One In the Same or Sworn Enemies?
Many owners simply do not know the difference between the developer, the club, and the management, in this article we’ll explore the relationships and differences between these separate entities that make your vacation experience seamless. If you are looking for an article comparing Club Wyndham (formerly named Fairfield) to WorldMark, the Club, you can visit our Club Wyndham vs. WorldMark page.
The Developer builds or purchases the resorts, and builds the network (or contracts) that tie the different resorts together. Once the resorts are built and networked together, the Club (you, me and every other owner) takes ownership of those resorts. In exchange for receiving the resorts unencumbered by loans, the Club agrees to give the Developer the exclusive right to sell Vacation Credits that are generated by the properties. The Developer is responsible for determining how many Vacation Credits are generated by each new unit. Credit Values (how many credits required to stay in each unit) and Season Calendars (how many red, white, and blue weeks per year for the resort) determine how many credits come from one particular unit. To simplify, as an account holder, you would own a part of WorldMark, the Club, but Wyndham owns the right to market the “unoccupied” credits on behalf of the owners.
In WorldMark’s case, Wyndham has not always been their developer. Many owners who purchased before about 2002 will still remember the “Trendwest” moniker that was attached to the WorldMark name ever since its inception in the late 80’s. Trendwest sold their interest in WorldMark to Cendant, a huge conglomerate who at the time owned Fairfield, Century 21, Coldwell Banker, ERA, Super 8 hotels, Days Inn, Ramada, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Baymont Inn & Suites, Wingate by Wyndham, Travelodge, Howard Johnson, AmeriHost Inn, Knights Inn and even travel and car rental companies like RCI, Orbitz, Galileo, Avis, Budget, and many more.
WorldMark, the Club is the entity that owns all of the vacation resorts/units, and the entity in which we as individuals hold ownership. The credits that comprise the Club can be compared to purchasing stock in a publicly traded Corporation, as they provide fractional ownership of the club, as well as voting rights.
Historically, Wyndham has sent out letters to owners asking for owners to sign over their proxy vote to a party who will vote on their behalf. This could be beneficial if the owner in question is not very involved in the WorldMark community and trusts the person using their vote but many owners feel Wyndham has misused this feature to keep a Wyndham-friendly Board of Directors elected.
Be careful about assigning your proxy vote, as you will no longer have say in how they use your voting power. There are reputable organizations that you can send your proxy vote to, like WMowners.com, which fights for an owner-elected Board of Directors.
A portion of the maintenance fees paid by the owners goes to hiring a Manager that can handle the physical management of the properties as well as the reservation / booking system, financial records, account transfers and other tasks that are required to keep the club running smoothly.
Understanding the Differences
At Selling Timeshares Inc., we are all about getting the best value for our owners. We know the more educated you are the better options you’ll have. We feel its extremely important to understand the separation between the developer and the club that you own, for the simple fact of knowing your rights as an owner.
Many owners don’t even know that they can vote in the Board of Directors, and certainly have never paid attention to the proxy letters they have received. With the recent initiatives of WMowners discussion forum, the club has become more owner-controlled than ever before, and we would like to see this trend continue in the future.