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ARDA-ROC helps timeshare owners protect their vacations P.2



Dear RCI Affiliate: ®

Social media is taking the world by storm. It is changing the way we connect to our family and friends, how we share and receive our news and information, and how we do business and interact with our customers. As the industry leader and innovator in vacation exchange, all of us at RCI are excited to enter into this dynamic new space. RCI subscribing members are a great community of passionate travelers, and Gordon Gurnik social media presents more opportunities for us to interact with them and promote the benefits of timeshare. Our new RCI Blog features several writers from within RCI who cover a range of topics, from how trading power works to great vacation destinations. Through our YouTube channel, members can view a growing list of media-rich videos. Our Facebook page is packed with fun information and lets members engage with RCI as well as with others around the world. Members can also follow us on Twitter to stay up to date on the latest RCI news and information. Finally, our RCI® app for the iPhone®/ iPod touch®* is a great way for members to view RCI TV resort destination videos, and create and share online scrapbooks of their vacations from the palm of their hand. All of these tools, which you can read more about on page 6, help our members plan their next vacation and get the most from their RCI membership. As an RCI affiliate, we also encourage you to go online and be an active participant. Read our blog, find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, subscribe to our YouTube channel, and download our app. Experience for yourself all the ways we are using social media to interact with your owners and send them on the very best vacations. Sincerely,

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Gordon Gurnik President, RCI North America * RCI Ventures magazine is an independent publication and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Apple Inc. iPhone and iPod touch are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without written permission from RCI. RCI Ventures publishes opinions of many experts. These opinions are not a substitute for legal, accounting or other professional advice. The views and conclusions expressed in RCI Ventures are those of the authors and are not necessarily those of RCI nor of its parent or affiliates. The information contained in this publication has been obtained from sources the proprietors believe to be correct. However, no legal liability can be accepted for any errors. ©2010 RCI, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 9998 North Michigan Road, Carmel, IN 46032


Publisher Brian Bruno Associate Publisher Emily Sadlock Contributing Editors Ranjana Biswas Helen Foster Leah Latour

Advisory Board Jeff Parker Jorge Boone Melinda Emmanoelides Kris Jamtaas Robert Stolt Danielle Galioto Amy Lipka Jeff Noonan Debbie Wunder Lucie Gagne Esther Grisham

Director, Marketing Services Eric Martucci Editor in Chief Chuck Wentzel Managing Editor Gaetano Pollice Associate Editor Andrea Fjeld Production Manager Nicole Vallecillo

Creative Director Roe Intrieri Designer Ash Oat Photography Editor Jennifer Arnow Assistant Photo Editor Pamela Pasco Digital Imaging and Prepress Specialist Hiroki Tada





Protecting Owners Protects the Industry Improved ARDA-ROC website content helps timeshare owners protect their vacations with timely advisories, in-depth advice and updates on ARDA’s local and national advocacy efforts


s the professional organization for the vacation ownership/timeshare and resort development industry, ARDA serves nearly 1,000 industry members. But equally important are the services provided to the one million timeshare owners who belong to the ARDA-Resort Owners Coalition (ARDA-ROC). Howard Nusbaum, president and chief executive officer of ARDA, understands the enormous challenge of providing current information to ARDA-ROC members. “The recent economic conditions have demonstrated how essential it is for our industry to stay apprised of developments in the marketplace,” says Nusbaum. “A big part of our responsibility is to be a reliable resource for owners, too, providing timely information when they need it.” ARDA’s website has always been a source for industry news, advocacy activities and promoting vacation ownerships. Now enhancements to the ARDA-ROC site will enable ARDA to provide even timelier information and be more responsive to the needs of its members. Nusbaum is especially proud of the recently added content. The new functionality will also enable


“What’s in the best interest of one group of our constituents is ultimately in the best interest of the whole industry.”

Howard Nusbaum

the staff to refresh the site more easily, allowing for even more regular and immediate updates.

ARDA-ROC While timeshare is not the only industry to suffer from an increase in consumer scams in this down economy, owners facing financial challenges can be overly eager to sell their timeshares and, therefore, can be easy prey for con artists. In response to the proliferation of these scams, ARDA released five advisories in the past year to help timeshare owners navigate through the secondary market—which includes timeshare resellers,Internet advertisers and other resale companies—to help provide a safer and positive selling experience. In addition to ARDA’s efforts to combat fraudulent timeshare resale activities, numerous state attorneys general have also introduced initiatives to pursue fraudulent timeshare resale activities. The advisories, with links to downloadable PDFs, provide specific tips on reviewing timeshare resale companies, their practices, costs and services in the marketplace.




ARDA ADVISORY SUMMARY • Resale Advisory I (September 2009) focuses on types of resellers with four steps to guide consumers through the process: utilizing existing resources, understanding timeshare resale companies, choosing the best option and following basic rules. • Resale Advisory II (September 2009) provides tools and tips to evaluate resale companies. • Resale Advisory III (January 2010) responds to a new timeshare resale scheme that falsely cites ARDA as a reference. ARDA does not contract with, become involved with, authorize or endorse any resale activities. • Resale Advisory IV (May 2010) makes consumers aware of two deceptive resale solicitations that target timeshare owners.

2010 Legislative or Regulatory Change Supported or Funded by ARDA-ROC


ARDA-ROC is vigilant in monitoring legislation that affects timeshare owners— actively opposing bills that adversely affect members and are proactively campaigning to pass legislation at all levels of government that benefits timeshare owners. Here is a brief overview of some of the successful initiatives with which ARDA-ROC has been involved this year.

Arizona ARDA supported legislation that increases the non-monetary finder fee that can go to timeshare owners to $1,000 annually. This legislation allows timeshare-managing entities, in addition to developers, to use finder fees. This allows the resort-managing entity to pay a non-monetary fee (such as a credit against maintenance fees) when a timeshare owner refers a new buyer to the resort in order to facilitate resale of foreclosed weeks.


• Resale Advisory V (July 2010) ARDA has become aware of a deceptive solicitation practice, commonly referred to as transfer or repurchase solicitations, being used by some unethical transfer companies aimed at timeshare owners. Also available on the site are easyto-follow Resale Tips listing Dos and Don’ts, a guide to “Selecting a Resale Company” and a “Resale Checklist.” Nusbaum points out that the information on the ARDA-ROC site is also an outstanding resource for Homeowner Associations. “We are committed to the million-plus owners who support ARDA-ROC—to protecting not just the timeshare industry but their vacation ownership as well,” says Nusbaum. Developers and industry professionals benefit from the enhancements

ARDA is making to its website. “We are dedicated to providing compelling, realtime data about and to the industry,” Nusbaum says. In particular, ARDA is committed to addressing the issues that have caused the industry to be misunderstood, and therefore underserved by lending institutions. The ARDA website currently offers persuasive and actionable information through its Timeshare Database and its comprehensive Lending Opportunities in the Vacation Ownership Industry white paper. Now ARDA will be able to update information more frequently, creating a more responsive and interactive resource for industry professionals. Nusbaum takes a holistic approach to the organization’s mission: “What’s in the best interest of one group of our constituents is ultimately in the best interest of the whole industry.” V

Florida ARDA supported legislation to remove timeshare foreclosures from the judicial system and help timeshare homeowners’ associations reduce the time and cost involved in reclaiming timeshare interests from owners who are delinquent in paying maintenance fees. Current foreclosures take up to 18 months to complete and cost thousands of dollars in legal fees. The new process can be completed in as few as three months and will save hundreds of dollars in legal fees.

Connecticut ARDA supported legislation that enacted a new timeshare law that took effect on January 1, 2010. Among other provisions to protect consumers, the law adds disclosure, licensing requirements and enforcement provisions for timeshare resellers that operate in the state.

South Carolina ARDA successfully opposed legislation that would have imposed a sales tax on the exchange of timeshare units in South Carolina, saving timeshare owners tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees each year.

Hawaii ARDA supported legislation to extend the general excise tax exemptions for condominium common expenses paid by managers, sub-managers and sub-operators, and for hotel employee expenses paid by hotel operators and timeshare projects. V For more information on these and other legislation, visit




Redesigning Cottage Living Sedona Pines Resort


edona Pines Resort brings to mind a quaint, peaceful village. Located on 19 acres in the picturesque Red Rock Country just minutes from the city of Sedona, Arizona, the RCI® affiliated resort features more than 140 individual, state-of-the-art luxury cottages and is the home resort for more than 11,000 owners. Sedona Pines, owned by Highlands Resorts—which manages all aspects of its vacation ownership properties in-house—became an RCI affiliated resort in 1996. Since then, the resort’s level of service has earned it the coveted RCI Gold Crown Resort® designation for an impressive 14 straight years. “The executive team we have has been here since our inception,” says Todd Herrick, owner of Highlands Resorts. “We have a great management team here, and the owners recognize us.” RCI Ventures recently spoke with Herrick and Greg Penrod, chief operating officer at Highlands Resorts about the success of Sedona Pines.


The benefits of the park model continue to prove them-

TH selves. It’s more difficult in a traditional stick-and-brick, apartment-style complex to redo an entire building. It’s cost prohibitive. With cottages, you can replace, enhance and add new cottages as needed.


But you must face some unique maintenance issues. With the park model there is no central boiler. Each

TH cottage has its own water heater and air conditioning unit so that’s additional maintenance and expense. There is more landscaping between individual units.

GP We didn’t cut down trees between units. Because

we’re located at 4,500 feet above sea level, we don’t have severe winters and our landscaping is pretty simple. We have placed streams with fountains between the cottages that run the length of the cottage areas. The physical maintenance of the RV park model has been very similar to a stick-and-brick product.

What differentiates Sedona Pines from other resorts? Sedona Pines was the first development to use the

GP RV park model in the industry. We’ve proven this is an attractive option. Owners can drive right up to the unit and unload their belongings without going up any stairs. Another unique aspect is the park-like setting—we’re very protective of the surrounding trees and vegetation. RCIAFFILIATES.COM


Does Sedona Pines experience seasonality in bookings? People really enjoy the resort year-round. School’s back

GP in session now, so we get a large number of retirees

in the fall. This time of year families without children—double income, no kids—come here to relax and enjoy the quiet. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2010 I RCI VENTURES



Highlands Resorts at Verde Ridge Cottonwood, AZ

“The added value we provide is critical. Year after year we see the impact we’ve had on our customers’ lives.” — Greg Penrod, Chief Operating Officer, Highlands Resorts

Sedona is a special market. It’s pretty steady all year, though December and January are typically not as busy.



What’s new at Sedona Pines?

We’ve designed a new cottage model. Silvercrest, who produces our models, said these are the best they’ve ever designed. We can update it into 2010 and beyond.



We’ll be updating every unit—flatscreens, appliances, everything.

Sedona pines has earned the RCI Gold Crown Resort® designation for 14 consecutive years. How do you sustain quality at that level?


Every member should feel that they have received value for their money when they come on-site; that value is evident here. We also have an excellent property management team. We receive comments from owners every day about the quality of the resort.



How has the economy impacted business?

The past three years have been as challenging as ever. Consumer financing is an ongoing struggle. One of the great successes we’ve had is bringing in new lenders because of our track record— the performance of our sales as well as our RCI Gold Crown Resort designation. There’s an ongoing challenge in this market. The industry needs to figure out a way to bring in new consumer lenders. It’s the number one thing on developers’ minds.



The majority of our sales staff has been here for 14 years because we’ve put together sales commissions that work. We’ve been able to produce qualified sales using our product. It’s important for us that members are content and continue making their monthly payments.


You were among the first to offer the RCI Points PlatinumSM membership. What convinced you to become such an early adopter?


We wanted a program where we were involved with owners on a weekly basis. RCI Points Platinum members receive benefits like discounts on spa treatments. We reinforce the value of Highlands Resorts on a weekly basis. We’re getting very positive comments on the Platinum membership. We’re not changing what owners are doing—we’re just adding value to the membership they’re using anyway.



Any observations about the current state of the industry?

It’s never been more important to keep your existing owner base happy. Keep your resorts running as well and looking as good as possible. The added value we provide is critical.


Highlands Resorts Opportunity Knocks “We’re an opportunistic developer,” says Todd Herrick. “Each of our properties offers something exclusive and each has both strong regional and destination appeal.”

Highlands Resorts at Verde Ridge in Cottonwood, AZ An RCI affiliated resort since 2005 and an RCI Gold Crown Resort, this twostory condominium property is just 15 miles from Sedona Pines. Overlooking the Verde Santa Fe Golf Course, the resort has received its certificate of occupancy for Phase 2 of the project, after recently selling out of Phase 1.

Durango Riverside Resorts in Durango, CO Acquired three years ago, this 160site, RV-style resort has 16 acres on the Animas River and is close to local ski attractions. Highlands is currently transforming the 25 existing cottages. “It’s fun to take this cottage product and adapt it to different locales,” Greg Penrod says. “It can be individualized by look and feel for each location.”

It’s so important for the sales staff, when they see these members coming back, to hear that it’s saved their marriage or saved their career—all because they took that break. Year after year we see the impact we’ve had on our customers’ lives. V





Social Media

Promoting resorts and vacation ownership Blogs, posts, tweets, videos and apps: helping RCI® subscribing members vacation even better


CI is always looking for new opportunities to promote the overall benefits of timeshare ownership, for both existing and prospective owners. As part of an ongoing commitment to being at the forefront of technology in the industry—and to put the benefits of RCI affiliated resort vacations and timeshare ownership in front of more people—RCI is actively engaged in social media. Through informative, fun and interactive online activities, RCI is helping members learn more about RCI affiliated resorts and their RCI membership benefits, while interacting with other owners.

YouTube/RCITimeshare Resort Showcase videos and Destination Reviews available at on RCI TV are now available to a much wider audience on RCI’s YouTube channel.

Facebook The RCI page on Facebook is home to an ongoing conversation about RCI and industry updates, destination facts and fun travel trivia. Owners can also use the new Facebook app to share their favorite getaways and resorts and see where other RCI subscribing members have visited and stayed.


PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO RCI is using Twitter to announce updates and news, including retweets of posts from travel professionals, resorts and vacationers. Followers will be able to stay current on RCI and learn fun information about vacation destinations and resorts.

The RCI With posts written by RCI employees—along with occasional special guests—the RCI Blog is a robust resource featuring information about the benefits of vacation ownership and all things RCI. It also provides useful travel information and highlights great member vacation stories.


RCI Application for the iPhone®/iPod touch® Mobile access to RCI TV provides another venue for viewing Resort Showcase videos and Destination Reviews. On-the-go travelers can preview resorts and vacation locales and share that information. Download the app for free at the iPhone® App Store. RCI Ventures magazine is an independent publication and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Apple Inc. iPhone and iPod touch are registered trademark of Apple Inc. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2010 I RCI VENTURES



Exclusive Preview! RCI Ventures has an exclusive preview of the upcoming redesign of Scheduled to launch at the end of the year, the new site will feature a global framework with region-specific features and content, and will highlight RCI’s competitive advantage: its people, products, technology and commitment to quality. “While our people are at the heart of RCI and provide the promise we make to our affiliates and their owners, innovation has been what has set us apart over the years and is what will continue to differentiate us moving forward,” says Geoff Ballotti, president and CEO of RCI. Stay tuned for more details about the upcoming redesign of!

When you first visit the new, you’ll view this global splash page—once you choose your region, you’ll automatically be directed there on all subsequent visits.

David Morritt, owner and developer of Morritt’s Tortuga Club and Resort, recognized for his vision and contribution to tourism on Grand Cayman


John Dishinger, director, Caribbean business development, RCI; Eugenio Macouzet, vice president, Caribbean business development, RCI; Gordon Gurnik, president, RCI North America; David Morritt, owner and developer, Morritt’s Tortuga Club and Resort; Cherie Jeffries, account executive, Caribbean business development, RCI, celebrate Morritt’s achievement.

Morritt was a successful home builder from England when he purchased the Tortuga Club in 1988. There was little else on the east end of the Grand Cayman island, but Morritt had a vision that transformed the hotel into two large timeshare resorts and surrounding area into a vacation destination with restaurants and a variety of activities. Over the years, Morritt and the resort have weathered economic challenges and hurricanes but have maintained the standard of quality that owners and guests have come to expect. Over its distinguished 20-year history, the Morritt’s Tortuga Club has served more than 9,000 families from around the world.


Disney Vacation Club® Displays

Model Behavior


t’s a small world after all! Now residents of Tokyo, Japan, don’t have to leave their city to discover the benefits and opportunities of vacation ownership, thanks to Disney Vacation Club. This summer, Disney Vacation Club opened a 15,000-square-foot Model Showroom designed to immerse families in all of the benefits of its vacation ownership program. Visitors can explore the variety of vacation choices available, including Disney Vacation Club resorts, Disney Cruise Line® ships and the interactive vacations of Adventures by Disney. Hands-on interactivity is part of the fun—the showroom includes a family vacation discovery zone, comfortable discussion areas and a supervised children’s play area. A highlight of the showroom is its full-scale, 1,336-squarefoot, two-bedroom model of the vacation home accommodations at Aulani, Disney Vacation Club Villas, Ko Olina, Hawai`i, an eight-hour flight from Toyko. “We are thrilled Disney has a new way for Tokyo-area families to create lasting memories at vacation destinations they love,” says Jim Lewis, president of Disney Vacation Club. “With its phase one scheduled to open on August 29, 2011, Aulani will be a unique and remarkable place that unites families in a shared experience of pure Hawai`i.” V




Las Vegas, NV

“RCI’s Transforming Your Success Sweepstakes”: More Winners!


t 11:59 p.m. EST, on September 6, 2010, the entry period ended for this year’s affiliated resorts sales associate sweepstakes sponsored by RCI. For 20 weeks this summer, RCI awarded an iPod touch®* media player to four randomly selected winners each week. So far, RCI has given away 20 Weekly First Prizes and 60 Weekly Second Prizes—more than in any other year. Every week, one of the four winners was chosen as a Weekly First Prize winner. RCI has invited all 20 Weekly First Prize winners to The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, NV, on October 13 and 14. The Grand Prize presentation—where one of the Weekly First Prize winners will receive a resort vacation trip for two, including accommodations, airfare, car rental and spending money—and the reception will be held at Madame Tussauds, Las Vegas, and the following night all winners will be RCI’s guests at Jersey Boys, the Tony Award-winning musical. “RCI’s Transforming Your Success Sweepstakes” is just one of the many ways RCI recognizes the significant contribution of resort sales teams to the mutual success of the affiliated resorts and RCI. Check for all the latest news about “RCI’s Transforming Your Success Sweepstakes.” And look for the Grand Prize winner in the next issue of RCI Ventures. V Sales managers or designated individuals from eligible affiliated resorts can nominate a top sales associate by logging on to Please note that sales associates may win only one Weekly Prize throughout the promotion period. Should an affiliated resort’s top sales associate have already won, the resort should not submit his or her name again. Instead, affiliated resorts should simply select the next highest ranking sales associate for the weekly entry. The “RCI’s Transforming Your Success Sweepstakes” is open to qualifying affiliates in the United States (including D.C.), Canada (excluding Quebec), Aruba, Dominican Republic, St. Maarten and Mexico. Affiliated resorts can ask their RCI account executive for more information.

Weekly Winners Week 10

Week 14

Week 18

Juan, Palace Resorts (First Prize Winner) Nikos, Vacation Internationale Rick, Bluegreen Resorts Steve, Vacation Internationale

Ildefonso, El Cid (First Prize Winner) Sheena, Summer Bay Resort Leo, Allegro Resorts Julie, Highlands Resorts

Itzel, Palace Resorts (First Prize Winner) Greg, Summer Bay Resort Billy, Holiday Inn Club Vacations Mark, Holiday Inn Club Vacations

Week 11

Week 15

Week 19

Michael, Holiday Inn Club Vacations (First Prize Winner) Alejandro, Mayan Resorts Luis, The Club at Presidente Michelle, Raintree Vacation Club

Nicholas, Shell Vacations Club (First Prize Winner) Manuel, Bluegreen Resorts Donald, Holiday Inn Club Vacations Grant, Velas Resorts

Dillon, Hacienda del Mar (First Prize Winner) Victor, Vacation Internationale Bill, Tree Tops and Fairway Villas Ross, Pueblo Bonito

Week 12

Week 16

Week 20

Miguel, Mayan Resorts (First Prize Winner) Sayba, Divi Resorts Elyse, Bluegreen Resorts Clifton, Pueblo Bonito

Stan, WorldMark by Wyndham (First Prize Winner) Maria, GEVC Tobin, Divi Resorts Barbara, Raintree Vacation Club

Bernedette, Bluegreen Resorts (First Prize Winner) Earl, Bluegreen Resorts Stephanie, Hilton Grand Vacations Club Jody, Elkhorn Resort


Week 13 Ryan, Shell Vacations Club (First Prize Winner) Adriana, Mayan Resorts Karen, Highlands Resorts Jose, Raintree Vacation Club

Week 17 Francisco, Mayan Resorts (First Prize Winner) Frank, Driftwood Worldgate Resort Nora, Mayan Resorts Alex, Palace Resorts

The Grand Prize winner will be announced in the next issue of RCI Ventures!

No purchase necessary. A purchase will not increase your chance of winning. Open to legal residents of the 50 states of the United States (including D.C.), Canada (excluding Quebec), Aruba, Dominican Republic, St. Maarten, and Mexico 21 years and older who are sales representatives from one of several select RCI® affiliated resorts. Void where prohibited by law. Sweepstakes ends 9/6/10. For official rules, prize descriptions and odds disclosure, consult your Contest Manager. Sponsor: RCI, LLC, 7 Sylvan Way, Parsippany, NJ 07054, U.S.A. *RCI Ventures magazine is an independent publication and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Apple Inc. iPhone and iPod touch are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. RCIAFFILIATES.COM




Events Calendar: Through November 2010 DATES



Oct. 4–6

The Road Ahead (RDO) Conference  Marbella, Spain

Oct. 10–12

Alternative Ownership Conference Asia Pacific (AOCAP)  Patong, Phuket, Thailand

Oct. 11–13

Lifestyle/Boutique Hotel Development Conference  Miami Beach, FL, USA

Oct. 13–15

The Canadian Resort Development Association (CRDA) Resort Development Summit Toronto, Canada

Oct. 13–15

Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific (HICAP) Hong Kong, China

Oct. 18–19

Western Canadian Hotel & Resort Investment Conference  Vancouver, Canada

Oct. 27–29

La Asociación Mexicana de Desarrolladores Turisticos (AMDETUR) Annual Convention  Mexico City, Mexico

Oct. 31–Nov. 2

Hospitality Investment Conference Africa (HICA) Johannesburg, South Africa

Oct. 31–Nov. 3

Vacation Rental Managers Association (VRMA) Annual Conference San Antonio, TX, USA

Nov. 10–12

American Resort Development Association (ARDA) Fall Conference Washington, DC, USA

Nov. 13–16

American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) Fall Conference New York, NY, USA

New RCI Affiliated Resorts ®

RCI Weeks ®

Bahia Principe Vacation Club San Juan, Dominican Republic Granja Brasil Resort Petropólis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Reunion Resort and Club Wyndham Grand Resort Orlando, FL, USA The Shorelines Marina Club Huntsville, Ontario, Canada

Hacienda la Purisima Ixtlahuaca, Mexico

Sirenis Cocotal Beach Resort Casino & Spa Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Ibis Mall of the Emirates Dubai, United Arab Emirates

TradeWinds Cruise Club Guadeloupe

Ixchel Residences Isla Mujeres, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Ugadale Cottages, Machrihanish Dunes Argyll, Scotland

Wyndham Vacation Resorts— Governor’s Green Williamsburg, VA, USA

The Registry Collection


La Reunion Golf Resort & Residences Antigua, Guatemala TradeWinds Cruise Club St. Maarten; Guadeloupe V

Marbella, Spain


Wyndham Bluebeard’s Castle St. Thomas

Wyndham Riverside Suites San Antonio, TX, USA




RCI Ventures - North America edition. Dateline September/October 2010.  
RCI Ventures - North America edition. Dateline September/October 2010.  

Featuring a profile of Sedona Pines Resort, an introduction to RCI's social media profiles and how they are benefiting the shared ownership...