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Horseshoe Resort, Barrie, ON.

The Horseshoe Resort, a timeshare resort one hour north of Toronto, Canada, has been forcing out owners by exponentially raising their maintenance fees year by year, going as high as $28,000 per week for the resorts final remaining timeshare contract holders.

Skyline International Development (SID), a privately-held Canadian investment company, bought Horseshoe Resort in 2008 and immediately began raising yearly maintenance fees in an effort to push out timeshare contract holders at the resort.

Yearly fees per week per timeshare baveraged $435 in 2009, then rose to $709 in 2010, and rose again to $1108 last year. Timeshare owners’ numbers dwindled to 18. Skyline raised rates and then accepted ownership back from owners who couldn’t or wouldn’t pay. The differences were passed on to holders who still had timeshare contracts. Many of them then defaulted, continuing the snowball effect.

Unlike many timeshare resorts, Horseshoe began accepting contracts back from contract holders. This led 250 of the lodges’ leaseholders to file a lawsuit against SID, claiming they were forced out of their timeshares. When you’re ready to get out of your timeshare, contact the Transfer Smart experts. We can advise you on different exit options to sell your timeshare, transfer your timeshare, or donate your timeshare.


 
 


InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is opening the Hualuxe hotel brand in China with the distinct mission of becoming a Chinese-based brand. The focus of the brand image will be Chinese luxury, which coincides with the name Hua, which means majestic in Chinese. Timeshares will be sold at the Hualuxe locations.

Instead of lobbies there will be gardens; instead of bars the hotels will have tea shops; the bathrooms will look more like saunas, and there will be slippers and tea kettles in all rooms. This copies typical Chinese high-end hotels such as the Mandarin Oriental’s in Hong Kong and Macau and the Hangzhou Aman Fayun in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. 

Though IHG is based in London, their numbers state that China is the world’s largest expanding economy. This means not only is Chinese domestic spending up, but their people are traveling at higher rates than ever before. As China opens up to the rest of the world, and becomes a leader in manufacture and defense spending, the Chinese middle class is traveling more than ever. IHG sees this as an opportunity to offer these consumers with new-found wealth the opportunity to enjoy world-class lodging with a more domestic feel. They will then bring that Asian feel to new Hualuxe locations around the world. In line with their idea of starting an organic brand in China and earning Chinese domestic business than overseas business, IHG will open up Hualuxe Hotels in tourist spots that are popular with Chinese tourists, including Taiwan, Los Angeles, California, and London, England.

IHG has seen incredible profit margins in China. They earned almost $2 billion in 2011, a 100% jump from just two years earlier.

 
 
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On Tuesday, March 13, 2012, the NASDAQ Composite Index closed above the 3000 level for the first time since December 2000. Conversely, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 218 points and closed at 13,177, its highest level since June 2008.

The early 2000s were of course the middle of the dot-com boom, a boon for NASDAQ’s technology laden market. They had reached 5000 points before the dot-com bubble burst, as many internet companies could not meet their own lofty projections.  The biggest example was AOL/Time-Warner, a company that lost over half of its value after being the number one internet service provider.

Market researchers say this 3000 level is much more trustworthy than eleven years ago, as the internet companies that have survived are stable and profitable.

Retailers saw rises in sales over the past five months, with the pace increasing in February. That goes against conventional wisdom, which sees a peak in December followed by a waning in the January to February time period. Car dealers, clothing retailers and of course gas stations all saw increases in consumer spending. A poll on small business outlook rose to the highest level since December 2007. 


 
 
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The Oyster Bay Beach Resort (OBBR) has been named a top five resort in the Caribbean by Travel + Leisure Magazine, beating out 495 competitors. OBBR has gone from strictly a hotel to a resort and timeshare community over the last three years by investing $20 million into renovations and upgrades.

St. Maarten is only 37 sq miles and very popular with Dutch and French tourists, so this is a great honor for OBBR. Located on the East coast of St. Maarten overlooking Oyster Pond and the Atlantic Ocean, the ownership of OBBR says the key to their lofty ranking is attention to customer care and their great location.

The fine dining at La Noche, where fishermen offer fresh seafood, is well regarded. Catch your own fish by going on many deep-sea expeditions offered by locals. Nearby St. Barth’s is the Caribbean’s version of Spain’s Ibiza, where partying and models abound. If you visit in March, you can attend the Heineken Regatta. Hiking, horseback riding and dining are some of the biggest pulls while visiting here.


 
 
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One of Africa’s most impoverished nations is not at the top of many people’s travel lists. But those who are willing to take the risk and adhere to certain precautions can find an exotic vacation with just the right kind of danger. Chad became a democracy in 2010 and this has brought peace to the country after a bloody Civil War and years of conflict.

The capital city of N’Djamena offers streets filled with houses from French colonial times. Chad’s history dates from before 2000 BCE, and many ancient human artifacts and dinosaur bones are on display at the Musee National N'Djamena. No visit to Chad would be complete without a day spent at Lake Chad, the country’s namesake and Africa’s largest freshwater river. Crocodile, hippos and many birds call the lake home. The country’s best hotel is the Le Meridien Chari. The Gala Brewery in Mondo brews one of Chad’s best beers. And the Parc National Zakouma is Chad’s first national park, and has lion, giraffe, cheetahs and leopards as well as many other large mammals. Since tourist accommodations are sparse, be sure to plan ahead.