Align:start HAPPENING NOW.. THE STREETS OF GATLINBURG ARE FULL ONCE AGAIN WITH VISITORS.. FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE DEADLY WILDFIRES, GATLINBURG IS OPEN. NEWS CHANNEL 11’S CYMPHANIE SHERMAN IS LIVE IN GATLINBURG WHERE SHE TALKED TO A FEW PEOPLE EXCITED TO BE THERE. GOOD AFTERNOON CYMPHANIE. “THE TOWN IS BEAUTIFUL, ITS INTACT AND COME ON DOWN HERE “THE TOWN IS BEAUTIFUL, ITS INTACT AND COME ON DOWN HERE AND SUPPORT OUR LOCALS AND THE BUSINESSES.” LAST WEEK’S DEVASTATING FIRE IS A BECOMING A DISTANT MEMORY IS A BECOMING A DISTANT MEMORY FOR THE BUSINESSES ON THE GATLINBURG STRIP.
THE GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK AND THE RESORT TOWN REOPENED TO THE PUBLIC AFTER WILDFIRES THAT CAUSED 14 DEATHS AND DAMAGED ABOUT 2,500 BUILDINGS. AFTER OFFICIALS MOVED BARRIERS BLOCKING THE ROADWAY AT 7 A.M..
Your vacation home at Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort and Spa is moving right along.
Building 3000 is capped off with a brand new roof and building 4000 continues to rise high in Smoky Mountains with most infrastructure almost complete. Buildings 3000 and 4000 are estimated to finish in the late fall of 2018.
Cabins 2095 through 2090 have completed all levels and roofs.
Cabin 2096 is starting to build the roof trusses and Cabin 2097 is already building the third level The concrete has been laid for cabins 2077 through 2081 and construction will start soon.
Building 5000 is open, waiting for you to enjoy the fresh mountain air. Book your room now and experience the great Smoky Mountains this Summer! And if you’re looking for a way to cool off, then splash into our Wild Bear Falls Water Park in the mountains.
Dive into our beautiful infinity pool in the heart of the Smokies. Or Soak in a relaxing jetted tub in your room. All of this and much more awaits you at Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort and Spa..
The following St.Thomas properties will be closed until 2019:
Frenchman’s Reef and Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort
Sugar Bay Resort and Spa
Caneel Bay Resort
Flamboyan on the Bay Resort and Villas
Other resorts will likely open in 2018, with February seeing quite a few reopenings:
Emerald Beach Resort (Jan.)
Marriott Frenchman’s Cove (Feb.)
Margaritaville Vacation Club, Wyndham (Feb.)
The Ritz-Carlton Club, St. Thomas (Feb.)
Elysian Beach Resort (spring)
Bolongo Bay Beach Resort (June)
Bluebeard’s Beach Club (fall)
The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas (Oct.)
The Westin St. John Resort and Villas (Oct.)
Resort owners and personnel will likely even see some reopenings this year:
Lindberg Bay Hotel and Villas
Island View Guesthouse
Windward Passage Hotel
Gallows Point Resort
St. Croix accommodations
While many of those in the hospitality industry are out of work for the time being, those in other trades are being employed in large numbers to help with repair efforts, according to St.Thomas Governor Kenneth Mapp.
The aforementioned reopening timelines are predictions which may change. USVIHTA President Lisa Hamilton stated the following:
“The closure of the largest properties in the territory at the same time is not ideal, but it presents opportunities for us to renovate and update the tourism product. And while the hotels focus on revealing a polished, new product, USVIHTA will continue to promote properties and members who came out of the storms with minimal damage. Many of our members are up and running and ready to welcome guests today. However, restoring the territory’s infrastructure, airport and hospitals is essential prior to welcoming visitors back.”
“Everyone is invested in creating a renewed and re-energized product, even those who are still assessing damages. The focus on community and human capital is paramount.”
To learn more about the U.S. Virgin Islands Hotel and Tourism Association and their reports on hurricane damage and relief efforts, visit their website.
Line:92% STILL ARE ABOUT FIVE TO TEN DAYS FROM KNOWING ABOUT THAT. AND WE’LL BE WATCHING AND WAITING, JASON, THANK YOU. PLUS MANY IN THE CARIBBEAN WAIT FOR HURRICANE MARIA’S ARRIVAL AND WHAT SHE WILL AND WILL NOT DO. ONE UPSTATE WOMAN IS GIVING US A BETTER IDEA OF WHAT IT’S REALLY LIKE TO RIDE OUT THE HURRICANE ON THE ISLANDS.
Line:92% MCKAYLA WAS IN THE VIRGIN ISLANDS WHEN IT HAPPENED. Reporter: McKAYLA AND HER BOYFRIEND WORK IN ST. THOMAS AND MADE IT BACK SAFELY AFTER A WEEK OF EXPERIENCING IRMA’S IMPACT FIRSTHAND. AND THE WINDOW THAT LOOKS LIKE YOU’RE JUST IN A CAR WASH GETTING POUNDED. Reporter: THAT’S HOW TYLER MILLER AND HIS GIRLFRIEND WHO IS FROM SPARTANBURG DESCRIBED THE HOURS LIVING THROUGH HURRICANE IRMA. IT WAS VIBRATING AND SHAKING FOR ABOUT THREE OR FOUR HOURS. Reporter: THE COUPLE WORKS AT THE MARRIOTT AND STAYED THERE AS THE HURRICANE EYEWALL, BATTERED THE ISLAND. MADE US WRITE OUR BLOOD TYPES IN SHARPIE, LIKE WE TAPED OUR INFORMATION TO US. Reporter: THEY TOLD ME THE EXPERIENCE WAS NERVE WRACKING, BUT NOTHING LIKE SEEING WHAT IRMA LEFT BEHIND.
Size:84% THERE WAS ONE WOMAN, NO WALLS, NO NOTHING. SHE’S STANDING ON THE SECOND FLOOR OF HER HOUSE. YOU CAN JUST SEE HER. Reporter: THE UTTER DESTRUCTION. ROADS THAT YOU USED TO DRIVE DOWN THAT WOULD TAKE YOU FOUR OR FIVE MINUTES TO GET SOMEWHERE, IT WAS TAKING US HOURS TO GET THERE AND YOU HAVE BIG MILITARY TRUCKS, POLICE, YOU KNOW, EVERYWHERE.
Line:92% Reporter: IT TOOK A FEW DAYS FOR THEM TO GET OFF THE ISLAND. A LOT OF THESE DIFFERENT BOATS FROM PUERTO RICO WERE COMING OVER TO DROP OFF SUPPLIES, AND ON THE WAY BACK, THEY WERE TAKING PEOPLE. THEY GRABBED A BACKPACK AND THEIR BACKS AND HOPPED ON. IT WAS A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT WORLD THAN TWO DAYS BEFORE. Reporter: THEY STAYED IN PUERTO RICO, NOW THEY’RE HELPING THE PEOPLE THERE.
Line:92% A LOT OF PEOPLE DON’T HAVE THE OPTION BUT TO STAY. Reporter: THEY BOTH WANT TO GO BACK. THERE’S TOO MUCH MONEY TO BE MADE. I KNOW IT WILL, IT’S JUST A MATTER OF GETTING IT BACK TO WHERE IT WAS. REALLY TOUGH SEEING THOSE IMAGES.
YOU CAN’T IMAGINE YOU’RE WRITING YOUR DETAILED INFORMATION ON YOUR BODY. WHAT A SITUATION. WHAT HAPPENS TO THEM NOW? WHAT DO THEY DO? AMY, THE COUPLE SAYS THEY WERE KIND IN A THREE-MONTH AT A TIME TAKING IT PATTERN, BUT THEY’LL HOPEFULLY BE TRANSFERRED TO ANOTHER MARRIOTT RESORT PROPERTY IN THE MEANTIME WHILE THE ISLAND REBUILDS. THEY REALLY WANT TO FOCUS ON HELPING ALL THE PEOPLE WHO COULDN’T AFFORD TO, LIKE THEM, GET OFF THE ISLAND, SO THERE IS A LINK UP ON WSPA.COM IF YOU.
Storms like Hurricane Harvey of the past month will certainly create some special assessments on timeshare property owners who own timeshare properties on the east coast. With the economy like it is I am sure there will be some losers, not only for the resort itself but also some timeshare owners will find this an excuse to drop their timeshare ownership.
In all the years that my wife and I have owned deeded timeshare vacation property we have never experienced loss of a vacation week as a result of natural disasters, nor have we experience maintenance fee increases due to natural disasters.
Timeshare Ownership: What Happens in Case of Natural Disasters?
For those of you who are a part of timeshare ownership, you may have previously heard about certain areas of timeshare resorts being damaged or even completely leveled by natural disasters. Natural disasters are not always predicted far ahead of time and there are sometimes no way to protect or avoid damage from occurring to them. Disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and even earthquakes can uproot an entire area and you may be left without your timeshare. There are things that you will want to do and assist with after a natural disaster strikes your timeshare property.
What Happens if a Natural Disaster Causes Damage to my Timeshare?
When and if your timeshare property is struck by any natural disaster, you will have maintenance and special fees to pay. The resort depends on your help and money to carry out your part with any repairs that will need to be done to the timeshare property and units. The resort will estimate the cost of the damage done and your maintenance fees will increase and be split equally among all timeshare members at the resort that was damaged. It has been known that some people have had to pay $ 700 – $ 800 in single special assessment fees due to hurricane damage. Others have paid $ 259 per unit-week in special assessment fees to replace furnishings and unit remodeling. The cost will usually hinge on how much damage is done, how much ought to be fixed and replaced, and if the units are livable anymore. When entering timeshare ownership, it should be discussed with the resort owners.
Without a doubt, all timeshare properties in the Caribbean and island areas are always at more of a risk of being hit by a hurricanes. Hurricanes form and intensify over ocean regions, which make these islands more prone to being hit by these natural disasters. Another area that is at risk of hurricanes is Florida and through the gulf coast. Typically, hurricanes hit anywhere from Texas over to Florida and can strike anywhere up the east coast. Some rarely occur on the west coast, as well. Hurricanes are not the only natural disaster to be concerned about. On January 12, 2010, Haiti was struck by a terrible and devastating earthquake that caused severe damage to this island nation. Most properties were destroyed, as well as any timeshares that may have been located in the area. Tornadoes are also very prominent natural disasters which mostly occur in “Tornado Alley.” The states of Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and South Dakota make up Tornado Alley. If buying a timeshare in any one of the areas where natural disasters are prone to occur, beware that damage is possible and can not always be avoided. There will be costs and fees that you will must pay, but that is part of belonging to a timeshare ownership resort.