The “Highlands Resorts” of Christie Lodge hits the legal news having sold rights to occupy timeshare properties in downtown Avon. They now come under scrutiny and face claims from angry consumers, conflict remains in the USA.
The same conflict arises again and that is because the product the consumers purchase within the timeshare industry, results in the product confusion causing distress and litigation.
Colorado Attorney General accuses the resort of “enticing” under false pretences promising fake discounts and travel deals which are packed with extra hidden costs.
General Manager, Lisa Siegert of Christie Lodge, clarified the 280-unit resort did hire “Highlands Resorts” to promote timeshares in 2013 and sold around 1,300 timeshares over the next two years.
“Highlands Resorts”, enticed thousands of consumers over a period of two and a half years to attend presentations in Denver, which some were held at affiliated resorts and whilst consumers were in attendance, the state claims “deceptive” trade practices took place.
December of last year the “Highlands Resorts” shut its doors on the Colorado operation. The government says “Highlands Resorts” and its owner, Telluride resident Todd Herrick, “intentionally-deceived-misled, and financially injured many consumers” unfairly undercutting legal competitors. Greg Penrod is amongst many which are also being sued by the government.
The lawsuits states, “Highlands Resorts” hired third parties to “cold call” and lured potential clients using postcard campaigns, these postcards informed would-be buyers they could exchange for “free travel packages” if attended they attended their presentations.
During the 90 – minute presentation customers received leisure credit certificates for their “free” flight tickets or cruises, these included deposits as high as $200 and not so surprisingly only applied to trips at fixed times and in resorts of the timeshare developer’s choice.
And of course, the representatives offered consumers a reduced price if they bought a timeshare that day. The reduced price was a strategy to pressure consumers. Should they not purchase there and then the price would rise to $25,000. In return they would receive one week per year at Christie Lodge along with 32,800 point at a timeshare exchanged named as RCI. However, the government claims the same-day the discount never came to fruition and consumers on average paid $7,000 for the supposed packaged which was valued at $25,000”.
The legal complaint claims “Highlands Resorts” became apprehensive if a consumer without making a purchase, fearing they would never return. This proves to be true in most cases throughout the USA and Europe. This leaves consumers time to investigate further themselves. If consumers where to be sold honesty, then timeshare sales would rapidly decline.
Fortunately for the people of the USA they are supported by the government’s, while in Europe the government bodies remain indolent and mostly unsupportive. Worldwide consumers are being conned daily, obtaining people’s money by deception with phony promises hitting them hard financially.
The government also brings to the attention of the public that “Highlands Resorts” was not a registered “cold caller” in Colorado for most of the time whilst marketing Christie Lodge properties. However, the company eventually register itself however, only because of a notification from the the state Attorney General.
“Highlands Resorts” website claims it runs one resort in “Durango” and two resorts in Arizona. “Highlands Resorts” is known as one of a larger group of timeshare companies managed by a resort named “Sedona Pines” in Arizona. Sedona Pines is also associated with infamous RCI.
The government, is seeking reimbursements to the sum of $325,000 and a perpetual sanction that stops them from, among other things, marketing and advertising timeshares without showing costs, terms and conditions.
Posted on: December 12, 2016
For more information regarding this article or assistance in any other timeshare related issues please contact the TCA on 0203 519 3808 or email: info@TimeshareConsumerAssociation.org.uk