Month: April 2020

Apr24

Dear Shareholders

We trust that you and your loved ones are doing as well as can be expected in the present circumstances and, like the rest of us, eagerly looking forward to an end to the ravages COVID-19 and to some state of normalcy even though there may be some adjustments to be made personally and professionally.

Please note below the results of the recent poll of the candidates to serve on the Foundation Board as replacements for the three (3) existing Board members whose term of office will expire.

  • Al DiGiovanni – 362 votes
  • Marie Slaats – 186 votes
  • Zina Hassell – 180 – votes

 

  • John Konefal – 168 votes
  • Stefano Rosic – 140 votes
  • Tony Avila – 103 votes
  • John Park – 50 votes

In offering heartiest congratulations to the winners, we sincerely thank all the candidates who were willing to devote their time and expertise in the interest of furthering the Resort and last but by no means least, to the Board members who are at the completion of their terms – Dennis Hullmann, Fred Noemer and Gus Anglin – for their tireless efforts to help the Resort reach its present stage.

Masha danki to everyone!

Apr08

Dear Members,

Paradise Beach Villas, is a sold-out Resort – meaning that 90% of our inventory has been already sold on a fixed week / fixed unit basis. We have always prided ourselves in being honest with our loyal members and we feel it is appropriate to share the challenges we are facing in reaching a speedy resolution to the COVID-19 pandemic. This pandemic was not your fault, neither was it ours. We do not know how long it will last but we know that the effects will be far-reaching, long-lasting and catastrophic and we also know that we can resolve it TOGETHER. Most of the members who have contacted us have been patient and understanding while a few members have been belligerent and demanding an immediate solution. This latter approach is not going to work and we sincerely thank those members who understand the issue at hand and who are willing to work with us in the present circumstances. The following explanations are offered to provide the background against which we have to make our decisions for the continued health of the Resort and for all of our nearly 2000 members.

The main concern we have heard up to this point is what will happen to my week(s) if I am not able to travel to Aruba? Because of the enormity of the challenge, we have been dealing specifically with the members whose weeks have been directly affected as a result of the travel ban imposed on flights to Aruba but, recently, members who own weeks as late in the year as September are wanting to switch their week(s) internally and this only applies more pressure to an already difficult situation as explained later. We ask all to be patient as we work to reach a solution that is achievable.

We have responded that we are working on a solution to try to not to have you lose your week(s) but it comes at a price that you should be aware of.

Switch my week internally

In this option, 99% of any weeks switched or banked internally can only be redeemed in the summer months since we have almost no available inventory in the winter. The travel ban as a result of COVID-19 started affecting us in week #11 – in the High Season – and therefore, the possibility of adding an additional week to your existing inventory in the winter is effectively NIL.

With only the summer weeks to play with, we have to juggle between 1) our members who own at that time, 2) the other accommodation commitments that we have at that time – and 3) any switched weeks that we have to redeem. Our maintenance fees (which currently rank among the lowest 25% category on the island) are subsidized by additional revenues we receive: concessionaire income, energy surcharge, administration fees, Food and Beverage revenues, Sales income – and by far the highest contributor – rental income. We have been able to negotiate guaranteed rental agreements for some of our inventory in the summer and we also get most of our hotel room rentals at this time of the year. From the above list of revenue contributors, the financial contribution of rental revenue alone accounts for approximately $300,000 annually that we will forego to accommodate the redemption of internally switched weeks. This is a significant financial boost – accounting for approximately 9% of the maintenance fees – which would have to be recouped via an increase in the maintenance fee.

Deposit the week(s) with Interval International (I.I.)

Many of our members come back to Paradise every year and therefore, saw no need to be members of I.I. Therefore, the ability to deposit week(s) with I.I. – which is only for I.I. members – is available for only about 25% of our members. Bear in mind I.I. does not and cannot guarantee a return to Paradise Beach Villas as a Resort of choice or Aruba as a destination but, at least the week is not lost and can be redeemed in another vacation destination selected by the member. However, since Paradise is the home Resort of the I.I. member initiating the deposit request, the Resort has to offer a room in exchange for this deposit. We share this with you because even though I.I. members may choose to deposit their week(s) with I.I., it still has implications on our available inventory.

Return the maintenance fees

This is not a feasible option since as explained earlier 1) the maintenance fees do not cover all the expenses of the Resort; 2) there are fixed costs that still need to be paid; 3) a portion of the maintenance fees cover the capital expenses which is a reserve set up for large capital projects apart from the operational costs.

We have laid out the background against which we are working so you can appreciate the rationale we are faced with as we try to reach a resolution that will not endanger the Resort financially or increase the maintenance fees to the point where we have numerous foreclosures. We have 80 rooms and if we have to internally bank or switch every week that should have been occupied, if we conservatively estimate a lifting of the travel ban by the end of June 2020, we would have to redeem approximately 900 weeks. The more weeks we redeem, the less inventory we have to generate rental income to help keep the maintenance fees as low as we possibly can. Hence our decision to suspend the internal switching under the conditions of our March 16th 2020 memo in order to revisit this issue.

We have included some pictures and a short video clip of the desperate circumstances to share with you – which are pretty much very similar to most of you – our Management and staff are facing pay cuts; your beloved Resort and the Aruba as a whole is struggling and even though some of our own members have been negatively affected, in the midst of all this, here are some comments from some of our very concerned members:

  • “Many of us want to help, but feel helpless …… Question, can a GoFundMe, be set up for PBV employees, for PBV Timeshare owners to help our Aruban friends & family?” BD
  • “I have enjoyed many years at Paradise Beach Villas and hopefully we will have many more. To give up one visit in the interest of not jeopardizing our beloved Resort is well worth it and I am prepared to forego use of my week this year to assist.” AR
  • “We are saddened by the situation worldwide, the Resort and Aruba which depends so much on tourism. Because of the travel regulations, we will probably not be able to use our week this year. Use our maintenance fees to keep the Resort afloat and we will see you next year. Please keep us updated. We are concerned and wish you well until we meet again.” SG
  • “I have multiple weeks. I will be happy to relinquish some of them to assist. Let me know how we can arrange this.” FS

While we tackle the “business” side of things, we cannot forget the “human” aspect and, in the Spirit of Paradise, let us spare a moment for some of our members who may have lost loved ones during this time. We ask you too to join the Board, Management and staff in extending deepest condolences and we hope that Aruba and Paradise Beach Villas provide a bright spark during these difficult times.

We sincerely thank those members who are patient, understanding and willing to work with us in the present circumstances. With your assistance and support over the past 25 years, we have successfully emerged from difficulties and we look forward to your continued cooperation and patience in working with us towards a viable solution in this situation. Bianca is well known to our members – since she has been here since the beginning – and is personally handling this situation. Please contact her via email at bianca@paradisebeach.aw so we can advise you of the workable options and you can also share with her how you are willing to assist us in these circumstances.

Masha danki in advance for your efforts. We have done it before and we will do it again together.

The Board and Management.

Apr04

To The Shareholders and Members of
Paradise Beach Villas

I just wanted to take a few moments to reassure each of you that your Board of Directors is working closely with the Managing Directors to hold the Resort together during these trying times. As everyone is aware, the Island is closed and the airports around the world and in Aruba are closed. We have moved ahead in an optimistic manner hoping that the travel bans would be lifted and that we would only have a few hundred vacation weeks to reschedule. Now that the “stay at home” order has been extended another four (4) weeks it has generated 300+ additional weeks to be reallocated. We ask for understanding, patience and support as we work through this issue. We have reached out to Interval International (I.I.) to try to develop vacation alternatives for our members, but this too would require PBV to make Weeks available to deposit into the I.I. exchange program. Please read the Managers’ updates which are posted on the website. They provide more detail on the availability of weeks and explain the Budgetary impact of the loss of our room rental income.

We have retained a skeleton crew at the Resort and we are rotating staff so that our lifelong, dear friends can continue to have some semblance of a paycheck. We have post-poned the Phase 1 Renovation Project until we can better assess the impact of the closure. The Board has asked the Managers to pursue maintenance projects, to the extent possible and allowable under Aruba’s guidelines. The Department Heads have submitted lists of projects that can be undertaken from painting, to re-grouting bathrooms, to servicing the air conditioning in each of the rooms. The following is an abbreviated listing of those projects:

VillasBedding has been stripped, washed and put away in plastic bags to protect it from contamination. The kitchens including appliances and utensils are receiving a deep cleaning and the appliances will be maintained.

Tiki Restaurant – The kitchen, bar and storeroom are receiving a deep cleaning. Structural repairs are being made and the structure will be repainted.

Pool Area – The pool coping is being repainted. The pool pump houses are being reconfigured and the pump houses are being repainted. Chairs and Chickees are being thoroughly cleaned.

Building Maintenance – The new Phase 1 building rooftop chiller is on site and is being replaced. Phase 2 rooftop chiller valves are being replaced. The Phase 2 rooftop is being cleaned and a protective coating is being applied.

All of this is being done to ready Paradise Beach Villas for its reopening and your welcomed return. Thank you to the Staff and Management for taking care of our “home away from home”. Whether you are a Pediatric Nurse, or you own a company that supplies Italian Food to grocery stores, we thank each of you for all that you are doing for us and ask that you stay safe until we see you again – in Paradise.

Dennis B. Hullmann, Chairman

4/4/20

Apr03

Dear Members,

As a result of the extended COVID-19 shut down of the island beyond what was expected, we regret that we are forced to suspend all internal banking/switching of weeks at the Resort effective today, April, 3, 2020.  This applies to requests made for weeks owned beyond the weeks we identified in the March 21st, 2020 communication. The high volume of requests that have been made outside the above weeks are beyond what the Resort has weeks available for use.

The requests accepted so far will be honored primarily based on the above range of weeks identified.

We realize this is a difficult decision and not may not be popular for many reasons.  Unfortunately, the negative impact of this pandemic, the ongoing uncertainty plus the lack of available of weeks for banking use (we are >90% occupancy) leaves us no other viable business decision. These are events totally outside of our control.

Our promise is that we will continue to re-evaluate our options to serve you, our valued owners and extended family, in the best way possible.  We will communicate honestly and timely should events change such that we have viable solutions to offer.  We trust you understand that the circumstances have hampered our ability to satisfy the current demands and capabilities of the Resort and we sincerely appreciate your continued patience and understanding as we work through these difficult times.

Sincerely

Management

Apr01

Dear Members,

Regretfully the Corona virus – COVID-19 – and the uncertainty it generates has forced itself into our lives and while the future is unclear at the moment, one sure thing is that for the foreseeable future, business will NOT be as usual. On the island we are still coming to grips with the various changes and, while settling into the new norm, we are looking forward to upswing in the overall situation. You may have been following the developments on the island from various sources but we will continue to give you highlights of the situation at the Resort and on the island.

  • As a consequence of the current situation, the renovation for the Phase 1 rooms will not commence in May as originally scheduled and we are currently evaluation second timeframe as well. We will advise you of our decision when we have reached it.
  • We now have an automated “telephone operator” directing you to the various departments.
  • Before the closures forced by COVID-19, Paradise Beach Villas joined other Food and Beverage establishments on the island which have stopped the use of plastic straws as part of our collective continued “greening” efforts on the island.
  • Results of the ballot for replacement Foundation Board members are coming in and will be announced at the appropriate time. Related to this issue, we would like to correct erroneous information that was recently posted on Facebook stating that one of the candidates, Al di Giovanni, does not own shares. This is totally incorrect and Mr. di Giovanni is a bona fide shareholder in the Foundation. If the name sounds familiar, he is the son of the late Al and Lee di Giovanni who rescued the Resort from the previous bankrupt developer and set it on its current path.
  • We are currently working on an app for smart phones to keep members digitally up-to-date with Resort happenings all year round. Efforts are halted because of COVID-19 but will share more on this as it develops.
  • On March 11th, families Winners, Stanbro and Schow sponsored their annual cookout for all the employees of Paradise Beach Villas for the fourth consecutive year. A heartfelt, sincere “Masha Danki” to them from the entire Paradise team ….. again …… for this beautiful gesture.
  • Please update your email contact information with the Resort. This is becoming more and more important as we transition to more digital forms of communication.

Stay safe and practice healthy habits. Be positive and even though things are difficult at the moment ….. this too shall pass ……. look forward your next visit to Aruba and Paradise.