment
Posted by: maria (
Date: December 13, 2006 05:55PM

I do not think any loop hole exist, just plain rip off.

we should all start a class action law suit.

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Re: Atrium newsletter 200% assessment
Posted by: maria (
Date: December 13, 2006 05:57PM

i will like to join

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